Online Worship Archive

 Welcome to the online service of worship for The Thirteenth Sunday After Trinity 2020   - Updated Introduction Link

The PDF order of service is here

The YouTube playlist is here

Or view below.....

  

MAYFIELD SALISBURY PARISH CHURCH

EDINBURGH

Sunday Services of Public Worship: 10.00am
Worship Online from 8.00am Every Sunday

Sunday 6 September 2020

 

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity 

Thanksgiving starts with thanks for mere survival,
Just to have made it through another year
With everyone still breathing. But we share
So much beyond the outer roads we travel;
Our interweavings on a deeper level,
The modes of life embodied souls can share,
The unguessed blessings of our being here,
Threads of connection no one can unravel.

So I give thanks for our deep coinherence,
Inwoven in the web of Gods own grace,
Pulling us through the grave and gate of death.
I thank him for the truth behind appearance,
I thank him for his light in every face,
I thank him for you all, with every breath.

Malcolm Guite
Printed with permission,
Sounding the Seasons. Canterbury Press

         

AS A DIVERSE PEOPLE, THE CHURCH GATHERS TO WORSHIP ALMIGHTY GOD

 

 Welcome Revd Helen Alexander  Updated Link

Good morning to the members and friends of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church and welcome to all who are joining in this worship online for the 13th Sunday after Trinity.

Today Mayfield Salisbury celebrates a return to Sunday morning services in church with a short act of worship at 10 o’clock. Necessarily we shall be restricted in the numbers that can attend and in the form of the liturgy which will nonetheless largely contain the readings, reflection and prayers that make up this online service.

In the poem Thanksgiving which is reproduced on both Orders of Service today, Malcolm Guite gives thanks for the blessings of our interweavings….Threads of connection no one can unravel…..our deep coinherence inwoven in the web of God’s own grace: a reminder that we are bound together by the grace of the Spirit regardless of where we are in time and place, whether in church today or listening and looking from somewhere else entirely. Thus wherever or however we are, we may truly give thanks for Christ’s light in every face and with Malcolm Guite declare: I thank him for you all, with every breath.

I invite you now to join me in a short period of silence in preparation for worship.

 

Scripture Sentences

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in in it,
the world and those who live in it…..
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false….
They will receive blessing from the Lord.

 

Let us pray

Almighty God maker of heaven and earth, and as near to your people as our own breath, in blessing your name, we seek your holy blessing upon us.

We join with those who today will gather together in the sanctuary beloved of so many of us, offering the prayers of our hearts for grace and hope and the peace that passes understanding.

Eternal God, whose influence extends beyond all boundaries of time and space, assure us of that gracious influence wherever and however we are.

For our folly and mistakes grant us awareness, assurance of forgiveness and time to make amends.

For our frustrations and difficulties, grant patience and the will to re-collect ourselves in the spirit of solidarity with others with whom we share the limits as well as the glory of our human nature.

For perplexity, and struggle over the direction of our lives, grant the willingness to pause, openness to help and hope, and the light of your guiding presence.

For loss that may be deeply personal, as well as that shared with our families, our neighbours, our communities and nation, grant thanksgiving for all that is good in wholesome memory and the will to let go all that would hold us back from living creatively and well.

And for our delight: in renewal of relationship; in solidarity with friends and companions on the way; in joys great or small; in appreciation of ordinary things as well as hints of the eternal, grant us gratitude and the confidence of faith; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

The Collect

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that richly bearing the fruit of good works, we may by you be richly rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

Children’s Address  Hillary Leslie

Good morning everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying being back at school. I’m sure it’s been really nice to see your friends and teachers in the classroom.

I’ve been wondering - are there are lots of new rules for you to be following at school this year because of the coronavirus? I bet your teachers have many rules for the classroom, lunchroom and hallways this year, even more so than they did last year!

Everywhere we go there seem to be rules to follow, especially right now! Why do we have all of these rules?

Well, I think it’s helpful to think of them more as guidelines. They are reminders. According to God, we really only have one rule in this world. All the other rules are summed up in these words from Christ: Love your neighbour as yourself. And who is our neighbour? Our neighbours are all of God’s people in the world – family, friends, school mates, teachers, and strangers just to name a few.

You might be thinking to yourself ‘If we only have this one rule, then why do we have all of these other guidelines?’ Because all of these guidelines help us know how to love our neighbours! And right now, during this difficult time in our world with the coronavirus, these guidelines are helping us keep our neighbours safe – at school, at work, at church, when going to public places like the park or the shop or visiting friends and family. We are showing others love, by following the rules.

When we are waiting our turn, what are we really doing? We are loving our neighbour.  When we listen and don’t interrupt, what are we really doing? We are loving our neighbour. When we wash our hands? We are loving our neighbour. When we wear our face coverings? We are loving our neighbour. When we give someone space to walk on the pavement? We are loving our neighbour.

