Morning Service for Trinity 9 2022


I found today’s readings disturbing. That is, of course, no bad thing, disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed is what the Bible is all about. It is certainly what Jesus seemed to spend a fair bit of time doing – we have this picture of him bringing peace on earth and indeed he did offer peace to many, on many occasions, but that wasn’t the whole story, certainly not according to our reading from St Luke this morning. 

Morning Service for Trinity 9 2022

HYMN Awake, my soul, and with the sun NEH 232 – Morning Hymn

1 Awake, my soul, and with the sun

Thy daily stage of duty run;

Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise

To pay thy morning sacrifice.

2 Redeem thy mis-spent time that’s past,

Live this day as if ’twere thy last:

Improve thy talent with due care;

For the great day thyself prepare.

3 Let all thy converse be sincere,

Thy conscience as the noon-day clear;

Think how the all-seeing God thy ways

And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

4 Awake, awake, ye heavenly choir,

May your devotion me inspire,

That I like you my age may spend,

Like you may on my God attend.

5 Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,

Praise him, all creatures here below,

Praise him above, ye heavenly host,

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

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, who sent your Holy Spirit

to be the life and light of your Church:

open our hearts to the riches of your grace,

that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit

in love and joy and peace;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,  Amen.

FIRST READING – Isaiah 5.1-7

Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: 

My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. 

And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

HYMN Fight the good fight NEH 359 Duke Street 

1 Fight the good fight with all thy might,

Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right;

lay hold on life, and it shall be

thy joy and crown eternally.

2 Run the straight race 

through God’s good grace,

lift up thine eyes, and seek his face;

life with its way before us lies,

Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.

3 Cast care aside, upon thy Guide

lean, and his mercy will provide;

lean, and thy trusting soul shall prove

Christ is its life, and Christ its love.

4 Faint not nor fear, his arms are near,

he changeth not, and thou art dear;

only believe, and thou shalt see

that Christ is all in all to thee.

GOSPEL – Luke 12.49-56

“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” 

He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?


I found today’s readings disturbing. That is, of course, no bad thing, disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed is what the Bible is all about. It is certainly what Jesus seemed to spend a fair bit of time doing – we have this picture of him bringing peace on earth and indeed he did offer peace to many, on many occasions, but that wasn’t the whole story, certainly not according to our reading from St Luke this morning. 

‘Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!’

Woolly liberals like me don’t like words like that, we prefer to think of Jesus uniting and making whole, healing division with grace and mercy. But passages such as this bring home to us that there are points of decision, times and circumstances when agreement is not possible, when unity would merely be a sham and to talk of healing a denial of reality. 

The early church certainly knew what Jesus was warning of, they came to experience the hard edge of faith, to risk family, friends, property, even one’s own life to own the name of Jesus. In such times to ‘run with perseverance the race that is set before us,’ as the letter to the Hebrews has it, is no mean feat. We are spared the need for open witness to our faith; we aren’t forced to choose between worship of an emperor-god and a grizzly death. And yet is there nothing different about us, nothing that might make us become visible as members of the body of Christ, that might call us out as differently motivated, led or inspired? Are we unidentifiable from our neighbours?

Isaiah knew how to write. 300 years before the golden age of Greek drama he knew how to put his point across. By using different voices, by appealing to his audience’s own reason, he attempts to bring them up short. He doesn’t talk of the wrath of God but of the disappointment and sorrow of God. He simply says, ‘what would you do if you were God?’

His allegory is a familiar one to his hearers, a vineyard from land reclaimed from the wilderness to yield a harvest of joy and delight. But the image turns sour.

Isaiah repeats the plaintive line ‘When I expected it to yield grapes (‘anabim), why did it yield wild grapes (be’usim)?’ – although wild grapes is much too polite, it’s the Hebrew for something that stinks – it’s used for rotting fish in chapter 50. After all the care and trouble that the master of the vineyard took to lay it out, to plant and care for it, to guard it and nourish it, all he has to show for his pains is rotten and putrid. The allegory is spelt out – its meaning made plain.

