• Seniors Minister

July 19th


Service for Sunday July 19th



We prepare to worship God

God has revealed his glory in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Come, let us worship.


From the rising of the sun to its setting the Lord’s name is greatly to be praised.

The King is knocking.

If you would have him abide with you, open the door of your heart and let in the King.


Lord of the earth and everything in it, Creator of the land and sea: Cleanse our hands and purify out hearts, that we may stand in your presence and worship you; keep us from false worship, save us from making false promises, that we may seek your face and receive your blessings: for you are the Lord almighty, the king of glory; we open the door of our hearts as you come among us.

Amen

From Psalm 24

Hymn - Crown him with many crowns

Crown him with many crowns,

the Lamb upon his throne.

Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns

all music but its own.

Awake, my soul, and sing

of him who died for thee,

and hail him as thy matchless king

through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of life,

who triumphed o'er the grave,

and rose victorious in the strife

for those he came to save;

his glories now we sing

who died and rose on high,

who died eternal life to bring,

and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of love;

behold his hands and side,

rich wounds, yet visible above,

in beauty glorified;

no angels in the sky

can fully bear that sight,

but downward bends their burning eye

at mysteries so bright.

Crown him the Lord of years,

the potentate of time,

creator of the rolling spheres,

ineffably sublime.

All hail, Redeemer, hail!

for thou hast died for me;

thy praise shall never, never fail

throughout eternity.


Collect for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Creator God, you made us all in your image:

may we discern you in all that we see,

and serve you in all that we do;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


We confess our sins to God

Let us confess the sin which always confronts us

Almighty God, Creator of all,

You marvellously made us in your image; but we have corrupted ourselves and damaged your likeness by rejecting your love and hurting our neighbours.

We have done wrong and neglected to do right.

We are sincerely sorry and heartily repent of our sins.

Cleanse us and forgive us but the sacrifice of your Son; remake us and lead us by your Spirit, the Comforter.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

We are assured of God’s forgiveness

Isaiah 44:6-8 New International Version

“This is what the LORD says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come— yes, let them foretell what will come. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

Psalm 86:11-17 New International Version

Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead. Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me— they have no regard for you. But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.


Romans 8:12-25 New International Version

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.


Hymn - Come Down O Love Divine

Come down, O Love divine,

Seek thou this soul of mine,

And visit it with thine own ardor glowing;

O Comforter, draw near,

Within my heart appear,

And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,

Till earthly passions turn

To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;

And let thy glorious light

Shine ever on my sight,

And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

And so the yearning strong,

With which the soul will long,

Shall far outpass the power of human telling;

For none can guess its grace,

Till Love create a place

Wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling


Matthew 13:24-30 New International Version


Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’


“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”


He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Richard Meryon writes,


Now you know that the Gospel means GOOD NEWS, for indeed it is GOOD NEWS? But what is that GOOD NEWS? Is it not what our reading for today from Romans 8.23 says – namely that “we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved.”


So yes, the Good News is that we are to be adopted as children of God. That we are to be saved. And that begs the question ‘so from what are we to be saved’? Our Psalmist today 86.13 says “you have delivered me from the depths”, from the depths, but so what though?


Our Romans passage sheds some light here: “8.13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but, if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Well that sounds pretty black and white or, as contemporary people say, pretty binary. I expect you have noticed, as I do the more I read God’s Word, that God is never unclear in what He says and means; one can never say that the Bible is grey and indecisive. As one American pastor says “If it ain’t plain, it ain’t main”. Yes, we may not like what it says, but that gives us the choice then to choose between God’s Way and our own way. Life is a choice for us all. Salvation is a choice for us all. Living in fear is a choice for us all. My parents, with a lifetime of loyal attendance at traditional Anglican churches, would say we cannot be confident of what will occur at the end of our earthly life; they might also have thought that all religions lead to the top of the same mountain; I did not, and do not, share their lack of confidence.


From our Isaiah 44 passage above we read: “8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

You will recall the first commandment when The Lord makes it very clear that “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me” which is presumably why He said through Joshua in 24:15: “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”


The departure of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt under Moses’ leadership was an escape from slavery under their dastardly Egyptian slave masters. This was for all time since a graphic picture of God’s people being freed from slavery to sin: as Isaiah says “16 Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you”.


God’s Mercy, when He spares us from the punishment that our sins deserve, is what frees us – not on our own merit, not by all our arguably good deeds, but singularly that Mercy, overlain with God’s Grace when He gives us so much that we do not deserve.


I hope that you all have a current Will in place – without it, if you die intestate, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, nice man as he doubtless is, will take all your estate. You wise people will however, I am sure, have planned to pass on your earthly worth to your choice of hereditors: they may be in your family line, or wonderful friends, or maybe to ministries and your church – those you’ve encountered through life.


Romans 8 speaks of us having the potential to be heirs of Jesus’ life “17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”


And I have often rejoiced in the next verse: “18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Ask me one day why!


One might say in this context that those Jews who believe in Jesus are His family, and the many of us who are gentile believers are the heirs Jesus has picked up. Wonderfully the reward is the same for both: from our Matthew 13 passage: “43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father”.


