The Fourth Sunday after Trinity

St. Giles’ Cathedral

Online Devotion

Sunday July 5th 2020

4th Sunday after Trinity

Serve one another in love

Galatians 5: 13

Let us worship God.

The lesson is written in the gospel according to St Matthew in the 11th chapter.

25At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The word of the Lord: thanks be to God.

Hymn

All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew.
Me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple, fall to dust.
But God’s power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

God’s great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendour, light, and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of nought.
Evermore,
from his store
new-born worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth the Almighty Giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.

Still from earth to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.

Tune: Michael
Herbert Howells (1892-1983)

Text: Robert Bridges (1844-1930)
based on Joachim Neander (1650-1680)

Reflection

In these days of continuing bad news – of rising infections of the coronavirus globally; of heightened tensions around the question of the inequalities in the treatment of minorities; of “culture wars” within society spreading division and antagonism in our streets; it is good to have some good news – some ‘gospel’ (which is the Greek word for ‘good news’ used in the Bible and which from St Matthew our reading today comes from.)

Jesus says “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Aren’t we all carrying heavy yokes and burdens just now – dealing with ‘lockdown; ’ concerned for our children and elderly relatives; unable to interact normally with those we love as family, friends and neighbours. Sometimes the journey of Christian discipleship can seem burdensome – “take up your cross;” “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword;” difficult teachings of Jesus.

And yet at the heart of this gospel ‘good news’ is a turning upside down of our earthly expectations and assumptions.

Jesus offers a different version of truth and reality, a sub-version.  Richard Holloway, formerly Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh, writes about this in his book, Doubts and Loves

“Jesus is a kind of creative subversive.  He understood and observed the code of his people, but he knew that it had to be challenged if it was to serve humanity, and not the other way around.”

The ‘yoke’ of Jesus is easy or gentle or we might even say kindly and it is the ‘yoke’ rooted and grounded in Jesus’ love for you and me and the whole world. Thanks be to God. Amen

Amen

Anthem

O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.

Text: Psalm 122 6-7
Music: Herbert Howells 1892-1983

Prayer

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

Let us pray

Lord, we come to you as we are
For we can come no other way.
We come acknowledging the burdens we carry
And trusting in your promise of rest.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord, we come to you
In the sure knowledge that we are not alone.
We come in the company
Of all who know the challenge of these days.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord, we come to you
Acknowledging that you have already come to us.
We journey to the place where you are to be found
And rediscover that you have always been with us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord, we come to you
As the One who knows our past and sees our present.
Set us free from that which binds us to our past
And liberate us to serve you in the present.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord, we come to you
Through the One who is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
May he hold our lives safe
As we embrace the future and the promise of his rest.
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 us 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
Henry Smart Postlude in C

CCL Licence No 980930
Streaming Licence 57837

The service was conducted by Rev Calum I MacLeod
The lesson was read by Helen Heatlie

The anthem was recorded in 2001 by the Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral, Peter Backhouse, Assistant Organist, Michael Harris, Organist and Master of the Music
The anthem was recorded in 2010 by the Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral, Peter Backhouse, Assistant Organist, Michael Harris, Organist and Master of the Music