Tenth Sunday after Trinity – August 8th 2021

Service Recording

Welcome

Opening Prayer

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

Worship

Call To Worship

When we journey with God, anything is possible:
we are challenged to push our limits.
 
When we walk closely with Jesus, anything is possible:
we are reminded that everyone has their own story to tell.
 
When we welcome the Holy Spirit, anything is possible:
we are invited to share in the bread of heaven that always satisfies.

Confession

When we make wrong assumptions about others and judge the way they live:
forgive us, Lord, for limiting people and possibilities.

When we don’t allow others to speak out and be the people you have called them to be:
forgive us, Lord, for limiting people and possibilities.

When we cast judgements on particular communities or neighbourhoods that are different from ours:
forgive us, Lord, for limiting people and possibilities.

Let us journey together towards wholeness and healing, knowing that only God can sustain us and set us free.
Amen.


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Assurance of forgiveness

Giver and sustainer of life,
through the power of the cross
we are a forgiven people,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
chosen by you
who has called us out of darkness into your marvellous light.
Amen.


© Copyright 2002-2021, ROOTS for Churches Ltd. All rights reserved. Print ISSN: 2040-4832 and 2635-280X; Online ISSN: 2635-2818.

Collect – The prayer for today

Lord of heaven and earth,
as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer,
give us patience and courage never to lose hope,
but always to bring our prayers before you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Word

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians
4:25-5:2

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’a]">[a] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

John
6:35, 41-51.

You are what you eat is a commonplace saying in these health conscious days where nutrition and diets are so frequently in the headlines   .It is true that  Our bodies are composed primarily of the food and drinks we put in our mouths, plus some things like oxygen that we draw from the air, nutrients like vitamin D that we make with the help of sunlight, and bacteria that enter from the environment. In this literal sense we are what we eat,

 However, the phrase has been around for centuries. It first appeared in written   English at the beginning of the twentieth century. But it was known in France and Germany almost a century before that. In 1826 the French lawyer Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are. He was stating that that the food one eats has a bearing on one’s state of mind and health.

But the origins of the expression may go further back than that.

Some Bible commentators state that the metaphor of eating and drinking was common in Jesus’ day, and pointed to a taking of something within one’s innermost being.

 

In todays Gospel reading we hear Jesus talking to the crowds he has fed the day before who have followed him to the other side of the Lake bringing even more people with them. They had gone to a lot of trouble to follow and find Him. Yet their main interest was still on perishable materialistic things. Jesus tried to lift their minds on to heavenly realities; to an understanding that He is necessary for spiritual life just as bread is necessary for physical survival.

 So, in verse 33 he said “The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  

The crowd Ask to be given the bread every day and Jesus replies “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

This was a clear statement that people need to put their confidence in Jesus instead of in material bread.

Bringing C. H Spurgeon’s thoughts up to date Everybody feeds on something. One person feeds on social media, Another feeds on sport and celebrity culture. Another person feeds on their career and how busy they are. Another feeds on their status. Sadly, some unfortunate people feed on the cares and worries that they have. But all that is poor food—it is only ashes and husks. If you possess true spiritual life, you would know the deep necessity there is of feeding upon Christ. 

Jesus audience began to question the validity of what he was saying.  The problem seems to be their frame of reference. How could the box that they have created for God have space for Jesus?

We too have our own frames of reference which we sometimes use to try to contain or control God.  We may even use it at times to exclude God. The problem for us is the same as the problem for the people who had followed Jesus that day, namely our frame of reference all too often originates with us rather than with God. We often like to feel as though we “lead” in our relationship with God. In truth, He calls us with the loving kindness of a gentle but powerful moral attraction and we agree to come.

Jesus tells his audience to stop grumbling, stop complaining, stop arguing. He goes on to say “I tell you the truth anyone who believes has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life. I am the living bread that came down from heaven any one who eats this bread will live for ever”. Jesus Challenges us to step outside our established, familiar and comfortable context that we have created for ourselves. Jesus will not be limited by our perceptions or our preferred tastes. He invites us to live a new life, a larger life, a life that is not bound by the past or the comfortable context we have created for ourselves. He invites us to eat new bread.

Now there are over 200 different types of bread that are made in the UK alone. Some without gluten, some vegan friendly. We may know the ingredients which go to make up bread. We can learn how to bake bread, we can freeze bread, we can toast bread, we can use it to make bread pudding, we can slice it, we can put butter and jam on it, we can smell it. But it will not satisfy our hunger and keep us alive unless we actually eat it.  William Barclay put it like this “Jesus is saying: ‘You must stop thinking of me as a subject for theological debate; you must take me into you, and you must come into me; and then you will have real life.’”

I would say we need to be grafted to Jesus

All food sustains life for a period of time. But Jesus is talking about food that is much more powerful than regular food, for whoever eats this bread, whoever believes in him, whoever trusts in him, whoever is guided by him will gain eternal life. However, we are unable to maintain the standards of God outlined by Jesus and so in order for us to be reconciled with God and have a relationship with God the one initially described by John as the word that became flesh states that he will give his flesh so that the world may have life and share in the life of God.  Jesus will be the sacrifice that   gives life to the world

In his letter to the Ephesians Paul has reminded us that by offering his flesh as a sacrifice on the cross Christ united people from all races, cultures, ethnic groups, and social strata into one body.

all believers are united in Christ each and every one of us  has a part to play in building up the kingdom of God. What is our response to what God has done for us? Our faith in Christ is not a substitute for works; our faith is the foundation for works that truly please God. If we are feeding on Christ, walking in the Spirit moving one step at a time in the right direction as the Spirit renews our thoughts and attitudes then Christ in us will show himself in the way we live our lives. Our life will match what we say and what we say is in keeping with being an adopted child of God.

