11th Jul – 7th Sunday after Pentecost

Guest Sermon by Rev Fr Vernal Savage

Readings
2 SAMUEL 6:1-5, 12B-19; PSALM 24; EPHESIANS 1:3-14; MARK 6:14-29

Collect
Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
until they find their rest in you.
May we find peace in your service,
and in the world to come, see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
A READING FROM THE SECOND BOOK OF SAMUEL
David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty-thousand. David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim. They carried the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart with the ark of God; and Ahio went in front of the ark. David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the Lord with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom to the city of David with rejoicing; and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.
2 SAMUEL 6:1-5, 12B-19

Psalm
PSALM
REFRAIN The King of glory shall come in.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and all who dwell therein. For it is he who founded it upon the seas and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep. R

“Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? and who can stand in his holy place?”
“Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, who have not pledged themselves to falsehood, nor sworn by what is a fraud. R
They shall receive a blessing from the Lord and a just reward from the God of their salvation.”
Such is the generation of those who seek him, of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob. R
Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them high, O everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
“Who is this King of glory?” “The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.” R
Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them high, O everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
“Who is he, this King of glory?” “The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.”
PSALM 24

Second Reading
A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE EPHESIANS
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
EPHESIANS 1:3-14

Gospel
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK
King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
MARK 6:14-29

Prayer over the Gifts
Father,
your word creates in us a yearning for your kingdom.
Receive all we offer you this day, and keep us in your peace;
for the sake of Jesus Christ the Lord.

Prayer After Communion
Living God,
in this sacrament we have shared in your eternal kingdom.
May we who taste this mystery
forever serve you in faith, hope, and love.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

4th Jul – 6th Sunday After Pentecost

Readings
2 SAMUEL 5:1-5, 9-10; PSALM 48; 2 CORINTHIANS 12:2-10; MARK 6:1-13

Collect
Almighty God,
your Son Jesus Christ has taught us
that what we do for the least of your children
we do also for him.
Give us the will to serve others
as he was the servant of all,
who gave up his life and died for us,
but lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
A READING FROM THE SECOND BOOK OF SAMUEL
Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Look, we are your bone and flesh. For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The Lord said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. David occupied the stronghold, and named it the city of David. David built the city all around from the Millo inward. And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
2 SAMUEL 5:1-5, 9-10

Psalm
PSALM
REFRAIN God shall be our guide for evermore.

Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised; in the city of our God is his holy hill.

Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, the very centre of the world and the city of the great king.

God is in her citadels; he is known to be her sure refuge. R

Behold, the kings of the earth assembled and marched forward together.

They looked and were astounded; they retreated and fled in terror.

Trembling seized them there; they writhed like a woman in childbirth, like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them. R

As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God; God has established her for ever.

We have waited in silence on your loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of your temple.

Your praise, like your Name, O God, reaches to the world’s end; your right hand is full of justice. R

Let Mount Zion be glad and the cities of Judah rejoice, because of your judgements.

Make the circuit of Zion; walk round about her; count the number of her towers.R

Consider well her bulwarks; examine her strongholds; that you may tell those who come after.

This God is our God for ever and ever; he shall be our guide for evermore. R
PSALM 48

Second Reading
A READING FROM THE SECOND LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS
I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:2-10

Gospel
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK
Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
MARK 6:1-13

Prayer over the Gifts
God of heaven and earth,
receive our sacrifice of praise,
and strengthen us
for the perfect freedom of your service,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Prayer After Communion
O God,
may we who have shared in holy things
never fail to serve you in your world,
and so come to the fullness of joy,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

13th Jun – 3rd Sunday After Pentecost

Sermon: God’s present and coming kingdom

Readings
1 SAMUEL 15:34-16:13; PSALM 20; 2 CORINTHIANS 5:6-10 (11-13), 14-17; MARK 4:26-34

Collect
Almighty God,
without you we are not able to please you.
Mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit
may in all things direct and rule our hearts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
A READING FROM THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel. The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
1 SAMUEL 15:34-16:13

Psalm
PSALM
REFRAIN The Lord gives victory to his anointed.

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;

Send you help from his holy place and strengthen you out of Zion; R

Remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice;

Grant you your heart’s desire and prosper all your plans. R

We will shout for joy at your victory and triumph in the name of our God; may the Lord grant all your requests. R

Now I know that the Lord gives victory to his anointed; he will answer him out of his holy heaven, with the victorious strength of his right hand.

Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God. R

They collapse and fall down, but we will arise and stand upright.

O Lord, give victory to the king and answer us when we call.
PSALM 20

Second Reading
A READING FROM THE SECOND LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS
We are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord – for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

[Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.]

For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:6-10 (11-13), 14-17

Gospel
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK
Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
MARK 4:26-34

Prayer over the Gifts
God of reconciliation and forgiveness,
the saving work of Christ has made our peace with you.
May that work grow toward its perfection
in all we offer you this day.
We ask this in his name.

Prayer After Communion
Holy and blessed God,
as you give us the body and blood of your Son,
guide us with your Holy Spirit,
that we may honour you not only with our lips
but also in our lives.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Apr 25th – 4th Sunday of Easter

Sermon: Loving like the Good Shepherd

Readings
ACTS 4:5-12; PSALM 23; 1 JOHN 3:16-24; JOHN 10:11-18

Collect
O God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
by the blood of the eternal covenant,
make us perfect in every good work to do your will,
and work in us that which is well-pleasing in your sight;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

First Reading
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS
The rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”
ACTS 4:5-12

Psalm
PSALM
Refrain The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. R

He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his name’s sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. R

You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.

Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. R
PSALM 23

Second Reading
A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF JOHN
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.
1 JOHN 3:16-24

Gospel
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
JOHN 10:11-18

Prayer over the Gifts
God of loving care,
you spread before us the table of life,
and give us the cup of salvation to drink.
Keep us always in the fold of your Son Jesus Christ,
our Saviour and our shepherd.

Prayer After Communion
God of steadfast love,
watch over the Church redeemed by the blood of your Son.
May we who share in these holy mysteries
come safely to your eternal kingdom,
where there is one flock and one shepherd.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord.