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Weekly Online Service
24 May 2020 The Seventh Sunday of Easter

Please find below our service for this week. You can also click on the PDF button to open and download a copy of the printed generic Service booklet.

You will find an opening hymn played on the organ by Keith Beniston - words are included. This is followed by the service. Finally there is a closing hymn. Please feel free to follow along in whichever way you feel most comfortable. Words in bold are for everyone to join in.

This week Caroline James accompanied by Gordon Giles on the piano (they were in their own homes) have recorded The Servant Song. Caroline says, "I recalled I first learnt this lovely piece when Gordon first came to SMM, I love the words."

As we draw close to the Lord in this act of worship please sit and listen or join in as part of preparation for the Service.

The Servant Song

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I might have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

We are pilgrims on a journey;
And companions on the road;
We are here to help each other
Walk the miles and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the nighttime of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you;
I will share your joys and sorrows
Till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in Heaven
We shall find such harmony,
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I might have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

Hymn

Hail the day

Hail the day that sees Him rise, Alleluia!
To His throne above the skies, Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia!
Reascends His native heaven, Alleluia!

There the glorious triumph waits, Alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates, Alleluia!
Christ hath conquered death and sin, Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in, Alleluia!

Him though highest Heav’n receives, Alleluia!
Still He loves the earth He leaves, Alleluia!
Though returning to His throne, Alleluia!
Still He calls mankind His own, Alleluia!

See! He lifts His hands above, Alleluia!
See! He shows the prints of love, Alleluia!
Hark! His gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
Blessings on His church below, Alleluia!

Still for us His death He pleads, Alleluia!
Prevalent He intercedes, Alleluia!
Near Himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
Harbinger of human race, Alleluia!

Grant, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
Far above yon azure height, Alleluia!
Grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
Seeking Thee beyond the skies, Alleluia!

Service Audio

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

All say Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

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. Amen.

The Prayers of Penitence

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us, forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.  Amen.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria in Excelcis

Glory to God
Glory to God
Glory to the Father

Glory to God
Glory to God
Glory to the Father

To him be Glory
For ever.

To him be Glory
For ever.

Alleluia, Amen.

Alleluia, Amen.
Alleluia, Amen.
Alleluia, Amen.

Glory to God
Glory to God
Son of the Father

Glory to God
Glory to God
Son of the Father

To him be glory
For ever.

To him be glory
For ever.

Alleluia, Amen.

Alleluia, Amen.
Alleluia, Amen.
Alleluia, Amen.

Glory to God
Glory to God
Glory to the Spirit

Glory to God
Glory to God
Glory to the Spirit

To him be glory
For ever.

To him be glory
For ever.

Alleluia, Amen.

Alleluia, Amen.
Alleluia, Amen.
Alleluia, Amen.

The Collect of the Day is said or sung.

O God the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Old and New Testament Readings

Acts 1.6-14 - Read by The Rev'd Jacquie Fish

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7 He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

1 Peter 4.12-14; 5.6-11 - Read by Ken Cope

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

John 17.1-11 - Read by Diane Coxon

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

“Wait,” “stay here,” “don’t leave,”

Jesus gave the disciples these instructions: “wait,” “stay here,” “don’t leave”. Jesus had ascended, gone to be with his Father. The disciples were left in the middle of this incredible gap. They had witnessed the death of their beloved friend and teacher; experienced the death of all their hopes and dreams. Only to be astonished by his appearances with them in the breaking of bread, and as they were gathered together in prayer.

In Acts, Luke says that Jesus was with the disciples for 40 days “appearing to them” and “speaking about the kingdom of God.” And during those 40 days, Jesus gave those explicit instructions: “wait,” “stay here,” “don’t leave,”

Wait. Stay. Be patient. It’s not what most of us are good at. It sounds rather like ‘Stay home, Protect the NHS’ Most of us need certainty in our life, we dislike the unknown, we can’t cope with the not-quite, the not-yet, the “soon.” Watch any child at bed-time on Christmas eve.

We want to know what to expect. And we want to know now. “Is it now?” Is this it? “Is this when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus responded with a little reprimand and a promise. “It’s not for you to know, BUT you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes.” We share the same expectation of Pentecost, which we celebrate next week, and an expectation of being set free from the lockdown. Stay here, wait for the Holy Spirit. Remain in the unknown. Remain in the world.

We live in the gap. We live in the constant tension of the “already,” and the “not yet.” Between Easter and Pentecost. Between the Ascension and the fullness of time when all things will be restored in Christ…

On one side of that gap, we see the hard realities of the world, realities that can crush our spirits and defeat our hopes. On the other side of that gap, we see the real-world possibilities of a life free from the virus, a vaccine and freedom of movement.

