10th Sunday after Trinity

Worship at your own convenience: Our online service of Holy Communion takes about 30 minutes. Click play and just listen, or read along. Either way, God invites you into His rest, His Sabbath. Come and find peace in prayer, and be blessed.

In order to help with the setting at home, find somewhere unlikely to experience interruptions for the next 30 minutes. Light a candle, or a set a small lamp on a stand, something that brings to mind the idea of light shining in the world.

You may want to get a small piece of bread for later in the service… In St Bartholomew’s (9:15am) and St James (11:15am) we will be receiving communion in one kind only. At home, taking a small piece of bread and giving thanks to God for his goodness, eating it and knowing that there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God is perfectly acceptable. Eat: knowing that even in the wilderness, God fed his chosen people by sending manna from heaven.

Susan and Stuart Shaw lead us in the Collect Prayer and reading Holy Scripture

The Bible is read for us today by both Susan and Stuart Shaw and if you would like to read along they are here following this link, or you may prefer a different version in your own Bible: Genesis 45:1–15 and Matthew 15:10–28

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

The Lord be with you
and also with you


Let us pray,
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Amen. Lord, have mercy

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life. Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

We say together…
Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gloria in Excelsis

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.


Let us pray:
Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Bible is read for us today by both Susan and Stuart Shaw and if you would like to read along they are here following this link, or you may prefer a different version in your own Bible: Genesis 45:1–15 and Matthew 15:10–28

Sermon for the 10th Sunday after Trinity

Last week I skipped over the horror story that was the Old Testament – where Joseph’s brothers planned first to kill him, then instead, sold him as a slave into Egypt. Today we hear that Joseph is weeping with his brothers as he saves them from famine. Joseph is convinced that God was at work in the process of bringing him to Egypt. This goes way beyond merely putting a brave face on the situation… to claim it was God’s plan all along.

What we’ve skipped, of course, are the dream interpretation bits of the story. The bits where Joseph upset his brothers by saying that he had a dream they would bow down before him… and we’ve skipped how Joseph went from a slave transported to Egypt, through the accusations that sent him to prison and even more dream interpretations: to helping Pharaoh understand the famine that was to come.

Joseph’s claim that this was God’s plan is embedded in experience. An experience he didn’t choose for himself. And then he reassures his guilty brothers, “you did not do this to me, it was the will of God”. Joseph’s claim liberates his brothers from the guilt that comes from their behaviour. Frees them from their sins…

Where Joseph’s claim of God’s authority was liberating, later in the Old Testament we begin to see other people claim God’s authority, but when they do it, it is less liberating. During this week, those of us saying Morning Prayer are hearing the story of Saul and David, and how David is on the run because of Saul’s abuse of power as King.

An abuse of power is one of the main criticisms of religion. For example; when people go to war, claiming to have God on their side. Those who have misused God’s name to hold on to power, create a situation where people not only rebel against that injustice, but rebel against the so-called God who seems to have given them that power.

When we finally meet Jesus in the Bible, we meet a person who fundamentally contradicts anyone who claims to have God on their side, especially when they use that religious power to enslave others, to trap them, to keep them oppressed or pushed down. Instead Jesus claims God’s authority to liberate people: to set them free.

Today we read that Jesus confronted the religious leaders of the time, and revealed their hypocrisy. Jesus revealed the hypocrisy of those who had power, but instead of using it for the Kingdom of God, used it for their own ends. To keep power away from others by using the fear of God as a weapon. This is religious and spiritual abuse of an entire nation, and that has had repercussions throughout the ages.

To emphasise his point, and to emphasise it with a crudity that is shocking, Jesus draws a parallel between the natural bodily functions of eating and food passing out of the body with the words that come out of their hearts. The words of their heart defile them.

As followers of Jesus we know this, although sometimes we might not know that we know it. We certainly say it every Sunday as we say the prayer of preparation: Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit. That we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We ask: God gives.

We come before God and ask for our hearts to be made clean and God answers our prayers, and we say this week after week, because we are living human beings who stumble and fall. We make mistakes. We say the wrong thing: it is inevitable because we live in a world that constantly invites us to make mistakes: temptation. We live and work and move through the world because God invites us to join him in the work of the Kingdom of Heaven… A bit like the way I need to clean my shoes, because they get dirty as I walk the dog. So we return regularly to God: “we have sinned against you in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault.”

Like the Caananite woman… we have nothing to offer God except our dogged faith. “We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table. But you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy”

  • Jesus hears the self-righteous priests and says, “your words are worse than bodily waste.”
  • Jesus hears us humbly ask for healing from all that comes from an unclean heart and says, “great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”

My prayer for myself and for you, is that whenever we speak of God’s love to others: it becomes a liberation, a freedom, replacing oppression with justice, replacing fear of humans with an awe of God, bringing a gracious generosity that sparks joy in others. May fear be defeated and may the peace of God reign in all our hearts

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

Prayers of Intercession

If it will help, light a candle to represent our prayers, to shine a light in the world: a light of hope and not despair. A light to witness before God that we know we are not alone, those we love are not alone, and that we know God is with them.

You can light a virtual candle here on the Church of England website

We hold before God the very real worries we have for those who are ill, with whatever condition, in mind body or spirit. We give thanks for all those who have dedicated themselves to helping others, and we remember those who we love but no longer see. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The Peace

Although many of us are gathered in our homes
this physical distance is no distance to God
We may be apart, but we are gathered together and the Lord said:
‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name,’
‘there am I in the midst of them.’
The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you

The Eucharist

The Altar at St Bartholomew’s Church, Marsden

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;
in your love you made us for yourself.

When we turned away
you did not reject us,
but came to meet us in your Son.
You embraced us as your children
and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life
that we might live in him and he in us.
He opened his arms of love upon the cross
and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

On the night he was betrayed,
at supper with his friends
he took bread, and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to them, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.
Father, we do this in remembrance of him:
his body is the bread of life.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,
he gave you thanks, and said:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;
do this in remembrance of me.
Father, we do this in remembrance of him:
his blood is shed for all.

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,
send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine
may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.
As we eat and drink these holy gifts
make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

With your whole Church throughout the world
we offer you this sacrifice of praise
and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven, saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

God’s holy gifts
for God’s holy people.
Jesus Christ is holy,
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

If you would like to eat a little bread at this point; reflect on the everlasting love of God, in Christ Jesus

Post Communion Prayer

God of our pilgrimage,
you have willed that the gate of mercy
should stand open for those who trust in you:
look upon us with your favour
that we who follow the path of your will
may never wander from the way of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Almighty God,
we thank you for feeding us
with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
to be a living sacrifice.
Send us out
in the power of your Spirit
to live and work
to your praise and glory.

The Blessing

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen

© The Archbishops’ Council (2000) Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) (including the Psalter as published with Common Worship)

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