Holy Communion Sunday, 9 August 2020

[The complete Service is contained in one video file. The musical prelude and postlude are each in their own video file, at top and bottom of this post. The words of the service, hymns, readings and intercessions are all included in the video of the Service.]

Prelude: Kleine Präludien und Intermezzi (Opus 9, 2nd movement) by Hermann Schröder (1932)

Holy Communion

Led by Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga

Introit: How beautiful are the feet

How beautiful are the feet of them
that preach the gospel of peace
and bring glad tidings of good things.

From The Messiah
CCL31580

Welcome

Welcome in the name of Christ.
God’s mercy, grace and peace be with you.

Good morning, Living Stones, and welcome to our Holy Communion Service on the ninth Sunday after Trinity.

We begin with the Prayer of the Week.

Let us pray.

Prayer of the Week

God of all power,
your sovereign word comes to us in Christ.
When your Church is in danger, make firm our trust;
when your people falter, steady our faith.
Show us in Jesus your power to save,
that we may always acclaim him as Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

Amen

Hymn: God has spoken

God has spoken — by his prophets
spoken his unchanging word;
each from age to age proclaiming
God, the one, the righteous Lord.
’Mid the world’s despair and turmoil
one firm anchor holding fast:
God eternal reigns for ever,
God the first, and God the last.

God has spoken — by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
brightness of the Father’s glory,
with the father ever one;
spoken by the Word incarnate,
God from God, ere time was borm;
Light from Light, to earth descending,
Christ revealing God to all.

God has spoken — by the Spirit,
speaking to our hearts again,
in the age-long word expounding
God’s own message, now as then.
Through the rise and fall of nations
one sure faith is standing fast;
God still speaks, the Word unchanging,
God the first, and God the last.

George Wallace Briggs (1875–1959)
CCL31580

Gathering Prayer

Jesus said: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.

Welcome to the house of God.
We have come from all the corners of the earth.

Welcome to the hospitality of God.
We come as we are; we bring our life, our stories, our journey.

Welcome, brothers and sisters.
We are the rainbow people of God.

Welcome, chosen people.
May God our companion bind us in his love.

Amen

The Confession

Forgive us for the things we have done and have not done.
Forgive us for the things we have said and have not said.
Forgive us for the life we have lived and not lived.
Beloved God, help us to reflect the image
of the one we profess to follow
in thought, word and deed,
and in discovering our true self
draw others into that light.

Amen

The Word of the Lord

Psalm 85: 8–13

Read by Peter Steeds

8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
  he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants –
  but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
  that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
  righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
  and righteousness looks down from heaven.

12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
  and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
  and prepares the way for his steps.

NIV®

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

Matthew 14: 22–33

Read by Nerys Steeds

Jesus walks on the water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

28 ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

29 ‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

NIV®

This is the Gospel of Christ.
Praise to Christ our light.

Sermon

By Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga

I grew up in a very traditional evangelical church. Everyone had their own Bible. We would read from our Bible regularly, as a family together and in my own personal devotionals every day. And I would carry my Bible to every church service, Bible study, youth group, summer camps, trips out, absolutely everywhere. My Bible would go with me. After all, we are the people of the book.

After my conversion, which was the day when I made a personal decision to follow Christ, in the summer of 1974, at the age of thirteen, I took the decision to treat myself by buying a new Bible. I had always wanted what I’d call it, the Missionary Bible. The Bible the missionaries used to carry it with themselves. However, I settled for what I could afford. And using all my savings, I bought a black leather-bound Bible with gold around the sides. It was a beautiful Bible: A5 size, not too big, not too small. And I remember well, I got it from the shop in the Bible Society.

I grew older with my Bible. I read it every day.

I memorized verses and I marked in colour key verses in the Bible. Red for sin, blue for heaven, green for salvation, yellow for promises, and so on and on. It was a rainbow with notes everywhere and many amens.

My Bible became my companion, accompanying me to many important and profound changing events in my life.

