Sunday Worship 26th 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

26th September 2021
A Service of Morning Prayer
for the
26th 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: Glorious things of thee are spoken

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
God, whose word cannot be broken,
formed thee for his own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded,
what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
thou mayst smile at all thy foes.

See, the streams of living waters,
springing from eternal love,
well supply thy sons and daughters,
and all fear of want remove.
Who can faint while such a river
ever will their thirst assuage?
Grace which like the Lord, the giver,
never fails from age to age.

Saviour, if of Zion’s city,
I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in Thy name.
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
All his boasted pomp and show;
Solid joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion’s children know.

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, 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.

Psalm 19:1-6

The heavens proclaim the glory of God:
and the vault of the sky reveals God’s handiwork.

One day speaks to another:
and night shares its knowledge with night,

and this without speech or language:
their voices are not heard.

But their sound goes out into all lands:
their words to the ends of the earth.

In them God has pitched a tent for the sun:
which comes out like a bridegroom, like an athlete eager to run a race.

Its rising is at one end of the sky, it runs its course to the other:
and there is nothing that is hidden from its heat.

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.

The Song of the Church

We praise you O God:
we acclaim you as the Lord.

All creation worships you:
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven:
cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise,
‘Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might:
heaven and earth are full of your glory.’
The glorious company of apostles praise you:
the noble fellowship of prophets praise you,
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship:
and the Holy Spirit, our advocate and guide.
You Christ are the king of glory:
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became incarnate to set us free:
you humbly accepted the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death:
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory:
we believe that you will come and be our judge.
Come then Lord and help your people:
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he
said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were
sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples,
‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard this, he
said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and
learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the
righteous but sinners.’

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

A Reflection: ‘About a God who likes to keep bad company.

Saint Matthew
Matthew 9:9-13
About a God who likes to keep bad company

Adrian Plass, who is a successful writer on Christian themes, tells this story about himself.
When I was sixteen, I loathed myself. I hated my face and my body, I had been expelled from
school for truancy, and I had neither a job nor any visible prospect of getting one. The chaos
inside my head was quite frightening. To make matters worse, I had developed a strategy of
using scathing sarcasm in the conduct of my relationships with almost anyone who made me
feel silly (that is, almost everyone).

Miserable and unpleasant, I was definitely the sort of lad my mother didn’t want me to go
around with. Then I was introduced to a married couple who lived in a secluded cottage. Their
home was a place of log fires, oil lamps, interesting books, stimulating conversation and (as far
as I was concerned) total acceptance. Murray and Vivienne took the loaves and fishes of my
better self and believed in me so wholeheartedly that, in their presence at least, that better
self flourished and grew to a point where I actually began to believe I could be worth
something. Murray and Vivienne were not Christians, nor was I when I first met them, but their
unqualified support was the first and most practically effective step in the salvation of Adrian
Plass. I will always thank God for them.

It was something like that for a man called Matthew. Because he was a tax collector, most people
regarded Matthew as a rat. His story was a first century version of Adrian’s story. Tax collectors were
very unpopular members of society. It wasn’t just that paying taxes is never regarded as a matter of
joy. Rather, their unpopularity lay in the fact that these Jews were the agents of a foreign occupying
power. They were seen as traitors, and as such, were hated by their compatriots. Moreover, they were
a corrupt lot. They were entitled to make their living by taking a share of the taxes. Human nature
being what it is, they generally took far more than their share. Small wonder that an ancient writer
tells of seeing a monument dedicated to the memory of an honest tax collector. Honest men in this
profession were so rare that the citizens commemorated one when they found him. So, people like
Matthew were lumped together with sinners and outcasts, and no respectable Jew would associate
with them. But then this outcast, this man who was a failure in almost every way that really mattered
to respectable society, met up with Jesus. Jesus believed in him and loved him for who he was. As
Adrian put it: ‘Jesus took the loaves and fishes of his better self and believed in him so wholeheartedly, that the better self flourished.’

Those looking on, who were the respectable religious people of the day, found Jesus’ acceptance of
people like Matthew very hard to take.

