Sunday 20 September

 

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

Opening Hymn     

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God; formed thee for his own abode; on the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose? With salvation's walls surrounded, thou may'st smile at all thy foes.

See the streams of living waters, springing from eternal love, well supply thy sons and daughters,
and all fear of want remove; who can faint while such a river ever flows their thirst to assuage?
Grace, which like the Lord, the giver, never fails from age to age.

Round each habitation hovering, see the cloud and fire appear for a glory and a covering, showing that the Lord is near. Thus they march, the pillar leading light by night and shade by day, daily on the manna feeding which he gives them when they pray.

Saviour, if of Zion's city I, through grace, a member am, let the world deride or pity, I will glory in thy name. Fading is the worldling's pleasure, boasted pomp and empty show; solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion's children know.
                                                  John Newton (1725-1807) based on Isaiah 33.20-21

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 

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; 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; Jonah 3.10 – 4.11 

When God saw what the people of Nineveh did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city. The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’ But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?’ And he said, ‘Yes, angry enough to die.’ Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’

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

New Testament Reading; Philippians 1.21–30

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well – since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. 

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

Gradual Hymn 

O Lord of our salvation, the pains of all creation are borne upon your cross:
the failure of compassion, revealed in starkest fashion,, exposes all our gold as dross.

We hear your voice protesting, To love and hope attesting, where justice is denied.
Where innocents are dying, where hate is crucifying, you call us to your bleeding side.

O give us faith to stay here, to wait, to watch and pray here, and witness to your cry;
in scarred and tearful faces, in countless painful places, you give us hope that will not die.
                             Michael Forster (b.1946)
                                   

Gospel Reading;   Matthew 20.1–16 

Alleluia, alleluia. The word of the Lord endures for ever. The word of the Lord is the good news announced to you. Alleluia, alleluia.                                                        (cf 1 Peter 1.25)  

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

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

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’ 

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

Sermon

Sunday, September 20th. 202 Trinity 15 Jonah 3,10-4,11, Psalm 145, 1-8, Matthew 20, 1-16

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

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All               Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.  Amen.     

Prayers of Intercession                 

Lord in your mercy All;   hear our prayer.                    

Let us pray to our God of loving kindness, who never fails us in our troubles and dilemmas. Like the people of Nineveh, we often do not know our right hand from our left.
We pray for all faced with making difficult decisions: For political leaders and their medical advisors, pondering how best to cope with the well being and physical health of societies, both in our country and throughout the world; for decision makers who are troubled with not knowing their right hand from their left.
Give us humility, Lord, always to put the best interests of others before our own desire for success or acclaim.
Lord, in your mercy..... Hear our prayer.
O God of steadfast love, we pray for your church throughout the world. Show us how we can best follow Paul’s advice to live life in a manner worthy of the Gospel. Help us to avoid being so obsessed with activity that we lose sight of our omissions, and of our need to stop and listen to your voice speaking through the noise.
Lord, in your mercy,....Hear our prayer.
God of steadfast love, who rewards equally all who labour in your vineyard, we remember those gone before us, whose names are written in our Book of Remembrance for September, some known personally to us with appreciation and affection:
Tudor Ward. Ronald Jelley. Barbara Payne. Beryl Jones. Jack Gibbons. Gladys May Putt. Drew Rowland Richardson. Mary Woodward.
Irene Pollen. David Michael Muncaster. Rita Marion Ridout. Marilyn White; Annie Jones. Jean Howse. Diana Drysdale.

As we approach our celebration at Michaelmas of the centenary of this church community, we give you thanks for the love and care shown to this place and its people by all who have worshipped here.

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

Hymn

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer, Pilgrim through this barren land; I am weak, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand: Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore, Feed me now and evermore.

Open now the crystal fountain Whence the healing stream doth flow; Let the fire and cloudy pillar 
Lead me all my journey through: Strong Deliverer, Strong Deliverer,
Be thou still my strength and shield, Be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan, Bid my anxious fears subside; Death of death, and hell's Destruction Land me safe on Canaan's side:
Songs of praises, Songs of praises I will ever give to thee, I will ever give to thee.
                      William Williams (1717-1791)

Blessing

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; 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.