Fourth Sunday after Trinity and Gift Day – June 27th 2021

Welcome

Good Morning and welcome to you all whether you are joining with us online or here in the building with us.

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

Call to Worship

Lord Jesus, we worship you this morning
as the one who removed the greatest barrier
between God and us.
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
enable us to tear down artificial and human-made barriers
that stop us from living and loving in accordance with your will.
Amen.

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

Gracious Father,
by the obedience of Jesus
you brought salvation to our wayward world:
draw us into harmony with your will,
that we may find all things restored in him,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

Word

But since you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a] – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: ‘The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.’[b]

2 Corinthians 8
7-15

Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman

21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’ 24 So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed round him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned round in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’

31 ‘You see the people crowding against you,’ his disciples answered, ‘and yet you can ask, “Who touched me?”

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’

36 Overhearing[c] what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Mark 5
21-43

Today I wanted to talk about our new testament reading, for obvious reasons – Paul’s subject is giving and this is our gift day! . However I don’t like to talk to people about money – and I hate asking for anyone for it.  There is of course also the potential for any passage like this to make anyone feel uncomfortable but its not meant to even though the subject of giving is one that has vexed many a speaker.  I’ve read quite a lot opinions on this passage and probably the easiest to understand for me has been by the American preacher Ray Steadman – Ray was one of the more famous evangelical preachers in America up until his death in 1992 and  I really got a lot out of reading his thoughts on this passage so if you want a more in depth look I encourage you to search out his work on the internet -his ministry continues through his sons and there is a website with much of his teaching available.

Anyway lets crack on

When you read 2 Corinthians, you find that Chapters 8 and 9 are all about graceful giving – the ideal subject for us on our Gift Day.  Of course Paul is talking about Christian giving, not a reluctant, begrudging or careless giving  but generous  grateful giving that is done without any expectation of return – just giving back to God in a spirit of grace. remember what we say  when we prepare communion – , we say the line from 1 Chronicles 29“for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.  All things come from you and of your own do we give you”  The giving Paul is talking about is just gladly giving back what is God;s anyway.

  .  At the end of his first letter to the Corinthians Paul suggested that the Corinthians organise a regular collection to help the Church in Jerusalem.  This was because a severe famine had taken hold in around AD 40 and the Christians in Jerusalem were in dire need. Paul’s idea of getting all the gentile churches to send relief to the Jewish Christians – was, he thought, a great way of showing the church was one, no distinction between gentile and jew – that as a body it would help anyone else that needed it.

This collection is mentioned again in our passage today. In Chapter 8 Paul uses his experience  of the Macedonian church as an example – he tells the Church in  Corinth that the Macedonians contributed generously “Of their own accord despite their own poverty.” He goes on to say that they were begging to help out – that their generosity was amazing in their desire to help the Christians of Jerusalem. The Macedonians saw fellow Christians in need and were desperate to help, they certainly were not worried that it was the Jewish wing of the church that was in difficulty.

Paul’s idea of getting all the gentile churches to send relief to the Jewish Christians – was, he thought, a great way of showing the church was one, no distinction between gentile and jew – that as a body it would help anyone else that needed it.

Its worth looking at what Paul tells us about the Macedonians  in the first few verses of Chapter 8 – if you have a bible turn to 2 Corinthians 8 – This description of how they gave, and why they gave what they did is a great example to us today.

It occurs to me that we live in a world where giving is often linked to receiving.  At Christmas there is often the expectation that we will both give and receive.  You might even feel that you have to give to so and so because they give us something each year – you may give them a gift for no other reason than there will be something coming back the other way. And who plays the lottery really because it gives to good causes – you play it in the hope of winning loads.  The  golf club charity day I played in yesterday gives me a round of golf in return for my charitable donation, they wouldn’t get half the money they do if it was a straight collection.  But true Christian giving is completely different to the rather transactional equivalent in the rest of our lives. Clearly giving in expectation is obviously not the right way to give to God and here in V1Paul gives us the example of the Macedonians to tell us how to give.  The first thing we should note is that true giving always starts with the grace of God: “we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches” says Paul

Ray Steadman makes the point that grace should be our number one motive for giving.  The the grace of God in what he has given you, in fact Ray makes the point that if God has given you nothing then don’t give anything back to him, although I think he makes that point slightly tongue in cheek as , if you  don’t think God has done anything for you you are probably not a Christian!.  Ray also points out that in the New Testament giving is never prescribed – we are never ordered or forced to give to the church – instead Ray describes this as a privilege that we can take part in if we feel gratitude for the grace God has already given us.  The issue of how much we should give is  is of course between no one except you and God -for today I just want to say that clearly we have had some donations which is fantastic – people have responded after careful prayer and thought and have decided to give which is fantastic – this gift is a blessing in itself – thank you all for responding.

