Following new guidance by the Diocese, live-streaming from the Church is at the moment not allowed. Today's prayers, readings and reflections are available below.
TRINITY III SUNDAY 28th JUNE
Ye holy angels bright,
Who wait at God's right hand,
Or through the realms of light
Fly at your Lord's command.
Assist our song,
For else the theme
Too high doth seem
For mortal tongue.
Ye blessed souls at rest,
Who ran this earthly race,
And now, from sin released,
Behold the Saviours face,
God's praises sound,
As in his sight
With sweet delight
Ye do abound.
Ye saints, who toil below,
Adore your heavenly King,
And onward as ye go
Some joyful anthem sing;
Take what he gives
And praise him still,
Through good and ill,
Who ever lives!
My soul, bear thou thy part,
Triumph in Gos above:
And with a well-tuned heart
Sing thou the songs of love!
Let all thy days
Till life shall end,
What'er he send,
Be filled with praise.
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
Jeremiah 28:5-9, Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42.
Grant us grace to discern the presence of Christ in those we know and in the stranger.
May we be welcoming and hospitable in our homes and may our doors be open to the Lord who comes in many ways.
We pray for all who suffer: the anxious, the sad and the sick. Amongst the sick we pray for Charlie Chesser, Otto Lein and Bill Scott.
We pray for those who have died, that they may receive their reward and welcome into a heavenly home.
"Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me." Matthew 10:40.
One of the things we have been unable to do over the last few months is to entertain our friends and family in our homes.I am sure that many of us are looking forward to doing this when we can do so safely. I have certainly been collecting and trying out recipes for food which I hope to prepare and share with fiends and colleagues in the not too distant future. It is an occupation which has had some impact on my weight!
The Bible reflects a society that holds to high standards of hospitality, and sees them as endorsed by God. When God enters a covenant with Abraham and promises him a son the announcement of this promise is made to three strangers. Rather than hiding behind his ten flap and avoiding these strangers he welcomes them, provides them with hospitality and in turn received the announcement of God's promise.
When Moses runs away from Egypt he is welcomed into Jethro's home where he gains a wife and family. He settles and tends Jethro's flocks until the day the burning bush catches his eye. If Jethro had thought, "This man looks likes trouble. he is clearly on the run. He doesn't look like son-in-law material. I'm not going to let him in." things might have been different for Moses and his people.
As a result of Moses' encounter with God in the burning bush, the Israelites came into the promised land. The law that God gives them to live by is designed to form the people in the image of God, reflecting God's values and God's nature. And the law says quite a lot about hospitality to the outsider, the stranger in the land. Jesus picks up and emphasises this theme of the hospitable character of God. He sends out his followers without money or other resources so they must depend on the people they meet. The people who welcome them show they understand the nature of God by receiving their visitors with a blessing.
Today's Gospel makes clear something which should have been obvious all through the history of God's dealings with people. We are to be open and welcoming to each other because when we are, we show that we have understood what God is like.
Jesus' followers began to realize that god's hospitable nature meant that the gospel was not just for the chosen people, but for everyone.The people Jesus was calling were to be drawn from every nation.
The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that if we welcome strangers into our homes we might find that we have been entertaining angels unaware. I think most of us would like the angels credentials before letting them in! The tradition and indeed obligation of hospitality is not embedded in our contemporary society as it has been and is in some. But we need to be mindful of our duty as Christians to be hospitable, particularly to the stranger or the needy.
Perhaps we sympathize with the young man who asks Jesus, "Who is my neighbour?" He wishes to fulfil the Law and to love God with all his heart and love his neighbour as himself, but he wants the boundaries clearly drawn. He will love the regulation neighbour, but no more.
But Jesus will not let him get away with that. He tells the parable of the Good Samaritan making it clear that our love must be offered to anyone who needs it. We are all called to show the welcome of God and the hospitality of God's Kingdom.