We also see a world at war, but we have known moments of peace; VE day just remembered and VJ day to come. We see the racial and religious divide, but we have known moments of unity. We see suffering caused by unjust sharing of the world’s resources, but we have known moments of material and spiritual sharing, especially in the last weeks and months. These possibilities are not wishful dreams or fantasies: they are realities that we have witnessed in our own lives. We have seen communities rallying in support, and prayer, and calls for action.

No doubt we will hear voices saying the Government didn’t deal with the Pandemic fast enough, didn’t prepare early enough, voices needing to speak their version of truth…Voices seeking to assign blame…Voices grieving, and lamenting, and raging…

We’ve heard voices of mostly women—friends and strangers— speaking truthfully and painfully about living daily with fear; dealing daily with threats of violence; and the everyday sexism that, yes, all women endure. We’ve heard the voices of grieving fathers calling for action…we’ve heard the voices of the cynical and powerful claiming nothing can be done.

And these are just the latest voices echoing in the tragic gap between the world “as it is” and the world as it could be…the world of God’s dream.

It’s hard living in between dream and reality. We want to believe that all these voices mean more than just a momentary pause in business as usual. But we hear concerned voices saying: “being hopeful is the only way I can get out of bed in the morning, but I’m also exhausted because I can’t change things.”

Our constant challenge is not to allow the tension between reality and possibility to pull us one way or the other because we human beings are more than capable of holding two possibilities at the same time. The pandemic is ravaging the world now but the world will overcome it eventually. We arm ourselves and prepare for war, and work for peace at the same time.

We must stay home and wait, be patient, be in the world. Jesus prayed: “Now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world.” Jesus is no longer in the world, but we are.

There are people who say “its just the way things are right now…” There’s a fair bit of idealism too saying, “it would be so much better if everyone just did what we are told.” Both of those pull us out of the action. Stop us from engaging in, and with the world. Perhaps the worst form of cynicism is the kind that says, “It’s too hard.” “There’s nothing I can do that will make a difference. I can’t get rid of the virus.”

Jesus is no longer in the world, but we are. We shape the world by our actions in it, by all of our actions. By what we say and do, and by what we let pass what goes unsaid…

The loss of life we see around us is not an accident. But then, neither is the fact that you and I have been placed here and can do something about it.

We have to stay in the action. Those who need to must stay at home, those who can, must go to work. We are in the gap. Living. Praying. Listening for the Holy Spirit. And faithfully aligning ourselves with it, listening for the Spirit and faithfully engaging the world by answering these questions: “are we faithful to the community on which we depend, to doing what we can in response to its pressing needs? “Are we faithful to the better angels of our nature and to what they ask of us?

“Are we faithful to the eternal conversation of the human race, to speaking and listening in a way that takes us closer to truth? “Are we faithful to the call of courage that summons us to witness to the common good, even against great odds?

“When faithfulness is our standard, we are more likely to sustain our engagement with tasks that will never end: like doing justice, loving mercy, and calling the beloved community into being.

Full engagement in loving our neighbour requires no less of us than full engagement in the living of our own lives. For now we can see the future only in imagination, so we must continue to dream of wellbeing, freedom, peace, and justice for everyone. Meanwhile, we live in the present moment, with its tedium and terror, its fears and hopes, its incomprehensible losses and its transcendent joys. It is a moment in which it often feels as if nothing we do will make a difference, and yet so much depends on us.

In this unprecedented time let our pray be: Come Holy Spirit. Empower us to be your faithful, hopeful people in this world and in the world to come. Amen.

The Rev'd Mo Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 24/05/2020

2020-05-24 Wait, stay here, don't leave

Service Audio

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit
and the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Intercessions 

The Intercessions list has been circulated with petitions for the Church, The World, The Community, Our Keyworkers, The Sick and the Deceased. The Diocesan Cycle of Prayer is found at:

London Anglican Cycle of Prayer

This or another response may be used:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen N our bishop(s) and all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth,
live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours,
that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit …;
give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ …; according to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

and also with you.

A sign of peace may be exchanged.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

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.

Collect

Eternal God, giver of love and power, your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world to preach the gospel of his kingdom: confirm us in this mission, and help us to live the good news we proclaim; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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. Amen.

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Recessional Hymn

The head that once was crowned with thorns

The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty victor’s brow.

The highest place that Heav’n affords
Belongs to Him by right;
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
And Heaven’s eternal Light.

The joy of all who dwell above,
The joy of all below,
To whom He manifests His love,
And grants His name to know.

To them the cross with all its shame,
With all its grace, is given;
Their name an everlasting name,
Their joy the joy of Heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below;
They reign with Him above;
Their profit and their joy to know
The mystery of His love.

The cross He bore is life and health,
Though shame and death to Him,
His people’s hope, His people’s wealth,
Their everlasting theme.

Material from Common Worship 2000 is included in this service and is copyright © The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England.