St Mary Magdalene Enfield Sanctuary

Weekly Online Service
27 September 2020 The Sixteenth 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

All hail the power of Jesu’s name

All hail the power of Jesu’s name;
let angels prostrate fall;
bring forth the royal diadem
to crown him Lord of all.

Crown him, ye morning stars of light,
who fixed this floating ball;
now hail the Strength of Israel’s might
and crown him Lord of all.

Crown him, ye martyrs of your God,
who from his altar call;
praise him whose way of pain ye trod,
and crown him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race,
ye ransomed of the fall,
hail him who saves you by his grace,
and crown him Lord of all.

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget
the wormwood and the gall,
go spread your trophies at his feet,
and crown him Lord of all.

Let every tribe and every tongue
to him their hearts enthral,
lift high the universal song
and crown him Lord of all.

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.

O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers of your people who call upon you; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them; 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 17.1-7 - Read by Laura Cope

From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people quarrelled with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?’ 3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?’ 4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.’ 5 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.’ Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarrelled and tested the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Philippians 2.1-13 - Read by Dawn Cope

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
   did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross.

9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
   and gave him the name
   that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Matthew 21.23-32 - 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.

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ 24 Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” 26 But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ 27 So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

28 ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” 29 He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

Where does the authority lie?

Matthew 21: 23-32

2020-09-27 Authority

Authority issues. Have you ever known anyone with authority issues? Authority is the theme running throughout today’s gospel. The chief priests and elders take issue with Jesus’ authority. The two sons challenge their father’s authority. They’re not the only ones with authority issues.

And yes, I’m talking about you. I’m talking about myself. We all have authority issues but I am not talking about authority issues in the way we usually understand them. In our usual understanding of authority issues the obvious question in today’s gospel is whether we recognise and submit to the authority of Jesus and the Father. That question, however, is so obvious that I have to wonder if it isn’t really the question at the heart of today’s gospel. It’s so obvious that I think there has to be something more going on. To jump on that question as the obvious and only question to be answered only reveals our misunderstanding of what true authority is.

More often than not we are confused about authority. We misunderstand it to be based on credentials and expertise, a thick CV, years of education, successes and accomplishments, status and reputation, or the position held in society. We assume that authority comes from outside a person and that it’s given them by their circumstances. In this interpretation some have authority and others do not.

“Who do you think you are?” “What gives you the right to tell me what to do?” Or to use a phrase from my childhood, “You’re not the boss of me!” That represents our usual way of understanding authority issues. We don’t like someone else teaching us, correcting us, or telling us what to do. We hear that in the challenge of the chief priests and elders to Jesus, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” We see it in the refusal of the two sons to go to the vineyard.

There is, however, another authority issue at play in today’s gospel. That issue is our failure and sometimes our refusal to recognise, to claim, and exercise the authority within us, to go to the vineyard. That’s the authority issue I believe this gospel is representing today.

So let’s push this a little bit on authority issues? If you think God is the boss of you, you’ve misunderstood authority. Let go of that idea. God is not the boss of you. God is not the boss of me. God is not the boss of us. God is our author and creator. Every day God authorizes us to go into his vineyard, to act in this world with his authority and on his behalf through the gifts he has given each one of us.

True authority always comes from within. It is an interior God-given quality not an exterior circumstance. That’s what the chief priests and elders failed to understand. I think that’s why Jesus was always so annoyed with the religious leaders. They chose to exchange their God-given authority for human power. Sometimes we do too. That’s what’s happening in much of our world today.

In the absence of true authority there will always be power struggles. Look at the antagonism in our political system. Look at the wars throughout the world. Look at the conflicts in our own relationships. Those are about power, not authority. Our leaders exercise power but very few exercise authority. In the exercise of power we look to our own interests but in the exercise of authority we look to the interests of others.

Think about the people who hold authority for us. They are not concerned about themselves. They do not dominate or control you. They inspire us. They call forth from us faith, hope, and trust. They expand our world, open up new possibilities, and bring life and gifts in us that we never knew were there. They cause us to reevaluate our life, change our mind, and live differently. That sounds an awful lot like Jesus and it’s very different from those who exercise power.

I will always remember and give thanks for the authority of Gordon, it was his authority, his silence when I had gone wrong, his listening, his presence and wisdom were not just personality traits they were the divine attributes in his life, gifts God had given him, that created space and place for me and for others, that invited us to discover our own authority, that showed us the way to the vineyard of our lives.

There are people in this parish who have no leadership position, title, or theological diplomas and yet they have such great authority. I see it in their compassion and gentleness. I hear it in the way they pray. I feel it in their love for me and for others. They too show me the way to the vineyard of my life. That’s what authorities do. But it’s not about them. It doesn’t come from them.

All authority originates in God, but it is not exclusive to God. God shares his authority with us. The authority God shares with us is nothing less than his own divine qualities. It is the expression and manifestation of God’s life in and through our own.

That shared authority exists in us and is revealed by us as the many and varied traits, the gifts, God has imparted on each of our lives. That means every one of us has authority. As your priest I do not have more authority than you. I do not have better authority than you. I just have a different authority. God gives each of us gifts and authority unique to our lives. God is generous, extravagant, with the gifts he gives and the authority he shares. We all have God-given gifts and authority.

There is no one without authority. The difference isn’t that some have authority and others don’t. The difference is that some recognize and exercise their authority and others do not. Regardless, God knows and sees the authority he has given us and waits for us to see and know it too. And when we do, we change our mind and go to the vineyard.

So let me push you a little bit more on your authority issues, okay? What is the authority God has given you? What gifts, what divine attributes, has God bestowed upon you? Are you living from that authority and sharing those gifts? Have you gone to the vineyard or are you simply stating the answers you think God wants to hear? Amen.

The Rt. Rev’d Maureen Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 27/09/2020

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

Almighty God, you have taught us through your Son that love is the fulfilling of the law: grant that we may love you with our whole heart and our neighbours as ourselves; 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

Christ triumphant, ever reigning

Christ triumphant, ever reigning,
Saviour, Master, King!
Lord of heaven, our lives sustaining,
hear us as we sing:

Refrain:
Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, the eternal name.

Word incarnate, truth revealing,
Son of Man on earth!
power and majesty concealing
by your humble birth: (Refrain)

Suffering servant, scorned, ill-treated,
victim crucified!
death is through the cross defeated,
sinners justified: (Refrain)

Priestly king, enthroned for ever
high in heaven above!
sin and death and hell shall never
stifle hymns of love: (Refrain)

So, our hearts and voices raising
through the ages long,
ceaselessly upon you gazing,
this shall be our song: (Refrain)

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