Morning Service for Trinity 1 2022


Our first readingg continued the story of Elijah, he has just defeated the prophets of Baal in a great show of the power of Israel’s God – proving that he is the one true God. He has brought about the slaughter of the priests of Baal and now flees into the desert, running for his life away from Queen Jezebel who intends to wreak terrible vengeance upon him.

Morning Service for Trinity 1 2022

HYMN Immortal, invisible God only wise  NEH 377 – St Denio

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,

In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,

Most blessèd, most glorious, 

the Ancient of Days,

Almighty, victorious, 

thy great name we praise.

2 Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,

nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;

Thy justice, like mountains 

high soaring above

Thy clouds which are fountains of 

goodness and love.

3 To all life thou givest–to both great and small;

In all life thou livest, the true life of all;

We blossom and flourish like leaves on the tree,

Then wither and perish—

but naught changeth thee.

4 Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,

Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;

All praise we would render; O help us to see

‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee..

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


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.


O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you,

mercifully accept our prayers

and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature

we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace,

that in the keeping of your commandments

we may please you both in will and deed;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  Amen.

FIRST READING – 1 Kings 19.1-4[5-7] 8-15a

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the LORD came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.

Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”

He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” Then the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.

HYMN Rock of ages – NEH 445  – Petra/Redhead No76

1 ROCK of ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee;

Let the water and the blood,

From thy riven side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure,

Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

2 Not the labours of my hands

Can fulfil thy law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know,

Could my tears for ever flow,

All for sin could not atone;

Thou must save, and thou alone.

3 Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to thee for dress;

Helpless, look to thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly;

Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

4 While I draw this fleeting breath,

When mine eyes are closed in death,

When I soar through tracts unknown,

See thee on thy judgement throne;

Rock of ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee.

GOSPEL – Luke 8.26-39
Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me”— for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.

Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.


Our first readingg continued the story of Elijah, he has just defeated the prophets of Baal in a great show of the power of Israel’s God – proving that he is the one true God. He has brought about the slaughter of the priests of Baal and now flees into the desert, running for his life away from Queen Jezebel who intends to wreak terrible vengeance upon him.

Elijah’s journey into the desert is full of despair, he has run away, he feels alone and afraid – but he journeys to the place of certainty, the mountain of the law, where Moses was given the ten commandments.

When he eventually gets there he is greeted by a rather curt – ‘What are you doing here?’

Elijah’s makes his complaint – tells of his fear, his despair.

And God says ‘Stand on the mountain’ –  but Elijah stays in his cave – the God he had in mind wasn’t one to come across in the open – and the God he had expected comes – at least all the noise and the terror – 




but God wasn’t there after all.  The big and dramatic, the obvious – the wrath and the might of nature did not contain God, could not contain God.

God was in the Kol demama dakah – the silent voice.

Kol, voice or just sound – Demama, stillness, calm, silence – dakah, thin, small, tiny, like a grain of sand.  God was in a voice so small, so quiet as to be silent.  

God is in the stillness and the emptiness of silence, he may be found anywhere in the stillness of a silent moment, in the emptiness of a minute without chatter and noise.  The most complete experience of God is in the silence, the silence within.

And after that revelation, the same question, “Why are you here?”  

And Elijah repeats his complaint.  

The response of God is inevitable, “Go back.  Go back and act, things don’t improve through complaint but through action.”

And there is the plan of action for all who, like Elijah, face hopelessness, a feeling of being out of control, swept along on a tide of demands and unable to catch their breath.  

The healing, the resolution to the crisis, comes in the still and the quiet, the emptiness of the moment with nothing but the presence of God.  

A moment that need not be on a mountain top, that needs no great 40 day journey, a moment that can be in the teeth of a gale, in the roar of the trembling earth or in the fierce heat of the flame, a moment of living stillness, holy emptiness.  

Jesus was able to give the poor man of the Gerasenes such stillness.  The man was wild and had no peace, Jesus drove away the demons that would not let him rest, and then told him to ‘Go’ and tell others what God was really like.  

