St Mary Magdalene Enfield Sanctuary

Weekly Online Service
26 July 2020 The Seventh Sunday after Trinity

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 by Keith Beniston on the organ - 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.

Hymn

God is love

God is Love: let heav’n adore him;
God is Love: let earth rejoice;
let creation sing before him,
and exalt him with one voice.
He who laid the earth’s foundation,
he who spread the heav’ns above,
he who breathes through all creation,
he is Love, eternal Love.

God is Love: and he enfoldeth
all the world in one embrace;
with unfailing grasp he holdeth
every child of every race.
And when human hearts are breaking
under sorrow’s iron rod,
then they find that selfsame aching
deep within the heart of God.

God is Love: and though with blindness
sin afflicts the souls of all,
God’s eternal loving-kindness
holds and guides us when we fall.
Sin and death and hell shall never
o’er us final triumph gain;
God is Love., so Love for ever
o’er the universe must reign.

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 God in the highest.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

Lord Jesus Christ,
only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand
of the Father:
receive our prayer.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

The Collect of the Day is said or sung.

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, 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

Genesis 29.15-28 - Read by Terry Wingrove

Then Laban said to Jacob, ‘Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?’ 16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful. 18 Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.’ 19 Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.’ 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.’ 22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place, and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.) 25 When morning came, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, ‘What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?’ 26 Laban said, ‘This is not done in our country—giving the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me for another seven years.’ 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Romans 8.26-39 - Read by Dawn Cope

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all day long;
   we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Matthew 13.31-33,44-52 - Read by Ken Cope

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’

33 He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

44 ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 ‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ 52 And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

It’s all in the metaphor.

Matthew 13.31-33,44-52

It’s all in the metaphor. Amen.

Stories are a wonderful way of telling a truth that is easily understood and readily stored in our memory. Caste your minds back to the stories of your childhood. The boy, who cried wolf, it’s a warning never to play games with truth, especially where safety is concerned. Red Riding Hood, teaches us to be cautious and not to blindly trust strangers.

As we discovered just two weeks ago, the parables that Jesus told were all about the Kingdom of God and about God’s character. Jesus used what was familiar to make a point. So in the first of these five new parables, the kingdom is compared to a mustard seed that, when sown, grows into a large tree in whose branches birds come to nest. I use mustard seeds a lot when I make curry, it really is a very small seed. The image of the mustard seed highlights at first its smallness and invisibility when its sown.

The picture then grows and expands to include its inevitable growth and flourishing, its eventual huge span that contrasts with its tiny beginning, and then its hospitable branches that become a home for nesting birds.

How does this picture help us to understand God’s work as Jesus establishes the Kingdom of God? First is the promise that the heavenly empire is present, here and now, though the small seed once sown suggests its presence is small and as yet invisible. The smallness anticipates the subsequent large tree, the action of Jesus.

Though the Gospel story describes him doing many works of preaching and healings that manifest God’s kingdom, there is only so much one person can do. His work, for the most part, is confined to Galilee and for a limited period of time. Some people, notably Rome and its allied leaders, do not seem to embrace his ministry and do not discern anything of God’s purposes in him, preferring to think of him as an agent of the devil. To some, God’s kingdom or saving presence is as invisible as the seed.

The parable assures us that God’s kingdom is nevertheless at work and that it grows inevitably to become a bush and then a tree, large enough for nesting birds. There is a contrast between small beginnings and a large conclusion. To those who think God is absent from the world or ineffective or impotent, the parable involves a different vision of God’s present activity and his endgame.

It encourages those of us who are discouraged by the apparent unchanging destructiveness of human nature. It offers an answer for those of us confused by the overwhelming suffering of our lives and world to which God appears so often to be indifferent. It suggests to those who ask the age-old question of lament, “how long, O God, how long?” that the question is not rhetorical.

Stories of trees in the Old Testament often concerned power and rule. Prophets used images of trees to announce God’s power and rule over the imperial powers of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. The mustard tree then depicts God’s kingdom ready to rule over everything in a way that promises justice and life rather than oppression.

The nesting birds point to the same vision. The “birds of heaven” symbolize the people of the nations who have lived under oppression both in Babylon and now under Rome. In this mustard seed they find welcome and hospitality that supports life rather than destroys it.

The second parable about the yeast a woman mixes with flour to leaven the whole batch makes a similar point. The yeast, relative to the large amount of flour, is only a tiny part in the mix. Yet its small presence has a big effect. The woman literally “hides” the yeast in the flour. It appeared to be invisible but in fact mysteriously and inevitably performed its raising work. By means of a time-consuming process, all of the flour “was leavened.” Indicating God’s transforming work in the world.

The third and fourth parables, the treasure hidden in a field and the very valuable pearl, continue the same theme. The relative smallness of the kingdom here on earth continues. It involves treasure hidden in a much larger field, or even of just one perfect pearl.

In these parables there is a continued emphasis of hiddenness. The treasure is hidden in the field while the pearl is also unseen. Repetition serves to reinforce the importance of these examples.

But new emphases emerge, particularly the interplay of searching, finding, celebrating, and selling all in order to possess something of great value; the person who finds the treasure joyfully sells all he owns to buy the field; the merchant sold everything to buy the pearl. Both discoveries disrupt normal everyday life and its usual priorities; they demand risk and sacrifice. In these actions, the power of both, now found, is seen to be at work. The treasure and pearl reshape their finders’ lives. So for us to join in and be possessed by the kingdom of heaven it has to be worth everything.

The final parable of Matthew’s chapter turns from farming and trading to fishing, to demonstrate the founding of God’s reign and its victory over evil. The scope of God’s empire is universal, fish of every kind, people of every kind. Judgment at the end of the age separates the evil and the righteous who coexist up to this point, even including within the church. The scenario reminds us how important it is to “do the will of my Father in Heaven”.

Unlike the story of the Sower, Jesus did not offer an explanation of these later parables. It seems we are left to ponder for ourselves and to come up with a logical answer. God and his kingdom are the most precious gift we may ever be offered, but they do not come cheap.

Hear God’s love for you, become something new, become part of God’s story. Let the Word of God grow in you. Let all who have ears, listen! Amen.

The Rev'd Maureen Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 26/07/2020

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

Lord God, whose Son is the true vine and the source of life, ever giving himself that the world may live: may we so receive within ourselves the power of his death and passion that, in his saving cup, we may share his glory and be made perfect in his love; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. 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

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

HOW sweet the name of Jesus sounds
in a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds
and drives away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole,
and calms the troubled breast;
’tis manna to the hungry soul,
and to the weary rest.

Dear name! the rock on which I build,
my shield and hiding-place,
my never-failing treasury filled
with boundless stores of grace.

Jesus! my Shepherd, Brother, Friend,
my Prophet, Priest, and King,
my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
and cold my warmest thought;
but when I see thee as thou art.
I’ll praise thee as I ought.

Till then I would thy love proclaim
with every fleeting breath;
and may the music of thy name
refresh my soul in death.

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