St Mary’s Service for Sunday 21st June 2020

Trinity 2

Sunday 21st June 2020

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

Faithful Creator,

whose mercy never fails:

deepen our faithfulness to you

and to your living Word,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gospel

Matthew 10:34-39

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[b]

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

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

The church is in Ordinary Time, when, in the absence of major festivals and celebration, believers are encouraged to ponder fundamental aspects of faith. Perhaps the most crucial is one of precedence. Who or what has first claim upon a believer’s love, talents, and other resources?

The teaching of scripture is quite clear. “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; said Jesus (Matthew 6:24) A similarly unequivocal message is conveyed by today’s gospel. “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’

Christ’s teaching may be a surprise, as one of the Ten Commandments decrees that parents should be honoured. Furthermore, children and friends are God’s gifts in creation. Surely these might be accorded equally the love and affection that is given to God?

Should we choose to place love and devotion to anything or anybody on an equal footing to our love for God, then we enter an imaginary love triangle with its attendant difficulties. As in any triangle, it will have three points. The first will be God and the second, ourselves. The third will be the object with which or whom we choose to share our love and devotion.

The pitfalls of any love triangle are illustrated by an extraordinary three-cornered relationship that existed during the last century. It was unwittingly formed by Carrington, an artist. From her time as a student, she was known simply by her surname as she considered her first, Dora, to be “vulgar and sentimental” In 1916, Carrington met the writer, Lytton Strachey at a house party.  Struggling to make a reputation at the time, he would later establish it with the publication of “Eminent Victorians” Carrington was initially repulsed by Strachey’s unfashionably long beard. Early next morning, she crept to his bedroom with scissors, determined to remove the offending object. Instead she fell in love with the slumbering figure. In the following year Carrington and Strachey set up house together at Tidmarsh Mill House, in Berkshire.

Later, Carrington was introduced by her brother to a university friend, Ralph Partridge. Partridge fell in love with Carrington and, in the hope of nourishing courtship, spent weekends at Tidmarsh planting a vegetable garden. Carrington though was too absorbed with painting and keeping house to reciprocate Ralph’s attentions, but not so Lytton.  He cherished Ralph, and his presence at the house became necessary for his comfort and inspiration.  Fearing Lytton’s peace of mind should Ralph ever leave Tidmarsh, Carrington reluctantly agreed to marry Ralph. Strachey paid for their wedding and accompanied them on honeymoon.  

Later, the three moved to Ham Spray House in Wiltshire. Partridge’s frustration, created by his wife’s divided loyalties, slowly drove him to seek the affection of another woman.  Thenceforth, during the week Ralph lived in London but resumed his married life at Ham Spray with Carrington at weekends. Lytton affected by Ralph’s increasing absence found solace by taking rooms near him in London. He too returned to Ham Spray at weekends. Left largely on her own, Carrington’s life became diminished and empty of purpose. Thus she turned to Bernard Penrose a friend of Ralph. The affair initially energized Carrington’s artistic creativity.  Penrose in time demanded Carrington’s affection exclusively: she though demurred for both Strachey and Ralph were still claiming her being. Penrose departed from Carrington’s life opening the void still further.  Shortly after, Lytton became terminally ill and was nursed by Carrington.  For two months after his death, she struggled with a tangle of emotion. With a gun borrowed to ostensibly keep rabbits from the vegetable garden, Carrington died.

What is the most important relationship and who or what is loved the most? After reading today’s gospel the answer should be obvious. Life alas is never that simple.

My late father was inordinately proud of his son’s struggles to qualify as a solicitor. He carried a newspaper cutting in his wallet for anyone who showed an interest. Some years later, I felt a call to ordination. I still recall my father’s bitter disappointment. This was my own love triangle. We are commanded to love Christ more than our own parents. In short, we love each other best when we love God most.

Reflection

  • Whoever loves power, reputation, or wealth more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves country and flag more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves politics, agendas, or ideology more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves church, denomination, beliefs and practices more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves self more than me is not worthy of me.
  • Whoever loves anyone or anything more than me is not worthy of me.

    The Prayer

    Guide me Lord to know what is worthwhile, that I may acquire strength through the power of truth. As I am going to rest tonight Lord take full control of my life. Wake me with strength and wisdom to continue with the new day. Amen

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 Hymn – Listen on YouTube ?

  1     Take my life, and let it be
            consecrated, Lord, to thee;
        take my moments and my days,
            let them flow in ceaseless praise.

   2       Take my hands, and let them move
            at the impulse of thy love;
        take my feet, and let them be
            swift and beautiful for thee.

   3       Take my voice, and let me sing
            always, only, for my King;
        take my lips, and let them be
            filled with messages from thee.

   4       Take my silver and my gold;
            not a mite would I withhold;
        take my intellect, and use
            every power as thou shalt choose.

   5       Take my will, and make it thine:
            it shall be no longer mine;
        take my heart: it is thine own;
            it shall be thy royal throne.

   6       Take my love; my Lord, I pour
            at thy feet its treasure-store;
        take myself, and I will be
            ever, only, all for thee.

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836–1879)

 Frances Havergal was born into an Anglican family, at Astley in Worcestershire. Her father, William was a clergyman. She led a quiet life, but not enjoying consistent good health.

Because her voice was lovely, Frances was in demand as a concert soloist. She also was a talented pianist and learned several modern languages as well as Greek and Hebrew. With all her education, however, she maintained a simple faith and never wrote a line of poetry without first praying over it.

One of the lines of her hymn asks, “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.” Frances wrote to a friend, The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me…Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”

Blessing

Lord God,
we rejoice in your greatness and power,
your gentleness and love,
your mercy and justice.
Enable us by your Spirit
to honour you in our thoughts,
and words and actions,
and to serve you in every aspect of our lives;

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us always
Amen.