Service at Home on 7th June - Trinity Sunday
Service at Home on 7th June 2020: Trinity Sunday
for Christ Church Ramsbottom, Edenfield Methodist Church and Bolton Road Methodist Church
YouTube playlist: Service at Home 07-06-2020
As usual, the entire service can be followed on the YouTube playlist without the need to look at these sheets. However, you can still use these sheets if you prefer, especially if you want to read the prayers.
Welcome and Introduction
Watch: Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to this Sunday’s Service at Home.
Today is Trinity Sunday, on which we remember that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, yet one person. We’ll be looking at how this affects how we obey God’s command to make new disciples, and how we can personally know all three persons of the Trinity.
Watch: The Splendour of the King
Watch: Way Maker
Watch: Opening prayers
Lord God, your Name is indeed exalted above all other names. You are worthy of all our praise. Help us to trust you more completely. Help us to remember that you are always ready to guide us, that nothing is impossible for you and that you always keep your promises. You are constantly working for our good, even when we aren’t aware of it. We thank you and we praise you. Amen.
Prayer (written by Jill Baker)
Great Creator God, as we worship you today our hearts are filled with awe:
we see your glory in the night sky, the moon and stars shining on, century after century,
we see your glory in the land around our feet, beauty and abundance to sustain life,
we see your glory in all people, humankind made in your image,
we worship you.
Jesus Christ our Redeemer, as we worship you today our hearts are filled with praise:
you are the timeless Word of God, through whom all things were created,
you are the incarnate Word of God, demonstrating life in all its fullness,
you are the eternal Word of God, present with us now and to the end of the age, we worship you.
Holy Spirit, Energy of God, as we worship you today our hearts are filled with wonder:
we feel you sweeping across the earth now, as you swept over the waters at creation
we feel you stirring your church now, as you first stirred the church at Pentecost,
we feel you connecting your worldwide family now, as we are joined with one another, we worship you.
Gracious God, One-in-Three and Three-in-One, accept our worship, our praise and our wonder.
Reveal again to us your great glory through your Living Word, as we are transformed by your tireless Spirit. We worship you. Amen.
A prayer of Confession
Lord God, we know that we don’t always behave as you would like us to. Sometimes we do and say things that hurt you and hurt others. In a few moments of quiet, we remember the things we have done wrong ----
Lord, we know that if we are truly sorry, you are always ready to forgive us and we ask for your forgiveness now.
God is love and forgives our sins through Jesus.
The Lord’s Prayer
As forgiven people we say the prayer that Jesus taught us:
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 trespasses, as we forgive those 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.
Prayers of intercession
Watch: Prayers of intercession
Gracious God, whose Spirit helps us in our weakness and guides us in our prayers, we pray for the Church and for the world in the name of Jesus Christ.
Loving God, we pray for our churches. Keep us united with you and with one another in love. Teach us during this time when our buildings are closed. Help us to walk more closely with you. Show us how we can serve you now and how we should serve you when the church buildings re-open. Help us to let go of the things that aren’t of you and give us the courage to walk in new paths with you.
We pray for those we know who are unwell, or in any kind of need, naming them in the silence of our hearts.
We pray for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
We pray for Joyce and all Norman’s family.
Lord God, we thank you for Norman. We praise you as we think about his life and cherish our memories of him. We remember his faithful work for you, his love for his family and friends, his sense of humour. We know that for Norman the troubles of this world are over and death is past, he is safe in your care. For us who remain, be with us in our sadness and turn our eyes to you. We pray especially for Joyce, David, Carolyn, Ann and Jennifer and the grandchildren. Comfort them in their grief, Lord, hold them in your loving arms.
We pray for all those who are struggling. Those who are finding it difficult to make ends meet, those whose mental or physical health has been affected by the crisis. We ask, Lord, for your provision, your healing and your help. We pray to that you will stir us up and guide us to play our part in helping those in need.
