Virtual Services

16th Sunday after Trinity – 27th September 2020

Video of full service...

Welcome

       Grace, mercy and peace
       from God our Father
       and the Lord Jesus Christ
       be with you
      and also with you

Opening Prayer   

Generous, hospitable God, who turns no one away,
welcome each one of us now
in this time of worship and gathering
and embrace us in your being.

© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020. 
Reproduced with permission.     

Worship

Confession

God our Father,
we come to you in sorrow for our sins.
For turning away from you,
and ignoring your will for our lives;

Father, forgive us:
save us and help us.

For behaving just as we wish,
without thinking of you;

Father, forgive us:
save us and help us.

For failing you by what we do,
and think and say;

Father, forgive us:
save us and help us.

For letting ourselves be drawn away from you
by temptations in the world about us;

Father, forgive us:
save us and help us.

For living as if we were ashamed
to belong to your Son;

Father, forgive us:
save us and help us.

 

Absolution

May the God of love
bring us back to himself,
forgive us our sins,
and assure us of his eternal love
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Collect – The prayer for today

Lord of creation,
whose glory is around and within us:
open our eyes to your wonders,
that we may serve you with reverence
and know your peace at our lives’ end,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Word

Imitating Christ’s humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death –
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Do everything without grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

Philippians
2:1-13

The authority of Jesus questioned

23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you this authority?’

24 Jesus replied, ‘I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism – where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?’

They discussed it among themselves and said, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will ask, “Then why didn’t you believe him?” 26 But if we say, “Of human origin”– we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.’

27 So they answered Jesus, ‘We don’t know.’

Then he said, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

The parable of the two sons

28 ‘What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, “Son, go and work today in the vineyard.”

29 ‘“I will not,” he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 ‘Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, “I will, sir,” but he did not go.

31 ‘Which of the two did what his father wanted?’

‘The first,’ they answered.

Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Matthew
21:23-32

Good morning.  We continue today with our look at Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi.  If you were here last week, or have seen the talk on line, you will have heard Neil introduce the letter and the key theme in our first chapter which was the joy that Paul experienced, in spite of his circumstances, in spite of being confined, in spite of the uncertainty of his future – and how he rejoiced in the fact that ‘Christ is proclaimed in every way’.

As you all know, the artificial breaks in the Bible were not added until much later after the gospels, letters and indeed the Old Testament were written and were put there simply for convenience. The Bible as we know it today, with the chapters and verses etc came into existence in the 16th century.  It is important to bear this in mind when looking at Paul’s letters because they naturally flow and what we have read today in Chapter 2 builds on what Paul had already written in Chapter 1 and offers a pattern for thinking and living as followers of Jesus for the believers in Philippi.  It also offers a pattern for living for us today.

In Chapter 1 we read Paul’s exhortation to ‘live your lives in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ’ and ‘striving side by side with one mind’.  Paul continues this theme in Chapter 2  so let’s look at these first few verses:

Paul begins by encouraging the believers to acknowledge what they have received.  It is not a question he is asking when he says ‘if then’ but more of ‘you have this so ……

If then:
there is any encouragement in Christ – make my joy complete

Any consolation from love and sharing in the Spirit – make my joy complete

Any compassion and sympathy – make my joy complete

And how do they go about this? By being united (one of the key problems besetting the Philipian church as disunity), by considering others before themselves, serving each other with humility – and to do all this by having the same mind and love as that of Christ Jesus.  Paul is addressing the challenge of living the Christian life in what we would consider to be a pagan community and basically encourages them to ensure that their life and behaviour matches the life of the King they profess to follow.    And maybe we need to be open to this same challenge today.

And so we come to this great passage in Philippians.  It has been referred to as the Christ Hymn, and is thought to be one of the earliest Christian hymns.  There is even a school of thought that it was written by Paul himself but he may have been simply quoting something that already existed.  However it came about ,it expresses, in traditional Hebraic form, the radical nature of Christ’s love – his humiliation, his death and his exaltation.  And there is so much in this that I actually found it quite hard to keep this talk reasonably short! n  So what does it tell us about the mind of Christ – and how should that affect what we think and how we behave?

