Morning Service for Trinity 14 – Sunday 5th September 2021

Morning Service for Trinity 14

HYMN Ye servants of God NEH 476 – Paderbourne

1 YE servants of God, your Master proclaim,

And publish abroad his wonderful name:

The name all-victorious of Jesus extol:

His kingdom is glorious, and rules over all.

2 God ruleth on high, almighty to save;

And still he is nigh, his presence we have:

The great congregation his triumph shall sing,

Ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.

3 Salvation to God who sits on the throne!

Let all cry aloud, and honour the Son:

The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,

Fall down on their faces, and worship the Lamb.

4 Then let us adore, and give him his right:

All glory and power, all wisdom and might,

All honour and blessing, with angels above,

And thanks never-ceasing, and infinite love. 

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.


Almighty God,
whose only Son has opened for us
a new and living way into your presence:
give us pure hearts and steadfast wills
to worship you in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

FIRST READING – Proverbs 22.1,2,8,9,22,23

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,

and favour is better than silver or gold.

The rich and the poor have this in common:

the LORD is the maker of them all.

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,

and the rod of anger will fail.

Those who are generous are blessed,

for they share their bread with the poor.

Do not rob the poor because they are poor,

or crush the afflicted at the gate;

for the LORD pleads their cause

and despoils of life those who despoil them.

HYMN In Christ there is no east or west NEH 480 – St Stephen

1 IN Christ there is no East or west,

In him no South or North,

But one great fellowship of love

Throughout the whole wide earth.

2 Join hands, then, brothers of the faith,

Whate’er your race may be;

Who serves my Father as a son

Is surely kin to me.

3 In Christ now meet both East and West,

In him meet South and North,

All Christlike souls are one in him,

Throughout the whole wide earth.

GOSPEL – Mark 7.24-37

From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”


Somebody once famously said that they wouldn’t join any club that would have them as a member. The whole essence of a club is that some are members and some are not. 

The people of God were a very exclusive club. So exclusive were they that you had to be born into the club to be a member. Once you’re so born though they weren’t too fussy, birth was all. It was a bit like the English aristocracy. There’s nothing much wrong with that, you might say, every club has to have its criteria for membership. But it said certain things about God that were just not true, racism on a massive scale, and it said certain things about human beings, something about in-built inequality, which were equally not true. 

Our readings in the Gospel of Mark have brought us to Jesus’ journey away from Galilee, away from Jewish rule, into very much Gentile land. We must remember that this follows directly from Jesus’s arguments with the Pharisees over their definition of clean and unclean. In their terms he is now in the realm of the unclean. And Mark would not have us miss the point, he tells us that the woman that he encounters is a Gentile and has a daughter with an unclean spirit. She begs Jesus for healing and his reply shocks and disturbs us. He calls the woman and her daughter dogs – some say a common insult hurled by Jews at non-Jews. He declares the issue, speaks what is in the mind of any self-respecting Messianic Jew. Jesus isn’t content to allow these thoughts to be thought, and politely, and discreetly remain unspoken, they are given voice and shown for what they are. Jesus was no racist, remember the story of the Good Samaritan.

The woman appears to accept the situation, accept the way things are but in reality she challenges it. “What is food for your kind, is food for my kind” the bread that falls from the table is still bread. Her challenge to prejudice and exclusivity has been heard and is confirmed to be correct – her daughter is made well. The point is well made – there is no clean and unclean defined by birth, only what lies within the heart of man. The healing work of God knows no boundaries – whatever we define them to be, be it racial, national or personal.

Jesus then returns to the Gentile part of Galilee going a long route through Gentile country; then Mark tells us that people bring to him a man who is deaf and dumb. A man who is beyond his society, regarded with suspicion as one upon whom the wrath of God came at birth, someone not to get too close to for fear that such ill luck may be infectious. And notice Mark does not say his friends brought him to Jesus, it was merely an impersonal crowd for this man cannot communicate so he cannot have friends, he cannot have a family of his own, he can have no place in his society. 

But Jesus’ touches him, and he touches him more than anyone he heals in the Gospel. He touches the man’s ears, he places his spit on his finger and he places his finger on the man’s tongue. And in doing so he tears down the walls of the man’s isolation and gives him the gift of relationship. 

And immediately after this healing Mark tells us that Jesus feeds the 4000, in Gentile land. The composers of the lectionary thought fit to omit this, and the next week’s passage misses it out.  But it is the summation of this journey through Gentile land. Jesus has fed the Jews, fed the 5000 in Jewish land, he now shows that his work and the good news he brings knows no boundaries either racial, national or personal. When some years later Paul writes that “there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!” he is being entirely consistent with the teaching of Jesus. 

But Jesus’ doesn’t just believe and pay lip service to the inclusiveness of the grace of God, he practises it. He doesn’t just call the unclean clean; he embraces them and sets them free. He would approve of James’s words that say faith demands action. 

The uncomfortable thing is, however, that in order to break down boundaries between people we might have to take the first step, showing people that we welcome them by being prepared to accommodate to their needs; to metaphorically journey towards them and embrace them. Indeed making our churches as welcoming and approachable as possible is a sign that we have ‘got the point’.

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 Jesus Christ you have come to us NEH 297 – Living Lord

1. Lord Jesus Christ

You have come to us

You are one with us

Mary’s Son

Cleansing our souls from all their sin

Pouring Your love and goodness in

Jesus, our love for you we sing

Living Lord

2.Lord Jesus Christ

Now and every day

Teach us how to pray

Son of God

You have commanded us to do

This in remembrance Lord of you

Into our lives your power breaks through

Living Lord

3. Lord Jesus Christ

You have come to us

Born as one with us

Mary’s Son

Led out to die on Calvary

Risen from death to set us free

Living Lord Jesus, help us see

You are Lord

4. Lord Jesus Christ

I would come to you

live my life for you

Son of God

All your commands I know are true

Your many gifts will make me new

Into my life your power breaks through

Living Lord

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 Praise to the holiest in the height NEH 439 – Gerontius

1 PRAISE to the Holiest in the height,

And in the depth be praise,

In all his words most wonderful,

Most sure in all his ways.

2 O loving wisdom of our God!

When all was sin and shame,

A second Adam to the fight

And to the rescue came.

5 O generous love! that he who smote

In Man for man the foe,

The double agony in Man

For man should undergo;

6 And in the garden secretly,

And on the cross on high,

Should teach his brethren, and inspire

To suffer and to die.

7 Praise to the Holiest in the height,

And in the depth be praise,

In all his words most wonderful,

Most sure in all his ways.

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