Morning Service for Trinity 3 2021

Services posts

Morning Service for Trinity 3

HYMN O worship the king NEH433 – Hanover

1 O WORSHIP the King

All glorious above;

O gratefully sing

His power and his love:

Our Shield and Defender,

The Ancient of days,

Pavilioned in splendour,

And girded with praise.

2 O tell of his might,

O sing of his grace,

Whose robe is the light,

Whose canopy space.

His chariots of wrath

The deep thunder-clouds form,

And dark is his path

On the wings of the storm.

3 This earth, with its store

Of wonders untold,

Almighty, thy power

Hath founded of old:

Hath stablished it fast

By a changeless decree,

And round it hath cast,

Like a mantle, the sea.

6 O measureless Might,

Ineffable Love,

While angels delight

To hymn thee above,

Thy humbler creation,

Though feeble their lays,

With true adoration

Shall sing to thy praise.

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.


THE COLLECT

Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin

and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts

   whereby we call you Father:

give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,

that we and all creation may be brought

   to the glorious liberty of the children of God;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  Amen.

FIRST READING – 1 Samuel 17.57 – 18.5, 10-16

On David’s return from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armour, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army. And all the people, even the servants of Saul, approved.

As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they made merry, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day on.

The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand; and Saul threw the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him a commander of a thousand; and David marched out and came in, leading the army. David had success in all his undertakings; for the LORD was with him. When Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in awe of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David; for it was he who marched out and came in leading them.

HYMN Oft in danger, oft in woe NEH 434 – University College

1 OFT in danger, oft in woe,

Onward, Christians, onward go;

Bear the toil, maintain the strife,

Strengthened with the Bread of Life.

2 Onward, Christians, onward go,

Join the war, and face the foe;

Will ye flee in danger’s hour?

Know ye not your Captain’s power?

3 Let your drooping hearts be glad;

March in heavenly armour clad;

Fight, nor think the battle long,

Victory soon shall tune your song.

4 Let not sorrow dim your eye,

Soon shall every tear be dry;

Let not fears your course impede,

Great your strength, if great your need.

5 Onward then in battle move;

More than conquerors ye shall prove;

Though opposed by many a foe,

Christian soldiers, onward go.

GOSPEL – Mark 4.35-41
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

SERMON

We begin today the story of David. At least we come into it slightly after the beginning, Samuel has already anointed David as Yahweh’s choice for the new king to succeed Saul. Remember that David was the 8th son of his father Jesse. If seven is the number that stands for completeness then the 8th one of anything was one more than was necessary. 

The extract we heard this morning was somewhat curtailed, the author spends some time setting the scene. The might of the philistines and the courage of their brutal champion is compared to the inactivity and quite reasonable fear of the Israelites, including their King Saul. And along comes David, he pops up as an impertinent fool from the country, a nonentity too small to even wear armour. The picture is supposed to be absurd, a tiny shepherd against a giant warrior. It’s as absurd as an 8th son being secretly anointed King. 

And here we must remember the place of Israel in the scheme of things. For most of its history it was just too small it was the meat between the sandwich of the rival empires of Egypt to the south and Assyria and Babylon and Persia to the north, not to mention the smaller nations all about it, Edom, Moab, and Philistia. David mirrored much of the national self perception. They could never hope to out gun their enemies, but they had one secret weapon. Yahweh – for their God was the God who created all gods, he was supreme, and if he would he could always bring them victory and prosperity and security , if he was on their side they could never be beaten, if he was not on their side they could never win. 

That was always the national theology, from Moses to Malachi that was what they had been taught. And this little shepherd boy David lived the theology, he “walked the talk”. Such was his faith in Yahweh that the story went he could face an armed giant with nothing more than a sling. 

The report of the actual battle, the fight between Goliath and David, is a mere two verses. It wasn’t the fight that was important, it was the faith that took David to the fight that mattered. Anybody who knew anything about slings new that you couldn’t hope to hit a target so small as the portion of a forehead not hidden by a helmet from 20 paces. Unless, that is, it was a guided missile, guided by the hand of Yahweh. 

What won the day for this King in the making, this leader of a rebellion to come was his utterly naive faith. If God be for us then who can stand against us. 

And what are we to do with it, this ancient fairy tale of faith? Are we to dispose of it as a relic of childhood Sunday school? Or perhaps analyse it in scientific terms as a victory of self belief and the power of positive thinking? 

We can surely do neither, it is a story, as David’s was a life, that was deeply ingrained in the culture that produced the faith we own. But what do we do with a missile guided by the hand of God, a ‘Jim’ll fix It’ God. It is surely our experience, as it was for the Israelites, that God can’t or won’t or doesn’t always fix it. And we are always left with the question why if then not now? 

