Sunday Worship 5th September

The Anglican Parish of Greater Hastings

(encompassing St Matthew’s, Hastings, and St Peter’s, Riverslea)
Christian communities in the heart of Hastings

Christian communities in the heart of Hastings

5th September 2021
A Service of Morning Prayer
for the
Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time


Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

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: O for a thousand tounges to sing

1 O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and king,
the triumphs of His grace!

2 Jesus, the name that charms our fears,
and bids our sorrows cease;
this music in the sinner’s ears,
is life and health and peace.

3 He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive,
the mournful broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.

4 Hear him, you deaf, you voiceless ones,
your tongues again employ;
you blind, now see your Saviour come,
and leap, you lame, for joy!

5 My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honours of your name.

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.

Hear these words of scripture.

God who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in all your conduct.
Spirit of God, search our hearts.

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


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.

The Collect:

Healing God,
you speak into the hurting and wounded places;
empower us to speak your vision of wholeness,
and turn us to action in the face of injustice,
that empowered by the Spirit
we may be agents of your healing love.
This we ask through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Ministry of the Word:

O come, let us sing to the Lord,
let us rejoice in the rock of our salvation.

We sing to you, O God, and bless your name;
and tell of your salvation from day to day.

We proclaim your glory to the nations,
your praise to the ends of the earth.

A Reading from Isaiah 35: 4-7a

4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

6 then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;

7a the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water.

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

Psalm 146

1 Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord O my soul: as long as I live I will praise the Lord.

2 Yes, as long as I have life: I will sing praises to my God.

3 Put no trust in princes, nor in any human power: for in them there is no help.

4 When they breathe their last, they return to dust: then all their plans come to nothing.

5 Happy are those whose helper is the God of Jacob: whose hope is in the Lord their God,

6 who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them: who keeps a promise for ever,

7 who defends the cause of the oppressed: and gives food to the hungry.

8 The Lord sets free the prisoner, and gives sight to the blind: the Lord raises up those
bowed down, and loves those who are just.

9 The Lord cares for the stranger in the land, and sustains the widows and orphans:
but turns the way of the wicked to ruin.

10 The Lord shall reign for ever: your God O Jerusalem shall reign for all generations.
O praise 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 Reading from Mark 7: 24-37

24 From Gennesaret, Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre.
He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there.
Yet he could not escape notice,

25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him,
and she came and bowed down at his feet.

26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin.
She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food
and throw it to the dogs.”

28 But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter.”

30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the
Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis.

32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech;
and they begged him to lay his hand on him.

33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears,
and he spat and touched his tongue.

34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.

36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one;
but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.

37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well;
he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

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

The Semon: ‘Be Like They’

Sunday 5th September 2021 – OS23B
Rev’d Margaret Thompson, Priest-Associate,
St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Hastings
Isaiah 35: 4-7a ; Psalm 146 ; James 2: 1-10,14-17 ; Mark 7: 24-37

Be Like “They”

Many people understand how hard it is, even in these strange times,
to find some quiet space for themselves.

We must be very determined, and organised, to achieve a measure of
the peace and quiet we need to re-energise ourselves, and to re-focus
on our tasks and goals.

Jesus was no different.

From Mark’s Gospel today, we hear that Jesus wanted some ‘time-out’,
so he sets off and travels about fifty miles northwest into a Greek
region, to the coastal port of Tyre.
He leaves behind all that is familiar – his family, friends, disciples – and
goes to a house, probably the home of a Jewish family in this Gentile
territory. Perhaps he wants to retreat amongst sympathetic
supporters, and he doesn’t want anyone to know his whereabouts.
Yet, even here, Jesus is known.

An unnamed Gentile woman who had heard about Jesus arrives at the
house and begs Jesus to heal her unwell daughter.

This is shocking – many boundaries are broken!

Her gender, ethnicity, religion, culture, socio-economic standing – all
these things set her apart from Jesus, and his hosts. On any one of
these levels, public contact and conversation with Jesus risked
condemnation for her … and for him.

Whilst we may be shocked to hear of the woman’s approach, the
grumpy-sounding insulting reply from Jesus is not what we might
expect! But His harsh response may be an expression of sympathy with
Jews in the area who were exploited by the Gentile elite.

The woman is undeterred and repeats her request on behalf of her
daughter. Broken boundaries are meaningless to her.
And her persistence pays off.
Jesus graciously commends the woman for speaking to him as she did,
and his words heal the little girl, even at a distance.

Then, Jesus leaves Tyre, and, as He returns towards Galilee, he
encounters a group with another request for healing. An unknown
“they” bring a deaf man with a speech impediment to Jesus.
Who are “they”? – family, friends, neighbours?
We’re not told, but, like the Gentile woman, they beg Jesus to lay hands
on the man, believing He can make a difference in the man’s life.

Boundaries are broken in this encounter too – different boundaries to
the earlier story, but no less severe.
This man cannot hear or speak well for himself – he must rely on, and
trust others willing to act on his behalf.

Jesus takes the man aside, and although he cannot yet hear the word
Jesus speaks, he can see and feel His actions. Then Jesus’ word breaks
the boundaries and opens a new life for the man.

