The Sunday Service in Hagley

The Parishes of Clent and Hagley

 

Worship for  27September 2020

Trinity 16

 

 

      

Welcome

 

 

a short silence

during which you might like to light a candle

 

 

Gathering

 

A call to worship and an Opening Prayer

 

 

Loving God, we gather now in your presence -
some of us full of enthusiasm and energy,
some of us tired and weighed down,
some of us feeling all these things at once.
Help us to find space in our worship
    to hear your voice calling to us,
    to feel your Spirit present with us
    and to know your love's healing in our hearts;
in the name of Jesus.
Amen.

 

We come into your presence with humility,
seeking your mercy.
We come into your presence rejoicing,
for your love for us is steadfast.
We come into your presence in confident hope,
for you will guide us.

Show us your ways,

teach us your paths,

and lead us in your truth.                                    (cf. Ps 25)
Amen.

 

 

 Hymn                    Meekness and majesty                             

- a version can be found on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJc-zpp-3Pk

 

Meekness and majesty,
manhood and deity,
in perfect harmony,
the man who is God.
Lord of eternity
dwells in humanity,
kneels in humility
and washes our feet.

 

            O what a mystery,
            meekness and majesty.
            Bow down and worship
            for this is your God,
            this is your God.

 

Father's pure radiance,
perfect in innocence,
yet learns obedience
to death on a cross.
Suffering to give us life,
conquering through sacrifice,
and as they crucify
prays: 'Father forgive.'

 

Wisdom unsearchable,
God the invisible,
love indestructible
in frailty appears.
Lord of infinity,
stooping so tenderly,
lifts our humanity
to the heights of his throne.

 

 

A prayer of thanksgiving                                                 

 

We thank you, Lord God, that you love and care for us,
and that Jesus lived and died for us.
We thank you for sharing our life and our living,
for being within our hopes and dreams,
and for giving us purpose and meaning.
We thank you for showing us how to live

a life of goodness and truth,

a life of caring and sharing;

in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

 

 

A prayer of praise                                                 

 

Jesus our Saviour,

we praise you that you humbled yourself to be born in

human form and to die upon a cross:
Give us your humility,
and help us to be true to your word
so that we may be confident in all that we do in your name.
Amen.

 

 

Asking for God’s forgiveness

 

In silence we remember those times when we have fallen short of the example that Jesus has set for us.

 

          silence

 

For those times when we have looked only to our own interests:
Gracious God: forgive us.


For those times when we have been motivated by vanity or

self-importance:
Gracious God: forgive us.

For those times when we have regarded ourselves

as better than others:
Gracious God: forgive us.

 

It is God who is at work in you, your sins are forgiven.
So think, speak and act for God's pleasure and glory.
Amen.

 

 

A Collect

 

Lord of creation,
whose glory is around and within us:
open our eyes to your wonders,
that we may serve you with reverence
and know your peace in our hearts,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

A New Testament Reading       Philippians 2.1-13

 

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,


who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death –
even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
 

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

 

 

Hymn                     You laid aside your majesty  

      https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=you+laid+aside+your+majesty

 

You laid aside your majesty,
gave up everything for me,
suffered at the hands of those you had created.
You took away my guilt and shame,
when you died and rose again;
now today you reign,
in heaven and earth exalted.
I really want to worship you, my Lord,
you have won my heart and I am yours
for ever and ever;

I will love You.
You are the only one who died for me,
gave your life to set me free,
so I lift my voice to you in adoration.

 

                                                  repeat all over again!

 

 

A Gospel Reading            Matthew 21.23-32

 

When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin,” we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.’

 

 

 

A Reflection 

 

In today’s New Testament reading we find Paul writing from prison to the Christian community in Philippi.  There’s been an argument going on between the leaders of the church there, and Paul appeals to them to seek to discover together what is true by having “the same mind as was in Christ Jesus”.

 

The thought behind Paul’s words is a simple one.  None of us can ever hope to fathom out the thoughts or purpose of God because God is always beyond our imagination and comprehension.  We believe as Christians, though, that God has expressed something crucial of what his very heart and will is in the life of Jesus.  Therefore, if our minds and thoughts could be Christ Jesus’ minds and thoughts – as it were – we would know that we were in tune with the heart and mind of God.

 

Christians sometimes say we should try to understand what Jesus himself would think or do or say if he were in our shoes, and act likewise.  “WWJD” – an abbreviation for “What would Jesus do?” – is a code which they follow to try to keep on the right track.  People even wear bracelets or wristbands with WWJD on, to remind them to think in that way every moment of every day.

 

But how do we actually know what the mind of Christ is?  Do we need to keep a mass of facts and details about Jesus at our disposal, so we can instantly re-call them at a moment’s notice?  Do we need to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the words of Jesus, or of biblical phrases, at our figure tips – ready to apply to the questions or situations thrown up by life?

