Weekly Online Service
06 June 2021 The First 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.

O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; 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

1 Samuel 8.4-11 - Read by Diane Coxon

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, ‘You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’ 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to govern us.’ Samuel prayed to the Lord, 7 and the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. 9 Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’

10 So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, ‘These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots;

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

2 Corinthians 4.13 - 5.1 - Read by Katie Smart

But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—‘I believed, and so I spoke’—we also believe, and so we speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. 15 Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18 because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Mark 3 20-35 - Read by Jean McDonald

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

And the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ 23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

28 ‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— 30 for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’

31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ 33 And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

Trinity 1 2021: Not tame but warmly strange

Mark 3. 20-35

Once upon a time four children were playing hide and seek in the country house of a mysterious professor. They find a magical wardrobe through which they can reach a faraway land, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. The land is called Narnia, and in Narnia it’s always winter but never Christmas.

This is the story of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. You remember how the story ends. The power of the White Witch is broken. Spring comes to Narnia at last! And this happens through the power of a magnificent and wise lion called Aslan, the true King of Narnia, who befriends the children and sacrifices himself for one of them and then miraculously returns to life.

Aslan of course is a brilliant representation of Jesus. The story is a kind of retelling of the Gospel. And I have always remembered something that the characters keep saying to each other about Aslan. Whenever they’re surprised or shocked by something Aslan is doing or failing to do they remind each other: “He’s not a tame lion, you know.”

In some of his other books and letters C. S. Lewis wrote about difficult it can be when someone from an ordinary Christian family suddenly feels the impulse to do something wild: to go off and be a missionary, to be a doctor in the Amazon, to be a monk, and the rest of the family say, “Oh, why do have to take it all so seriously? Why can’t you just be ordinary and tame like the rest of us?” And the only answer seems to be, “He’s not a tame lion, you know.”

What God asks of us, if we are going to be disciples of Jesus Christ can be, well, really wild: because Aslan is like Jesus. And Jesus is not ordinary and He’s not tame.

Just look at what’s happening in the Gospel today. In this chapter Jesus is stirs things up. He doesn’t do what He’s told. Instead, He does miracles  - and He does them on the Sabbath when healing is forbidden. Now He has returned home with His disciples. And now such a crowd has come together that He and His disciples can’t even eat. Imagine if the home team tried to have a quiet lunch with their manager in a pub just next to their stadium before a match like the Champions League final. No chance! That’s the atmosphere. There are too many people and there is too much excitement and expectation and hope!

Scribes, teachers of the Law, have come down from Jerusalem. Investigators have been sent to assess His threat to the religious authorities. They try to shut Jesus down. They call Him Beelzebul, the name of the prince of demons. Beelzebul means, “Lord of the Flies”. The name refers back to the Canaanite god Baal. Name calling to shut someone down is what politicians still do today of course: Donald Trump talked about “Crooked Hilary” and “Sleepy Joe” Biden, and Boris Johnson calls Keir Starmer “Captain Hindsight”.

This is nastier, as nasty as anything people put on their blogs or Twitter feeds. It’s as if they called Jesus a terrorist.

But Jesus will not be shut down. You know what He says? He says, A house divided against itself cannot stand. The Temple in Jerusalem was called “the house of God”. That is, “If you say I am Satan, then this is a battle between Satan and Satan and so Satan’s going to lose.” He’s telling the Jerusalem elite that they are Satan. They are the true enemies of God. And He promises that He will come like a thief in the night and tie up the strong man of the house. He will take on the powers that be and He will win.

And then Jesus says that all sins are forgivable, except any blasphemy against the Holy Spirit! The Temple exercised the monopoly on the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is ending this monopoly forever. The system will no longer be able to divide us up into the pure and impure. The grace and forgiveness of God is for everyone - everyone. There is only one unforgivable sin left and it is exactly what the authorities are committing in trying to shut Jesus down. This unforgiveable sin is the misnaming of God’s work: in other words, to call ‘godly’ what is actually Satan’s work, and to label satanic what is God’s work. The confrontation with the Temple is clear.

No wonder we see His family getting involved. They’re trying to protect Him but they’re also trying to restrain Him. What’s going to happen to their reputation if He carries on like this? They are trying to domesticate Him and Jesus resists them by redefining who belongs to His family in a radical way. His family is now, whoever does the will of God.

So the Jesus of our Gospel today is not ordinary and He’s not tame, just as Aslan is not a tame lion. People are even saying that Jesus has gone out of his mind.

But He says that we are His family now if we do the will of God. And so maybe we shouldn’t be afraid of showing a little bit more of a family resemblance to Jesus, even if that means people might think us mad too, or at least weird.

For, just as Aslan is not a tame lion, Christians are not a tame people.

Think of the world we live in. There was a time when the people of Enfield lit candles before holy images or read their Bibles by candlelight and lamplight. Now we live by the flickering light of our screens: our televisions, our computers, and our phones. The values of our country are no longer determined by the words of Scripture or the lives of the saints. They are determined by the profane images we see on our screens.  And so it seems like we have forgotten holiness. We have stopped striving to become wise. We all believe in freedom but we have forgotten what it is for. Our whole culture seems to make it harder and harder to be a Christian, but we Christians blame ourselves for being irrelevant.

A monk in the ancient Church once asked his elder, “Will Christians in the last times be able to raise the dead or perform miracles like us? The elder answered him, “It will be a greater work for them to even be Christians in those times.” These are the times we are living in my dear brothers and sisters. The society we live in is often anti-Christian now, forcing us to look like strange religious radicals, sometimes even to other Christians. As St Anthony the Great, the first of the Desert Fathers, once said, “A time is coming when people will go mad and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, “You are mad, you are not like us.”

I remember when I was working in Cambridge the Cambridge Methodist the University Methodist Society members wore t -shirts at the Freshers’ Fair that adapted a phrase by John Wesley about the moment of his evangelical conversion. Wesley wrote that he felt his heart “strangely warmed.” The Methodist Society t-shirts said “Cambridge University Methodist Society: Warmly Strange.”

Let us here at St Mary’s not be afraid to be “warmly strange”. Let us join Jesus’ wild rebellion against the ugliness and barrenness of the world. And let us confidently show the world around us the beauty of a holiness, which is not ordinary or tame, but ever ancient and ever new.

Amen.

The Rev'd Dr James Lawson, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 06/06/2021

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 Rob our bishop 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.

Service Audio

The Post Communion Prayer

Eternal Father, we thank you for nourishing us with these heavenly gifts: may our communion strengthen us in faith, build us up in hope, and make us grow in love; for the sake of 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.