In 2005, I travelled to Cuba with my good friend Simon Lockett, a priest in the Church of England like me. We were invited by the Association of Evangelical Pastors to run a series of seminars over there. My friend Miguel, who is based in Miami, made all the arrangements and agreed to meet us in Havana the day after our arrival. We were told that the delegation of pastors will meet us at the airport, and we were to accompany them. Unfortunately, when we arrived, we were tricked. Two guys pretending to be from the Association of Pastors holding signs with our names on welcomed us. They took us to a bed and breakfast and then into town to change some money. They told us to wait in the lobby of an hotel.

And we wait, but they never came back for us. Instead, they went back to the B&B and stole absolutely everything we had – and I mean everything. We were left with nothing. They took our money and a lot of medicine we had collected for the people in Cuba and my much-beloved Bible. It was a nightmare of an experience. The British consulate was on hand, thankfully, to help us to contact the real pastors who came to collect us to following day. We tried so hard to don’t let that one bad experience to spoil our time in the island, where we met so many wonderful people, heard so many amazing stories, and we shared so many, many wonderful moments.

It was only after we came back that I came to terms with what happened to us as the memory of what we went through sank in. I felt anger and guilt. Why I was so stupid? I asked myself so many times. I lost many, many things. But the loss of my Bible really hurt and upset me most. My dear Bible is gone for good. I lament it again and again. Something so important to me was taken away from me.

Still today, sometimes I wonder where my Bible is. Who could have it, will he or she read it? I wonder if my footnotes are of any help. Will my Bible bring comfort, salvation maybe? I want to believe it is well looked after; that it had found a new good owner, a new home.

If there is any place on the planet where it makes sense to lose a Bible, that place, without any doubt, is Cuba.

I pray that the person who has it will find comfort and wisdom in the Word of God, just as I did. So, from our Gospel reading today, here are three thoughts for you to ponder upon when unexpected events turn your life upside down. Take courage. Don’t be afraid. Why did you doubt?

Take care.

Choral Response: He watching over Israel slumbers not, nor sleeps

He watching over Israel slumbers not, nor sleeps.
Shouldst thou, walking in grief, languish
He will quicken thee

Julius Schubring (1806–1889)
CCL31580

An Affirmation of Faith

We believe in the Creator:
the maker of all things.

We believe in the Son:
the redeemer of our broken world.

We believe in the Spirit:
The sacred wind that binds all things together in the family of God.

Creator Father, beloved Son and living Spirit.

Amen

Intercessions

By Glynne Gordon-Carter
(read by Janet Trimnell)

Let us pray:

God of surprises,
When I think you are not present in my life,
You reveal yourself in the love of friends and family
And nurture me in your never-ending affection.

God of surprises,
When we think you are not present in our community,
You labour to make us of one heart
And cause us to share gladly and generously.

God of surprises,
When people think you are not present in our world,
You bring hope out of despair
And create growth out of difficulty.

God of surprises,
You are ever with us.

(Excerpts: Francis Brienen)

Loving God, we pray for the people of Lebanon as they mourn
and come to terms with those who have been killed, injured, made homeless
as a result of the chemical explosion in Beirut.
This is a huge tragedy for a country already decimated by war over the years.
The United Kingdom, France, other countries,
as well as emergency agencies are responding urgently to this devastation.

The Lord hears our prayer:
thanks be to God.

Father God, our families, communities, countries
have been ravaged by the corona virus pandemic for several months.
Many are experiencing physical, emotional, and financial pain.
Father, we pray for those who are mourning the death of loved ones;
we pray for persons suffering from the long Covid after-effects.
Help them to be brave, courageous and never lose hope.

The Lord hears our prayer;
thanks be to God.

Lord, we give thanks that in the midst of all this devastation and despair
there are many people in the society and communities
working ceaselessly to attend to our needs.
We give thanks for all staff working in the NHS, care homes and nursing homes.
We give thanks for the army of persons throughout the country
delivering food and medical supplies to vulnerable people;
workers picking fruit and vegetables on farms;
people delivering food supplies to supermarkets and shops;
staff working in those shops; people providing postal deliveries;
dustmen; transport services; the Police and Fire Services.
Father, please provide and protect them and their families at this difficult time.

