Eighth Sunday After Pentecost July 26, 2020

Prelude O Holy Spirit, By Whose Breath 

 

 

 

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Welcome and Opening Words

O God, who called all life into being,

The earth, sea, and sky are yours.

Your presence is all around us,

Every atom is full of your energy.

Your Spirit enlivens all who walk the earth,

With her we yearn for justice to be done.

For creation to be freed from bondage,

For the hungry to be fed.

For captives to be released,

For your kingdom of peace to come to earth

 

Collect

O God of Peace,

whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom

and restored the broken to wholeness of life:

Look with compassion on the anguish of the world,

and open our eyes to see you in our midst. Amen

 

Hymn This is My Father’s World

 

 

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Psalm 105:1-10  led by John and Barb MacEachern

Give thanks to the Lord and call upon the divine name;

* make known the deeds of the Lord among the peoples.

 Sing to the Lord, sing praises,

* and speak of all the marvellous works of the Lord.

Glory in the holy name;

* let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Search for the strength of the Lord;

* continually seek the face of God.

Remember the marvels the Lord has done,

* the wonders and the judgements of the mouth of the Lord,

O offspring of Abraham the servant of God,

* O children of Jacob the chosen of the Lord.

The Lord is our God,

* whose judgements prevail in all the world,

 who has always been mindful of the covenant,

* the promise made for a thousand generations:

the covenant made with Abraham,

* the oath sworn to Isaac,

established as a statute for Jacob,

* an everlasting covenant for Israel,

 

Romans 8:26-39 NRSV  read by Cheryl Van der Pryrt

 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes[a] with sighs too deep for words. And God,[b] who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit[c] intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

 We know that all things work together for good[e] for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.  And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?  Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.  Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
    we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Reflection Prior to the passage we just heard, Paul has been telling the people of Rome that all of creation has been groaning in labour pains – the whole of creation is, in fact, in the process of birthing something new – and as many of us know, birthing is a mixture of anticipation, delight and excruciating, short-term  pain. It is into this scenario that Paul tells his listeners, and us, that when we are in that twilight second stage of labour, when we tend to be disoriented and sometimes act totally out of character, God’s very Spirit takes over,  and prays for us “in sighs too deep for words”, carrying us when we cannot carry ourselves, asking for what we need at our deepest being and giving thanks when all we can do is cry out in anguish.  In light of this accompaniment, in light of this constancy, how might we be free to be the people of God’s reign we are intended to be?

 

Hymn:  O Spirit All Embracing

 

 

 

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Gospel Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 read by Lynn and Elmer Uzans

 Jesus put before them another parable: The mustard seed is among the smallest of  the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with[a] three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

 

 

 

 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

 

 

 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls;  on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

 

 

 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind;  when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad.  So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous  and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

 “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

 

Sermon  by Rev Canon Lynn Uzans

 

Hymn Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

 

 

 

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Prayers  led by Wade Seymour

The Lord’s Prayer

Blessing

May the One who is the ground of hope,

fill you with all joy and peace

as you lead the life of faith

until, by the power of the Holy Spirit,

you overflow with hope.  (Romans 15:13)

And may the blessing of the Triune God, be with you this day and always Amen

 

 Hymn: God of Grace and God of Glory 

 

. God of grace and God of glory,
on thy people pour thy power;
crown the ancient church’s story;
bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of thls hour,
for the facing of thls hour.

2. Lo! the hosts of evil round us,
scorn thy Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us,
free our hearts to love and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the living of these days,
for the living of these days.

3. Cure thy children’s warring madness,
bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal,
lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.

4. Set our feet on lofty places;
gird our lives that they may be
armoured with all Christlike graces,
pledged to set all captives free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
that we fail not them nor thee,
that we fail not them nor thee!

5. Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the search for thy salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving thee whom we adore,
serving thee whom we adore.