First of all it shows a selfless mind

Christ was, and is fully God.  And yet he chose, willingly, to become fully human.  He did not hold on tightly to the rights and honour he deserved but relinquished them (the passage refers to him emptying himself).  According to the Oxford English Dictionary selfless means ‘concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own’.  God’s overwhelming love for his people meant that he put our needs first – at the cost of his own.

Secondly it also shows Christ’s servant mind

The NIV says that he took the nature of a servant. In the NRSV it is translated that he ‘took the form of a slave’.  In his letters Paul refers to himself as a servant but uses the word diakanos (from which we get the word Deacon).  In this passage the word doulos is used – not a servant but a slave.  Jesus came from the highest of the high to become the least in society. 

And finally a humble and obedient mind (verse 8)

In our modern world, when we have become so used to the human nature of Jesus, it can be hard to imagine just how radical this was – to use a modern phrase, how completely counter cultural.  Remember, Paul was a Roman citizen, writing to one of the largest Greek cities of the time.  Both Romans and Greeks revered deities who showed dominance and victory – certainly not servitude, shame and humility which would have been utterly despised.  To the Romans and Greeks status was everything.  The idea that Christ humbled himself, allowed himself to be brought to the lowest circumstances, was not something that any sane person, let alone a god would do.

These were also cultures who were quite used to suffering and dying for a cause, for something you believed in – and was considered quite noble.  But Paul emphasises the fact that Christ was ‘obedient even to death on a cross’  Crucifixion was reserved for slaves or the lowest of free people.  It emphasised Jesus’ lowly status in the eyes of the world.  It was shameful and disgraceful way to die.  And for the Philippians it would have been particularly difficult – as Roman citizens they would have been exempt from crucifixion. 

This death on a cross is the nadir of the hymn – the blackest place but, it is not the end

The story continues – and starts with ‘therefore’

I have mentioned this before, but it is always helpful to consider what a therefore is there for.

On this occasion, God exalted Christ, because of his selflessness, because of his servant hood, because of his humility and obedience.  It is precisely because of his selfless, loving action that God gave him the name above every other name.  It is because he humbled himself to death on a cross that he was given the name at which every knee should bow .

Ronald Tyler expresses it this way “The same servant theme is then passed on by Jesus to the disciples as the key to Christian discipleship. Christ emptied himself, served, suffered, and died. Christ acted on our behalf without any thought for himself. He was totally selfless in what he did. He lived with no eye to a reward. That is what God rewarded and highly exalted. It is the servant mind of Christ that Paul calls upon the Philippians to practice.”

Over the past six months we have been finishing our talks with a challenge, a question, something to ponder and discuss.

Last week Neil ended by asking everyone when the last time was they had spoken to someone about Jesus and their faith.  This early Christian hymn is a fantastic outline of the gospel, the good news we have to share.  It must not be kept to ourselves.

But this whole passage is also a challenge to for us, to have the same servant mind, and how we demonstrate the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to live our lives to emulate that of Christ. 

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look to the interests of others.  Let the same mind be in you as in Christ Jesus”

So I will leave you with two things to consider:

  1. How easy do you find it to ‘regard others as better than yourselves’? Is there an inherent danger in this?  S Lewis said ‘ it’s not about thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less’
  2. I have been struck this week how again some supermarket shelves have been stripped bare of basic essentials. How delivery slots are being booked up again weeks in advance.  As new coronavirus restrictions are implemented do we react selfishly or selflessly?  As we adjust to the rise in cases and the fear and uncertainty about the future how might we each ‘look not to our own interests, but to the interests of others.’

 

Witness

Statement of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

All   We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family
in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith,
and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us
with power from on high.

