Rev Olwen Woolcock

Fifth Sunday after Trinity 12th July 2020

Fifth Sunday after Trinity 12th July 2020

Fifth Sunday after Trinity 12th July 2020

* [Feature Image: “La Vis” (The Wine Press) 1951 By Henri Matisse, referred to in the sermon.]

Click on the play button to view the service and/or follow the transcript below.

Good Morning everybody. Welcome to our service of worship on this Fifth Sunday after Trinity. Thank you to Julia Freeman and Caroline Longlands who have taken part in this service. The theme of the service is: The glowing colours of the Spirit

HYMN: There’s a Spirit in the air

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

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you
And also with you.

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 Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Prayers of Penitence
An invitation to confession
My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ
in word and sacrament,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Confession
We confess to you our selfishness and lack of love:
fill us with your Spirit.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

We confess to you our fear and failure in sharing our faith:
fill us with your Spirit.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

We confess to you our stubbornness and lack of trust:
fill us with your Spirit.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

May the God of love and power
forgive you and free you from your sins,
heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,
and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis
From the Mass in creation – Marty Haugen

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen

New Testament Reading: Romans 8:1-12 read by Julia

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.

HYMN: Spirit of God unseen as the wind

Gospel Reading
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew
Glory to you O Lord.

Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!’

18 ‘Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.[c] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

The glowing colours of the Spirit:  Romans 8:1-11 

May the words of my mouth and the mediations of all of our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

Romans chapter 8 is one the most well-known and well-loved chapters of the New Testament. It is Paul’s theological description of how humanity’s relationship with God has been transformed by the death and resurrection of Christ and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Christ. The readings from Romans come around every three years in the lectionary and the ones from Romans 8 just happen to fall on this Sunday and the next two weeks – so this will be the theme for July.

One of the things that we have all noticed across the last three or four months is that life has become monochrome, much the same, as the days, and then weeks have run into one another. Restricted in our movements and in our meetings, we lost that which brings colour into our lives and we are only just now slowly regaining some variety once again. High points, low points, different people, different places, connections with others – all these things bring interest and contrast.

These first verses of Romans 8 are all about the colour that comes into the condition of humanity through the gift of God’s Holy Spirit and the contrast with what has gone before. The contrast between the flesh and the Spirit.

The flesh is the force of ‘self’, our drive to put ourselves and our needs first – to set our minds on things of the flesh. The things of the flesh – to go after what we want, regardless of the impact on others or the world.

Paul’s talking about the way in which our humanity is morally inadequate. We spoke of the problem of sin a couple of weeks ago when looking at Romans 6. Our fallen human nature – the way in which people exploit one another for power or money or sex – resulting in slavery, violence, conflict, domination, oppression and the plundering of the earth’s resources. All those stories in the news that we want to turn away from…

Because when has it ever been any different. The shortcomings of human kind are monochrome, they have forever been the same. The stories and failings are all reruns. This, Paul argues is the law of sin and death.

When humanity fails – when we go after our own desires – – this is the way of the flesh – it happens on a big scale but it can also happen within each one of us… when hearts and minds are focussed on me instead of God. This is the way of the flesh …and it leads to death…

But now, monochrome no longer, the black and white and grey are dispersed by colour. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8 is Paul’s theology of the Spirit. He seeks to explain the work of the Holy Spirit.  And for him the Spirit does two things: The Spirit gives freedom and the Spirit gives life.

The Spirit sets people free – free from the flesh and free from the law. The Spirit rips up the old patterns. That old relationship between humanity and sinfulness which was so intertwined is broken when Jesus is sent to take on human flesh but doesn’t sin. People are no longer bound by the flesh – to do wrong; to fail; – they can live in the Spirit.

The old Jewish Law was a law of sin and death because it couldn’t be kept. It couldn’t reconcile people to God because people would always fail to live lives as holy as God required – under the law all they could do was to offer sacrifices and seek forgiveness. People no longer have to relate to God that way – they can live in the Spirit – and it is the Spirit which gives people a righteousness with God which the law couldn’t give them.

The Spirit gives life. Every week when we say the creed we say ‘We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. This is life in a different dimension, an extraordinary new life that we have in the Spirit. The Spirit defeats our spiritual death which is the consequence of sin, the Spirit even defeats our physical death, overcomes our mortality – the Spirit within us is the means of our resurrection. Romans 8:11. ‘If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you….’

We are not stuck in our old humanity – there is a new humanity. The very first verse of Romans 8- ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’. That verse should be written in neon signs and flashed from buildings. That verse should be written on banners and pulled through the sky behind aircraft

That is the key to it all, the core of it all. There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For those who believe, who are therefore of the body of Christ, who are ‘in’ Christ Jesus – we are not condemned to the old way – of sin and death – there is a new way – it is in Jesus and it is given by the Spirit.

