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Trinity Sunday - June 7th




A Service for Trinity Sunday June 7th



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 our 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 blessing:

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 - Holy. Holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee, which wert and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see, only thou art holy; there is none beside thee perfect in pow’r, in love and purity,

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!

God in three persons, blessed Trinity!


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 by 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



Psalm 8

1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory in the heavens. 2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


Isaiah 40: 12-17, 27-31

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? 13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counsellor? 14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. 16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. 17 Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.

He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


HYMN There is a Redeemer

There is a redeemer Jesus, God's own Son Precious Lamb of God, Messiah Holy One

Thank you, oh my father For giving us Your Son And leaving Your Spirit Til the work on Earth is done

Jesus my redeemer Name above all names Precious Lamb of God, Messiah Oh, for sinners slain

Thank you, oh my father…

When I stand in Glory I will see His face And there I'll serve my King forever In that Holy Place

Thank you, oh my father…

Matthew 28: 16-20 The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


Sermon

I find my heart tightening as I read the words at the end of Matthew’s gospel.


“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”


Are you speaking to me, Lord? I feel tired just reading that. So much travel involved, persuading to do and face-to-face contact. It sounds exhausting, as I sit in the comfort of my lockdown bubble.


I remind myself that these words, spoken in Aramaic, written in Greek, translated later into Vulgate Latin, and then, much later, into the beautiful language of King James’ Bible, have passed through many tongues before reaching our own. All the way from a mountain in Galilee to us here, in England and in Bath.


The tongues of flame that descended on the Apostles in that crowded upstairs room brought with them strength and confidence. As Bishop Perry wrote last week, the disciples were released from their fears and inhibitions and our Christian faith today can be traced back to the actions of those disciples, as they began the process of spreading the word. What if they had declined the mission they were given? What if they had failed?


Jesus ascended to heaven ten days before Pentecost. The emboldening tongues of flame had not yet descended when the apostles were entrusted with their task. Matthew’s narrative goes straight from the two Marys’ discovery of the empty tomb, and the chief priests’ bribing of the Roman guards, to the disciples’ last meeting with Jesus on the mountain.


The disciples had gone to the mountain in Galilee, as Jesus had told them, and “When they saw him they worshipped, but some doubted”.


That last word jumps out at me. Why did they doubt? Did they doubt whether this was indeed Jesus, as Thomas had done, whether Jesus was the son of God, or did they have other doubts? The Living Bible suggests, “Some of them weren’t sure it really was Jesus!” while the Message reads, “Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.”


These were the eleven disciples who had walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus and been chosen to accompany him as he taught of God’s love, healed the sick, and drove out demons. Perhaps they were with him when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Yet “on seeing him, some held back”, fearful of getting it wrong. Into which group would we fall? Would we have doubted?


Jesus did not question his disciples’ suitability for the task. Instead, he went straight into his declaration of authority and the great commission.


“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”


Does being a Christian mean I have to be a missionary? Is it true, as the 19th Century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, wrote, “a Christian is either a missionary or an imposter”?


Paul tells us that there are different kinds of gifts. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There is also one body, but many parts, each fulfilling a unique and necessary function. Can’t I leave this “missionary bit” to someone else? I am sure they would do a much better job. Can’t I have a nice, safe task, preferably not too demanding?


My voice sounds weak and thin. Lord, I am weak (not particularly thin, after weeks of lockdown). Make me strong. Help me to soar on wings like eagles.


Matthew’s gospel finishes with an amazing promise, “And surely, I am with you, always, to the very end of the age”. I think of the greatest missionary of all, Paul, whose encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus transformed him and the future of what became Christianity. The historian, Tom Holland, beautifully captures the effect of this moment.


“”Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” So Paul himself, when challenged, might demand of his critics. The vision that had been granted him, of a new understanding of God, and of divine love, and of how time itself, like the tucking-in of a bird’s wings, or the furling of a ship’s sails, had folded in on itself, and of how everything was changed, had overwhelmed him. Paul, in his correspondence with those who shared his new conviction – that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Anointed One of God – could never leave the wonder of it alone.”


