Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Prayers at home for the Twelth Sunday after Trinity

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Praise our God, all you his servants:
and all who fear him both small and great. (Rev. 19 : 5)
There are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit.
There are varieties of service: but the same Lord.
There are varieties of activities:
but in everyone it is the same God at work in them all. ( 1 Cor 12 : 4-6)

Lord Jesus Christ,
as we celebrate your victory over all the
powers of darkness, evil and death, we pray
that we may know your strength to rise above
our fears and failures, and travel with you
in the way of love. Amen.

Penitence.
God is present everywhere and so we ask him to help us examine the words of our mouths, the deeds of our bodies and the desires of our minds as we confess our sins to him.

When we are quick to criticise others, but slow to praise them……
Lord have mercy
When we bear grudges and find it hard to forgive…..
Christ have mercy
When we are preoccupied with ourselves and give little thought for others….
Lord have mercy.
Almighty God who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy on us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect and Readings
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear that we to pray and to give more than either we desire or deserve: pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Jeremiah 15 :15-21
Psalm 26 : 1-8
Romans 12 : 9-21
Matthew 16 : 21-28

Affirmation of Faith

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers, and to all the apostles;
this we have received and this we believe. (1 Cor 15 : 3-7)
This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Intercessions.
Heavenly Father we pray for your Church, that we may all be one. May all the baptised grow in knowledge of you and faithfully serve you, that your kingdom may come and your will be done. We pray for Bishop Gregory and for all clergy and lay workers that they may be faithful ministers of your truth and grace. We pray particularly for all who have been ordained to the diaconate or priesthood at this time throughout the world
We pray for the Queen and for those who hold authority, that there may be peace and justice on the earth. Give to all peoples grace to do your will in all that they plan and undertake that the whole earth may give you praise and glory.
Fill us with compassion for those of your people who suffer grief, trouble or injustice that they may be delivered from all distress. We pray for the sick and for those who care for them.
We remember with thanksgiving those who have died. We praise you for your saints who have entered into eternal rest, may we also come to share in your eternal joy.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our Father

(You might like to make the Act of Spiritual Communion now)

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you, and a life to proclaim you: through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
(St. Benedict.)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen.

Reflection on the Gospel Reading for Trinity 12 – Matthew 16 : 21-27.
 
The “Mr Men” books have become familiar to generations of children. A favourite is “Mr. Topsy Turvey” . His life is ridiculous and the pictures that illustrate the book are delightfully silly.
And today’s Gospel Reading is a bit topsy-turvy really!  By this stage in his ministry Jesus has demonstrated that he is not just another itinerant rabbi. In last weeks reading Peter declared him to be “… the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”. After that Jesus should have gone on to Jerusalem and established his kingdom. But there is a shock and Jesus begins to talk about Jerusalem being the place where he will suffer and die and be raised to life again. Peter, whose confession of faith starts this conversation, is  understandably horrified and protests, only to be put firmly in his place.
 
Jesus turns everything upside-down. The Messiah will not gain a great victory but lose his life. But death will not be the end. None of this makes sense to those who hear Jesus words but it does make perfect sense to those who know the end of the story and hear it retold in Matthew’s Gospel. For all of us the crunch comes in what Jesus says next; those who follow him will take a similar road, some will lose their lives; the destiny of the Messiah is the destiny of those who follow him. Not only is Jesus a sort of Mr Topsy-Turvey but those who follow him must live in the place where he lives; topsy-turvy land where all the world’s values are stood on their head and where the ruler on the throne is a man who died on a Cross. It is otherwise known as the Kingdom of Heaven to which we belong through Baptism.
 
Over the centuries Christianity has become a rather respectable religion so we don’t always realise how strange and up-side-down it really is. In the Church we are called to live out the paradox of the Kingdom. Whatever is the case in the world, in the Church an executed criminal is the Lord of heaven and earth, bread and wine become his body and blood, we love our enemies and we bless those who persecute us, the last are first and death is defeated. When we step into this topsy-turvy land we are avoiding the mistake of Peter, “You are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things”. It is an easy mistake to make. Like Peter we do it all the time because we like things to make sense and in many ways, in human terms, the Gospel does not make sense. But it is the only thing that will give value to the life of every single human being and the only thing that will bring contentment to every soul. Each week as we hear again the story of Jesus we are reminded to set our hearts and minds on the value of the Kingdom, a topsy-turvy world perhaps, but the only world that will bring us true and lasting peace and ultimately salvation to our souls.