So it is all a gift of God, this forgiveness of our sins, but it is all an act of ours in choosing to be forgiven: as Paul writes to the Romans 8.13: “if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live”. And Jesus tells us that this life is “life in abundance” (John 10.10).


So the GOOD NEWS is:


• That we can escape the slavery to the sin that clings to every person.

• That it is the cleansing Blood of Jesus, shed for you and me on the Cross, that cancels my sin.

• That “the glory (that) will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8.18).


I could leave this on that glorious high note, but we must notice the very non-PC, surely unthinkable, alternative for those who do not choose Life, do not choose to serve Jesus, who do not claim the forgiveness of their sins by Jesus’ shed Blood.


That uncomfortable parable in our Gospel reading says in Matthew 13: 29 “while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”


Later telling us explicitly v38 that “The weeds are the people of the evil one.”


The harvesters will make that decision at harvest time v30: “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned”.


v40 is more explicit: “so it will be at the end of the age. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”


Jesus clearly spoke of Heaven and Hell many times – you will recall the story of Dives and Lazarus. Liberal theologians dismiss Hell; some modern theologians describe Hell as Nihil, nothing. But the story of Lazarus makes Hell seem infinitely less attractive than Nihil.


But Heaven has no comparison. Jesus says “43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”


Lord, let our ears be open, and prevent our minds being closed to the very reality of Heaven and Hell. We only need to read that other parable of Dives and Lazarus in Luke 16 to be warned, to be reminded, to be aware.


Two choices.


Life and Death eternally.


If you didn’t, now you know!




We declare our faith in God

We believe in God the Father who has revealed his loving kindness to us, and in his mercy saved us, through the gift of his Son; not for any good deed of our own, but because he is merciful.

We believe in Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us to be free from our sin, and calls us to be a royal priesthood, set apart for himself.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, whom God poured out on us generously through Christ our Saviour; so that, justified by grace, we might become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

We believe in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen

From Titus 2&3



Hymn - Ye Servants of God

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,

and publish abroad his wonderful name;

the name all-victorious of Jesus extol,

his kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

God ruleth on high, almighty to save,

and still he is nigh, his presence we have;

the great congregation his triumph shall sing,

ascribing salvation to Jesus, our King.

"Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!"

Let all cry aloud and honour the Son;

the praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,

fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.

Then let us adore and give him his right,

all glory and power, all wisdom and might;

all honour and blessing with angels above,

and thanks never ceasing and infinite love.


We offer our prayers to God

Use your hand as a model. Your fingers can be used to bring to mind different things to pray for.


Thumb

This is the strongest digit on your hand. Give thanks for all the strong things in your life, like home and family, relationships that support and sustain you.


Index finger

This is the pointing finger. Pray for all those people and things in your life who guide and help you; friends, teachers, doctors, nurses, emergency services and so on.

Middle finger

This is the tallest finger. Pray for all the important people who have power in the world, like world leaders and their governments, members of parliament and local councillors, the Royal Family, other world leaders and their governments.


Ring finger

This is the weakest finger on your hand. It can’t do much by itself. Remember the poor, the weak, the helpless, the hungry, the sick, the ill and the bereaved.


Little finger

This is the smallest and the last finger on your hand. Pray for yourself.


Prayers from Christian Aid Website

Prayers in a time of coronavirus

For the health workers tending the seriously ill

for the scientists working on a vaccination

for the researchers analysing data and identifying trends

for the media outlets working to communicate reality

for the supermarket workers, hygiene and sanitation providers

for the good news stories of recoveries and effective planning

for the singing from balconies by locked-down communities

for the recognition that isolation doesn’t need to mean loneliness

for the notes through letterboxes offering help and support

for the internet and telephones and technology that connects

for the awakened appreciation of what is truly important

Thanks be to God.

For those who are unwell and concerned for loved ones

for those who were already very anxious

for those immune suppressed or compromised

for those vulnerable because of underlying conditions

for those most at risk to coronavirus

for those watching their entire income stream dry up

for those who have no choice but to go out to work

for those who are afraid to be at home

for those who are more lonely than they've ever been

for those who are bereaved and grieving.


God be their healer, comfort and protection, be their strength, shield and provision, be their security, safety and close companion. Raise up your Church to be your well-washed hands and faithful feet, to be present to the pain, to respond with love in action if even from a safe distance.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

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

Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, as our Saviour has taught us, so we pray:

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.



Hymn - How Great Thou Art

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in

That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart

Then I shall bow with humble adoration

And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art


A final prayer and blessing

Father, help us to live this day to the full, being true to You in every way.

Jesus, help us to give ourselves away to others, being kind to everyone we meet.

Spirit, help us to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all we do and say.

Amen

With thanks to Richard Meryon from Holy Trinity Combe Down for this week’s ‘sermon’.


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Holy Trinity Church Combe Down

Church Road

Combe Down 

Bath, BA2 5JJ 

T: 01225 835 835
E: office@htcd.church

Office Hours:

9am-12:30pm, Mon - Fri

Church Office

Church Rooms

The Avenue

Combe Down

Bath, BA2 5EE

St Andrew's Community Church

Hawthorn Grove

Bath, BA2 5QA

T: 01225 945 009 

E: susie@stacc.church

Office Hours:
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©2018 by Holy Trinity Combe Down 

Registered Charity No. 1129554