We believe in one God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Prayers

       

        For our prayers today, we lift before God our world,

  • For the effect of climate change and the threats this presents. Help each of us to care for all creation.
  • For those places at war, May peace and reconciliation be pursued by the leaders and those with responsibilities in those places.
  • For those forced to leave their homes, May they find welcome in a new land.
  • For those who do not have all that they need to flourish, May the support be present to help them.

 

        We lift before God our country and our community

  • For the planning and negotiations around Brexit. May a way forward be agreed
  • For those struggling with the latest guidance around Coronavirus. May peace and support be found
  • For those who are feeling lonely or isolated. May company and a listening ear be found.
  • For those who are sick or unwell. May they find healing in body, mind and spirit.

 

We lift before you ourselves remembering that Paul says we should have the ‘same mind as Jesus’.

So, God, we ask you to help us:
walk like Jesus, walk like Jesus, (mime walking)
talk like Jesus, talk like Jesus, (megaphone hands)
think like Jesus, think like Jesus, (fingertips on temples)
live like Jesus, live like Jesus, (arms in welcome gesture)
and love like Jesus, love like Jesus. (arms crossed over heart)
Amen.

© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020. 
Reproduced with permission.     

 

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord be with you
All   and also with you.

(or)

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
All   We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All   It is right to give thanks and praise.

Almighty God, good Father to us all,
your face is turned towards your world.
In love you gave us Jesus your Son
to rescue us from sin and death.
Your Word goes out to call us home
to the city where angels sing your praise.
We join with them in heaven’s song:

All Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

[Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.]

Father of all, we give you thanks for every gift that comes from heaven.

To the darkness Jesus came as your light.
With signs of faith and words of hope
he touched untouchables with love and washed the guilty clean.

This is his story.
All This is our song:
Hosanna in the highest.

The crowds came out to see your Son,
yet at the end they turned on him.
On the night he was betrayed
he came to table with his friends
to celebrate the freedom of your people.

This is his story.
All This is our song:
Hosanna in the highest.

Jesus blessed you, Father, for the food;
he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said:
This is my body, given for you all.
Jesus then gave thanks for the wine;
he took the cup, gave it and said:
This is my blood, shed for you all
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in remembrance of me.

This is our story.
All This is our song:
Hosanna in the highest.

Therefore, Father, with this bread and this cup
we celebrate the cross
on which he died to set us free.
Defying death he rose again
and is alive with you to plead for us and all the world.

This is our story.
All This is our song:
Hosanna in the highest.

Send your Spirit on us now
that by these gifts we may feed on Christ
with opened eyes and hearts on fire.

May we and all who share this food
offer ourselves to live for you
and be welcomed at your feast in heaven
where all creation worships you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

All Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

The president breaks the consecrated bread.

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.

All Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Giving of Communion

God’s holy gifts
for God’s holy people.

All Jesus Christ is holy,
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Prayer after Communion

All Almighty God,
we thank you for feeding us
with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
to be a living sacrifice.
Send us out
in the power of your Spirit
to live and work
to your praise and glory.
Amen.

Community

The community of S17 has drawn together during these unusual times in a very special way. This is reflected in the great work of the S17 COVID-19 Community Support group.

The group aims to support those in the community who may be in need and to provide a support network to the S17 community at this time.

“If there are needy people in our community let’s ensure we help them out with things like bringing shopping to their door.”

The Wardens of All Saints Totley have been producing regular newsletters with helpful links, thoughts and resources. The latest of these is here.

We have also started to add resources for the younger members of our church, to add to this virtual service. They can be found here, and here.

Blessing and Dismissal

May the Father from whom every family
in earth and heaven receives its name
strengthen you with his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always
Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Reminder

If you have any feedback on this service or any other ideas, suggestions or contributions, for future services please do send these to comments@allsaintstotley.church

There are also the sermons available from the Bishop’s senior staff here: https://www.sheffield.anglican.org/video-sermons.