By the end of Paul’s life, it has been estimated that he had travelled some ten thousand miles, in tireless devotion to God’s task. Paul’s encounter with God was so wondrous, he had no option other than to risk himself totally.


Are you speaking to me, Lord?


Perhaps it is time for me to stop asking questions, and to start listening. If you are really with me, Lord, and I can be there for you, perhaps I can feel brave enough to mention your name to those who do not know you. As lockdown eases, perhaps I can trust that the Holy Spirit will give me the words to touch the hearts of others. Help me, Lord, to risk myself totally. Such a small task, compared to the one you gave to Saul on the road to Damascus, and to your closest followers, two thousand years ago, on a hill in Galilee.


Sian Griffith


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 Just as I am

Just as I am, without one plea But that Thy blood was shed for me And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt Fighting and fears within without O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind Sight, riches, healing of the mind Yea, all I need, in Thee to find

O Lamb of God I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because thy promise I believe,

O Lamb of God I come4

Just as I am, (thy love unknown

Has broken every barrier down),

Now to be thine, yea thine alone,

O Lamb of God I come.

Just as I am, of that free love,

The breadth, length, depth and height to prove,

Here for a season then above,

O Lamb of God I come.



We offer our prayers to God

Lord God, teach us the precious insignificance of prayer. Teach us the value of its hiddenness is our public life; its wastefulness in the world’s eyes; Its disregard for eloquence if our spirits could only groan. Let our prayers be filled with enjoyment of you for your name’s sake and for none other.


O God, we thank you for this earth, our home; for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the salt sea and the running water, for the everlasting hills and the never-resting winds, for trees and the common grass underfoot. We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendour of the summer fields, and taste of the autumn fruits, and rejoice in the feel of snow, and smell the breath of the spring. Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty; and save our souls from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thornbush is aflame with your glory, O God our creator, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


O Lord, our Lord, who has decided that all men, whatever their colour or race, are equal before you: break down the hatred between men, especially hatred due to national differences. We ask you those in whose hands are the various governments of the world. Reconcile them to one another, so that each may respect the rights of the other. We ask all this in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


O God, our Father, help us all through this day so to live that we may bring help to others, credit to ourselves and to the name we bear, and joy to those that love us, and to you. cheerful when things go wrong; persevering when things are difficult; serene when things are irritating. Enable us to be: Helpful to those in difficulties; Kind to those in need; Sympathetic to those whose hearts are sore and sad. Grant that: Nothing may make us lose our tempers; Nothing may take away our joy; Nothing may ruffle our peace: Nothing may make us bitter towards anyone. So grant that through all this day all those with whom we meet, may see in us the reflection of the master, whose we are, and whom we seek to serve.


We remember those we know who are ill or in great pain. Give them courage in their affliction and may they know your presence and loving arms surrounding them. And grant O Lord, to all who are bereaved, the spirit of faith, that they may have the strength to meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience and patience; not sorrowing as those without hope, but in thankful remembrance of your great goodness in past years, and in the sure expectation of a joyful reunion in the heavenly places.


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.


We go out to serve God

God of power, may the boldness

of your Spirit transform us,

may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us,

may the gifts of your Spirit equip us

to serve and worship you,

now and always.

Amen.

Lord, give us wisdom before we speak,

understanding while we listen,

sensitivity to those around us,

and the outlook of your kingdom

in which to see the things of earth.

Bring us to the day’s ending,

blessed by our time together;

we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


HYMN In Christ alone

In Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song; This Cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace,

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My Comforter, my All in All, Here in the love of Christ I stand. In Christ alone! - who took on flesh, Fulness of God in helpless babe! This gift of love and righteousness, Scorned by the ones He came to save: Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied - For every sin on Him was laid; Here in the death of Christ I live. There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain: Then bursting forth in glorious Day Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,

For I am His and He is mine - Bought with the precious blood of Christ. No guilt in life, no fear in death, This is the power of Christ in me; From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Till He returns or calls me home, Here in the power of Christ I'll stand!


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen

With thanks to Sian Griffith for writing the 'sermon' and Alan Hodges for writing the prayers


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Holy Trinity Combe Down

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