After all the care and trouble that Israel’s God spent to establish them as a model community of faith, an exemplar to the world of what God was like, what was there to show? Something rotten and putrid. 

And what has brought Israel’s God to this damming judgment? Isaiah uses a simple but beautifully crafted piece of word play: 

He expected mispat (justice)

but saw mispah (bloodshed)

sedaqah (righteousness)

but heard se’aqah (a cry)!

The fruit God wanted from his people was justice and righteousness but all he found was bloodshed and a cry for help. 

They had failed to be God’s people, recognisably different from their neighbours, demonstrating the character of their God – instead they did not act justly, they oppressed the poor and as God had heard their cries when they were under the Egyptian tyranny so he heard the cries of those who suffered under Israel’s oppression. So what will the master of the vineyard do? Turn the vineyard back into the desert it came from; allow it to be just like all the land around it – unidentifiable. So Israel would become like every other nation – no longer special. 

And so it came to pass – it vanished, the Northern kingdom was lost forever with Judah hanging on as a vassal state. Judah, of course, rose from the ashes, but that is another story and another century.

It’s very disturbing – opportunities not used are opportunities lost forever. 

So where’s the application for all this doom and gloom? 

If we aren’t different, if we aren’t in some way distinguishable as a community of faith, a group of people committed to a different way of living, if we aren’t seeking, all the time, to understand what it means to be men and women of Christ in this place at this time – then what are we doing here? 

And that’s a thought that certainly disturbs me.

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 Ye holy angels bright NEH 475 – Darwell’s 148th

1. Ye holy angels bright, 

who wait at God’s right hand, 

or through the realms of light 

fly at your Lord’s command, 

assist our song, 

for else the theme 

too high doth seem 

for mortal tongue.

2. Ye blessèd souls at rest, 

who ran this earthly race 

and now, from sin released, 

behold your Saviour’s face, 

his praises sound, 

as in his sight 

with sweet delight 

ye do abound.

3. Ye saints, who toil below, 

adore your heavenly King, 

and onward as ye go 

some joyful anthem sing; 

take what he gives 

and praise him still, 

through good or ill, 

who ever lives!

4. My soul, bear thou thy part, 

triumph in God above: 

and with a well-tuned heart 

sing thou the songs of love! 

Let all thy days 

till life shall end, 

whate’er he send, 

be filled with praise!


We pray for our world as it suffers from the high temperatures exacerbated by climate change. We think of the wildfires, the depleted harvests, the famines and chronic water shortages. We pray that our leaders will realise that they must work together for the common future of mankind. Do not let them destroy our world because events are not going as they might have hoped, as suggested in the reading from Isaiah, but instead let them work for the good of all so that ultimately   we can all share in your righteous bounty in a just and caring world.

Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for Christians throughout the world, especially those being persecuted for their faith. We pray for our own churches, may everyone always receive a loving welcome and find peace there. We pray for those who lead us in our worship, for William, our rector and everyone who assists him in his work. We thank them for their constant efforts on our behalf and we thank you, Lord, for your care and compassion; may we emulate it as we share our fellowship with one another. 

Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for the young people coping with the influences and demands of school, university, and work. Give the Year 11 and 13s the resilience and responsibility to accept their exam results this week and next, may they be guided into making the right choices for their futures. We also pray that our children and teachers will return in September stimulated and invigorated by their summer breaks. 

Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

And now let us share a moment of silence together as we bring before you those known only to ourselves and to you Lord who are in need at this time, particularly those suffering from ill health or mourning loved ones. Let them feel your presence in their lives as we name them in our hearts and commit them to your loving care.

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 Praise to the Lord the Almighty NEH440 – Hast du Denn Jesu

1 PRAISE to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation;

O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation:

Come ye who hear,

Brothers and sisters draw near,

Praise him in glad adoration.

2 Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,

Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth:

Hast thou not seen

All that is needful hath been

Granted in what he ordaineth?

3 Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work, and defend thee;

Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;

Ponder anew

All the Almighty can do,

He who with love doth befriend thee.

6 Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!

All that hath life and breath come now with praises before him!

Let the Amen

Sound from his people again:

Gladly for ay we adore him.

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