Morning Prayer for Trinity 4

Good morning and welcome. For those of you who don’t know me I’m Maggie and on behalf of Duncan and the Ashbourne ministry team I welcome you this morning – to Morning Prayer here in this lovely Church of St. Mary’s at Mapleton. So in life some choices are straightforward others are more difficult. In life’s journey those who put their trust in God find in the words of today’s collect that God is our ruler and guide who helps us pass through things temporal, this world, while holding onto the things eternal: faith hope and love in Christ. As we ponder these things let us begin our worship. O, Lord open our lips. And our mouths will declare your praise. So now let’s just declare our praise by singing our first hymn Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice. Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God, do everything in the name of The Lord Jesus. Giving thanks to God the Father through him And we say together. Heavenly Father in our time together now Help us to sing of your glory, learn of your word, trust in your grace and Grow strong in your service. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen We reflect upon our lives capable of so much good but so often marred by wrong choices and selfish attitudes.Almighty and most merciful Father we have wandered and strayed from your ways like

lost sheep, we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts We have offended against your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done and there is no health in us But you, O Lord, have mercy upon us in our need. Spare those who confess their faults Restore those who are penitent according to your promises declared to mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord In it the prophet offers the hope of a new king sent by God who will be humble and a peacemaker. The reading is taken from Zechariah chapter 9 verses 9 to 12 Rejoice greatly o daughter Zion shout aloud o daughter Jerusalem. Lo, your King comes to you triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem and the battle bow shall be cut off and he shall command peace to the Nations, his dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit returned to your stronghold o prisoners of hope today I declare that I will restore to you double. Here ends the lesson Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Glory be to you O Lord. At that time Jesus said “But to what will I compare this generation. It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, then calling to one another We played the flute for you and you did not dance, we wailed and you did not mourn. From John came neither eating nor drinking and they say he has a demon. The

Son of man came eating and drinking and they say “Look a glutton and a drunkard a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds. I thank you Father Lord of Heaven and Earth because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have received them and revealed them to infants, yes Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my father and no one knows the son except the father and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone whom the son chooses to reveal him. Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. Ffor my yoke is easy and my burden is light. This is the gospel of the Lord praise to you, O Christ. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit amen. Well you probably heard by now that the government has further eased restrictions and we can think about opening our churches again not just for personal prayer but also for Sunday services and for weddings and funerals too. But we take your health and safety very seriously and so we’re currently writing all sorts of risk assessments and guidance notes to ensure we’re doing everything possible to contain this virus so although St Oswald’s is open for private prayer on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday afternoons I don’t know yet when we’ll be open for public Sunday worship, but I promise it won’t be long. I wonder have you been longing for our church buildings to be open again? It will be wonderful to meet up in person again, but I suspect numbers may still be on the low side and we’ve made so many friends through our online services I really don’t want to lose you and of course we also have the headache of keeping our churches safe. So, though it’s wonderful news that we can reopen, it has caused me to think deeply. This lockdown has brought a great deal of suffering to so many people. I think it’s also given us all a chance to to press pause, to think about how we want to live our lives, how we want our churches to be in this new future, because I don’t think we can go back go back to endless meetings and worn out ways of doing things; go back to keeping the show on the road forgetting why we’re on the road in the first place going back on that treadmill of running faster and faster and feeling we’re actually just standing still. We can’t go back to doing more and more hoping that we’ll get a different result jesus said are you tired, worn out Burned out on religion. You know there are times when I absolutely hate religion when you read about massacres and suicide bombings and jihad and racism and gay hate fundamentalism when you read about paedophile priests, intolerant preachers sanctimonious sinners, when you hear the hurtful things said in church or the thoughtless actions committed by one church member on another, we can’t go back to that. You know the one thing that gets me through this particular value of the shadow of death is that this sort of religion only comes out of the hearts of humans, it’s not God inspired, it’s not God blessed. We did this. So I think I need to turn back to what Jesus said. Here’s another translation of the passage you heard this morning this time from a version of the Bible called the Message; it’s a fresh take on the words of Jesus translated for people today Jesus said “Are you tired, worn out, burned out on religion? Come to me get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest walk with me and work with me. Watch how I do it, learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Once again God has opened my eyes to this oh so familiar passage. How often I’ve read these words I miss so much of the beauty