As he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with
him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples,” Why does your
teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Yet Jesus saw beyond what people presented to what they could become. Jesus believed in them. As
he explained it:

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what
this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

This is something that we can too easily forget, not only when we look around at others, but also,
when we look at ourselves.

I’ll soon be spending time undertaking my annual spring-clean of the windows at home. It’s a very
satisfying job as the windowpanes are transformed, and we’ll see again with clarity the garden and
neighbouring houses. The windows need it, having been marred with all the grime and pollen that’s
been deposited over the past year. It struck me that if I cleaned only clean windows, I’d be a fool. Just
as a relief agency that helped only the wealthy would be a laugh, and a hospital that admitted only
the healthy would be a joke. This is Jesus’ point. He came to call outcasts and sinners, so why should
people be surprised to find him associating with such types?

Some people think that if you put your nose inside a church, you see yourself as terribly virtuous. We
know differently. Our worship always begins with a time in which we remember our failures and sins.
Even on our best days we Christians are an unwashed lot. Not physically perhaps, but certainly
spiritually and emotionally. Whatever our outward appearance, we know that we’re sinners. We’re
painfully aware of letting down God and ourselves and failing to love other people as we’ve been
called to do. The people who gathered around Jesus – the Matthews and the like, the sinners, and sick ones – felt just like that. Perhaps they didn’t feel worthy to be invited to dinner with Jesus. But they had the good sense to take him up on the invitation.

God isn’t particularly interested in the upright people who are so sure of their virtue and goodness.
God invites people who know they’re unworthy, who might be rats like Matthew, who, like Adrian,
are the sorts that our mothers wouldn’t want us to go around with. God invites such people because
they know the healing, new life, and acceptance God offers them. The good thing is, that the goo
news affirmed in today’s Gospel still holds true. Jesus still hangs out with sinners, with the sick, with
the outcasts, with you and me.

It seems to me that sometimes very respectable and self-righteous people hijack the church.
Consequently, its image has been changed into the opposite of Jesus’ intention. But underneath it all,
the same reality is there – the reality of a gracious and kind God who likes to keep bad company – a
God who shares bread with sinners and tells them they are far more than they think they are. They
are, like Matthew, beloved children of God.

Alister Hendery
Hastings – 26.9.2021


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.

Gracious God, Jesus called women and men to leave the past behind them and to follow
him as his disciples in the way of the cross. Give your grace to us, and all whom he has
called, marked with the cross. May we be true servants, living out lives of self-giving love.
God of grace
You hear our prayer

Jesus told his disciples not to be afraid and breathed on them his gift of peace. Give your
grace to all who work for peace in the world and enable us to be instruments of your peace.
God of grace
You hear our prayer

Jesus formed around him a fellowship of friends, and called those who obeyed him his
brother, sister, and mother. Give your grace to our families and friends and the communities
in which we live and work.
God of grace
You hear our prayer

Jesus sent out his disciples to preach and to heal the sick. Give your grace to all who yearn
to hear the good news and who seek healing of body, mind, and spirit.
God of grace
You hear our prayer

Matthew was called to preach the good news of the risen Christ. Give your grace to those
who are dying, and to those who have died. With all your saints, may we know the risen
Lord and enter the unending joy of your heavenly kingdom.
God of grace
You hear our prayer

We celebrate the life of our parish and give thanks for those who have worshipped and
served within our faith communities over the years and all who have gone before us.
God of grace
You hear our prayer

The Collect
Gracious and eternal God,
through your Son Jesus Christ
you called Matthew from his place of business
to be an apostle and evangelist;
free us from all greed and selfish love of money
that we may follow in the steps
of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. 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.


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.

O God beyond all praising,
we worship you today
and sing the love amazing
that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder
at every gift you send,
at blessings without number
and mercies without end:
we lift our hearts before you
and wait upon your word,
we honour and adore you,
our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Saviour,
accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favour
may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows
be filled with good or ill,
we’ll triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty
and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty
our sacrifice of praise.

(Michael Perry (1942-1996) © Mrs B Perry – tune Thaxted)

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.


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

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