What demons, I wonder, do we need to be freed from before we can be at peace, before we can find a moment of living stillness, holy emptiness?

And what will this emptiness offer, this silence of the heart?  

Perhaps God’s Kol demama dakah – his silent voice – the voice of God we too can hear, if we will but search for it, hunger for it, listen for it; a voice found in the quiet, speaking from within to within.  The voice chosen by God, not bounded by anything, but our willingness to listen.  

A voice not necessarily speaking, just being, the awareness of a presence – to know that the Lord is here in the emptiness.

And after this cleansing, inspiring, life giving empty moment – action, positive and decisive, action focused on strength and centred on peace; action, beyond all else, springing from hope and not compromised by fear.  

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 Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour  NEH 296 – St Helen

1 Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour,

First-begotten from the dead,

Thou alone, our strong defender,

Liftest up thy people’s head.


Jesu, true and living Bread!

2 Here our humblest homage pay we;

Here in loving reverence bow;

Here for Faith’s discernment pray we,

Lest we fail to know thee now.


Thou art here, we ask not how.

3 Though the lowliest form doth veil thee

As of old in Bethlehem,

Here as there thine angels hail thee,

Branch and Flower of Jesse’s stem.


We in worship join with them.

4 Paschal Lamb, thine Offering, finished

Once for all when thou wast slain,

In its fullness undiminished

Shall for evermore remain,


Cleansing souls from every stain.

5 Life-imparting heavenly Manna,

Stricken Rock with streaming side,

Heaven and earth with loud hosanna

Worship thee, the Lamb who died,


Risen, ascended, glorified!


‘God is our hope and strength; a very present help in trouble.’

Lord, we pray for our world, where many are in great distress, may our leaders have the courage to defend the good of all.  We give you thanks for the resources which sustain us, may we use them more wisely and share them more fairly.  We pray for the people of Ukraine who are enduring such dark times.  We remember those who lack even the basic necessities of life, among them the people of Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan. We pray for those enduring false imprisonment and those taken hostage – where freedom is repressed.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for your church, may our worship and lives be filled with your grace and truth, empowered by the Holy Spirit.  We remember in our prayers Craig and Tracey who were married on Wednesday in All Saints, Hursley.  We pray for her Majesty the Queen in her jubilee year, for Justin our Archbishop and all who minister in your church. Here in this benefice we give thanks for the ministry of William, through services, parish work and at home. He is supported by a host of parishioners seen and unseen without whom our church life would be the poorer. For all these we give thanks.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Lord, bless us, our families, friends and neighbours; help us to live together in love and trust.  Keep us mindful of all those who are struggling, as financially life becomes tougher. May we have compassion on refugees and others who have lost their homes.  Lord, be with all whose work takes them to dangerous places. We pray for our young people taking examinations, may we value the great diversity of their gifts.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for all who are sick in mind, body or spirit, give rest to the weary and hope to all who suffer.  Lord, strengthen and guide all who are carers and all who are in need of care, at home, in hospital or places of respite. Lord, hear our prayer for all in need of your healing touch.  In a moment of quiet we remember those known to us personally.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Lord, hear us as we remember with faith and love all those who have died, may they rest in peace. We remember particularly Penny Neyroud, Dennis Hill, Diane Wilson and Pamela Britton.

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.

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 He who would valiant be  NEH 372 – Monks Gate

1 He who would valiant be

‘Gainst all disaster,

Let him in constancy

Follow the Master.

There’s no discouragement

Shall make him once relent

His first avowed intent

To be a pilgrim.

2 Who so beset him round

With dismal stories,

Do but themselves confound–

His strength the more is.

No foes shall stay his might,

Though he with giants fight:

He will make good his right

To be a pilgrim.

3 Since, Lord, thou dost defend

Us with thy Spirit,

We know we at the end

Shall life inherit.

Then fancies flee away!

I’ll fear not what men say,

I’ll labor night and day

To be a pilgrim.

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