We pray for and with communities across the world who are most vulnerable to coronavirus. We pray for people living in refugee camps and city slums, with limited sanitation facilities, who are unable to wash their hands regularly, and have little opportunity to isolate from others. We thank you for the Aid organisations working to help them and we pray that they will have the resources that they need.
We pray for the people of the USA. We ask your protection for those who are protesting peacefully. We pray that those in authority will act to ensure equality, respect and safety for all people.
We ask all our prayers in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Watch: You Never Let Go
Readings and Sermon
Watch: Readings and Sermon
- A reading Matthew 28:16-20 and 2 Corinthians 13:11-14 by Valerie.
- A sermon looking at what the Holy Trinity teaches us about making disciples and how can know each person of the Trinity personally; and a prayer in response.
On Trinity Sunday it’s traditional for the preacher to try and explain how God is one person while at the same time He is three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity. The preacher often uses an illustration like ice, water and vapour; or a clover leaf. But, never mend how amazing the illustration is, I think that trying to understand how God can be one person and three is impossible. Quite simply, it’s a mystery. So the best thing to do is simply accept that it’s a mystery but, very importantly, also accept that it’s true.
So what we’re going to do today is just accept that God is three in one without question, and instead look at what this means to us.
First, we’re going to look at why our knowledge of each of the three persons of God plays an important part in the mission of the church. The passage that we heard from Matthew is a wonderful passage, right at the end of that Gospel, in which Jesus tells us two really important things: we must go and make new disciples; and, that he’ll always be with us. But today, as it’s Trinity Sunday, we’re going to look at a phrase in the passage that’s easily overlooked: “Baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
Jesus make a point in listing the three persons of the Trinity at this point because he’s reminding his disciples, which of course includes you and me today, that all three persons of the Trinity have an essential role in the making of new disciples.
Before we go any further, let’s look at what we know about each of the persons of the Trinity. To do this we’ll look at the passage that we heard from 2 Corinthians chapter 13. Paul writes “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”. These words are familiar to us as a final prayer or blessing, often called the “Grace”, but the passage also describes for us each of the persons of the Holy Trinity.
First, there’s the “grace of Jesus”. The grace of Jesus is that he died for us, even though we most certainly don’t deserve it. The only person who never sinned died for us who have sinned so that we can be saved and have eternal life. The grace of Jesus is his unconditional love and willingness to sacrifice himself for us. As Paul wrote in Titus chapter 2 verse 11: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people”. The grace of Jesus is the central message of the Bible.
Second, there’s the “love of God the Father”. The Father loves each one of us very much indeed. It’s almost incomprehensible that the all-powerful creator of the Universe should love us. But we know that He does because Jesus tells us in John 3 verse 16 that: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son”. Yes - He loves us so much that He sent His son, Jesus, to this world to die for us. What an amazing love that is!
And third, there’s the “fellowship of the Holy Spirit”. When somebody talks me to about “fellowship” I tend to think of a group of people sitting down for a cup of tea and a chat, so it seems an odd description for the Holy Spirit as you’d expect something a bit more intense. It’s easier to understand what’s meant by ‘fellowship’ when we look at Romans 8 verse 16, which says: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children”. This tells us that the fellowship of the Holy Spirit means the joining together, the communion, of the Holy Spirit with our own spirit, which is what happens when we invite the Holy Spirit to come and live in us. This fellowship makes our faith in Jesus real for us. It also produces in us the fruit of the Spirit, to make us more like Jesus. And it also enables us to be guided by God and to be equipped to do whatever He calls us to do.
Let’s now go back to looking at why we need to recognise that each of these aspects of the Holy Trinity is important in making new disciples When making disciples, it’s really important that we tell them about their Father in Heaven who loves them. If the Father did not love us then He wouldn’t have sent Jesus or the Holy Spirit and nobody would ever be baptised and saved. So clearly it’s really important that we tell everyone about the Father’s love for them. Unless someone knows about God’s love, the Christian faith won’t make any sense to them.
