The Sunday Service in Hagley

The Parishes of Clent and Hagley


Worship for 12th September – Trinity 15




We will be using this service together on Zoom at 9.00 am.





Call to worship and Opening Prayer



Come to worship,
to be comforted and challenged,
moved out of our complacency,
but also offered forgiveness
and the hope of eternal life.
Come to Jesus, prophet, priest and king.




Lord, you walked with your disciples from village to village.
And on the way you talked to them about many things.
Help us to hear your word.
Some things were not easy to hear or to understand.
We meet you here today, Lord, to hear these things too.
Help us to understand your word.
You don’t call us to sit and do nothing.
You want us to be on the move:
taking risks to change our world.
Help us, then, to draw close to you,
to be ready to listen. Then to act.
Help us to act on your word.



Hymn                     Take my life and let it be




Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise

Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be, swift and beautiful for Thee


Take my voice and let me sing, always, only for my King
Take my lips and let them be, filled with messages from Thee

Take my silver and my gold, not a might would I withhold
Take my intellect and use, every power as thou choose


Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart, it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne

Take my love, my Lord I pour, at thy feet it's treasure store
Take myself and I will be, ever, only, all for Thee.




Praise and thanksgiving                                           


Most merciful and gracious God,
we offer you our heartfelt love and praise
because your Son, Jesus Christ,
was willing to risk everything for the whole world.
We come to worship you,
earnestly seeking your will for us –
however challenging it might be.






Asking for God’s forgiveness


‘Who is Jesus?’
For the times we have been asked this question, and we have
struggled to give an answer:
Forgive us, Lord, and give us your words to speak.

For the times we have been ashamed to acknowledge you:
Forgive us, Lord, and grant us courage.

For the times we considered only human concerns, and not God’s:
Forgive us, Lord, and widen our horizons.


For the times we saw opportunities to take risks for God but
looked the other way through fear or indecision:
Forgive us, Lord, and build up our confidence in you.

For the times we take the easy way out:
Forgive us, Lord, and make us strong enough to do your will.


God forgive you all those things with which you struggle.

Give you strength and courage to find a new path;

And bring you peace in your heart.





A Collect


Lord God, defend your church from all false teaching

And give to your people knowledge of your truth,

That we may enjoy eternal life

In Jesus Christ our Lord.








Psalm 116

  1.     I love the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my supplication;

 because he inclined his ear to me on the day I called to him.

  1.     The snares of death encompassed me;

 the pains of hell took hold of me; by grief and sorrow was I held.

3   Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
‘O Lord, I beg you, deliver my soul.’

4   Gracious is the Lord and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.

5   The Lord watches over the simple;
I was brought very low, and he saved me.

6   Turn again to your rest, O my soul,
for the Lord has been gracious to you.

7   For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears and my feet from falling.

8   I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.















Hymn                     O Jesus I have promised




O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my Guide.

Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shall Thy servant be;
And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end—
Oh, give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.

Oh, let me see Thy footprints, and in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly is in Thy strength alone;
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end;
And then in Heav’n receive me, my Saviour and my Friend.


A Gospel Reading            Mark 8: 27- 38


Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”



A Reflection



Everywhere the disciples went they probably heard rumours and whispers in the crowd about Jesus.  People would have asked them ‘who is this man? ‘How does he do those healings?’ ‘Where does he get his power from?’  Jesus asked the disciples a question…. who do people say he is.   They tell him that people think he is John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and some say one of the prophets.


Then Jesus asked another question: “who do you say that I am?’.  He has asked about others, but what matter most is what they think.  They may have hesitated to answer that one at the risk of being wrong and looking stupid.   As usual it is Peter who has the courage to respond, he knows who he thinks Jesus is and is willing to run the risk of being wrong.  Peter’s answer is right of course…. “You are the Messiah” he says. 


Then Jesus begins to teach them that He will suffer and be killed.  Peter takes Jesus to one side and indicates that this can’t be so – this is not what the disciples wanted to hear.  They believed that Jesus was the Messiah – he was on his way to glory and they were going with Him!  Even rising from the dead will not compensate for the horror of going to the cross.  The cross was the most painful and shameful punishment at the time.  We can only try and imagine how the disciples’ must have felt upon hearing this. 




