Welcome to our Service of Holy Communion
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83582800223?pwd=RVNHRUdIWkk0QVhiZDVoZ09sZ0x5dz09 Meeting ID: 835 8280 0223 Password: 520477
The Story of Abraham and Sarah
We meet in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Hymn: All my hope on God is founded - https://youtu.be/W3LCGh02Vew
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.
We come to say sorry to God:
My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ
in word and sacrament,
let us call to mind and confess our sins
Father, you come to meet us when we return to you:
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
God of truth,
help us to keep your law of love
and to walk in ways of wisdom,
that we may find true life
in Jesus Christ your Son. Amen
Song: Jubilate Everybody - https://youtu.be/8qS-7gh9tz0
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 18:1-15 and 21:1-7 Read by Sam
18 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way – now that you have come to your servant.’
‘Very well,’ they answered, ‘do as you say.’
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ‘Quick,’ he said, ‘get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.’
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him.
‘There, in the tent,’ he said.
10 Then one of them said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?’
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, “Will I really have a child, now that I am old?” 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.’
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, ‘I did not laugh.’
But he said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’
21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.’ 7 And she added, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.’
Just a reminder… https://youtu.be/zNSZ22QKDUE
Song: Faithful One - https://youtu.be/HROSwkRwpPI
Gospel Reading: Matt 9:35-10:8 Read by John C
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to follow the Old Testament readings. It’s so we can get to grips with parts of the Bible that we perhaps don’t read as much; learn how the Old Testament is the foundation for the New Testament; find out how we can apply these ancient accounts to our lives today. So quite a big challenge…
Abraham and Sarah’s story: This is just a part
It’s not even the beginning. Abram was living miles away and God called him, his wife Sarai and their nephew Lot- all their servants, belongings, and animals to set out for a new land. There God would make Abram a great nation- for the blessing of the whole earth.
There are many twists and turns in the story. Abram and Sarai get their names changed to Abraham and Sarah as a sign of God’s covenant or promise to them.
The families fall out, they get into trouble with the Egyptian king, and all the time there is that promise. God will make a great nation from Abraham and Sarah- but they have no children. Sarah hatches a plan to get round the problem which leads to more conflict. Still God’s promise remains and still there is no sign of how it’s all going to work out.
When we’re reading the Bible to find out what God is saying, we’re encouraged to ask some questions.
What does this tell us about God?
What does it tell us about the people who are in the story?
What does it say to us?
So before we even get to the part we heard today- a summary of what’s gone before!
What does it tell us about God – his faithfulness, his promise but also his timing- so much slower than Sarah wanted!
The people in the story- brave and committed- setting out to follow God’s voice. Also failing and foolish- taking things into their own hands to fix stuff and making it all worse.
So perhaps we recognise ourselves already – the people in the Old Testament are often just like us.
But what happened next?
Abraham and Sarah have visitors to their tent; they respond with typical middle eastern generosity and hospitality.
And the visitors make a prediction.
What does this tell us about God?
What does it tell us about the people in the story?
What does it say to us today?
But finally, Isaac is born….
So Sarah has her boy- and names him Isaac which means he laughs. Sarah rejoices, Sarah laughs- not like before in derision but now in joy. God has turned her situation round.
Despite all the twists and turns in the story. Despite the things that people did wrong themselves or the things they tried to do to fix the situation that actually made it worse.
Despite that obvious thing about Abraham and Sarah really being much too old for children.
God has given them a child. Now one baby is a start for the making of a new nation but he’s not the whole story at all.
God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah was that they would be the start of a great nation which would bless the whole world.
Perhaps they thought that their bit was all done now (it’s not…) or that the past mistakes were over (sadly that’s not true either). But they were at the start of something new.
What does all say to us?
This reminds us that God’s story is BIG and we all play a part- our actions matter and they do have consequences for good or ill. We are called to be faithful, to hang onto God’s promises even when it seems impossible.
God is faithful, he will deliver.
Let us declare our faith in God.
We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family
in heaven and on earth is named.
We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith,
and fills us with his love.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us
with power from on high.
We believe in one God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Prayers led by Margaret
The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.
Let us offer one another a sign of peace.
Song: Great is your faithfulness - https://youtu.be/dTKIqmdfHSk
Holy Communion - https://youtu.be/fHVmDKTUAmg
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 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: Mercies- New Every Morning - https://youtu.be/rpC-dTewHaI
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.