Morning or Evening Prayer

22nd August 2021

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Anglican Parish of Greater Hastings
Encompassing St Peter’s Riverslea and St Matthew’s Hastings

The Preparation

Great is the Lord and worthy of all praise..

Amen!
Praise and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour,
power and might, be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.

Hymn: Like a mighty river flowing

Like a mighty river flowing,
like a flower in beauty growing,
far beyond all human knowing
is the perfect peace of God.

Like the hills serene and even,
like the coursing clouds of heaven,
like the heart that’s been forgiven
is the perfect peace of God.

Like the summer breezes playing,
like the tall trees softly swaying,
like the lips of silent praying
is the perfect peace of God.

Like the morning sun ascended,
like the scents of evening blended,
like a friendship never ended
is the perfect peace of God.

Like the azure ocean swelling,
like the jewel all-excelling,
far beyond our human telling
is the perfect peace of God.

Michael Perry – Words © 1982 The Jubilate Group (admin. Hope Publishing Company, 380 S Main Pl, Carol Stream, IL 60188)

E te whānau a te Karaiti / Brothers and sisters in Christ,
let us praise and worship God who has called us together.
Let us celebrate God’s majesty,
and delight in the wonder of God’s love.
Let us confess our sins
and receive assurance that we are forgiven.

As the scriptures are read,
we can allow God’s word to speak to us,
and ponder its meaning for our lives.
In our prayers, we give thanks for God’s goodness,
we pray for others as well as for ourselves,
and we offer our lives anew in Christ’s service.

All this we do,
because we believe in the presence among us
of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit.
As God who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in all your conduct.
Spirit of God, search our hearts.

In silence, remember our need for God’s forgiveness.

Silence

Let us confess our sins to God.

God of mercy,
we have sinned against you and against others.
We have sinned in what we have done,
and in what we have failed to do.
We are truly sorry.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for our sins,
forgive us all that is past
and raise us to newness of life. Amen.

Almighty God, who pardons all who truly repent,
forgive our sins, strengthen us by the Holy Spirit,
and keep us in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling-place:
Lord God of power and might.

My soul has a desire and longing to enter the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.

The sparrow finds for herself a house:
and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young.

Even so have the singers a home at your altars:
they stand always praising you my king and my God.

O Lord God of hosts:
blessèd are those who dwell in your house.

Blessèd are those whose strength is in you:
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

Going through the arid valley, they find a spring from which to drink:
the early rain covers it with pools of water.

They go from strength to strength:
and appear every one before God in Jerusalem.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer:
give ear O God of Jacob.

Show favour O God to the king our defender:
and look upon the face of your anointed prince.

Truly one day in your courts:
is better than a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God:
than live in the homes of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a defence and shield, the Lord will give grace and honour:
and no good thing will be withheld from those who live a blameless life.

O Lord God of hosts:
blessèd are those who put their trust in you.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

A reading from the Gospel according to John, chapter 6:56-59

Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

The Steadfast Love of the Lord – Lamentations 3:22–26

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases:
God’s mercies never come to an end;

They are new every morning:
your faithfulness O Lord is great.

You are all that I have:
and therefore I will wait for you.

You O Lord are good to those who wait for you:
to all those who seek you.

It is good to wait in patience:
for the salvation of the Lord.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.

A Reflection – The Outrageous Claim

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) John 6:56-69

An Outrageous Claim

It’s an outrageous claim.

Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me’

This is John’s take on the Eucharist, and it may be, that we’ve heard the words so many times that we’ve become immune to their shocking nature. But think about them.

‘Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me…’

A charge brought against early Christians was that they practiced ritual cannibalism – which isn’t surprising when you think about this ‘flesh and blood’ language. As for many who first heard this teaching, they were offended by it, and as John says, ‘Many of Jesus’ disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.’ And ever since, Christians have debated the meaning of the Eucharist, and at times the debate has led to major divisions in the church.

Not being able to share in Eucharist at present, prompted me to wonder what we might we make of these words. What are we on about, when bread is placed in our hands with the words, ‘The body of Christ given for you,’ and the chalice, ‘The blood of Christ shed for you’?

It’s a seemingly outrageous claim. Because what we’re saying is that the infinite God is meeting us in a very real and intimate way through the sharing of bread and wine. As the poet John Betjeman said, That God was man in Palestine And lives today in Bread and Wine.

I can only describe this as mystery. Mystery is an important word in the New Testament. At a fundamental level the story of Jesus, and the gift of the Eucharist, is a mystery. A mystery isn’t a secret. Rather, it’s something we can experience and share in, but not tie down with neat explanations. The early church didn’t try to explain it. They simply affirmed that when they shared the bread and wine, the crucified and risen Christ was with them – that they were receiving the gift of life in all its fulness. Saint Ambrose remarked:

‘This food which you receive, this bread which comes down from heaven, holds the substance of eternal life.’