But it’s equally important that we tell people about Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that he made for us, through which they can know that they’ve been forgiven and have been saved. This is of course central to the Christian faith – it’s why we call ourselves Christians.
But also equally important is the Holy Spirit. We can tell people about the Father’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice over and over again but, ultimately, it’s only ever the Holy Spirit who convinces the person that it’s true. As we heard just now: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children”.
So does that mean that the Holy Spirit is the most important person of the Trinity when it comes to make disciples? No, of course not, because unless the person knows about the Father’s love and the grace of Jesus, then the person’s belief will be short lived and will wither, like the seed that falls on rocky ground where the soil is shallow.
All three persons of the Trinity play an essential part in discipleship and it’s important to get the balance right. It’s no good telling people endlessly about God’s love but only briefly mentioning the grace of Jesus. And it’s no good telling people all about Jesus if we don’t then introduce them to the Holy Spirit. And so on. So when you’re out there telling people about God, making new disciples, remember to tell people about all three persons of the Trinity in equal measure. Tell them that the Father loves them very much, that Jesus died for them and that the Holy Spirit will live in them in to make it all real for them.
So far it’s all been a bit theoretical. We’re now going to look at how you can personally know each of the three persons of the Trinity, which will also enable you to introduce others to them, to make disciples.
To do this we’ll look at what Jesus tells us in John chapter 14. For example, in verse 7, Jesus says “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.” In verse 19: “I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me”. In verse 23: “My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them”. And in verse 25: “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”.
It might seem impossible for us to know the creator of the Universe, who exists outside of our dimensions of time and space. But Jesus tells us otherwise! Jesus tells us that if we know him, we know God the Father. This is of course obvious when we remember the mystery of the Trinity, which is that Father, Son and Spirit are one.
But this still means that to know the Father, we need to know Jesus. Knowing Jesus is easier, because we can read in the Bible about what he said and did. But can we really know someone just by reading about them? I’ve read a lot of biographies about all sorts of different people, from John Wesley to Ranulph Feinnes. When I’ve read someone’s biography, I know a lot about that person, but I can’t say that I actually know the person. You can only know a person when you’ve actually met them. This tells us that we need to meet Jesus to be able to know him.
And how do we meet Jesus? We meet Jesus, every single day, through the Holy Spirit living in us. This is what Jesus means when he tells us that we’ll continue to see him. And when he tells us that the Father and he will come and make our home with us. And as we heard in the passage from Matthew, Jesus promised that he is always with us.
Jesus also tells us that the Holy Spirit will teach us and remind us of what Jesus tells us about himself through the words of the Bible. This means that when we read the Bible, it’s as if Jesus is sitting next to us, helping us to understand it, helping us to know him and hence the Father. When we let the Holy Spirit teach us, reading the Bible becomes a conversation with God, whose Word it is.
This reminds us how important it is to invite the Holy Spirit to live in us, because when we have the Holy Spirit living in us, we know Jesus. And when we know Jesus, we know the Father. When we know one, we know them all, because they are just one person.
I invite you to say this prayer:
Our Father in Heaven, I praise and worship you for your amazing love for us. A love so strong that you sent your son to this world to die for us, so that we could be at one with you for all eternity.
Lord Jesus, I praise and worship you for your grace, by which you endured a terrible death on the cross so that I could be forgiven and have eternal life. I know that there’s no way that any of us deserve this as we’ve all sinned. All I can do is thank you for your unconditional love.
Holy Spirit, I invite you to fill me now. Testify with my spirit so that the love of the Father and the grace of Jesus become real for me. Come and live in me so that by knowing you, I know Jesus and I know the Father. So come Holy Spirit, I welcome you, fill me afresh now…………
Lord God, I know that you want me to make more disciples. I pray that you’ll help me to always remember to tell people all about your love and grace and to help them to invite you to live in them to make it real.
Now use the words of 2 Corinthians 13 verse 14 as a blessing by God, the Holy Trinity, upon you: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”.
Watch: There is a Redeemer