What must they have thought when Jesus says that his followers must also take up their cross and follow him…… now we know how the story goes, we know the victory that was won on the cross, the triumph of the resurrection and the heavenly ascension, but they really had no idea, even though he has told them straight.


Many people wear a cross today, as I do, as a sign of my faith.  The New Testament points to the image of the cross as a focus for the redeeming work of Christ.  Without Christ’s death on the Cross, God’s power over death would not have been revealed.  God’s love would not have been visible through the resurrection.  The cross points to the saving love of God for all humanity for all time.


The word disciple means a close follower, being a close follower of Jesus isn’t always easy.  Jesus says we are to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily.  I believe this is a call to lead an unselfish life, to choose God’s way rather than our own.  We live in a very self-centred world; Jesus calls us to living a different way.   Instead of relying on our own resources, God calls us to pick up his resources.  God’s resource is a cross. To the disciples, the cross meant humility, shame and death, but for God it is a symbol of forgiveness, victory and power. 


It is a call to a new life with Christ at the centre.  The cross point to eternal life with God and a life lived in all its fullness, it is the narrow way; it can be the most difficult choice but the rewards are priceless. 


Jesus says ‘for what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?’  We can gain much in this life, we live in a material world, but what good will that do if we lose everything in the next life for all eternity.  When we choose to pick up our cross in this life, we collect our reward in crowns in the next. 


Our first reading this morning, the Psalmist is giving thanks and praise to God because God has inclined his ear toward man, he has delivered his soul.  For those who know God, it is always good to hear such testimonies, but others who are seeking truth and peace in this world need to hear this too.  When we find ourselves going through difficult times, it is always good to hear from others that these times can be endured, survived and overcome when we look to and trust in God’s care and provision.  The psalmist says he was delivered from death and restored to a life that feels like living, not just existing.


We can have many ideas of the way we should go and the things we should do, but it is when we turn and follow Jesus that we can find peace, joy and freedom.  To step out in faith – we step in to all God has for us.  It takes courage to step into the great unknown, but it is there that we meet the living God, the purpose of God, the promise of God and the goodness of God.  No-one said it will be easy.  We have to follow each day in small steps and trust him to guide us.  We can’t do this in our own strength but through daily prayer calling upon God and his power to strengthen us for our journey. 





Hymn                     All my hope on God if founded




All my hope on God is founded,
he doth still my trust renew;
me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true:
God unknown, he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple, fall to dust.
But God’s power, hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

Still from Earth to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done;
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ his Son:
Christ doth call, one and all –
ye who follow shall not fall.







Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, Have mercy.


For the peace that comes from God alone, for the unity of all           people and nations.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, Have mercy.


For the Church of Christ, Bishop John, Bishop Martin and for the whole people of God.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, Have mercy.


For community, our families, neighbours and friends.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, Have mercy.


For the good earth which God has given us and the wisdom to conserve it.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, Have mercy.


For those who are unwell, lonely or broken of spirit.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, Have mercy.


For those who have died and for those who mourn.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, Have mercy.


Lord of life, hear our prayer, and make us one in heart and mind.




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           Be thou my vision



Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art
Be Thou my best thought, in the day and the night
Both waking or sleeping, thy presence my light


Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word
Be thou ever with me and I with thee, Lord
Be Thou my great Father, and I thy true son
Be Thou in me dwelling and I with thee one


Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight

Be Thou my whole armour, be Thou my true might

Be Thou my soul’s shelter, be Thou my strong tower

O raise Thou me heavenward, great power of my power.


High King of heaven, thou heaven's bright sun
O grant me it’s joys after vict’ry is won

Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be thou my vision, O ruler of all





Closing Prayers and Blessing



Loving God,
Help us to understand your word,

Commit to change,

To keep moving forward,

And to proclaim who you are,

Jesus Christ our Lord.




May God keep you in all your days.

May Christ shield you in all your ways.

May the Spirit bring you healing and peace.

May God the Holy Trinity drive all darkness away from you                   and pour upon you blessing and light.








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)