Sunday Worship 19th 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

19th September 2021
A Service of Morning Prayer
for the
25th Sunday of Ordinary Time


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: Lord of all hopefulness

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares can destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.


Great & Wonderful

Great and wonderful are your deeds
O Lord God the almighty:
just and true are your ways
O Sovereign of the nations.
Who shall not revere and praise your name O Lord?
for you alone are holy.

All nations shall come and worship in your presence:
for your just dealings have been revealed.
To the One who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb:
be blessing and honour, glory and might
for ever and ever. Amen.


Revelation 15:3b-4; 5:13

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.
Together we shall 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.

Love one another, for love is of God,
and whoever loves is born of God and knows God.

Spirit of God, search our hearts.

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

Silence

Let us confess our sins to God.

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.

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.


Psalm 54

Save me O God by the power of your name:
and vindicate me by your might.


Hear my prayer O God:
and listen to the words of my mouth.


For insolent people have risen against me:
ruthless ones are seeking my life, they give no thought to God.


But see, God is my helper:
it is the Lord who upholds my life.


The offering of a willing heart I will give you:
and praise your name O Lord in your faithfulness.


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 Jeremiah 11:18-20

(New Living Translation, © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale
House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved)


Then the Lord told me about the plots my enemies were making
against me. I was like a lamb being led to the slaughter. I had no idea
that they were planning to kill me! “Let’s destroy this man and all his
words,” they said. “Let’s cut him down, so his name will be forgotten
for ever.”

O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
you make righteous judgements,
and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets.
Let me see your vengeance against them,
for I have committed my cause to you.


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

The Song of Zechariah

Blessed are you O Lord our God:
you have come to your people and set them free.

You have raised up for us a mighty Saviour:
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old:

that you would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.

You promised to show mercy to our forbears:
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham:

to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship you without fear:
holy and righteous in your sight all the days of our life.

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High:
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
to give God’s people knowledge of salvation:
through the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God:

the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death:
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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 of Mark 9: 30-37

(New Living Translation, © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 0188 All rights reserved



Leaving that region, they travelled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want
anyone to know he was there, for he wanted to spend more time with
his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is
going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed,
but three days later he will rise from the dead.” They didn’t
understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask
him what he meant.

After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked
his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” But they
didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them
was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him,
and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the
servant of everyone else.”

Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he
said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my
behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not
only me but also my Father who sent me.”

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


A Reflection: ‘Seeing Christ in the Vulnerable

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B). Mark 9:30-37


Seeing Christ in the Vulnerable


In Mark’s Gospel the disciples come across as rather dim-witted. Repeatedly, as in today’s passage, Jesus says, ‘Do you not yet understand? This happens just after Jesus tells them that he’ll be betrayed, killed, and then rise again.
They don’t get it. And to make matters worse, they then have an argument over who among them is the greatest. They’re preoccupied with status, and this is just after Jesus has talked to them about things like suffering, self-sacrifice, and service. So, he sits them down and has a discipleship tutorial.


Before we write off the disciples as being somewhat limited, remember Mark is writing not only for first century Christians, but also for the generations to come. So, when he talks about disciples, we need to count ourselves in. He’s inviting us to follow Jesus, and to keep following him, even though we often misunderstand what it’s all about. The disciples struggled to come to terms with what it meant to follow Jesus, but this is good news. If they found it tough and sometimes confusing, then it’s not surprising if we find it rather challenging. I don’t always know where Jesus is taking me and what he wants of me,
and I frequently fail in my discipleship. I guess it’s like that for you. It’s then we remember these dimwitted disciples whom Jesus stuck with, and whom God used to spread the good news. God never give up on us. We keep getting invited to follow Jesus even when we misunderstand him and get it wrong. It’s a picture of God’s wonderful belief in us.


It’s not surprising that the disciples didn’t always get it, because Jesus’ teaching turned their
understanding of life on its head. The disciples have been arguing about who will be the greatest, and Jesus says: ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ His understanding of greatness is the opposite to how society understands it. His definition challenges a fundamental assumption about what it means to get on in life, about prestige, and self-worth. He explained it by using a child as a teaching aid.

