Prayers at home for the Second Sunday after Trinity.
Today’s Collect talks of love as “that most excellent gift” from God.
We see this most clearly in the life of Jesus Christ, and it is experienced through the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out on Christian people at their baptism. It is seen in love and service of God and neighbour and will
become perfect when we see Him at the end of our earthly lives.
In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God is love, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them. We love because he first loved us.
(1 John 4)
Heavenly Father, help us now,
to celebrate your love shown in the life of Jesus.
Following his example may we learn from your truth,
trust in your grace and grow strong in your service
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Jesus said, “ You shall love the Lord you God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”
So we confess that we have often failed to love God and our neighbour…….
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned,
in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Collect and Readings.
Lord, you have taught us that all our doings without love are nothing worth: send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever lives is counted dead before you. Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Jeremiah 20 : 7-13
Psalm 69 : 8-11 & 18-20
Romans 6 : 1b-11
Matthew 10 :24-39
Affirmation of Faith
We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family
in heaven and on earth is named.
We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith,
and fills us with his love.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us
with power from on high.
We believe in one God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen (from Ephesians 3)
God our Father we bring to you the needs of all your people…
We pray for all who govern the nations of the world and think particularly of those places where there is war or civil unrest. We remember too people divided by national emnity, religious intolerance or racial prejudice….
Lord Jesus where there is hatred let us sow love.
We pray for families and for employers and employees, remembering especially families, communities and workplaces where relationships have broken down…..
Lord Jesus where there is injury, let us sow pardon.
We pray for those who teach the Christian faith and for the life of our church. We think especially of those whose faith is being sorely tested at this time….
Lord Jesus, where there is doubt, let us sow faith.
We pray for all those who are overshadowed by loss or loneliness. We pray for those who are sick or in need, for their families and friends, their doctors, nurses and carers…
Lord Jesus, where there is despair, let us bring hope.
We think of ourselves and of our half-hearted attempts to serve you…..
Lord Jesus make us channels of your peace and witnesses of your Kingdom. Amen
(You might like to make the Act of Spiritual Communion now)
Loving Father, sustain us with your Spirit, that we may love and serve you here on earth until our joy is complete in heaven and we share in the eternal banquet with Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen
Reflection on the Gospel Reading for the Second Sunday after Trinity.
Matthew 10 : 24-39
In today’s reading Jesus gathers his disciples and imparts his wisdom before sending them out to proclaim the Good News. He says some difficult things. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword.” (verse 34.) We think of Jesus as a peaceful man. In Isaiah he is called “Prince of Peace”. In Luke we are told that he comes to “guide us into the way of peace”. (Luke 1 : 79 He advocates peace instead of retaliation; “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other also”. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God”. ( Matthew 5 : 9)
Generations have tied themselves in knots trying to explain this verse. They look for different translations of the original greek. They try to re-interpret the words. But we can not make Jesus’ words represent what we want him to be. We are made in God’s image not the other way around. We may simply have to live with our confusion. However just because a passage is problematic for us it doesn’t mean it is unhelpful. It may bring to light some of our own misconceptions about the nature of peace itself.
First we may often equate peace with the absence of anything – a void, a state of passivity or inertia. But actually peace is full active and the stuff of life itself.
Second we think of peace as synonymous with harmony or agreement. In fact the great women and men of history have been what we might call peaceful troublemakers – outspoken and not at all afraid of division and controversy. Mahatma Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King and ….Jesus, Prince of Peace and a supreme troublemaker in the eyes of the authorities of the time.
Third we may think peace is something others enjoy. It would be lovely wouldn’t it to have a bit of peace? But it isn’t for those of us who have busy lives, stressful jobs or noisy families. Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement in the United States said, “Paperwork, cleaning the house, cooking the meals, dealing with innumerable visitors who call in the day, answering the phone; keeping patience and acting intelligently – which is to find meaning in all these encounters – these things too are the work of peace.” In other words peace is found in the ordinary, the everyday, the mundane – it is something we can all achieve simply by following Jesus, making time to be with him and doing what he says. It is an attitude of mind which originates in a relationship with the Lord of all things. Many people have found such peace in lockdown.
So the confusion when we hear this teaching of Jesus shouldn’t put us off. It should inspire and invigorate us as it has for Christians in the past. To live as people overflowing with peace, not a limp, insipid kind of peace, but peace which is vibrant, dynamic and ablaze with the glory of God. The mark of a disciple following in the footsteps of the Master.