In our Bible story today, Jesus talks about people working in the community. He talks about them following the rules, because showing love is the best thing we can do for our neighbour. It takes all kinds of people to make up a community–to make a school, a church, a family. Our guidelines help us remember the one rule that makes community possible: Love your neighbour as yourself.

God calls us to work together, serving one another, looking out for one another, and loving one another. May we remember to love our neighbour as ourselves, wherever else we may go.

Let’s pray together

Gracious God,
Thank you for showing us love.
Please be with those who need your love today.
Help me to remember the most important rule:
Love my neighbour as myself.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

HYMN 694   Brother, sister, let me serve you    Servant Song

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
when you laugh I'll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow
till we've seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven
we shall find such harmony,
born of all we've known together
of Christ's love and agony.

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

Richard A. M. Gillard (b.1953)
Words: (c) 1977 Scripture in Song. Administered by CopyCare Ltd - <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;.
Played by Kate Pearson
Sung by Susan White

 

 

WE LISTEN FOR THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN SCRIPTURE

 

 

Reading  Romans 13: 8 - 14      NRSVA      Tom Mole

Love for One Another

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

An Urgent Appeal

11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; 13 let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

 

Reading  St Matthew 18: 15 - 20     NRSVA   Kay McIntosh DCS

Reproving Another Who Sins

15 ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’

 

Reflection   Revd Helen Alexander

Where two or three are gathered in my name I am there among them’

An encouraging sentence for us this morning perhaps, when, as in past weeks, two or three will gather together in a household for this online service, though not forgetting those who are listening alone, for we might also remember Malcolm Guite’s image of the threads of connection no one can unravel’ that I referred to in the introduction to this service: threads that join us to other households listening in, as well as to those who will gather in church this morning.

Despite the encouraging ending of our Gospel today, the main passage with its apparently uncompromising disciplinary message may seem particularly inappropriate when today of all days, we seek to give thanks for renewed emphasis on openness and welcome. Instead of the image of an open door, the words might conjure up that of the Stool of Repentance upon which offenders were made to sit during Scottish Presbyterian church services in the old days: enforced ‘social distancing’ of a particularly harsh, though happily dated variety!

But the history of the church goes back further than Scottish Presbyterianism and our text to a different context - and it’s never a bad idea to take account of context. Many of the early Christian communities that formed in the decades after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus were made up of a mixture of converted, or half-converted Jews unsure whether their allegiance lay in the old faith or the new; together with people drawn to worship in the name of Jesus who weren’t Jews at all, thus bringing with them none of the old allegiance to Jewish tradition and practice, but different presuppositions altogether.

All this was a recipe for factions and vigorous disagreement. You’d have to have some way of managing these difficulties, along with the ordinary everyday disputes and misunderstandings that you get anywhere when two or three people, or two or three hundred, are gathered together.

When you think of it, it’s amazing that so many of the early Christian assemblies held together in some kind of unity.

It seems that they did so because a core understanding from the life of Christ had sunk in, allowing for the formation of a kind of bed-rock from which policies could be thought through and acted upon. This was certainly St Paul’s conviction when he urged the members of the church in Rome to ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’ as we heard in the first lesson.

I think this phraseology points to the foundational centrality of grace and mercy in Christian belief and practice. You see this clearly if you read what comes before today’s passage in St Matthew’s Gospel, as well as what comes after it. Immediately before the talk about discipline and exclusion, Matthew inserted the parable of the lost sheep with its emphasis on searching for and, crucially perhaps, bringing back the errant wanderer. And immediately after this morning’s words comes Christ’s injunction to forgive 70 times 7, which means limitlessly.

So grace and mercy envelop St Matthew’s disciplinary verses like a blanket of care. One gets the feeling that those who may have been shown the door by his community were seen off more in sorrow than in anger, and only after much heart –searching and debate.

Would the excluded have been let back in again if, with a radical change of heart, they’d knocked on the door? Though not clearly stated, the possibility is implied, I think.

Of course, our 21st Century world is very different to that of the 1st not least in respect of institutional policies that are rightly put in place to protect members of communities, including churches when crimes have been committed. These inevitably result in closed doors, though not necessarily in the withdrawal of care and concern for the miscreant.

Several years ago I heard a representative of an American Mennonite church speak movingly of his community’s support of a child abuser, necessarily banned from public worship or any other activity in the family church and at this point in prison, yet being faithfully and regularly visited there by experienced elders of that same church. At the time of the lecture, the visits were continuing. Very possibly they’re still ongoing, if the person remains in prison more than a decade after I heard the story. It was the commitment to support the perpetrator of the crime that impressed me, especially when this came from within the very community that had been so horrifically violated. You may know that Mennonites are a continuation of a Protestant movement begun in 16th Century Central Europe, and are now known world-wide for their commitment to mediation and peace making.

The kind of persistent costly care for all, including the most culpable that I’ve described may seem unimaginable for most mainstream Christian congregations – but I can’t help thinking that while unequivocally supporting the necessity for the payment of the penalty for the crime, this particular church was seeking to live out its faith in grace and hope with a distinctive commitment that few of the rest of us might be able to muster.