 

Well, being familiar with the life and teaching of Jesus is obviously important – so too is being “steeped in the scriptures”, as the old phrase puts it – but it could be that knowing the mind of Christ is a rather different kind of exercise.

 

Paul unpacks what it means, as he writes to the Philippians, by sharing with them a well-known early Christian hymn.  The words speak of Christ Jesus emptying himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness, and humbling himself even to the point of accepting death on a cross. 

 

We ourselves come to know the mind of Christ when we live out our faith in that way too.  As Christians, like Jesus we are called to live lives of service, humility and faithfulness.  Those attributes are highlighted in the ordination service for Deacons – and so they are fresh in our minds today following the service in Worcester Cathedral yesterday.  But being a servant to others, being humble and following God’s way is something every one of us is called to.

 

I found this prayer entitled “Humility” the other day.  I don’t know who wrote it, or anything at all about it, but it seems apt for today, so I’m going to conclude by reading it:

 

“Humility”

 

O Christ, sovereign Lord of heaven and earth

you humbled yourself to dwell among us

and chose always the place

which would arouse not envy,

which no pride would approach or inhabit.

You chose a poor maid for your mother;

a cattle-stall for your cradle;

saw, hammer, and chisel for your schooling;

nowhere to lay your head,

though you were teaching the whole world;

spitting for your face, the lash for your back,

thorns for your crown;

bare wood, sharp iron for your bed of death;

for your Godhead, a grave in earth.

 

Humility has no pattern but you.

 

By your lowliness, O Lord,

slay my worst,

my pride, and all its little satisfactions,

and its cravings for more.

And enable me, for your glory,

to imitate your glory,

and heart, mind and soul,

and choose the lowest room.

 

 

 

 

Hymn                     From heaven you came, helpless babe

 

 - a version can be found on YouTube

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VeQrWmvCms

 

From heaven you came, helpless babe,
entered our world, your glory veiled; 
not to be served but to serve,
and give your life that we might live.


This is our God, the Servant King,
he calls us now to follow him,
to bring our lives as a daily offering
of worship to the Servant King.

 

There in the garden of tears,
my heavy load he chose to bear;
his heart with sorrow was torn,
'yet not my will but yours,' he said.

 

Come, see his hands and his feet,
the scars that speak of sacrifice,
hands that flung stars into space
to cruel nails surrendered.

 

So let us learn how to serve,
and in our lives enthrone him;
each other's needs to prefer,
for it is Christ we're serving.
 

         

 

“Responsive” Intercessions       from New Patterns for Worship

 

 

Blessed are you, eternal God,
to be praised and glorified for ever.

 

Hear us as we pray for your world-wide Church:
make us all one, that the world may believe.

 

Grant that every member of the Church
may truly and humbly serve you:
that the life of Jesus Christ may be revealed in us.

 

Strengthen all who minister in Jesus’ name:
give them courage to proclaim your Gospel.

 

Inspire and lead those who hold authority
in the nations of the world:
guide them in the ways of justice and peace.

 

Make us alive to the needs of our community:
help us to share each other’s joys and burdens.

 

Look with kindness on our homes and families:
grant that your love may grow in our hearts.

 

Deepen our compassion for all who are unwell,
or in great need:
in your presence may they find their strength.

 

We remember those who have died:
Father, into your hands we commend them.

 

Lord,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

 

 

The Lord's Prayer

 

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.

 

 

Hymn                     At the name of Jesus

 - a version can be found on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI2rKRCWmOU

 

At the name of Jesus 

every knee shall bow,                    

every tongue confess him               

King of glory now;                        

‘tis the Father’s pleasure                

we should call him Lord,                

who, from the beginning,                

was the mighty Word.

 

Humbled for a season,                       

to receive a name                         

from the lips of sinners                            

unto whom he came,                     

faithfully he bore it,                       

spotless to the last,                       

brought it back victorious              

when from death he passed.           

Bore it up triumphant,

with its human light,

through all ranks of creatures

to the central height,

to the throne of Godhead,

to the Father’s breast,

filled it with the glory

of that perfect rest.

 

                   

A Closing Prayer and Blessing

 

God our Father,
breaker of moulds, and giver of insight,
challenge our attitudes,
discomfort our mindsets and soften our hearts
that we might see and respond to your purposes.
Amen.

Lord, help us not be selfish
but always to be humble and to value others.
May your mind be our mind
as we live to your praise and glory.
Amen.

Go in peace.
Do what is honourable, just and pure.
Remember all you have learned and received

and heard that is of God
and do his will:

and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.
 

May the mind of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, live in us,
so that his love and power inspires all we do and say.
Amen.

 

 

Some material included in this service is copyright:

© The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2000

 

Some material is Copyright

© Roots for Churches Limited

 

Hymns and songs are reproduced under CCLI numbers:

742099 (St John’s)

493867 (St Leonard’s)

154120 (St Saviour’s)