April 14th, 2019 – Palm Sunday

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 27

This week’s sermon

March 31st, 2019 – Fourth Sunday in Lent

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Exodus 16:2-7; Psalm 32; Galatians 4:26-5:1; John 6:5-14

This week’s sermon: “Good Parenting 101”

Mothering Sunday: A Sonnet
 
At last, in spite of all, a recognition,
For those who loved and laboured for so long,
Who brought us, through that labour, to fruition
To flourish in the place where we belong.
A thanks to those who stayed and did the raising,
Who buckled down and did the work of two,
Whom governments have mocked instead of praising,
Who hid their heart-break and still struggled through,
The single mothers forced onto the edge
Whose work the world has overlooked, neglected,
Invisible to wealth and privilege,
But in whose lives the kingdom is reflected.
Now into Christ our mother church we bring them,
Who shares with them the birth-pangs of His Kingdom.
 
-Malcolm Guite

March 24th, 2019 – Third Sunday in Lent

WE beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty, to be our defence against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 26:1-15; Psalm 63:1-8; Ephesians 5:1-14; Luke 11:14-26

Batter My Heart
Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
 
- John Donne (1572-1631)

March 17th, 2019 – Second Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 45:20-25; Psalm 27; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7; Matthew 15:21-28

This weeks sermon

Strong Son of God, Immortal Love
 
Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;

Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.
 
We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see;
And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.
 
Let knowledge grow from more to more,
But more of reverence in us dwell;
That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before …
-       
Alfred Tennyson

March 10th, 2019 – First Sunday in Lent

O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights: Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.  Amen.

Genesis 3:1-7; Psalm 91:1-16; 2 Corinthians 6:1-10; Matthew 4:1-11

This week’s sermon

Stones into Bread
 
The Fountain thirsts, the Bread is hungry here
The Light is dark, the Word without a voice.
When darkness speaks it seems so light and clear.
Now He must dare, with us, to make a choice.
In a distended belly’s cruel curve
He feels the famine of the ones who lose
He starves for those whom we have forced to starve
He chooses now for those who cannot choose.
 
He is the staff and sustenance of life
He lives for all from one Sustaining Word
His love still breaks and pierces like a knife
 
The stony ground of hearts that never shared,
God gives through Him what Satan never could;
The broken bread that is our only food.
 
Malcolm Guite

March 3rd, 2019 – Quinquagesima Sunday

O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth: Send thy Holy Spirit, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever lives is counted dead before thee: Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ’s sake.  Amen.

Isaiah 35:3-7; Psalm 99; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 18:31-43

LOVE (III)
 
LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.
 
'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'
 
'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.
 
George Herbert (1593-1632)

February 24th, 2019 – Sexagesima Sunday

O LORD God, who seest that we do not put our trust in any thing that we do: Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Amos 8:11-12; Psalm 17; 2 Corinthians 11:21-31; Luke 8:4-15

God's Grandeur
 
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
 
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs ‒
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
(G.M. Hopkins) 

February 17th, 2019 – Septuagesima Sunday

O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.

Jeremiah 17:5-10; Psalm 119 25-32; 1 Corinthians  15:12-20; Matthew 20:1-16

I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, not Day
 
I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day,
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.poem
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.
 
I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
G.M Hopkins (1844-1889)

January 27th, 2019 – Third Sunday after Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:1-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a; Luke 4:14-21                       

Sounding the Seasons - Malcolm Guite
 
Tramelled in time, we live with hints and guesses
Turning the wheel of each returning year,
But in between our failures and successes
We sometimes glimpse the Love that casts out fear,
Sometimes the heart remembers its own reasons
And breathes a Sanctus as we tell our story,
Tracing the tracks of grace, sounding the seasons
That lead at last through time to timeless glory.
 
From the first yearnings for a Saviours birth
To the full joy of knowing sins forgiven
We gather as His church on Gods’s good earth
To share an echo of the choirs of heaven
I share these hints, returning what was lent,
Turning to praise each ‘moment’s monument’.

January 13th, 2019 – Baptism of the Lord

O HEAVENLY Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ did take our nature upon him, and was baptized for our sakes in the river Jordan: Mercifully grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may also be partakers of thy Holy Spirit; through him whom thou didst send to be our Saviour and Redeemer, even the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts 8:14-17; Psalm 29; Luke 3:15-22

The First Sunday of Epiphany: Jesus Baptism

Beginning here we glimpse the Three-in-one;
The river runs, the clouds are torn apart,
The Father speaks, the Spirit and the Son
Reveal to us the single loving heart
That beats behind the being of all things
And calls and keeps and kindles us to light.
The dove descends, the spirit soars and sings
‘You are belovèd, you are my delight!’

In that quick light and life, as water spills
And streams around the Man like quickening rain,
The voice that made the universe reveals
The God in Man who makes it new again.
He calls us too, to step into that river
To die and rise and live and love forever.

- Malcolm Guite