Sunday, May 20, 2018

An Ordo for Trinity Sunday (27 May 2018)

Trinity Sunday

27 May 2018

The Gathering of the Community

Gathering Music


Opening Hymn

‘Holy, Holy, Holy’  Common Praise#1


Alleluia!  Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia!
May his grace and peace be with you.
May he fill our hearts with joy.

Hymn of Praise

‘Glory, in the Highest Glory’ Common Praise#366

Collect of the Day

Let us pray.

Holy God,
the earth is full of your love.
May we your children, born of the Spirit,
so bear witness to your Son Jesus Christ,
that all the world may believe
and have eternal life through him,
who with you and the Holy Spirit,
lives and reigns, one God,
now and for ever.  Amen.[1]

The Proclamation of the Word

The First Reading:  Isaiah 6.1-8

A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

            6.1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple.  2Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.

            3And one called to another and said:  “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

            4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.  5And I said: “Woe is me!  I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

            6Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.  7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said:  “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.”  8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”  And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.

The Psalm:  Psalm 29 (sung to Common Praise #439)

Ascribe to God, you gods,
ascribe glory and might;
ascribe the glory due God’s name,
worship in holy light.

God’s voice is on the deep,
like thunder rolls on high;
the Lord is on the water-flood,
God’s voice a mighty cry.

God’s voice breaks mighty trees,
tall cedars of great worth;
they writhe and leap like mountain sheep,
God’s voice shakes all the earth.

God’s voice spits flames of fire,
God’s voice shakes desert sands;
God’s voice makes oak trees shake and strips
the leaves from forest stands.

Within God’s temple all
cry ‘Glory!’ and adore;
the Lord sits throne above the flood
to rule for evermore.

Lord, you give great strength
to all you own, nor cease
to give your people evermore
the blessing of your peace. [2]

The Second Reading: Romans 8.12-17

A reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

            8.12So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — 13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.  15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption.  When we cry, “Abba! Father!”  16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ — if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.

Hymn before the Gospel

‘Alleluia’  Common Praise#712 v. 1

The Gospel:  John 3.1-17

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

            3.1Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews.  2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”  3Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”  4Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old?  Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?”  5Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.  6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’  8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”  10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

            11“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony.  12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.  14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

            16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

            17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

The Gospel of Christ.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Hymn after the Gospel

‘Alleluia’  Common Praise#712 v. 4

The Sermon

The Apostles’ Creed

Let us confess the faith of our baptism.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.  Amen.[3]

The Prayers of the Community

Intercessions, Petitions and Thanksgivings

The Exchange of the Peace

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

The Holy Communion

The Offertory Hymn

‘The Kingdom of God Is Justice and Joy’  Common Praise#631

The Prayer over the Gifts

Let us pray.

Living God,
receive all we offer you this day.
Grant that hearing your word 
and responding to your Spirit,
we may share in your divine life.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.  

The Great Thanksgiving

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 our thanks and praise.

All thanks and praise are yours 
at all times and in all places, our true and loving God; 
through Jesus Christ, your eternal Word, 
the Wisdom from on high by whom you created all things.  
You laid the foundations of the world 
and enclosed the sea when it burst out from the womb.  
You brought forth all creatures of the earth 
and gave breath to humankind.

Wondrous are you, Holy One of Blessing, 
all you create is a sign of hope for our journey.  
And so as the morning stars sing your praises 
we join the heavenly beings and all creation as we shout with joy:

You are holy, you are whole. 
You are always ever more than we ever understand.  
Blessed are you coming here to your church in wine and bread, 
raised from soil, raised from dead.

You are holy, you are wholeness,
you are present.  Let the cosmos praise you, Lord!

Sing hosanna in the highest! Sing hosanna!
Sing hosanna to our God! [5]

Glory and honour are yours, Creator of all, 
your Word has never been silent; 
you called a people to yourself, as a light to the nations, 
you delivered them from bondage 
and led them to a land of promise. 
Of your grace, you gave Jesus to be human, 
to share our life, to proclaim the coming of your holy reign 
and give himself for us, a fragrant offering.

Through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, 
you have freed us from sin, 
brought us into your life, 
reconciled us to you, 
and restored us to the glory you intend for us.

We thank you that on the night before he died for us 
Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks to you, 
he broke it, gave it to his friends and said:  
‘Take, eat, this is my body, broken for you.  
Do this for the remembrance of me.’

After supper Jesus took the cup of wine, 
said the blessing, gave it to his friends and said:  
‘Drink this, all of you: 
this cup is the new covenant in my blood, 
poured out for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.  
Do this for the remembrance of me.’

Therefore let us proclaim our hope:

Dying, you destroyed our death.  
Rising, you restored our life.  
Christ Jesus, come in glory!

Send your Holy Spirit upon us 
and upon these gifts of bread and wine 
so that they may be to us the body and blood of your Christ.  
Grant that we, burning with your Spirit’s power, 
may be a people of hope, justice and love.

Giver of life, draw us together in the body of Christ, 
and in the fullness of time gather us with all your people 
into the joy of our true eternal home.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, 
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, 
we worship you our God and Creator in voices of unending praise.

Blessed are you now and for ever.  Amen. [6]

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, let us 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.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.  Amen.[7]

The Breaking of the Bread

Lord, we died with you on the cross.
Now we re raised to new life.
We were buried in your tomb.
Now we share in your resurrection.
Live in us, so that we may live in you.[8]

These are the gifts of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.