As the centuries passed, attempts were made to explain how Christ was present in this sacrament. The medieval Church, for example, used the philosophy of Aristotle to describe what they thought was happening. Within the Anglican tradition, we believe that Jesus is somehow truly present in the bread and wine. We call this the Real Presence. What we don’t do, is explain ‘the how’ of Christ’s presence. It remains a mystery. When Queen Elizabeth I was asked what she believed about what happened at the Eucharist, she reportedly replied:

‘Twas God the word that spake it, He took the bread and brake it; And what the word did make it; That I believe, and take it.

That’s a brilliant comment because it touches on the sense of mystery. It’s a little like the mystery of love. There are aspects of relationships of deep love that simply can’t be reduced to words. So it is with the mystery of Jesus made present in the Eucharist. Sharing in Eucharist we’re taken where words cannot go. Time and time again, I’ve witnessed people, suffering from advanced dementia, suddenly come alive as the sacrament is placed in their mouth. Or a young child, who can’t even begin to grasp the theological niceties of the Eucharist, becomes still and somehow knows that Jesus is present. It’s also why, when I’ve gone through tough times – questioning God’s presence in my life and doubting what we proclaim – I still come to Eucharist, knowing that here, Christ is present.

It seems to me that the love of God in Christ is always a mystery, and yet Christ’s presence is no less real for all our inability to explain it. When we can again gather, may we stand in awe and wonder at God coming to us in the ordinary stuff of bread and wine. There were those who couldn’t live with this mystery, but the twelve disciples stayed, even though they didn’t understand. They knew and they trusted.

Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God’


May their words be ours. May we know, may we trust, that in the gift of Holy Communion, in the Eucharist celebrated together, we find the source of true life. In receiving his body, his blood, Jesus our Lord abides in us and sustains us on our journey as we seek to serve and love him.


Alister Hendery
Hastings – 22 August 2021

Hymn for reflection: I Am the Bread of Life

I am the Bread of life.
You who come to Me shall not hunger;
And who believe in Me shall not thirst.
No one can come to Me
Unless the Father draw him.

Refrain:
And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up on the last day.

The bread that I will give
Is My flesh for the life of the world.
And if you eat of this bread,
You shall live for ever,
You shall live for ever.
Refrain

Unless you eat
Of the flesh of the Son of Man
And drink of His blood
And drink of His blood
You shall not have life within you
. Refrain

I am the Resurrection,
I am the Life.
If you believe in Me
Even though you die,
You shall live for ever.
Refrain

Yes, Lord, I believe
That You are the Christ,
The Son of God,
Who has come
Into the world.
Refrain
Suzanne Toolan .Copyright © G.I.A Publications Inc.

Prayers

Make your ways known upon earth, O God,
your saving power among all peoples.

Renew your Church in holiness,
and help us to serve you with joy.

Guide the leaders of this and every nation,
that justice may prevail throughout the world.

Let not the needy, O God, be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Make us instruments of your peace,
and let your glory be over all the earth.

We offer our prayers of thanksgivings and Intercessions

As Saviour Christ has taught us, 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.
Save us from the time of trial
   and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours    now and for ever.    Amen. 

Kua akona nei tātou e tō tātou Ariki, ka īnoi tātou

E tō mātou Matua i te rangi
Kia tapu tōu Ingoa.
Kia tae mai tōu rangatiratanga.

Kia meatia tāu e pai ai
ki runga ki te whenua,
kia rite anō ki tō te rangi.
Hōmai ki a mātou āianei
he taro mā mātou mō tēnei rā.
Murua ō mātou hara,
Me mātou hoki e muru nei
i ō te hunga e hara ana ki a mātou.
Āua hoki mātou e kawea kia whakawaia;
Engari whakaorangia mātou i te kino:
Nōu hoki te rangatiratanga, te kaha,
me te korōria,
Āke ake ake. Āmine.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful God bless us and keep us now and for ever. Amen.

MORNING
Holy and everliving God,
by your power we are created
and by your love we are redeemed;
guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
that we may give ourselves to your service,
and live each day in love to one another and to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

EVENING
Gracious God,
you have given us much today;
grant us also a thankful spirit.
Into your hands we commend ourselves
and those we love.
Be with us still, and when we take our rest
renew us for the service of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

In darkness and in light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us, heavenly Father,
to trust your love,
to serve your purpose,
and to praise your name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all. Amen.


KEEP IN TOUCH

Our St Matthew’s website is being updated regularly:  
https://stmattshastings.com

Also our St Matthew’s Facebook. and

Also our St Peter’s Facebook


CONTACTS

The Venerable David van Oeveren 021 470 337
Email: alister.hendery@waiapu.com

The Rev’d Alister Hendery: 021 742 434
Email: alister.hendery@waiapu.com

Parish Office (Tracey at home):  06 878 9476
Email: stmatthews.hastings@gmail.com

~ This copyright material is taken from A New Zealand Prayer Book / He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, © Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and is used in accordance with regulations.

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