Uniting together, Caring for all, Seeking God

Service Sheet 07.06.2020

Uniting Church Sketty and Wesley Church, Clydach, ‘Worship from Home’, Trinity Sunday, 7th June 2020

This ‘Worship from Home’ has been prepared by the Revd Dr Noel Davies.

Call to worship

Let us praise the one holy God, source, meaning and guide of all that is, creator, redeemer, renewer:

Hymn: Father in heaven (StF 4)

Sing or read or pray these words:

Father in heaven, grant to your children
mercy and blessing, songs never-ceasing;
love to unite us, grace to redeem us,
Father in heaven, Father, our God.

Jesus, Redeemer, may we remember
your gracious passion, your resurrection:
Worship we bring you, praise we shall sing you,
Jesus, Redeemer, Jesus, our Lord.

Spirit descending, whose is the blessing:
strength for the weary, help for the needy;
sealing Christ’s Lordship, blessing our worship,
Spirit descending, Spirit adored.

D.T.Niles (Methodist minister, Sri Lanka)

Scripture Readings

On Trinity Sunday, we think together about God, the God we know in creation around us, the God revealed to us in Jesus, the God alongside us in the Spirit. The God who is creator, redeemer and renewer, the source, meaning and guide of all that is. We begin with the vision of the Psalmist:

Psalm 139.1-12 The all-present God

Reflection: The creative energy of God’s love shapes universes and peoples.

Look at an image of a galaxy. What do you see? What does it tell you about our universe? What does it tell you about God? What does it tell you about us, human beings, in this vast cosmos?

It may be that as we contemplate the beauty and wonder around us, we too (in Alister McGrath’s words), ‘may hear the galaxies sing’ the glory of God.

The Psalmist says, “If I take the wings of the dawn and travel to the extremities of the sea, there your hand will lead me and your right hand support me.”

What do you think about when you look out at the sea? R.S. Thomas the priest-poet stands on the edge of the sea. He looks to the horizon, sees the rocks, hears the sounds of the sea. He asks himself, in his poem ‘Everywhere’, ‘…why, if there were no God/had I been brought there?’ He finds the answer:

‘…Suddenly, I understood: the heaving

of the water was (God) himself breathing;

the wideness of the sky was his face gazing…’

The two readings from Gospel of John share a vision of God whom we see through Jesus and who walks alongside us in the Spirit:

John 14.1-9 ‘Show us the Father…’

Reflection: When asked to sum up his faith in God in words of one syllable, the best that Bishop David Jenkins could come up with was this: “God is, God is as he is in Jesus”. Not bad, is it? Later, he added one extra clause: “God is, God is as he is in Jesus, so there is hope”. The Jesus who – then as now – reaches out, touches and embraces in love and compassion, is the Jesus who offers hope for the world. As Jesus reminds Philip: ‘If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.’ The Trinity tells us, or better, portrays for us, ‘the love that is the heartbeat of the universe’. It is this love known in Jesus, breathed by the Spirit, that constantly restores us.

John 14.15-20 The renewing Spirit, beside us, comforting, strengthening and guiding us. 

Reflection: The word translated ‘advocate’ (v16) in NIV is paracletos, where we get ‘paraclete’ from and means ‘one that comes beside us’. The God who creates, sustains and is the energy of all things, the God who becomes one with us in love in Jesus, is alongside us: ‘[God] lives in you and will be with you’.

But the final piece of the puzzle is that, in all this, we are talking about one God: the God who welcomes, embraces, creates, re-creates, loves to the end, and comes alongside us, is the one God – bound in a communion of love (hence the circle enfolding the triple Celtic knot) –  whom we know in Jesus through the Spirit. In all this ‘God is as he is in Jesus’ and SO, in these testing times, ‘we have hope’. 

Prayers

God, you invite us to dance in delight, shaping and forming in figures of grace.

We move to the pulse of creation’s music and rejoice to be part of the making of earth.

Praise in the making, the sharing the moving;

praise to the God who dances with us.

In the steps of Jesus, we reach to our partners,

touching and holding and finding new strengths.

Together we move into patterns of freedom,

and rejoice to be part of the sharing of hope

Praise in the making, the sharing the moving;

praise to the God who dances with us.

We whirl and spin in the Spirit’s rhythm,

embracing the world with our circles of joy.

Together we dance for salvation and justice,

and rejoice to be part of the moving of love.

Praise in the making, the sharing the moving;

praise to the God who dances with us. Amen.

Jan Berry, from Bread of Tomorrow, Christian Aid.

O God, into the pain of the tortured

breathe stillness.

Into the hunger of the very poor

breathe fullness.

Into the wounds of our planet

breathe well-being.

Into the deaths of your creatures

breathe life.

Into those who long for you

breathe yourself.

God, our one God, you love us, our lives are your blessing upon us, so we give thanks with joy. Amen.

from In Spirit and in Truth (WCC) adapted

Hymn: God with us (StF 8)

Sing or read or pray or listen here:

Blessing

God of creation and re-creation, restore us.

Jesus, who loves us and redeems us to the end, save us. Spirit, who comes alongside us, be with us.

Our one God, one in love, one in communion,

one in companionship,

be with us all now and into your eternity. Amen.