The Macedonians gave because they were moved by the grace of God, despite – as Paul puts it in V2 the fact that they were in the middle of a very severe trial.  The Macedonians were very eager to share what they had despite their own circumstances – they could easily have pleaded poverty – but they recognised the grace they had received and wanted to give back – they understood completely what it felt like to be in the situation that the Jewish Christians were in and wanted to help their fellow believers as much as they could, or actually by more than they could afford “even beyond their ability” as Paul says..

In V6 Paul writes that he is encouraging Titus to continue collecting among the Corinthians but as we start the passage for today in V7 Paul praises the Corinthians for their faith, and knowledge and love and he asks them to excel in the grace of giving.  He basically tells them they are great at everything else to do with faith so they need to make sure they are just as good at sharing what they have been blessed with. He’s not telling them, he says“I am not commanding you” to give a percentage, or an amount, or even saying they need to compete with the Macedonians, but he is suggesting that they consider what Christian giving is – and show their faith by doing so.

Paul uses the example of Jesus  himself who by grace gave up all his heavenly glory to become a man, an ordinary man – “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor so that we might become rich”.  Through grace Jesus set aside his heavenly self and become a mortal man with hardly anything to his name.

It seems from what Paul says that Titus who had visited Corinth the previous year had been promised lots of support for the Church in Jerusalem but that actually this hadn’t materialised.  Paul tells them it is now time to “finish the work so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your  completion of it” in other words – actually do what you said you would do.  There is a hint there that the Corinthians may have over promised here and some scholars suggest they are waiting to give until they can give all they did promise (apparently there was a Jewish law that demanded that if you promised something to God then you must pay it in full) but Paul says don’t delay but give what you can afford now– as he puts it in v12, “For if the willingness is there the gift is acceptable according to what one has , not according to what one does not have”.  God understands and appreciates your heart and doesn’t want from you what you do not have. 

V13 to 15 talks about a redistribution of resources – “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality”  Ray Steadman explains that this isn’t advocating for some sort of Christian socialism – that everyone should end up with the same amount – rather Paul is arguing for an equality of response.  He basically is saying that – Right now you have enough to help give them what they need, one day it might be the other way around – as he says “in turn their plenty will supply your need”.  Paul quotes Exodus in Chapter 15 – “The one who gathered much did not have too much and the one who gathered little did not have too little”  The story in Exodus tells of the manna from heaven that fell on the people in the wilderness and was gathered in by the people – some brought in more than others but when they got it all back in to camp and shared it out everyone got exactly the amount they needed.  Paul is saying that God intends there to be enough if by grace we share it out.

After all – we are all likely to be in need one day – We heard in our Gospel reading today about  2 contrasting people- the daughter of Jairus, a well off religious leader, and the haemorraging woman who had spent all she had on bad doctors – wealth and social standing are no barrier to tragedy

2 Weeks ago you may remember I spoke to you about a couple of parables in Mark 4  – the one about the secret growing seed – the one that grew in the night, on its own, without any help and the parable of the Mustard seed – a tiny seed that can grow into a really big tree.  I talked about those parables as a message  that God can take every little thing we do here in Totley to spread the word and turn it into something amazing and that, even we don’t immediately ( or even ever) see it, those seeds can grow and increase the kingdom of God with God’s help.  I made the point that Totley isn’t a hotbed of revival yet – but that doesn’t mean to say it wont be or that all the seeds we are sowing fall on infertile ground – we just need to keep doing what we are doing and trust.  We may not ever see the fruits of our labour but, if we labour in faith then we can trust that God will help those seeds to grow.

And I feel that its like that with our gift day today. Just because we can never hope to meet the full needs of the diocese, or supply everything that David Kereto needs doesn’t mean that our gift wont  make a huge difference  – it will, probably in ways unknown to us. Don’t forget those parables about the seeds… God can, and does use whatever we can give… Though again we may never see or hear the results of what this money can do we should know that whatever is given in grace can and will make huge difference.

Our prayer today is that God will use this gift we give today to help grow his kingdom and change lives.

All things come from you – and of your own do we give you.

Amen

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 of Intercession

Lord God,

you became poor so that we might become rich.

In our world of inequality, we pray that you would show us how to share our riches with those who are in need.

Lord, pour out your blessings.

 

We pray for people who seek asylum in our land.

We cannot begin to understand the things they have been through.

We pray for a deep sense of your understanding, and for practical ways to show your love.

Lord, pour out your blessings.

 

We pray for those who work long hours for very little money.

For those who have no security, no comfortable home to go back to.

Lord, pour out your blessings.

 

We pray for those who give their time and resources, working through food banks, outreach centres, charities.

Lord, pour out your blessings.

 

We pray for ourselves, that as you bless us, we will bless others.

Lord, pour out your blessings.

Amen.

Copyright 2002-2021, ROOTS for Churches Ltd. All rights reserved. Online ISSN: 2635-2818

The 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.

As our Saviour taught us so we pray:

The Lords Prayer

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

The president says one of these invitations to 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.

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.

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.

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