St Mary Magdalene Enfield Sanctuary

Weekly Online Service
20 September 2020 The Fifteenth 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

Light of the minds that know him

Light of the minds that know him
may Christ be light to mine!
my sun in risen splendour,
my light of truth divine;
my guide in doubt and darkness,
my true and living way,
my clear light ever shining,
my dawn of heaven’s day.

Life of the souls that love him,
may Christ be ours indeed!
the living bread from heaven
on whom our spirits feed;
who died for love of sinners
to bear our guilty load,
and make of life’s brief journey
a new Emmaus road.

Strength of the wills that serve him
may Christ be strength to me,
who stilled the storm and tempest,
who calmed the tossing sea;
his Spirit’s power to move me,
his will to master mine,
his cross to carry daily
and conquer in his sign.

May it be ours to know him
that we may truly love,
and loving, fully serve him
as serve the saints above;
till in that home of glory
with fadeless splendour bright,
we serve in perfect freedom
our strength, our life, our light.

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.

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; 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 16.2-15 - Read by Bryan Ward

The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’

4 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.’ 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?’ 8 And Moses said, ‘When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.’

9 Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.” ’ 10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12 ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’

13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Philippians 1.21-30 - Read by Vic Harrington

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28 and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— 30 since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Matthew 20.1-16 - Read by Pam Hagan

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.

‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; 4 and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. 5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6 And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” 7 They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” 8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13 But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

A third look at forgiveness

Matthew 20: 1-16

2020-09-13 forgiveness

What, in a word or two, is the parable of the labourers in the vineyard about? What would you say? If you are anything like me you could re-read this parable a couple of times and come up with a slightly different angle on it, depending on the word or phrase you use to summarise the story. This does not mean, of course, that the parable can mean just anything, but that there is something complex in the way the biblical text, and perhaps parables in particular will strike us. Two things in particular jumped out at me as I read and re-read this parable. So, to answer my own question:

First, the parable of the labourers in the vineyard is about the 9th and 10th commandments. In a very real sense this parable is about coveting. While “covet” may not seem the most obvious word to describe what is going on here, it does fit both the emphasis of Jesus' teaching and the overarching emphasis in Matthew on the Law and Jesus’ representation of it in a way that transforms our thinking and doing. Coveting or desiring lies at the heart of this parable in a couple of ways.

We covet what God chooses to give to others. A parable is essentially an elaborate allegory. We are invited to see ourselves in the story, and then apply it to ourselves. The wages at stake, even at the moment of Jesus' first telling of the parable, are not about actual daily wages for vineyard-labourers, but about forgiveness, life, and salvation for believers. We need not literally be labourers in a vineyard, as we are all of us co-workers in the kingdom.

And in relationship, one believer to another, covetousness is a problem. The point here isn’t necessarily that other people receive blessings from God that we don't or that they get more or better or lovelier gifts from God. The problem is that they get the same as us; and they don’t deserve it, do they? They are less worthy, or later arrivals, or just plain worse sinners. They don’t deserve the same as we get, do they? Not nothing maybe, but certainly not the same. The day labourers in the parable match perfectly with today’s forgiven-sinners in both our churches and pulpits.

We have a tendency, as the parable appropriately illustrates, to covet and to be resentful of what others receive from God. The owner of the vineyard asks those who have worked longest and presumably hardest for him, “Am I not allowed to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you jealous because I am generous?” The point is that God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness are God's to give away as God sees fit.

As a direct result of this, we covet or desire God's power to forgive and God’s control over who is forgiven and how. This parable is perfectly matched with the parable of Jonah, who ran away to avoid delivering the message of forgiveness that God had sent him to proclaim. Jonah complained, “for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing,” and surely this cannot be for them? It is ironic that Jonah, who had earlier declared that “deliverance belongs to the Lord”, a deliverance he himself had experienced, rejected the good news of who God is for others.

The parable of the labourers in the vineyard is about coveting, about our frustration with the grace of God as it applies not to us, but to others.

Second, the parable of the labourers in the vineyard is about the first and the last. The parable itself displays a reversal of expectations, “the last will be first and the first will be last”; this is not only the summary of the parable, but also a critical aspect of New Testament theology.

Notice the flow of the story as the workers are compensated for their labours:

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the workers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first. When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. When the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also got the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled about the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’

The last are literally first in that they are paid first. And the first, who have laboured longest, must also wait the longest to get theirs. But notice as well that the first who are now last do not receive nothing or less, they receive the same, as the labourers themselves say, “you have made them equal to us....” So perhaps it should be said that the last shall be first, and the first shall be the same.

This element of the parable is taken up in the other Gospels and in Revelation; this scandalous reversal of expectation, of our sense of justice, and even of our hopes, is a central part of the New Testament. Whoever wants to be first must be last, and servant of all; so much for human ideas of greatness. Who is worthy to climb the holy hill, and enter the gate of God’s kingdom? Some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last. And it is Jesus, who is first and last, who tells us that we need not fear; for in the one who is both first and last, the first and the last are brought together when we are called to lay down the burdens of our days and find our home with God.

The scandal of this parable is that we are all equal recipients of God’s gifts. The scandal of our faith is that we are often covetous and jealous when God's gifts of forgiveness and life are given to others in equal measure. And the purpose of our preaching, based on this parable, is that it ought to encompass both. Amen.

The Rt. Rev’d Maureen Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 20/09/2020

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

Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy; and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall, keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; 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

Glorious things of thee are spoken

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
he whose word cannot be broken
formed thee for his own abode.
On the Rock of ages founded,
what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

See, the streams of living waters,
springing from eternal love,
well supply thy sons and daughters,
and all fear of want remove.
Who can faint while such a river
ever flows their thirst to assuage:
grace which, like the Lord the giver,
never fails from age to age?

Round each habitation hov'ring,
see the cloud and fire appear
for a glory and a cov'ring,
showing that the Lord is near;
thus deriving from their banner
light by night and shade by day,
safe they feed upon the manna
which he gives them when they pray.

Saviour, if of Zion’s city
I through grace a member am,
let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in thy name.
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
all his boasted pomp and show;
solid joys and lasting treasure,
none but Zion’s children know.

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