The Lord hears our prayer;
thanks be to God.

Father, as we come to this new week, we praise and thank you for the gift of life;
for the joy of friendships;
the journeys we make together, the comfort we can offer when tears are shed;
help us always to be quick to listen and slow to speak.
May we show love, peace and grace to all.

The Lord hears our prayer;
thanks be to God.

Amen

Hymn: Jesus is Lord!

Jesus is Lord! Creation’s voice proclaims it,
for by his power each tree and flower was planned and made.
Jesus is Lord! The universe declares it;
sun, moon and stars in heaven cry: Jesus is Lord!
Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!
praise him with Halleluias, for Jesus is Lord!

Jesus is Lord! Yet from his throne eternal
in flesh he came to die in pain on Calvary’s tree.
Jesus is Lord! From him all life proceeding,
yet gave his life a ransom, thus setting us free:
Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!
praise him with Halleluias, for Jesus is Lord!

Jesus is Lord! O’er sin the mighty conqueror,
from death he rose; and all his foes shall own his name.
Jesus is Lord! God sends his Holy Spirit
to show by works of power that Jesus is Lord:
Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!
praise him with Halleluias, for Jesus is Lord!
Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!
praise him with Halleluias, for Jesus is Lord!

David Mansell (b. 1936)
CCL31580

The Peace

Jesus says,

‘Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid.’

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

The Offering

Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9: 6–7

Thank you

To everyone who is continuing to pay us regularly through the Parish Giving Scheme.
To everyone who is continuing to pay us regularly by bankers’ order.
To people in the envelope scheme who are putting their money aside every week ready to bring in when we re-open.
To members of the envelope scheme who have already sent cheques and on-line donations.

Thank you

Holy Communion

The Thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become our spiritual drink.

Blessed be God for ever.

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.

Eucharistic Prayer

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:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.

Amen

Breaking of the Bread

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.

Take this bread:

Share this wine.

In these Christ comes to us with love from God.
The gifts of God for the people of God.

Amen

Hymn: Walk with me, O my Lord

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
through the darkest night and brightest day
Be at my side, oh Lord,
hold my hand and guide me on my way.

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
through the darkest night and brightest day
Be at my side, oh Lord,
hold my hand and guide me on my way.

Sometimes the road seems long,
my energy is spent.
The, Lord, I think of you
and I am given strength.

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
through the darkest night and brightest day
Be at my side, oh Lord,
hold my hand and guide me on my way.

Stones often bar my path
and there are times I fall,
but you are always there
to help me when I call.

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
through the darkest night and brightest day
Be at my side, oh Lord,
hold my hand and guide me on my way.

Just as you calmed the wind
and walked upon the sea,
conquer, my living Lord,
the storms that threaten me.

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
through the darkest night and brightest day
Be at my side, oh Lord,
hold my hand and guide me on my way.

Help me to pierce the mists
that cloud my heart and mind,
so that I shall not fear
the steepest mountain-side.

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
through the darkest night and brightest day
Be at my side, oh Lord,
hold my hand and guide me on my way.

As once you helped the lame
and gave sight to the blind,
help me when I’m downcast
to hold my head up high.

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
through the darkest night and brightest day
Be at my side, oh Lord,
hold my hand and guide me on my way.

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
through the darkest night and brightest day
Be at my side, oh Lord,
hold my hand and guide me on my way.

Estelle White (1925–2011)
CCL31580

The Blessing

Thank you for joining us this morning.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord turn his face towards you
and give you peace.

And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father,
the Son
and the Holy Spirit
be among you
and remain with you
today and always.

Amen

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

Amen

Postlude: 1st movement of Waltz in A♭ major by F. Chopin

[Video recordings of all the music in this Service can be viewed by following this link: https://www.cornerstonemk.co.uk/music-videos-for-sunday-9-august-2020/.]