Fortunately perhaps, we might rarely be called upon to grapple with this kind of horrible situation, but all of us in our personal as well as communal lives have to deal with lesser issues arising from misunderstandings and disagreements in church or elsewhere, at least some of the time.

In this, the 1st Century conflict management promulgated by St Matthew’s Jesus might still be helpful to us. First honesty: facing the truth of a situation oneself with as much clarity as possible. Then the willingness to discuss the difficulty with the person or people concerned, with as much openness and willingness to hear another point of view as possible.

Then, if the issue still can’t be resolved, taking it up with trusted a third party, which incidentally is altogether different from indulgence in what one commentator on the passage has memorably called the ‘fellowship of denigration’ (*) - in other words, trying to pull others into one’s own one-sided view of the situation.

These principles set out what most would agree are the best working possibilities for dealing with national and international relations, as well as for individuals and members of smaller communities, Christian or otherwise. No easy task and quite a challenge. Facing our fellow human beings can sometimes call for much courage. It can be risky and it doesn’t inevitably end well. On the other hand, rising to the challenge of honest heartfelt communication can prove strangely liberating, setting us free, and teaching us much about grace and the human capacity for true community.

The Collect for today began with the words ‘Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people.’ It’s a prayer sometimes used on the Sunday before Advent, and is often associated with the stirring of Christmas puddings in preparation for 25th December. We may be some way off preparing Christmas puddings, but any time of the year we might be encouraged to become a bit like the best of them: fruitful, spicy, well held together, even if possibly a long time in the making!

*The Rev Emeritus Professor William Loader of Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

 

RESPONSE TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN

 

Voluntary     Aria in G, BWV 988/1 J.S. Bach (1685-1750)    Kate Pearson   

 

Thanksgiving and Intercession   Revd Helen Alexander

At the beginning of the church’s Season of Creation, we offer our thanksgiving for the earth that is our home; for the brilliance of the heavens above and the mystery and blessings of the ocean’s depth.

For all beauty and colour, difference and diversity we give thanks; for the glory of rivers and mountains, hidden lochs and vast swelling seas; for creatures of the earth: beasts that roam the world’s wild places, birds that soar in the air, and tiny secret animals hidden in clefts in a rock or high in the trees; for animals dear to us that give us loyalty, companionship and pleasure; for all in nature that delights our senses and leads us to a better understanding of health and wholeness for ourselves and our world: for all such we give thanks.

And we think with sympathy and concern of places in the world and their people where fields lie barren and crops wither for lack of water or equipment; or because of the ignorance and greed of people far away, or because it is as if ploughshares have become swords, and pruning hooks spears, and the science of husbandry has become the deadly science of war.

We pray today for people anywhere and everywhere in want and hardship.

We pray for those who are dispossessed, frightened, at sea in a world that is threatening and that promises death rather than life.

We pray for children who know pain and tears when they should grow and play in security and wonder; for parents unable to feed those who depend on them; for people grown old and fearful in a world of rapid change. We pray for lost homes, lost livelihoods, lost faith.

We pray in hope for the work of Tearfund, Christian Aid and for all organisations that seek to promote care for the planet and care for people in need and those on the margins.

We pray for people trying to settle in lands like ours that are so different from those they left behind. We pray for those who call this country home and yet are without shelter or means of support or self- respect.

We make our prayer for the church at home and abroad: for buildings cautiously opening their doors again; for communities of beloved people so long separated from one another and so recently beginning the process of re-engagement. We pray for people still afraid, or ill, or worried about their living, their future, their sanity, their welfare. We pray for those whose names come to our mind now: those we think of with delight and overflowing gratitude, those we remember perhaps with misgiving and a sense of anxiety; those we may have wronged and those who may have hurt and disappointed us.

We give thanks for those we have loved and lost in death and love still, committing them and ourselves to the love of God in the community of the faithful.

Oh Thou in whom all things are held in unity that we see only in separation and division, renew in us a vision of a world in which justice prevails, diversity is celebrated, and that which separates is drawn together into a rich tapestry of colour, race and creed. Let the healing dream of the few become the work and purpose of more and more,+ to the coming of the kingdom of grace, equality and peace, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord

The 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

 

HYMN 182    Now thank we all our God    Nun Danket

Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mothers' arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

Oh, may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever-joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
and keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
who reigns in highest heaven --
the Father and the Son
and Spirit -- now be given:
the one, eternal God,
whom earth and heaven adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Martin Rinkart (1586-1649)
translated Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) (alt.)
Played by kate Pearson
Sung by Walter Thomson

 

BENEDICTION Revd Helen Alexander

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of peace to you
And the blessing of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

AMEN The Full Choir

 

Online Offering

Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,
Edinburgh,
EH9 1TQ

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Scottish Charity Number: SC000785

Quotations

  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.
    Origen

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.
    Wittgenstein

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.
    Plotinus

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 'God is not the answer, God is the question.'
    Herbert McCabe