The Sixth Sunday after Trinity

St. Giles’ Cathedral

Online Devotion

Sunday July 19th 2020

6th Sunday after Trinity

Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob

Psalm 81: 1

Let us worship God.

The lesson is written in the 28th chapter of the book of Genesis.

10Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

16Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” 17And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” 18So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19He called that place Bethel.

The word of the Lord; thanks be to God.


Ye that know the Lord is gracious,
ye for whom a Corner stone
stands, of God elect and precious,
laid that ye may build thereon;
see that on that sure foundation
ye a living temple raise,
towers that may tell forth salvation,
walls that may re-echo praise.

Living stones, by God appointed
each to an allotted place,
kings and priests, by God anointed,
shall ye not declare his grace?
ye, a royal generation,
tell the tidings of your birth,
tidings of a new creation
to an old and weary earth.

Tell the praise of him who called you
out of darkness into light,
broke the fetters that enthralled you,
gave you freedom, peace and sight:
tell the tale of sins forgiven,
strength renewed and hope restored,
till the earth, in tune with heaven,
praise and magnify the Lord!

Text: Cyril Argentine Alington 1872-1955

Music: Abbot’s Leigh
Cyril Vincent Taylor 1907-1991


Brother Lawrence was a monk, a medieval Benedictine monk – he was actually a lay brother so he wasn’t ordained – he was on the bottom rung of the hierarchy in the monastery. In fact Brother Lawrence spent most of his life working in the kitchen cooking the meals and cleaning the pots and scrubbing the pans. But through his spirituality of humility and service he became very famous and wrote letters and was interviewed. These documents were collected in one of the classics of Christian spirituality – ‘Practicing the Presence of God.’ Brother Lawrence says, “The most excellent method of going to God is that of doing our common business… purely for the love of God.”

When we are oriented to God’s love all that we do reconciles us to each other and brings us into relationship with God. There’s a move here described in the scriptural concept that “we love because God loved us first.” And in this is salvation. Salvation. That word comes from a Latin root which means “to heal” like salve that you would put on an injury. Salvation means to heal – to find wholeness or oneness – to heal that which is broken. God’s grace close to us – immanent – like for Jacob, whose dreamlike encounter with God leads him to claim “Surely the Lord is in this place.”

I am fascinated by this concept of the ‘closeness’ of God. There’s a very fine Catholic writer called Paul Mariani – a poet and critic. He talks about this in his book, ‘God and the Imagination;’ about being open to seeing God in the world. He writes this: “Like other writers in the Christian tradition I share a language that pays homage to the splendid grittiness of the physical as well as to the splendor and consolation of the spiritual – in a word a sacramental language. If the incarnation has indeed occurred”, he goes on, “as I believe it has then the evidence of that central act in human history- when the Creator took on our limitations with our bones and flesh – should have consequences that are reverberating down to our own moment – evidence of God’s immanent presence ought to be capable of breaking in on us each day the way air and light and sound do if only we know of what to look and listen for.” Amen


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 Benjamin Britten 1913-1976


Let us pray.

You call us to participate in the life you offer to the world, O God,
and as partners in the new order of life you have brought
we pray for the world and your church
that you would strengthen us and guide us.
May we live into a life of empathy,
ordering our lives according to your command,
to treat the other as we would wish to be treated.
Open our hearts to respond to those who suffer;
open our ears to hear the cry of the oppressed and fearful.

We pray for the world in all its beauty and brokenness.
Let peace break out into the places of war,
hope insert itself into the places of desolation,
life assert its dominion over death.

We pray for the church
In all its names and all its places;
For its continuing usefulness
as a channel of grace and hope;
for its rescue from pretentiousness and pomposity
and from taking some things
more seriously than is healthy.

We commend to you our families and friends, Lord,
those who are happy and those who know sadness or fear.
Bless the sick with hope and healing,
comfort those who are close to death with the promise of your undying love,
Hear now, in silence the deepest prayers in all of our hearts.

Strengthen us O God in the days of this coming week,
To show forth the wonder of your love and grace.

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.


Organ Voluntary
Sigfrid Karg-Elert Nun danket alle Gott Op 65

CCL Licence No 980930
Streaming Licence 57837

The service was conducted by Rev Calum I MacLeod
The lesson was read by Amanda Forsyth

The hymn 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 1998 by the Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral, John Harris, Assistant Organist, Michael Harris, Organist and Master of the Music