Service – Trinity Sunday 7th June

Fugue in B Flat Major BWV 560 by JS Bach
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Call to worship
The blessing of Father, Spirit, Son
Holy Trinity, Three in One,
be in our meeting
and our greeting,
in the worship we share
and the words of our prayer.

The presence of Father, Spirit, Son
Holy Trinity, Three in One,
be in our living
and our breathing,
that through our hearts and our words
your truth may be heard.
Amen

StF 91 – Hymn – The God of Abraham praise
Click here to play the music (includes introduction)

The God of Abraham praise,
who reigns enthroned above,
Ancient of everlasting Days,
and God of love.
Jehovah! Great I AM!
By earth and heaven confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred name
for ever blessed.

He by himself has sworn,
I on his oath depend:
I shall, on eagles’ wings upborne,
to heaven ascend;
I shall behold his face,
I shall his power adore
and sing the wonders of his grace
for evermore.

The God who reigns on high
the great archangels sing;
and ‘Holy, holy, holy,’ cry,
‘Almighty King,
who was and is the same,
and evermore shall be;
Jehovah, Father, great I AM,
we worship thee.’

Before the Saviour’s face
the ransomed nations bow;
o’erwhelmed at his almighty grace,
for ever new:
he shows his prints of love,
they kindle to a flame,
and sound through all the worlds above
the slaughtered Lamb.

The whole triumphant host
give thanks to God on high;
‘Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!’
they ever cry.
Hail, Abraham’s God, and ours!
We join the heavenly throng,
and celebrate with all our powers
in endless song.

Thomas Olivers (1725-1799)

Let us pray together
God the creator, we come, in awe of you. We are overwhelmed by the wonder of your creation; we are inspired by the mystery of life; we are amazed by the beauty of your world; we are astonished that such a God would have anything to do with the likes of us. So, we kneel before you, in awe and wonder, humbled before your greatness.

God the Son, who has come amongst us in the person of Jesus; you have walked our streets; you have lifted our children; you have sat in our churches; you have blethered with our fisherman. So we come, with you beside us, no longer remote and distant. We come, no longer in fear and trembling, but seeking the embrace of your love, the smile of your acceptance, the touch of your forgiveness. We dare to come close to you because you have come close to us.

God, the Spirit of Life, we are thankful for your constant presence; for the healing of your love; for the challenge of your Word; for the inspiration of your Gospel; for the community of your Church. Renew us and refresh us; enable us and enliven us; challenge us and change us; prompt us and improve us in our worship; in our mission and in our service in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and all to your Glory, Amen.

Confession
Before God and God’s people, I confess that I have been reluctant to speak out clearly, naming the injustice I see and declaring God’s vision.

Before God and all others, we confess our blindness to racism and discrimination. We acknowledge our silence many seem like complicity. We pledge to kneel in contrition and to stand in solidarity.

Strengthen our resolve, O God.

Before God and one another, we confess our reluctance to receive our calling as God’s people, made by God and chosen as witnesses to God’s dream of justice and joy.

Remind me, God, that you have made me for your service and recharge me with your Word.

Renew us, God.
Grant us courage to live out your Way of peace and grace.
We ask it in Jesus’ name; Amen.

Words of Assurance
God has promised that whenever we repent
and seek a new union with God,
forgiveness is ours.
That promise comes true now.
Sisters and brothers, know that in Christ Jesus,
we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!
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.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Amen

Reading from the Old Testament
Isaiah 40 v12 to 17 & v27 to 31

Reading from the Gospel
Matthew 28 v16 to 20

StF 157 – Hymn – God has spoken – by his prophets
Click here to play the music (no introduction)

God has spoken — by his prophets,
spoken his unchanging word;
each from age to age proclaiming
God, the one, the righteous Lord.
‘Mid the world’s despair and turmoil
one firm anchor holding fast:
God eternal reigns forever,
God the first, and God the last.

God has spoken — by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
brightness of the Father’s glory,
with the Father ever one;
spoken by the Word incarnate,
God from God, ere time was born;
Light from Light, to earth descending,
Christ, revealing God to all.

God is speaking — by the Spirit,
speaking to our hearts again,
in the age-long word expounding
God’s own message, now as then.
Through the rise and fall of nations
one sure faith is standing fast;
God still speaks, the Word unchanging,
God the first, and God the last.

George Wallace Briggs (1875-1959)

Address
Click here to listen to the Address presented by Rev Mark Barrett

In what way is the Trinity relevant to our faith in the world today? Some may see this term as ‘just’ a doctrinal statement and a Sunday sermon to sleep through.

For me it speaks to me about God’s relationship to me, mine to God and mine to all God’s people.

God seeks to reach out to the peoples that are made in the image of God. But we are such different people, in such different places, with such diverse experiences and needs. Yet still God seeks to reach out and touch us with the love that is at the heart of all creation.

God reaches out to us as Father, Mother, Parent. The love that comes to us is that of unending care. God is not ‘like’ any earthly parent, it is that any earthly parent should be like God in this context. God guides us, instructs us and yes, at times when needed, disciplines us. God seeks to keep us on the path that brings us happiness and fulfilment and value as we pass through the ups and downs of life.