The picture at the start of the blog was constructed by Henri Matisse in 1951. It is one of his cut outs.  Matisse died in 1959 and over the last twenty years or so of his life he became incapacitated and could no longer paint and draw as he had and he became interested in shape and form – outlines rather than details. He got his assistants to paint blocks and squares of strong colours and then cut out shapes of plants and people and birds and sea creatures – which he could do from his chair – or even his bed with the help of others turning the paper.

Henri Matisse: drawing with scissors | Art and design | The Guardian

And with the help of the people that worked with him he started to pin all these shapes around his bedroom and his apartment – they would do the pinning  – on the walls above his bed – over the door – so that his world became one of colour and shape – his bedroom became his studio.. and the creation of the work of art was getting his assistant to pin the shapes in certain positions, making them stand out – giving them space –making them speak of movement and form – giving them impact. Matisse would take days and weeks in the formation of the final work of art   – The positions were then marked and transferred to paper and reproduced.

A few years ago, I went to an exhibition of these cut outs by Matisse. The exhibition was full of colour. Bright shapes against white or contrasting colours – causing the shapes stand out. Leap off the wall. Impact your senses. The contrast with the background is all important.

Henri Matisse. The cut-outs. Tate Modern de Londres.

And this is how it is with the Spirit.  For those who believe – we can be the glowing colours of the Spirit – the colours of freedom and life. We are the bright shapes that stand out from the background of the old way – the futility of humanity and its helplessness. Those who have the Spirit have the impact. 

We are the reds, greens and blues against white, we are the yellows and oranges against blue. We have been cut out – we are no longer part of the whole but are painted by the Spirit and stuck on the world in a different position – to make a new picture.

This is Paul’s message in Romans 8 – for all who believe – he is urging us to discover and embrace the difference the Spirit makes – to know the freedom from the guilt and failure which the Spirit brings   –  to know that our life is a new life and not an old life and has promise and riches and joy which nothing can take from us.

To be painted in the glowing colours of the Spirit of God.

Let us pray

Gracious God, may your Spirit active within us fill our hearts with joy and love and laughter and the delight of knowing that we are your children. May your Spirit active within us stir us up to be witnesses to your grace and glory in the church and in the community.

May your Spirit within us prompt us to recognise and rejoice in the colour in our lives.

The 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. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession
Offered by Caroline Longlands
(Ref Romans 8:1-11 and Matthew 13:1–9, 18-23)

Heavenly Father we give you thanks for the opportunity to live in these beautiful villages and to join in worship this morning.
We give thanks for Olwen and her ministry to us and for embracing new ways to preach Your Word. We give thanks for the work of the PCCs and we pray that sensible solutions to reopening our churches may be found.
We pray for new ways forward in the life of our churches.

Lord in Your mercy
Hear our prayer

Heavenly Father help us to see where we stand in this parable.
Have we understood Your message?
Have we heard the message but haven’t hard enough faith to keep going?
Have we allowed cares and worries and other distractions to crowd You out particularly during this strange time of fear over the corona virus?
Heavenly Father help us to examine our hearts and minds.
Heavenly Father we turn to you and we ask that You open our ears and hearts to your Word,
renew and strengthen us by the power of your Holy Spirit,
We pray that your Word gets into our lives, deeply into our being and like the good soil,
we hear and understand, so we may bear fruit.

Lord in Your mercy
Hear our prayer

Heavenly Father we continue to pray for all who are suffering as a result of the Corona Virus.
For those who are sick and those caring for them, for families still in lock down or shielding and separated from their loved ones: for those living in fear of the virus.
We pray for those who have lost jobs, businesses opportunities and for students anxiously waiting for results and decisions to be made about their further education.
We lift to you those who have suffered by violence, exploitation, poverty or effects of mental health issues.
We pray for leaders of governments to make wise decisions

Lord in your Mercy
Hear our Prayer

We lift to you all those who are bereaved for your comfort.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of Your son, Jesus Christ.
Amen

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

HYMN: There is a Redeemer

The Peace

May the God of peace make you perfect and holy,
that you may be kept safe and blameless
in spirit, soul and body,
for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

Although we’re apart let us hold one another in the peace of Christ in a moment of prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our saviour has taught us

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that 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.  
Amen

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.
Amen

HYMN: Colours of Day

Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
Thanks be to God.

 ————-

Carillon from the 24 Pieces in Free Style by Louis Vierne


BACS Details for St Mary’s, Ketton
Barclays Bank Stamford
The account is in the name of Ketton Parochial Church Council
Sort code 20-81-20
Account number 60547522

BACS Details for All Saints, Tinwell
Barclays Bank
The account is in the name: Tinwell Parochial Church Council
Sort code: 20-81-20
Account number: 70875244

3 thoughts on “Fifth Sunday after Trinity 12th July 2020

  1. Clare Naylor

    I couldn’t get the sound on my computer to work today but it was great to be able to read through the service. Thank you. 🙂 Clare

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