The Communion of the Community

The Hymn after Communion

‘Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence’ Common Praise#48

The Sending Forth of the Community

The Prayer after Communion

Let us pray.

Creator of all,
may we who have received this eucharist
worship you in all we do,
and proclaim the glory of your majesty.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.  

Glory to God,
whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever.  Amen.

Closing Hymn

‘Here I Am, Lord’  Evangelical Lutheran Worship#574

The Dismissal

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Go forth in the name of our God,
Author of creation, Word of redemption and Spirit of wisdom.
Thanks be to God.  Alleluia! Alleluia! 

[2]Psalm 29 in A New Metrical Psalter (1986) alt.

[3]Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 105.

[4]The Book of Alternative Services (1985), 347.

[5]Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006) #525.

[6]Enriching Our Worship (1998), 62-65 alt.

[7]Songs for a Gospel People (1987) #12.

[8]The Book of Alternative Services (1985), 213 alt.

[9]The Book of Alternative Services (1986), 347 alt.

Friday, May 18, 2018

More Than We Can Ask or Imagine: Reflections on John 15.26-27; 16.4b-15 (RCL Pentecost B, 20 May 2018)

More Than We Can Ask or Imagine
Reflections on John 15.26-27; 16.4b-15

RCL Pentecost B
20 May 2018

Saint Faith’s Anglican Church

John 15.26-27; 16.4b-16

            15.26[Jesus said to his disciples,] “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.  27You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

            16.4b“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.  5But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’  6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.  7Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  8And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement:  9about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

            12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

(1) When I think about who I am today as a pastor, priest and teacher, I know that I have been influenced by many people, formally and informally.  But two people come quickly to mind.

(a)  The first is Louis Weil, who was my mentor in seminary and who first set my feet on the path to advanced studies in the history, theology and practice of Christian worship.

(b)  From Louis I learned many things, but I remember most his reminder that the disciple of a respected teacher is not meant to become her or his teacher’s clone.

(c)  The second was Jim White, may he rest in peace, who became the director of my doctoral thesis after an academic disaster that could have finished my then almost-but-not-yet academic career.

(d)  From Jim I learned to look at any development in Christian discipleship with three questions in mind:

(i)  How does this development fit into Christian practice over centuries?

(ii)  How does this development meet the real needs of real people living in real times and real places?

(iii)  How does this development proclaim the good news of God in Jesus of Nazareth?

(2) These two men, one now retired and living in the San Francisco Bay area, the other now dead almost fourteen years, came to mind when I read today’s gospel.  Within it is one of the sayings of Jesus that has sustained me over the past forty years.

(a)        “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” [1]

(b)  In these two verses Jesus 

(i)  unleashes his disciples from any slavish devotion to the past and 

(ii)  releases them to be agents of God’s transforming love into a world needing the freedom that this love brings to the children of God.

(c)  He sends them --- and us --- out as disciples not as clones destined to repeat established habits and customs over and over again in the hopes of different results.

(d)  He promises them --- and us --- that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will guide us to ask important questions:

(i)  How does our way of being disciples of Jesus fit with the ‘great’ tradition, the tradition we see in Jesus himself?

(ii)  How does our way of being disciples of Jesus meet the real needs of real people in this our real time and place?

(iii)  How does our way of being disciples of Jesus proclaim the good news of God we have experienced?

(3) This is not something new to this Parish of Saint Faith’s.

(a)  Fifteen years after this Parish was established in 1947, a new prayer book embarked us and our whole church on a process of liturgical renewal which continues to this very day.

(b)  By the 1960’s this Parish joined others in questioning how the Church ought to honour and recognize the ministry of women, whether in lay or ordained ministry.  The ‘Me Too’ movement has shown us that we are still learning.

(c)  In 1949 British Columbia permitted aboriginal people to vote in provincial elections, but it was not until 1960 that the suffrage was granted in federal elections. We know that we continue to work for reconciliation and the creation of a truly just society.

(d)  During the last twenty years we have taken some risks in order to ‘take care of the neighbourhood’ God has entrusted to us

(i)  through our many outreach initiatives;

(ii)  through the Pastoral Resource Centre;

(iii)  through Saint Hildegard’s Sanctuary.

(e)  We have not always known where we might be led nor have we always been certain that what we were doing was ‘right’ --- but we have trusted that God’s Spirit was and is guiding us.

(4) Soon, with the leadership of the Canonical Committee and an interim priest, this Parish will enter a new stage in its on-going journey of faith.

(a)  I am convinced that this Parish continues to have a role to play in God’s purposes for this neighbourhood and all the places from whence we come.

(b)  We are here to be disciples who dare to go where we have not gone before.

(c)  We are here to discern how our future ministry

(i)  will add one more chapter to the story of God’s love here among us and around us;

(ii)  will respond to the needs of this changing neighbourhood and region, even if our neighbours do not recognize their need for communities of faith such as ours;

(iii)  will proclaim the good news we have seen with our eyes, heard with our ears, touched with our hands in our lives and the lives of our friends and families and neighbours.

(d)  But let us be of good cheer --- for surely the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will continue to guide us into the truth, God’s truth --- for us, for this neighbourhood, for this world.

Let us pray.

O God,
you have called your servants
to ventures of which we cannot see the ending,
by paths as yet untrodden,
through perils unknown.
Give us faith to go out with good courage,
not knowing where we go,
but only that your hand is leading us
and your love supporting us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
[Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 317]

[1]John 16.12-13.