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them,
‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me
welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’


We may see this as a rather cute scene – a child on Jesus’ knees with his arms around her. But when heacted out this parable, it would have been startling, even shocking.


Children were the lowliest and the least – the most vulnerable of society. Fewer than half of children born made it to adulthood. Children were generally the first to die when disease or famine struck, or if the family became refugees, and a great many did. It’s a scene repeated today as families flee war-torn regions. Children were, and are, the most vulnerable. In the ancient world, as in many places today, they had no rights and no status. There was no Children’s Commissioner to protect their interests. They were the insignificant ones – and it’s one of these that Jesus takes into his arms.

Jesus is saying that we, as his followers, are to welcome and embrace the insignificant ones in our society – those who have no influence or status – those that society readily discounts. He’s also saying that as we welcome them, we welcome him, and not just him, but also God who sent him.

We’re being encouraged to reach out and accept the outsider – the last, the lost, and the least – people who many consider beyond the bounds of normal society (whatever that is) – people beyond our own circle of friends. Yes, it takes us beyond our social comfort zone and leads us to relate to those we wouldn’t normally relate to.

I was encouraged by a writer who was struggling with the impact of this teaching on his life. He relates an experiment he undertook.

Whenever I’m repulsed by a homeless person who loiters near our home or nurse a grudge
against a friend who spurned me, or envy someone more successful than I am, I try to picture that person as a little child. I then find it far easier to welcome or receive them only as a precious human being, rather than someone who can help or harm me, as someone I might ignore, fear or flatter. The simple act of welcoming another person in that way, Jesus says, is to welcome him, and in turn to welcome God the Father who sent him. Similarly, to become or imitate children, as Jesus commands, is to understand our own selves in the same manner, not as people whose significance rests in titles, honours, successes, or failures, as if those might gain or deny us favour with God and people, but in the knowledge that we are human beings loved by God. That, says Jesus, is the only way to experience the presence of his kingdom.


The Message paraphrases Mark’s words like this:

Jesus put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said,
‘Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me — God who sent me.’


What would our lives look like if we acted on this teaching?
How is God calling you to embrace the vulnerable ones – to accept and to love in this way?
What does it mean for this parish and our priorities in the future? I wonder…

Alister Hendery
Hastings – 19.9.2021


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.


Lord Jesus, you turn the honours of the world upside down.
Keep us, your church, from love of status and pride…
Give us a servant heart.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you challenge rulers to be mindful of all their people.
Keep the nations from cravings that lead to oppression and
violence…
Give wisdom to all who lead.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you give children a special dignity.
Keep their well-being and safety at the forefront of our minds and
practices…
Give strength to all involved in safeguarding and protecting children.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you embrace the path of suffering.
Keep in your gaze all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit…
Give peace and hope to all in need.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you hold before us the hope of eternal life.
Keep in your love all who have died…
Give eternal peace to those who have died
and raise them up on the last day
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Holy God,
in your economy the last will be first and the first will be last;
help us to step aside,
and grant us such humility
that we may recognise and welcome all your children
with open hands, warm hearts, and generous minds,
with your hospitality and grace.
Through Jesus Christ our Liberator,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen


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.
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.

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.

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.

Or

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.

From heaven You came, helpless Babe,
Entered our world, Your glory veiled;
Not to be served but to serve,
And give Your life that we might live.

Chorus
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow Him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.

There in the garden of tears,
My heavy load He chose to bear;
His heart with sorrow was torn,
‘Yet not my will but Yours,’ He said.

Come see His hands and His feet,
The scars that speak of sacrifice;
Hands that flung stars into space
To cruel nails surrendered.

So let us learn how to serve,
And in our lives enthrone Him;
Each other’s needs to prefer,
For it is Christ we’re serving.

(Graham Kendrick © 1983 Thankyou Music)


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.


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.


KEEP IN TOUCH

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: hastingsparish@waiapu.com ~ website: www.stmattshastings.com

Parish Priest-in-Charge:
The Venerable David van Oeveren
ph 06 211 3457 / 021 470 337
email: david.vanoeveren@waiapu.com

You can also meet with us on Facebook:

Also our St Matthew’s Facebook. and

Also our St Peter’s Facebook

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