————-

The story of Jesus stilling the storm makes a number of points in the gospel, but it too is a story of faith, or rather faithlessness. For as much as the disciples may have thought that Jesus’s ministry was God given, and his mission within the hand of God, they thought that a storm could blow the will of God off course and drown his good-news. By stilling the storm Jesus showed his power over the forces that would prevent his arrival at the other side, incidentally the side of the mission to the Gentiles. But the faithlessness of the disciples is never far from Mark’s mind. But what are we to make of the inference that everything that happens is within the will and plan of the creator? 

Perhaps the answer lies in the continuation of the story, of both stories. The story of David sees many twists and turns, it takes on the nature of a struggle with God, first with David as agent of the will of God and then as a wrestler with the will of God. People do not act and neither do events turn conveniently to either the purpose of God or the purpose of David. Yahweh’s purpose and will become an inspiration and a challenge, a blessing and a curse. The way is never plain sailing for David, and he is no plaster saint, but he is always a man that God can work with. 

Something similar seems to be the case with the disciples, they are never perfect, neither in faith nor conduct, but they are men who Jesus could work with. 

Many still see our lives as predestined, the whole story all worked out, for our good or our ill, or perhaps our eventual good. That has never seemed to me to be true to either a God of love or a God who values this life and finds in its living such value that he would come and sanctify it with his presence. 

It seems to me that our life is supposed to be, if not a struggle or a wrestling match (remember Jacob at the Jabock), then a dance. A dance with God where we must learn to trust and lean and follow the music that his breath has blown into our souls. 

For each of us the music and the step will be different, we do not know why, but surely the way of faith is learning to lean on the God who has promised always to be our partner in the dance. To trust his embrace through the storm and against the odds.

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 Jesus calls us o’er the tumult NEH200 – St Andrew

1 Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult

Of our life’s wild restless sea

Day by day his voice is sounding,

Saying, ‘Christian follow me’:

2 As of old Saint Andrew heard it

By the Galilean lake,

Turned from home and toil and kindred,

Leaving all for his dear sake.

3 Jesus calls us from the worship

Of the vain world’s golden store,

From each idol that would keep us,

Saying, ‘Christian, love me more’.

4 In our joys and in our sorrows,

Days of toil and hours of ease,

Still he calls, in cares and pleasures,

‘Christian, love me more than these’.

5 Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,

Saviour, may we hear thy call,

Give our hearts to thy obedience,

Serve and love thee best of all.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION – Claire Coper

Lord, we come to you, just as we are. Sometimes at ease. Sometimes confused by life’s storms.
Let us trust you with our big questions, and listen for your word to restore in us a sense of peace and calm. In Jesus name, Amen

After the G7 meeting in Cornwall, and as Presidents’ Biden and Putin meet this week, we pray for a united approach to the issues affecting peace around the world. We also pray for the new Prime Minister of Israel as he tries to bring calm to his nation and his neighbours.

As the new variant becomes more prevalent in our country and around the world, we pray for the continued successful rollout of the vaccine. Lord help our nation and other wealthy nations around the world to share our expertise and our excess vaccines to enable other less fortunate countries to make progress against the virus.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for local businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry, who have had to make new plans after the ending of lockdown has been postponed. We pray for families in financial difficulty, that they get the practical and emotional support that they need. 

Lord we pray for the communities of Hursley, Compton and Otterbourne. Help us to remember those who may be isolated or lonely. Be there for them Lord, and let them feel your presence, while we try and support them in practical ways where we can.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for William, Warwick, Keith and all those who minister in this Benefice. We pray and give thanks for all the Church Wardens in this Benefice who give up their time freely to keep our churches running smoothly. Similarly, we also pray and give thanks to our treasurers who work behind the scenes and play a vital role.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for anyone who is sick in mind, body or spirit.  Lord let them feel your presence and lift their spirits during this anxious time. We remember particularly those who are ill in our Benefice and ask that you support and protect them and their family, friends and carers.

We pray for all those who have lost their lives in recent weeks. We remember the family and friends who have lost loved ones recently and we ask that your presence brings them comfort, strength and hope in their grief.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

God of power and peace, In the roar of the waves, in the sound of the wind, and in the silence: You are there. So, we praise you. We thank you. We worship you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

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.

BLESSING
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 Eternal Father, strong to save NEH 354 – Melita

1 Eternal Father, strong to save,

Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,

Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep;

O hear us when we cry to thee

For those in peril on the sea.

2 O Saviour, whose almighty word

The winds and waves submissive heard,

Who walkedst upon the foaming deep,

And calm amid the rage didst sleep:

O hear us when we cry to thee

For those in peril on the sea.

3 O sacred Spirit, who didst brood

Upon the chaos dark and rude,

And bad’st its angry tumult cease,

And gavest light and life and peace:

O hear us when we cry to thee

For those in peril on the sea.

4 O Trinity of love and power,

Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;

From rock and tempest, fire and foe,

Protect them whereso’er they go:

And ever let there rise to thee

Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

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