We don’t know what the man’s personal response was, but his friends
were certainly very vocal in praise of Jesus, despite being told to keep
quiet! They share what they have seen and experienced as a
thanksgiving to God, and in recognition that Jesus is to be praised.

These verses are often called “healing miracle” stories. But, perhaps
there’s another kind of miracle happening here too – like the breaking
down of boundaries and prejudices, and the example of those who
work for restoration and wholeness in communities.

Notice that neither the girl, nor the man, approached Jesus themselves
to ask for their healing, but they are restored to health and wholeness
… because others acted in faith, on their behalf.

The new life that is theirs ripples outwards and embraces the mother,
the friends, and their wider communities.

In our communities, there are organisations – such as Lifeline, Women’s
Refuge, Red Cross, and many others – who rely on trained volunteers to
listen to those who are hurting, and to advocate for those who cannot
speak for themselves.

There are countless nameless “they’s” putting their faith into action on
behalf of others who need help. And we also can be “they’s” – like so
many other volunteers offering our time and skills for the good of the
whole community.

Both the woman and the unknown “they” from the Gospel stories
stepped outside their comfort zones, crossed over boundaries, and
persistently spoke up, on behalf of others.

Boundaries are important – psychologists tell us they are needed for
every child’s healthy growth and relationship development – they
enfold, embrace, giving us places of sanctuary and security.

But boundaries can also divide, separating us from one another, and
make us feel distant from God too.

It takes willingness, and boldness, to cross over boundaries for them to
be broken down. It takes persistence and courage to speak up, and to
act, on behalf of the marginalised, so that lives and communities are
restored to wholeness.

Like Jesus, we all need to seek solitude sometimes, some alone time
with God for prayer and reflection, so that, once refreshed, we can
return to our communities and put our faith into action.

And may God grant us hearts to love, and to care;
eyes to look, and to see;
ears to hear, and to listen;
the courage and determination to act,
especially on behalf of others,
to bring justice and wholeness to our communities.
God grant us grace that we may be like “they”!

Hymn: Praise the one who breaks the darkness

1 Praise the One who breaks the darkness
with a liberating light.
Praise the One who frees the prisoners
turning blindness into sight.
Praise the One who preached the gospel
healing every dread disease.
Calming storms and feeding thousands
with the very bread of peace.

2 Praise the One who blessed the children
with a strong yet gentle word.
Praise the One who drove out demons
with a piercing two-edged sword.
Praise the One who brings cool water
to the desert’s burning sand;
from this well comes living water
quenching thirst in every land.

3 Praise the one true love incarnate,
Christ, who suffered in our place.
Jesus died and rose for many
that we may know God by grace.
Let us sing for joy and gladness
seeing what our God has done.
Praise the One redeeming glory,
praise the One who makes us one.


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 pray for ourselves and for others … remembering especially:

our Prime Minister, and all with responsibility to lead and govern,
that they may have the strength and wisdom they need for the days ahead;

all who are ill, and all who care for them,
that they may know they are loved even whilst separated from loved ones;

all who are working in essential and emergency response teams,
that they may be encouraged and supported in their roles;

for the dying and those who have died,
that those who watch and wait with them, and those who grieve for them,
may find comfort and compassion wherever they are;

And for something, or someone, to give thanks for today.

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.

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.

We offer our prayers of thanksgivings and Intercession

As our 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.


Te Karakia o Te Atua

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.

Hymn: God of freedom, God of justice

1 God of freedom, God of justice,
you whose love is strong as death,
you who saw the dark of prison,
you who knew the price of faith –
touch our world of sad oppression
with your Spirit’s healing breath.

2 Rid the earth of torture’s terror,
you whose hands were nailed to wood;
hear the cries of pain and protest,
you who shed the tears and blood –
move in us the power of pity
restless for the common good.

3 Make in us a captive conscience
quick to hear, to act, to plead;
make us truly sisters, brothers
of whatever race or creed –
teach us to be fully human,
open to each other’s needs.

The Dismissal:

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

Go now to love and serve the Lord. Go in peace.

Amen. We go in the name of Christ.

This copyright material for A Service of Morning Prayer is selected from
A New Zealand Prayer Book / He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, (p35-52) and is used in accordance with regulations.

This service has been prepared by the team at St Matthew’s Church, Hastings,
and it is offered for individual or family use in home “bubbles” during NZ lockdown in Covid-19 Pandemic.

The words of hymns have been included as an optional extra resource for reflection,
but if you wish to sing them, tunes may be found on-line by clicking the link at each hymn.


St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Hastings
Corner King Street & Lyndon Road, Hastings

A worshipping centre within
The Anglican Parish of Greater Hastings

Parish Office Phone: 878-9476 ~ P O Box 824, Hastings 4156
email: ~ website:

Parish Priest-in-Charge:
The Venerable David van Oeveren
ph 06 211 3457 / 021 470 337

You can also meet with us on Facebook:

Also our St Matthew’s Facebook. and

Also our St Peter’s Facebook

One thought on “Sunday Worship 5th September

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