Sunday 11th July

ORDINARY TIME

AUDIO SERVICE OF THE WORD

A warm welcome to this service

“Ordinary Time” is those parts of the liturgical year when no other season is observed, namely from the day following the Presentation of Christ (Candlemas) to Shrove Tuesday, and again from the Monday following the Day of Pentecost until the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent. There is, though, nothing “ordinary” about Ordinary Time, which simply comes from the word “ordinal”, or “counted time”, (as Sundays are numbered “before Lent” or “after Trinity”).  The seasonal colour is green, denoting new life and growth.

Introduction            

The Greeting

The Lord be with you;        All     and also with you.                                          

Prayer of Preparation

All               Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

All               Amen.  Lord, have mercy.

Invitation to Confession

We come to God as one from whom no secrets are hidden, to ask for his forgiveness and peace.

Confession 

All   Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name. Amen. 

Absolution 

May the God of love and power forgive you and free you from your sins, heal and strengthen you by his Spirit, and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.    All               Amen. 

The Collect 

Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding: pour into our hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word                                            

Old Testament Reading Amos 7.7–15                       

This is what the Lord God showed me:   the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line,    with a plumb line in his hand.   And the Lord said to me,   ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said,   ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel;    I will never again pass them by;   the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,    and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,   and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.’  Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel,   sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, ‘Amos has conspired against you in the very centre of the house of Israel;    the land is not able to bear all his words.   For thus Amos has said,  “Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.”’   And Amaziah said to Amos,   ‘O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah,   earn your bread there, and prophesy there;   but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary,  and it is a temple of the kingdom.’  Then Amos answered Amaziah,  ‘I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son;   but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees,   and the Lord took me from following the flock,   and the Lord said to me,   “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”’ 

For the word of the Lord ;      All    Thanks be to God. 

New Testament Reading Ephesians 1.3–14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,  to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace  that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight  he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ,  as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.  In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will,   so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.   In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit;   this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

For the word of the Lord ;    All         Thanks be to God.                             

Gospel Reading   

Alleluia, alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. Alleluia, alleluia.                                                   (cf John 8.12)

or   Alleluia, alleluia. The word for the Lord endures for ever. The word of the Lord is the good news announced to you. Alleluia, alleluia.

The Lord be with you ;   All    and also with you.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.    All    Glory to you, O Lord. 

Mark 6.14–29  King Herod heard of the healings and other miracles, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’  But others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’   But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’   For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her.   For John had been telling Herod,  ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’   And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.   But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee.   When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’   And he solemnly swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’   Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptizer on a platter.’   The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.   Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother.   When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.    All       Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon Amos 7. 7-15, Psalm 85. 8-13, Mark 6. 14-29

Affirmation 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.                                                             

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.

Prayers of Intercession                 

Lord in your mercy      or       Lord, hear us.

hear our prayer.                  Lord, graciously hear us.

Gracious God, fountain of all wisdom, we pray for all Christian people; for our Bishops, Steven and Alan, for those who teach and guard the faith. May the word of Christ dwell richly in our hearts, and knit us together inn the bond of your love.

Hear us. Hear us, good Lord.

We pray for the leaders of the nations, and for those in authority under them, for our government, all members of Parliament and those engaged in local government. Give them the gift of your wisdom, and a right discernment in all things.

Hear us. Hear us, good Lord.

We pray for Amersham, for those who live and work here, and for those who visit this place. Speak your word of peace in our midst, and help us to serve one another as Christ has served us.

Hear us. Hear us, good Lord.

We pray for those bowed down with grief, fear or sickness, those who have lost people close to them during the pandemic, those who are sick at the present time and those still suffering long term effects of the corona virus, both in our country and abroad. May your living word bring comfort and healing to all those in need.

Lord, hear us. Hear us, good Lord.

We give thanks for all those who have died in the faith of Christ, past members our own congregation, those who have died recently, those who have died as a result of the pandemic, and those whose anniversary occurs about this time.

Hear us. Hear us, good Lord.

We rejoice with St. Michael and all your saints, trusting in the promise of your word fulfilled. Lord of the Church, Hear our prayer, and make us one in heart and mind to serve you with joy for ever. 

Merciful Father,        All     accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Blessing

God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.          All               Amen.

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

Recessional hymn verse

Breathe on me, Breath of God till I am wholly thine,

until this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine.

 

 

 

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), and New Patterns for Worship (2002) , material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.  CCL No 908682.