Morning Service for Trinity 15
HYMN Immortal love for ever full NEH 378 – Bishopthorpe
1 Immortal love for ever full,
For ever flowing free,
For ever shared, for ever whole,
A never-ebbing sea!
2 Our outward lips confess the name,
All other names above;
Love only knoweth whence it came
And comprehendeth love.
4 But warm, sweet, tender, even yet
A present help is he;
And faith has still its Olivet,
And love its Galilee.
5 The healing of his seamless dress
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch him in life’s throng and press,
And we are whole again.
6 Through him the first fond prayers are said
Our lips of childhood frame;
The last low whispers of our dead
Are burdened with his name.
7 Alone, O Love ineffable,
Thy saving name is given;
To turn aside from thee is hell,
To walk with thee is heaven.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen
PRAYERS OF PENITENCE
We recall our Lord’s command to love and in a moment of silence we confess
the many ways we fail to keep his command:
Most merciful God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen
May the God of love and power forgive us and free us from our sins, heal and strengthen us by his Spirit, and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
FIRST READING – Proverbs 1.20-33
Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice.
At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you;
I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused,
have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,
and because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when panic strikes you,
when panic strikes you like a storm,
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
would have none of my counsel,
and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
and be sated with their own devices.
For waywardness kills the simple,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but those who listen to me will be secure
and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”
HYMN Thy kingdom come on bended knee NEH 500 – Irish
1 Thy kingdom come on bended knee
The passing ages pray;
And faithful souls have yearned to see
On earth that kingdom’s day.
2 But the slow watches of the night
Not less to God belong;
And for the everlasting right
The silent stars are strong.
3 And lo, already on the hills
The flags of dawn appear;
Gird up your loins, ye prophet souls,
Proclaim the day is near:
4 The day in whose clear-shining light
All wrong shall stand revealed,
When justice shall be throned in might,
And every hurt be healed;
5 When knowledge, hand in hand with peace,
Shall walk the earth abroad:
The day of perfect righteousness,
The promised day of God.
GOSPEL – Mark 8.27-38
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Jesus led his disciples beyond Galilee, to the north of Palestine (Phillip’s tetrarchy). They reach a point on the road Mark locates at Caesarea Phillipi, a major Greek influenced city, named to distinguish it from Caesarea Maritima (Caesarea on the coast). It had previously been called Paneas, from a grotto dedicated to the god Pan, it had a temple Herod the Great had built to honour Caeasar Agustus, and it had a cave credited to be one of entrances to Hades. In short, it was a centre for pagan worship. It was a place that reflected the Herodian rapprochement with Rome, and northern Mediterranean religion and culture.
Jesus interrogates the disciples, and so, in a sense, us also. Peter’s answer introduces the political term ‘Christos’ – Messiah, and the revolution that Peter anticipates. But Jesus silences him, repudiating Peter’s triumphant confession with the first of what will be three predictions of his death, which he says is ‘necessary’. But the conversation marks a new direction, a new stage in his ministry, a new direction ‘on the way’.
Jesus uses the title ‘Son of Man’ which goes back to the Book of Daniel and its apocalyptic ‘coming of the human one’ or Son of Man, which will end the rule of the beasts, the successive empires that have dominated the countries of the eastern Mediterranean. The Book of Daniel was written two centuries earlier as a manifesto of Jewish resistance to imperial oppression, at that point it related to the Maccabean revolt against the Greek Seleucid empire, post Alexander the Great.
What Jesus deems to be ‘necessary’ is not Peter’s idea of royal triumph, but a shameful death and enormous suffering. Jesus censors Peter’s fantasies of power by clear-eyed realism. The path Jesus is on will bring him into conflict with those who rule Israel, his fate is a political inevitability and he knows it. And his fate would not be his alone.
To deny such inevitability was positively Satanic. The temptations in the wilderness was about what kind of holy one Jesus would be. Who would have thought that temptation, ‘Satan’, would return in the words of Peter.
The call to discipleship from verse 34 is addressed to the crowd and the disciples. It is simple, ‘deny yourself, take up your cross, follow me’. The cross can only mean one thing – an appallingly brutal and very public Roman method for the execution of dissidents, slaves, and violent criminals.
‘Mark is not goading the disciples [of his day] to military heroism; he is introducing the central paradox of the gospel. The threat to punish by death is the bottom line of the power of the state, fear of this kept the dominant order in tact. By resisting this fear and pursing kingdom [of God] practices even at the cost of death, the disciple contributes to shattering the powers’ reign of death in history.’ Ched Myers.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; afterwards he appeared to his followers, and to all the apostles: this we have received, and this we believe. Amen. 1 Corinthians 15.3-7
HYMN ‘Take up thy cross,’ the Saviour said NEH 76 – Breslau
1 Take up thy cross, the Saviour said,
If thou wouldst my disciple be;
Deny thyself, the world forsake,
And humbly follow after me.
2 Take up thy cross; let not its weight
Fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
His strength shall bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart, and nerve thine arm.
4 Take up thy cross then in his strength,
And calmly every danger brave;
‘Twill guide thee to a better home,
And lead to victory o’er the grave.
5 Take up thy cross, and follow Christ,
Nor think till death to lay it down;
For only he who bears the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.
6 To thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
All praise for evermore ascend;
O grant us in our home to see
The heavenly life that knows no end.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION – see separate sheet.
As our Saviour 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.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
The Lord God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
the holy and undivided Trinity, guard you, save you,
and bring you to that heavenly city,
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen
HYMN Glorious things of Thee are spoken NEH 362 – Abbot’s Leigh
1 Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Sion, city of our God;
He 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 may’st smile at all thy foes.
2 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 flows their thirst to assuage?
Grace, which like the Lord the giver,
Never fails from age to age.
3 Saviour, if of Sion’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 Sion’s children know.