God reaches out to us as Son, in Jesus. Jesus is ‘God with us’, Jesus ‘Tabernacled’ with us, that is in him God pitched his tent among us. Do not worry, with God there is no social distancing required. God among us, walking our paths, seeing our lives as they unfold, weeping our tears. I know it’s not in the Bible, but I am sure Jesus laughed our laugh as well. Jesus walking beside us, teaching and explaining the meaning of love to us. Showing love in action.

God reaches out to us as Holy Spirit. The Spirit that works within us to bring forth our gifts and fruits so we have a place and purpose in this world and in God’s kingdom. The Spirit enables us to show the kingdom to others in how we use and show our faith.

That’s me, but what about others.

We are called to reach out to others as Father, Mother, Parent. We are called to show compassion and care. We are called to gently guide others, to politely instruct and yes, at times when needed, humbly discipline others. None of this is because we are so much better, but because we know where we have gone wrong and want to spare them that pain.

We are called to reach out to others as Son. We are to ‘Tabernacle’ with others, that is we pitch his tent among them. We are, in our lives at home, work, play and church, to be among others, walking their paths, see their lives as they unfold, weeping their tears, laughed their laughs. We are to walk beside them, take the knee with them, show by our actions the meaning of love for them to experience. Steve Camp sang these two words:

“Do you feel their pain, has it touched your life?
Can you taste the salt, in the tears they cry?
Will you love them more than the hate that’s been?
Will you love them back to life again?”

And

“Don’t tell them Jesus loves them till you’re ready to love them too
Till your heart breaks from the sorrow and the pain they’re going through
With a life full of compassion may we do what we must do
Don’t tell them Jesus loves them till you’re ready to love them too”

We are called to reach out to others as Holy Spirit. We are to look for others gifts and fruits and talents. We are to encourage others to use what they have, to be who they are created to be so they can know they have a place and purpose in this world and in God’s kingdom.

This for me is the Trinity. A God, a creating, compassionate, encouraging God, who is, was and will be. A God ever participating in the life of the people created in the image of God, in the life of the world and in the life of our communities and our churches. A God, who in you and I, is not a doctrinal statement, but a living statement of life in all it’s fullness, all it’s variety and all it’s possibilities for love.
Amen.

StF 404 – Hymn – God’s Spirit is in my heart
Click here to play the music (includes introduction)

God’s Spirit is in my heart;
he has called me and set me apart.
This is what I have to do,
what I have to do:
He sent me to give the good news to the poor,
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
tell blind people that they can see,
and set the down-trodden free,
and go tell everyone
the news that the kingdom of God has come.
and go tell everyone
the news that the God’s kingdom has come.

Just as the Father sent me,
so I’m sending you out to be
my witnesses throughout the world—
the whole of the world:
He sent me to give the good news to the poor,
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
tell blind people that they can see,
and set the down-trodden free,
and go tell everyone
the news that the kingdom of God has come.
and go tell everyone
the news that the God’s kingdom has come.

Don’t carry a load in your pack;
you don’t need two shirts on your back;
God’s workers can earn his own keep—
can earn his own keep:
He sent me to give the good news to the poor,
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
tell blind people that they can see,
and set the down-trodden free,
and go tell everyone
the news that the kingdom of God has come.
and go tell everyone
the news that the God’s kingdom has come.

Don’t worry what you have to say;
don’t worry, because on that day
God’s spirit will speak in your heart—
will speak in your heart:
He sent me to give the good news to the poor,
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
tell blind people that they can see,
and set the down-trodden free,
and go tell everyone
the news that the kingdom of God has come.
and go tell everyone
the news that the God’s kingdom has come.

Intercessions
Father, in whom we live,
and move and have our being,
May we know your love
May we show your love.

We pray for your church throughout the world, continually exploring new ways to be in fellowship and to offer worship. Unite us by your creative power across earthly boundaries of time and space to bring you our united voices of praise and glory.

Jesus our Saviour,
Let all people
Give thanks to you by example,
For your saving grace.

We pray for all those who have revealed Christ to us in past months. For key workers, carers, intercessors and strangers – we give you our thanks, and pray that we in our turn might reveal Christ to our neighbour too.

Spirit of holiness,
Let all thy saints adore
Thy sacred energy, and bless
Thy heart-renewing power.
We pray for all those who need the comfort of your Holy Spirit today. The lonely, the anxious, the bereaved; the sick, the distressed, the dying; those facing difficult decisions and those forced to make new beginnings – bring your peace to them.

We pray for those in America, in our own country and elsewhere who are suffering, who are oppressed, who are ignored, unheard and devalued due to their colour or ethnicity. ‘There is no Jew, nor Greek’ we read in scripture. We pray that to be, for it is a marker of the presence of the kingdom of God.

Eternal God,
Let all the hosts above,
Let all your children below,
Know and share you love
We bring all our prayers to you, O God our Father, in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

StF 663 – Hymn – I, the Lord of sea and sky
Click here to play the music (includes introduction)

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord,
if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain;
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord,
if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
till their hearts are satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord,
if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

Daniel L. Schutte (b. 1947)

Blessing
We go in the presence of God, our creating, loving Father,
We go in the presence of Jesus Christ, our risen friend and companion
We go in the presence of the Holy Spirit,
empowering us to be the people
our threefold God would have us be –
today, this week and always,
Amen

Choral Song by Samuel Sebastian Wesley
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