that I’ve seen today. Jesus said learn the unforced rhythms of grace. the unforced rhythms of grace. When I was writing this sermon, I was listening to the Jacques Loussier’s trio’s take on the Four seasons. Like that fresh translation of Jesus’s words, what a discovery this was. A jazz take on a classical piece of music So relaxed, so unexpected, so inspiring! Like reading a passage from the Message that I’ve known for so many years and yet it’s only today I’ve seen it in that whole new light the unforced rhythms of grace have washed over me and brought me closer back to God. The trouble is that we humans have lost this natural rhythm. We rush around the whole time because that’s what life seems demand of us and then we wonder why we crack up. We’re human because God made us and he knows we can only do so much before we need to take a break, a Sabbath break. So relax Are you tired, worn out, burned out on religion? Come to me, get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest, walk with me and work with me, watch how I do it learn the unforced rhythms of grace, I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly; happy days, Amen So now let us proclaim the church’s faith in God. Do you believe and trust in God the father, source of all being and life the one for whom we Exsit? We believe and trust in him. Do you believe and trustt in the son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again? We believe and trust in Him. Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world? This is the faith of the church This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen So we will now ask Nigel to lead us in our prayers, for the church, the world and our community Holy God we raise our prayers to you in the power of the Spirit which unites us with Christ Jesus trusting that you will hear our prayers and use them to accomplish your will for the world and for the church. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer. Give grace to all in your church Archbishop Justin Bishop Libby, clergy, lay ministers and congregations. May we speak your word of truth with confidence and in unity so those who are searching and

listening will be able to see and hear clearly your message of love and peace Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer. Creator God we pray for people and nations whose lives are affected by this global pandemic. Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and they put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace Lord in yoru mercy, hear oru prayer. Father God we pray for the people around us in our neighborhoods, our places at work, help us to be responsible and sensitive in all our interactions with those around us so that we do not increase the chance of infecting or being infected by those we meet. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer Gracious God we pray for people we know who are ill, anxious, bereaved and for those that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, we pray that you will lead them and us in peace towards healing and wholeness of mind and spirit Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer. We remember with thanksgiving those who have died remembering especially Paul Vickers. Strengthen all who grieve with comfort, faith and peace. For Jesus’ sake. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer Loving God we offer ourselves to you in faith and confidence, show us as we go out into the world, how we can best prepare ourselves to be part of your response to our prayers. Fill us with the spirit of life which was in Christ Jesus your son and our Saviour Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Let us now say together the prayer tht our saviour taught us ‘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. Thine is hte kingdom, the power and the glory Forever and ever, Amen Almighty and everlasting father we thank you that you have brought us safely to

the beginning of this day. Keep us from falling into sin or running into danger order us in all our doings and guidance to do always what is right in your eyes through Jesus Christ’s our Lord, Amen So whilst the government and the House of Bishops have stated that we may begin to open our churches for collective worship, really our ability to do so depends upon many factors, not least the importance of minimizing the risk to those church helpers, who might have to clean our churches and also to observing the social distancing requirements of those who may wish to attend. There will be an update on what is happening in the near future, but in the meantime please remember Saint Oswald’s is open for private prayer on Wednesdays and Sunday afternoons between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. Please remember you can stay connected during the week by logging on to our website ashbourechurch.org.uk where you will find the weekly pew news and much more. And as usual at 11:30 this morning we will hold our virtual coffee time on zoom. If you go to the front page of our website you will find the link just give it a click and we’ll see you there. So now let’s bow our heads for the blessing The peace of God which passes all understanding keep our 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 with you and those you love and pray for both now and always, Amen