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Sunday August 16th. Holy Communion Joseph the Ruler

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Joseph meets his brothers again in Egypt

Today we have the pleasure of Tope leading our worship this morning…so over to Tope

We meet in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.


1st Song 10,000 reasons

We say together

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.


Coming to say sorry to God

God our Father,

we come to you in sorrow for our sins.

For turning away from you,

and ignoring your will for our lives;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

For behaving just as we wish,

without thinking of you;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

For failing you by what we do,

and think and say;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

For letting ourselves be drawn away from you

by temptations in the world about us;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

For living as if we were ashamed

to belong to your Son;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

And hear God’s forgiveness…….(Julie)

May the God of all healing and forgiveness

draw us to himself,

and cleanse us from all our sins

that we may behold the glory of his Son,

the Word made flesh,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

The Collect- we say together

Lord of heaven and earth,

As Jesus taught his disciples to

Be persistent in prayer,

Give us patience and courage

Never to lose hope,

But always to bring our prayers

Before you;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading Genesis 45:1-15

2nd Song And can it be that I should gain (Amazing love)

Gospel Reading Matthew 15 v 10-28 read by Alyssa

Talk by Julie

This post appeared on face book- and what it sums up is in the title.

It is of course from the film Finding Nemo. These fishy friends have finally escaped their fish tank while it was being cleaned out and have made it to the open ocean.

This picture speaks to our times today and reminds us of social distancing- each of us in a bubble of our own.

What has been extremely hard over these past few months is not being with family- having to socially distance ourselves- in my case not only from my children Rachel and John but also from the grandchildren. When lockdown began to ease up, we have still maintained social distancing for the sake of the vulnerable people Rachel and I meet.

It is all of our choices, but they are hard ones.

Not being with family during a major world-wide crisis, really is very hard.

In Joseph’s world-albeit now Egypt, there is a world-wide crisis- a famine. Widespread reaching beyond Egypt’s borders to include Canaan.

Joseph’s life up till now has been full of highs and lows but the underpinning low has been the separation from his family which has been for quite some time, and of course not by his choice.

Joseph the dreamer, favourite son of Jacob.

Gave him a specially made coat of many colours.

But Jacob had not given much thought to how Joseph’s brothers would feel.

Joseph’s self- inflated pride and his brothers’ jealousy got Joseph sold into slavery.

Between last week’s reading and this week- a huge amount has been left out and it is quite important. So briefly…

Joseph as a slave served under Potiphar who found he liked Joseph because he worked hard. Unfortunately, so did his wife for all the wrong reasons and she made up a story that Joseph had made her unfaithful to Potiphar.

Needless to say his good relationship with Potiphar collapsed and he was thrown into prison.

But then he met Pharaoh’s butler and baker who had both had dreams.

And God used Joseph to explain what their dreams meant and both dreams came true. But Joseph was forgotten about and stayed locked up in prison.

Then Pharaoh had strange dreams and Joseph’s skill at interpretation was remembered.

Joseph was called in to interpret the dreams. Here we have a clash of cultures.

Joseph was brave to suggest to Pharaoh, that only his God could interpret dreams. Pharaohs of the time believed in divine kingship. They believed themselves to be the incarnation, manifestation or agent of their sacred gods. When Pharaoh sat on his throne wearing all his symbols of office, it was believed that the great god Horus spoke through him. So for Joseph to suggest to Pharaoh, that there was a greater God, was quite a risky business.

Pharaoh knew these dreams had a meaning and none of his advisors could interpret them. So for him to ask Joseph to interpret, meant that he was acknowledging there must be a greater God.

Joseph warned of the 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine. On advising Pharaoh to select a wise man to be in charge of rationing- Joseph had effectively written his own job description.

Here he is accepting Pharaoh’s promotion from prisoner to 2nd in command!

Ring, robes and chain of office.

Joseph was now 30 years old.

Joseph’s brothers apart from Benjamin, travelled to Egypt to buy grain and came before Joseph, but did not recognise him. He knew Benjamin was missing and sent them back to bring him as well. He took Simeon as a prisoner to ensure they returned-which in due time they did.

Joseph was not sure how honest they had become and tested them by concealing his own silver cup in Benjamin’s sack of grain. As they were leaving he accused them of being thieves and of course the cup was found in the youngest brother’s sack. Benjamin was now to be Joseph’s slave for life as punishment for his crime.

Each of the brothers in turn offered to take Benjamin’s place-confirming that they had all had a great change of heart…

Then we have today’s reading- Genesis 45:1-15 the great revelation and family reconciliation which a bit later on will also have Jacob and the rest of the wider family joining them in Egypt.

What does this tell us about the people in the story?

In some ways they are very like people of today:

There was self- pride

There was family favouritism

There was jealousy

There were lies

But there was also great courage

There was change of heart

There was also great sadness and regret at the crime committed

There was gracious forgiveness

There was reconciliation

There was faith

What does it say about God?

Throughout this whole adventuresome story, God has been in control. His providence still goes on- even when a situation seems hopeless or beyond any kind of redemption, God can turn any situation that has been intended for evil and harm, into good. He sent Joseph on ahead to preserve the lives of his family, save Egypt and prepare the way for the beginning of the nation of Israel.

Those who met Joseph were aware that wherever he went and whatever he did God was with him. Even Pharaoh asked

“Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” (Gen 41:38)

What is the message for us today?

God’s providence is much wider reaching than just this story of Joseph and family. So many of the weaknesses and mistakes of the brothers can still be found in today’s society. In our Gospel reading from Matthew Jesus states

19 For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.

These are the results of our own will-not God’s.

The change of heart of the brothers and the gracious forgiveness of Joseph are in many ways an overture as to what was to become, in the complete and ultimate redemption of the world. God sacrificed his only Son on a cross to redeem the world from sin-the evil intentions of hearts. And it is a change of heart that God looks for

As the psalmist says

We are



It is by God’s immeasurable grace that we are forgiven. Just like Joseph’s brothers- with all their faults and change of heart, by the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, we too can share in the loving reconciliation with our God- a God who watches over our stories too, each of us needing to play our part in his master plan. Amen.

Song King of Kings

The Creed (Tope)

Let us declare our faith in God.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,

source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist?

We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,

who took our human nature,

died for us and rose again?

We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,

who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world?

We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.

This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayers led by…Sharon Tadiwa and Tyrone

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

Song Here is Love vast as the ocean

Holy Communion – video/live from St Caths

The Lord be with you

and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;

in your love you made us for yourself.

When we turned away

you did not reject us,

but came to meet us in your Son.

You embraced us as your children

and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life

that we might live in him and he in us.

He opened his arms of love upon the cross

and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

On the night he was betrayed,

at supper with his friends

he took bread, and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his body is the bread of life.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his blood is shed for all.

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,

send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine

may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy gifts

make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

With your whole Church throughout the world

we offer you this sacrifice of praise

and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

We continue with the words of 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

We break this bread

to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,

because we all share in one bread.

Every time we eat this bread

and drink this cup,

we proclaim the Lord’s death

until he comes.

God’s holy gifts

for God’s holy people.

Jesus Christ is holy,

Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

The Blessing

The peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds

in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.


Song Joseph Any dream will do



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