St Mary Magdalene Enfield Sanctuary

Weekly Online Service
04 October 2020 The Seventeenth 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

Love divine, all loves excelling

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesu, thou art all compassion,
pure unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,
let us all thy grace receive;
suddenly return, and never,
never more thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above;
pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation:
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;

Changed from glory into glory
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

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, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you: pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself, and so bring us at last to your heavenly city where we shall see you face to face; 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 20.1-4, 7-9,12-20 - Read by Janet Reed

Then God spoke all these words:

2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 For six days you shall labour and do all your work.

12 Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 You shall not murder.

14 You shall not commit adultery.

15 You shall not steal.

16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

17 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

18 When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, 19 and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.’ 20 Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.’

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Philippians 3.4b-14 - Read by Luke Reeve

…even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh.

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Matthew 21.33-46 - Read by Alison Reeve

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.

‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34 When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35 But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” 39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ 41 They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’

42 Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:
“The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
   and it is amazing in our eyes”?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

Whose vineyard is it?

Matthew 21: 33-46

2020-10-04 vineyard

In this time of uncertainty, entirely due to the corona virus, I have been thinking seriously about my own mortality and my last will and testimony. Do I name the grandchildren individually or do I let their parents’ sort out what each should receive? I remember my own great grandma and our conversations about the jewellery that she wanted me to have. When it came to her death one of her children took the lot, and of course, I had no way to challenge their authority.

When people in authority challenged Jesus, he often responded to their challenges with a parable.

If those challenging him didn’t get the first parable, he'd give them a second one. Today’s Gospel reading is one of those second parables addressed to the challenge posed by the chief priests and elders about the source of Jesus’ authority.

The parable begins with a situation that was business as usual in Roman-occupied Palestine. A landowner established a vineyard complete with a surrounding fence, a winepress, and even a watchtower. He then became an absentee landowner, returning to his own country as often happened in the far-flung territories of the Roman Empire. Tenants were in charge of overseeing the productivity of the vineyard and paying their rent to the owner at harvest time, in the form of a share of the produce. So far, so good: business was working as usual. Then everything came apart!

When the owner’s slaves arrived to collect his share of the harvest, the tenants attacked them, even beating one and killing another. The owner of the vineyard then simply sent another delegation of slaves to collect the rent. This is not normal!

Those second group of slaves were treated even worse than the first. Surely by now the owner would send in troops or some form of armed enforcement of his rights! But no, instead he sends his son, thinking by some strange logic that the thugs who have abused two delegations of slaves will respect the owner's son and heir. How unwise was that? In parallel stupidity the tenants reason that if they kill the son, they will get his inheritance. Apparently unaware of how ridiculous their notion is they kill the son.

Are you still following along with the parable? I hope so, because the punch line is almost here. Jesus asks his audience, those chief priests and elders, “Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” The answer is obvious, and the tenants offer it: “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time”.

Whether the answer is given in a gloating voice or in fear and trembling depends on where those listening see themselves, and that is us, in the story, and there is the catch. The chief priests and elders probably see themselves in the role of the landowner, caught in his own merciful response to those in his charge. Being wealthy they would be able to actually own land, and to have others manage it for them while they were busy with their executive tasks in Jerusalem. They would see the servants as their subordinates and themselves as the real victims of the unscrupulous tenants, and they would be ready and even eager to pronounce judgment on them.

We who are Christians, on the other hand, have tended to read the parable casting God as the landowner and the temple leaders as the thoroughly evil tenants who are defrauding God of the rightful fruits of his covenant with Israel. In this allegory, the groups of servants are Israel’s prophets and Jesus is, of course, the son.

We, in turn, are the “other tenants” who the “vineyard” will be given to after it’s taken from the Jerusalem leaders who have not managed it well. All this is seen as an symbol of salvation history by Matthew, even to the point of depicting Jesus, who would be crucified outside of Jerusalem, as the son who is killed outside of the vineyard, this parable becomes an opening salvo from Jesus himself, justifying our claims against the Jewish leaders and perhaps even against Judaism as a whole.

Before we buy into either of the traditional readings, though, we need to step back and look at it again. Perhaps neither allegory is the best way to approach this parable.

Our confusion about how to read this parable is built into its role and place by Matthew. This exchange between Jesus and the chief priests and elders is set in Jerusalem near the end of Jesus’ ministry. This final section of the Gospel before the passion narrative gazes in stereo at Jesus' own life and ministry, and at the church that will carry on his witness to God’s reign after Jesus’ approaching passion, death, and resurrection.

Jesus' impact with the Jerusalem leadership is a thread running through the whole of Matthew’s Gospel, just as the church would later be in conflict with the synagogue, as both communities attempted to deal with the consequences of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple. The arguments between the scribes and Pharisees were most often not about religious practices, but about the temple leaders’ collusion with exploitative economic and social policies of the Roman Empire, and later over different ways of negotiating life under that Empire, in the church and the synagogue from which it was “called out” (ekklesia).

Jesus’ quotation from Psalm 118, ‘the stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’, does not deny the verdict the leaders have pronounced on the tenants, but rather it refocuses the discussion. The issue is no longer the old “vineyard,” but rather a totally new construction of which Jesus himself is the “cornerstone.” That structure is God’s reign or empire, which Jesus has been proclaiming from the beginning of his ministry and which the church will continue to proclaim in Jesus’ name until ‘the end of days’.

This parable does not use the story to set out the surprising nature and qualities of God’s reign, as so many others in the Gospels do. Its focus is rather on the futility of debates about, and maintenance programs for, the institutions of this and every age. Even the terms of God’s relationship to God’s own people are new. This puzzling parable pulls us forward toward that unknown future in which we will be both blessed and judged, and about which we know is anchored in Jesus Christ. We, the new tenants, are to care for the vineyard and be ready to restore the harvest when Jesus calls.

Amen.

The Rt. Rev’d Maureen Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 04/10/2020

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, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; 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

Lord of lords and King eternal

Lord of lords and King eternal,
down the years in wondrous ways
you have blessed our land and guided,
leading us through darkest days.
For your rich and faithful mercies,
Lord, accept our thankful praise.

Speak to us and every nation,
bid our jarring discords cease;
to the starving and the homeless
bid us bring a full release;
and on all this earth’s sore turmoil
breathe the healing of your peace.

Love that binds us all together
be upon the Church outpoured;
shame our pride and quell our factions
smite them with your Spirit’s sword;
till the world, our love beholding,
claims your power and calls you Lord.

Brace the wills of all your people
who in every land and race
know the secrets of your kingdom,
share the treasures of your grace;
till the summons of your Spirit
wakes new life in every place.

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