St Mary Magdalene Enfield Sanctuary

Weekly Online Service
13 September 2020 The Fourteenth 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 - 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

At the name of Jesus

At the name of Jesus
every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him
King of glory now:
’tis the Father’s pleasure
we should call him Lord
who from the beginning
was the mighty Word.

Humbled for a season,
to receive a name
from the lips of sinners
unto whom he came,
faithfully he bore it
spotless to the last,
brought it back victorious,
when from death he passed:

Name him, Christians, name him,
with love strong as death,
but with awe and wonder
and with bated breath:
he is God the Saviour,
he is Christ the Lord,
ever to be worshipped,
trusted, and adored.

Surely, this Lord Jesus
shall return again,
with his Father’s glory,
with his angel train;
for all wreaths of empire
meet upon his brow,
and our hearts confess him
King of glory now.

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.

Almighty God, whose only Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence: give us pure hearts and steadfast wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; 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

Exodus 14.19-31 - Read by Diane Coxon

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20 It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22 The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24 At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25 He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.’

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.’ 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29 But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Romans 14.1-12 - Read by Jayne Buckland

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. 2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4 Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

5 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6 Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.

7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. 11 For it is written,
‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
   and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
12 So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Matthew 18.21-35 - Read by The Rev'd Jackie Fish

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.

Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

23 ‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” 29 Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

“Lord. how often should I forgive?”

Matt 18: 21-35

2020-09-13 forgiveness

Many of you will remember that Malcolm and I took an extended trip to the southern hemisphere last year. We took a trip on a catamaran around the coast, the Abel Tasman National Park day tour. On the return part of the cruise we struck up a conversation with a really chatty Australian couple that wanted to know what had prompted our journey, down under. When we explained we were enjoying an early Golden Wedding they were impressed. Individually the wife speaking with me, and the husband, on the other side of the boat, speaking with Malcolm, both asked us what was the secret for such a long and happy marriage. It was later whilst we were sitting at dinner we discovered that we had both answered with one word, ‘Forgiveness’.

Last week we spoke about the blueprint Jesus gave us to deal with conflict within the church, this particular parable in Matthew, which compares the kingdom of heaven to a king who is intent on settling his debts, is neither clouded nor particularly difficult to understand. God as a banker, parent, or even loan shark, works to convey the same harsh irony of the story in which a king forgives much but the one of whom much is forgiven forgives nothing. This parable is in no way unclear, or difficult to understand (unlike the parable of the lost sheep which is counter-intuitive; the parable of the sower which needs explanation in the text of the gospel itself; or the treasure hidden in a field which is almost nonsensical).

This may be because it was directed to the inner circle of disciples and was not meant to confuse or challenge the crowd. Or it may have been because it was in direct response to Peter's question about the nature and need for forgiveness, which opens this passage. Whatever the rhetorical reasons were, this parable is relatively clear. We are commanded to forgive as we have been forgiven. The parable itself needs little if anything in the way of explanation, and our most challenging task may be to simply let the parable speak for itself without trying too hard to open, interpret, or explain it. Let the text be what it is.

With that in mind I want to suggest two different thoughts about forgiveness as it is in these parables, of the King and the unforgiving servant.

First. Forgiveness in the parable is both an extravagant and a precious thing. A comparison of the individual debts that are in play here can be helpful. The king in our parable is owed 10,000 talents, or about 150,000 years worth of income, which works out to more than 3,000 financial life sentences.

This is no small debt. The slave in our parable is owed 100 denarii. This is still no trifling debt, but neither is it earth shattering. As the parable is essentially comparative, comparing the relative values of debts owed might serve to bring the point of the parable more sharply into focus.

In the kingdom of heaven forgiveness is exponentially powerful. Even 10,000 talents worth of guilt and debt are counted as nothing compared to the new life of the forgiven sinner. To put the comparative equation simply, in the eyes of the sinner 100 coins are more precious than the life of another human being; in the eyes of God nothing can be considered next to the fate of the sinner. Forgiveness, as laid out in this parable, is extravagant in the extreme, and more precious by far than the wages of sin.

Second. Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew is not only relational it is reciprocal and reliant. When teaching his disciples to pray Jesus would have us say, "Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors". This fifth petition of the Lord's Prayer is echoed in the lesson of this parable about the kingdom, reflecting it back in reverse. Jesus says we ought to forgive as our King has forgiven us.

In answering the disciples' request for help in praying Jesus teaches them that forgiveness, both the giving and the receiving of it, is reciprocal, one cannot have it without doing it. "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses". In answering Peter's request for help in understanding how far forgiveness needs to go Jesus teaches that God's forgiveness goes beyond both our deserving and our understanding of it; we who have first been forgiven must, therefore forgive those who have wronged us so much more lightly.

The point of this parable is clear, and its demands both in the context of the Gospel of Matthew and its application in our lives today is urgent. Forgiveness lies at the heart of our faith in God and our love of one another. Forgiveness, which we receive from God our King in the person of Jesus, is what our King expects from his subjects in their dealings with each other.

My vicar from years ago wisely came to a solution to this difficult command that worked for me during a difficult time. He gave me a coin saying that the Head represented Forgiveness and the Tail Love. I was to turn this coin over and over in my pocket reflecting on those two words. This has helped me many times with stressful relationships.

When I preside at a wedding I always present the couple with a Peace Lily, with an encouragement to nurture it as they nurture their on going relationship, remembering to make peace and give each other the gift of forgiveness after the inevitable sparks fly. I remind them how good it is to make up afterwards.

I want to share with you the theme of a film that we watched on the television a few weeks ago called The Railway Man; the true story of Eric Lomax, a veteran from the war with Japan and a Burma Railway survivor. His marriage was suffering due to night terrors and what we now call PTSD. He summoned the courage to track down the officer, Takashi Nagase who had tortured him and then to make a trip to Japan and confront him. Not wanting to spoil the story for you, but I can say they made a remarkable act of contrition and forgiveness. Taken together, this was a composite picture of the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom we practice, both of which are driven by forgiveness. Amen.

The Rt. Rev'd Maureen Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 13/09/2020

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.

Service Audio

Collect

Lord God, the source of truth and love, keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, united in prayer and the breaking of bread, and one in joy and simplicity of heart, in 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

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand:
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore.
feed me now and evermore.

Open now the crystal fountain
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fiery cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through:
strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
be thou still my strength and shield,
be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death, and hell’s destruction,
land me safe on Canaan’s side:
songs and praises, songs and praises
I will ever give to thee,
I will ever give to thee.

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