The First Sunday after Trinity

St. Giles’ Cathedral

Online Devotion

Sunday June 14th 2020

1st after Trinity Sunday

If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life.
Romans 8: 10

Let us worship God.

The lesson is written in the gospel according to St Matthew in the 9th and 10th chapters.

35Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

10Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’

The Word of the Lord; thanks be to God.

Hymn

O thou who camest from above
the pure celestial fire to impart,
kindle a flame of sacred love
on the mean altar of my heart!

There let it for thy glory burn
with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return,
in humble prayer and fervent praise.

Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work, and speak, and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire,
and still stir up thy gift in me-

Ready for all thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat,
till death thy endless mercies seal,
and make the sacrifice complete.

Text: Charles Wesley 1707-1788

Tune: Hereford CH4 625
Samuel Sebastian Wesley 1801-1876

Reflection

Jesus had compassion for the crowds, Matthew tells us. His healing actions grow out of that compassion, the Latin root of which means to “suffer with.”

The New Testament scholar Jae Won Lee writes that in this passage Jesus is serving the weak on the basis of compassion and “this manifests God’s ruling activity,” so for her the presence of compassion is the presence of God’s very reign.

Compassion is more than sympathy. More even, perhaps, than empathy. Or it requires empathy, but there’s more to it. It is not just a feeling. There is an action that must happen for it to be compassion.

In God’s reign, compassion acts out as service and is the mark of faithfulness to the gospel. Compassion, I believe, is love that is put into action. This is the imperative of compassion—that it requires action toward the other, action rooted and grounded in love. And we might reflect that the absence of compassion means the absence of God’s loving presence.

In his autobiography, the great worker for peace Mahatma Gandhi tells how when he was in his student days in South Africa, he became deeply interested in the Bible and especially in Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount. Gandhi became convinced that Christianity could be the answer to the caste system, which had plagued India for centuries and which Gandhi fought against. He seriously considered becoming Christian. One day when he was in South Africa, he went to a church to attend mass and to begin instruction. He writes that he was stopped at the entrance to the church and told that if he desired to attend mass he was welcome to do so in another church, one that was reserved for blacks and coloreds. Gandhi writes that he left and never returned. There was an absence of compassion at the church.

Indeed I believe that compassion is the antidote to hate, the antidote to apathy, to smug contentment that can so often take over our lives in a comfortable, wealthy world. Compassion is the antidote to a worldview in which the least basically do not matter; where the powerful oppress minorities with impunity; where necks are knelt on.

From the Iona Community part of a prayer which speaks to these times:

Look at your hands, see the touch and the tenderness – God’s own for the world.

Look at your feet, see the path and the direction – God’s own for the world.

Look at your heart, see the fire and the love – God’s own for the world. Amen

Anthem

 Jubilate Deo

O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands :
serve the Lord with gladness,
and come before his presence with a song.
Be ye sure that the Lord he is God :
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise :
be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting :
and his truth endureth from generation to generation.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

Text: Psalm 100
Music: William Walton 1902-1983

Prayer

The prayer to be said all over Scotland this evening at 7 p.m.

Let us pray.

Living God, you demonstrate your love for us
Though our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we are powerless,
Stand with us in our weakness.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, you demonstrate your love for the world
Through the self-giving of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We remember those who are powerless in our world
And stand with them in their weakness.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, as we stand with others
May we understand more fully the life we share in common.
In understanding more fully
May we embrace the richness of the life you gift us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, your Holy Spirit
Is the Lord and Giver of Life.
May your love be poured into our hearts
And our lives renewed.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer,
Embrace us, and all Creation,
In the love you demonstrate through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

O Lord hear our prayers for ourselves and others as we join together in the

Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father,
which 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 our trespasses
as we forgive those who 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.

The Benediction

Be of good courage, render no-one evil for evil,
but hold fast to the good; honour all of God’s people,
and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the Communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you
and all whom you love
this day and for ever.
(Amen)

Organ Voluntary
J.S.Bach Fugue in C BWV 547

CCL Licence No 980930
Streaming Licence 57837

The service was conducted by Rev Calum I MacLeod
The lesson was read by Carole Hope

The hymn was recorded by members of the Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral, with Michael Harris, organ, remotely in lockdown, June 2020.
The anthem was recorded in 2008 by the Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral, Peter Backhouse, Assistant Organist, Michael Harris, Organist and Master of the Music