As we move towards a graft between Christ Church Endcliffe and ourselves Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reminds us of how those who feed on Christ should behave towards one another and enable different groups to bond together and build up the life of the united church.

Firstly, God is a God of truth. So, any deliberate misrepresentation or purposely misleading is an offence against God. However, there is something especially abhorrent about untruthfulness in the mutual relationship of members of the body of Christ.  Christians cannot work in harmony for the good of the whole if their dealings with one another are not marked by open hearted sincerity and confidence.

Coping with change in familiar contexts can be challenging. Sometimes people will say and do things which annoy us.  It isn’t a sin to be angry, but unfortunately it is easy to let our anger get the better of us and our indignation can so easily degenerate into resentment . in such circumstances we are giving Satan a chance to exploit our cherished indignation to gain his own ends. Paul quotes psalm 4” don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”

Matthew 5 Jesus says Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.    That is such a challenge.  It takes fortitude to take that first step of reconciliation towards someone who has upset us,. Equally it takes courage to resolve a relationship with someone who we may have aggrieved. Christians should be in love and charity with their neighbour. Flaring outbursts of rage, public quarrelling and slanderous whispers are all serious threats to the unity of heart and purpose of the church. Mutual kindness, compassion and a readiness to forgive are the qualities which characterize those who feed on Christ. After all Those who have been forgiven so much at such a great cost must be forgiving in their turn.

Christ Church Endcliffe and Totley All saints both know the deep necessity there is to feed on Christ. Now He is inviting us to step outside our established, familiar and comfortable contexts to live a new life together, a larger life, a life that is not bound by the past or our current familiar context. 

 

As we move towards being grafted together will anyone be able to tell what we are by what we eat? will our actions match what we say and what we say be in keeping with being a child of God? I pray that the bread of life offered by Jesus will enable us to remain in love and charity with our new neighbours.

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

This week, as we pray for other people, let us ask God to help us see them from his perspective, rather than making asumptions.
 
All-seeing and everloving God,
help us to see others as your children, cherished by you.
 
Lord, we lift to you our world leaders. It is so easy to be critical of them, to believe what we read in the papers or on social media rather than seeing them as people just like us with needs like ours. In an increasingly unstable world we ask you to give them wisdom and integrity. Help them to put the needs of their country before their own desires. We pause for a moment of silence now, as we try to imagine what it must be like to walk in their shoes.
 
All-seeing and everloving God,
help us to see others as your children, cherished by you.
 
We pray for countries at war or suffering long periods of unrest, particularly Afghanistan and the Middle East. It’s so easy for people to take sides and fight rather than try and see the world from the perspective of others. We pray that a new desire to love and treasure others may sweep this planet, bringing in a new reign of peace.
 
All-seeing and everloving God,
help us to see others as your children, cherished by you.
 
In our country, Lord, we thank you for the example given to us by the Queen and continue to uphold her in prayer. We ask that you will give her comfort as she mourns the death of Prince Philip and as her grandchildren are the focus of so much public scrutiny. We pray for our government, as the problems of Covid-19 continue to beset us all. Help us not to be critical of the rules and regulations and the people who make them but, instead, to do our best to keep others safe.
 
All-seeing and everloving God,
help us to see others as your children, cherished by you.
 
Lord, we pray for our communities and all who live and serve in them. We thank you for those who sweep our streets, empty our bins and clean our shops, workplaces and hospitals. We pray for your strength and reassurance for our over-stretched NHS and for tired teachers trying to have a summer break. We pray for the unemployed and those on zero hours contracts struggling to make ends meet. And, Lord, we pray for the ‘onlys’, the people overlooked by society or considered insignificant. We ask that we, as a church, may find ways to help the disadvantaged in our communities in the short-term whilst praying that our government may have the courage to find long-term solutions.
 
All-seeing and everloving God,
help us to see others as your children, cherished by you.
 
We come before you, Lord, in sorrow that so many people in our world are abused or neglected because of their race, colour or gender. We ask your forgiveness for any part we have played in preventing your world from being a place of harmony and stability. We lift up the millions of refugees fleeing unsafe homes. We pray for the migrants trying to cross the channel and we pray too for those who exploit them. We ask you to give strength and courage to all those fighting for justice in our world. We ask you to give us all the eyes to see everyone as made in your image with equal worth.
 
All-seeing and everloving God,
help us to see others as your children, cherished by you.
 
Finally, Lord, we commit to you those who live around us. We picture them in our minds now as we bring them to you for blessing:  our friends, our neighbours, the people who walk their dogs past our house, those we say ‘hi’ to in the street or at the station or on the bus but don’t know their names. We pray for those who live behind closed doors that we never see, those we used to spend time with who, for whatever reason, we don’t see anymore. And we pray for those whom we avoid… Lord, you know them all by name and we thank you for each of them and for the way they touch our lives. Give us the grace to be good neighbours, willing to go the extra mile for all these people who are, underneath it all, just the same as us.
 
All-seeing and everloving God,
help us to see others as your children, cherished by you.
 
Help us to serve one another
because we are all made in your image.
 
Help us to bring your love to everyone we meet this week.
Amen.

Communion

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.
 
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
 
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
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:
 
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.
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.
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.
 
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.
 
Jesus Christ is holy,
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
 
As the president consumes
 
The body of Christ broken for us all
Amen
 
The blood of Christ shed for us all
Amen
 

Prayer After Communion

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