Linkage Bulletin & Sunday Service for 10th May 2020

David Miller RIP

It was feared that current regulations governing funerals might prevent David’s from being as he deserved. However, as the day proceeded, these anxieties became dispelled. 

Mercifully, Katie, David’s daughter was able to be present, having driven from Southern Ireland. There, travel restrictions are strictly enforced and there was every possibility that she might have been turned back.

What better place to start David’s final journey than from the garden at Blairuskin? This was the beautiful setting for the first part of the service, before the cortege moved off via Kinlochard, Aberfoyle, Gartmore, Ballat and Drymen en route to Cardross crematorium.  Many well-wishers lined this part of the route, some playing instruments and others displaying placards and banners. It was all most moving, and a gesture of respect and support appreciated by the family.

Upon either side of the prayers of committal at Cardross, two hymns were played. The first was ‘Praise my Soul’ and the other, ‘The Day of Resurrection’. Both were sung at Saffrey’s memorial service held just a year and two days ago. This was a poignant reminder that the two are now reunited in death as in life. May they rest in peace.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will this Sunday at 11.00 broadcasting video coverage of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel.  The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

SERVICE

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The Collect

Almighty God,

who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us

you put into our minds good desires,

so by your continual help

we may bring them to good effect;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

The Gospel 

John 14:1-6

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The Nicene Creed.

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.


The sermon

Should the words of today’s gospel seem familiar, you will not be mistaken. This passage from St John is traditionally read at a funeral. Aside from the opening verses of the first chapter of John’s gospel which are always heard at the Christmas Carol Service, today’s gospel is possibly the best known of the New Testament.

The gospel dovetails with the theme of last Sunday, Christ the Good Shepherd. It doubtless reflects our own present thoughts and fears.

There was a sense of relief when the Prime Minister recently returned to his desk at Downing Street following convalescence. In times of trouble, the need of a leader is never greater. The difficulty is that human leadership, with respect, is fallible.  Christ promises his followers ‘I am the Good Shepherd’.

Today’s gospel is set on the eve of Christ’s crucifixion. As the disciples took supper, Jesus spoke first of the traitor in their midst and then his imminent departure. The disciples world would have caved in around them.  After three or so years in His company, travelling, watching, and listening to him, they learn He was to suffer and die.

In response, Christ assured them ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’ He told them that His departure was to His Father’s house, with a view to preparing a place for them. Later he would come again to those who know the direction of his journey.

But the disciples remained perturbed. Peter asked, “Where are you going?” Thomas said, “We do not know why you are going, so how can we know the way?”

In response, Jesus described himself, gently rebuking those present for forgetting His nature. ” Do not let our hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me”

Then he assured them ‘I am going now to prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be too’.

In these words, Jesus did not promise that believers would never again experience trouble, disappointment or trials. In fact, He later said just the opposite. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world” Indeed, all but one of those present at supper would later meet death through martyrdom.

A.W. Pink, a British theologian commented on Christ’s words. “Believe in God,’ O Christian. Let not your heart be troubled, for thy Father is possessed of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. He knows what is best for thee, and He makes all things work together for thy good. He is on the Throne, ruling amid the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. . . “If God be for us who can be against us?” Believe in God. Believe in His absolute sovereignty, His infinite wisdom, His unchanging faithfulness, His wondrous love. “Believe also in Me.” I am the One who died for thy sins and rose again for thy justification: I am the One who ever lives to make intercession for thee. I am the same, yesterday, and today, and forever. I am the One who shall come again to receive you to Myself, and you shall be forever with Me. Yes, “Believe also in me!”

Another theologian, Alexander Maclaren, wrote. “Jesus Christ does not merely set Himself up by the side of God, nor are we worshipers of two Gods when we bow before Jesus and bow before the Father; but faith in Christ is faith in God, and faith in God which is not faith in Christ is imperfect, incomplete, and will not long last. To trust in Him is to trust in the Father; to trust in the Father is to trust in Him.”

The concerns of the disciples that night was no different from the turmoil experienced today. Jesus tells the disciples and all believers to surrender the troubles flooding their hearts and take comfort. He takes us by the hand and says, “Come, I’ll take you with me there.” He does not tell us about the way; He is the Way.

Amen

Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Confession

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution

The Almighty and merciful Lord, grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins. Amen.


The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:

The HymnListen on YouTube

   1    Thou art the Way: by thee alone
            from sin and death we flee;
        and they who would the Father seek
            must seek him, Lord, by thee.

   2       Thou art the Truth: thy word alone
            true wisdom can impart;
        thou only canst inform the mind
            and purify the heart.

   3       Thou art the Life: the rending tomb
            proclaims thy conquering arm;
        and those who put their trust in thee
            nor death nor hell shall harm.

   4       Thou art the Way, the Truth, the Life:
            grant us that Way to know,
        that Truth to keep, that Life to win,
            whose joys eternal flow.

St Mary's Azaleas
burst