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| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Sunday 20th September 2020 Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Worship and Prayer
Hymn: I cannot tell…
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Bible Readings Exodus 16.2-15 2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.’ 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?’ 8 And Moses said, ‘When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.’ 9 Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.” ’ 10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12 ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’ 13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ * For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.
Philippians 1.21-end 21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. 27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28 and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— 30 since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
Matthew 20.1-16 20‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, * he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; 4 and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. 5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6 And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” 7 They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” 8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. * 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. * 11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13 But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? * 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” * 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’ *
Hymn: Amazing Grace
Prayers Loving heavenly Father, we thank you for your generous love which welcomes each of us to be part of your church family and to share in your mission in the world today. We thank you for the love, care, support and encouragement that we both give and receive from one another. We pray that you will help us to share your love within the life of our community. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Lord God, we pray for the world in which we live. We pray for the leaders of the nations – for wisdom and insight, and the courage to seek and follow the path that leads to peace and reconciliation. We hold before you, all those places where there is social unrest and ongoing conflict and violence – may your love strengthen and uphold them in their suffering and enable a healing of the hurts that lead to conflict. We pray for our Prime Minister, and all those involved in Government. Give them wisdom and integrity, as they continue to give guidance through the coronavirus pandemic and seek the way forward in negotiations with Europe over future trade agreements. May the plans and policies they put in place reflect the needs of all sections of the community. We bring before you, all those who are suffering at this time through the effects of coronavirus here and around the world; and those affected by storms or wildfires in America; we pray for all refugees seeking safety and shelter at this time and for a compassionate international response. Bless the work of all those who seek to bring practical help and support to those in need. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. We pray for our own local community, giving thanks for our families, friends and neighbours and all those with whom we share our daily lives. We remember before you, all those who we know to be in particular need of your love and care at this time. We hold before you all those who are sick… May your healing love surround and strengthen them. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. We give thanks for all those who have shared this earthly life with us, but who have now journeyed on into your presence. We remember all those known to us in the silence of our hearts, giving thanks for their life and love, commending them into your eternal love and protection… May all those who mourn the loss of loved ones, know the comfort of your love for them and find hope and courage through your promise of eternal life all who believe and trust in you. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. In a moment of quiet, we bring before God, our own special thoughts and prayers at this time – people or situations we place into your care and protection, or things for which we want to give you thanks and praise. And now rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Blasius, St John and all the saints, we commend ourselves and all people to your unfailing love. Merciful Father… Accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer 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 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.
Hymn: Living Lord
God’s Blessing May the Lord bless us and keep us, May he make his face shine upon us, And give us his peace, Now and always. Amen.
On Eagle’s wings
Reflections By Reverend Jonathan Hall God’s Generosity… The first shall be last and the last shall be first Having been a personnel officer for 14 years before ordination, I am sure that trade unionists would have something to say about the story of events from our Gospel reading today. Equal pay for equal work, is a basic given when it comes to what is considered fair in the world of work. Most people are paid on the basis of an agreed hourly rate and their final pay packet is directly related to the number of hours they have worked. In the parable that Jesus tells, things work very differently to that. All of the workers receive the same amount of pay, regardless of whether they started work at 9am, noon, 3pm or 5pm. They all receive the wage payable for a full day of work! How is this fair? If like many you consider Jesus' story unfair, here is another story which may help us to understand the point Jesus was making. It is a story told by a catholic priest, Flor McCarthy… The final of a 3000 meters race was in progress. The runners stayed bunched together until halfway round the last lap. Then the eventual winner eased himself into the lead. As he did so another man fell back into last place after a desperate effort to keep up. The other runners were strung out in between. As the leader, a local man, came into the home straight, the spectators rose to cheer him over the finishing line. When the news was flashed up that he had set a new world record, thunderous applause echoed around the stadium. The cameras followed him as he did a lap of honour. He got a standing ovation as he went around. Bouquets of flowers were thrown in his direction. Afterwards everybody wanted to clap him on the back and shake his hand. Microphones were thrust in front of him. 'How does it feel to be a champion?' he was asked. Beaming all over his face he replied, 'Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!' It wasn’t long before newspapers were queuing up for the exclusive rights to his story, and company executives, cheque books in hand, were doing likewise for the right to use his name to endorse their products. While all this was going on, the other runners had finished the race. The last man had to really struggle to finish. Then, with head bowed, he departed for the dressing rooms. A VIP had been invited to perform the prize- giving ceremony. The first three runners home were waiting, all smiles, to take their places on the victory podium. The first sign that something unusual was about to happen was when the VIP said he wanted all the runners present at the ceremony. The runners were duly called, and all was now ready for the presentation ceremony…. Then, to everybody’s surprise, he called the man who came in last and gave the gold medal to him. He gave the silver medal to the man who had come second to last, and the bronze medal to the man who came third to last. Needless to say, there were gasps of astonishment from the crowd, and sighs of embarrassment from the organisers. The mistake was pointed out to him. However, he said, 'This is the way I want it” and he proceeded to give a warm handshake to each of the other runners right down to the man who came first. When the latter came forward he was very angry. 'This is not fair!' he exclaimed. 'So you think it's not fair?' the VIP replied calmly. 'I do,' said the man. 'I won the race. So I deserve to get the gold medal.' 'Friend,' said the VIP, 'haven't you got enough already?' 'What do you mean?' the man asked. 'You've had the satisfaction of winning the race. You've had the applause of the crowd and the attention of the media. On top of all this, you've had lucrative contracts offered to you. Now consider the man who came last He finished the race too And what did he get for his efforts? Nothing. Would it be fairer if you got everything while he got nothing." With that the victor was reduced to silence Still fuming, he turned and went away. Flor McCarthy explains that the aim of this story is not to downplay the achievement of the winner but to make a point. It seems wrong that one person should get everything, while another gets nothing - although this is exactly what happens in our world - the winner takes all. Some might still say that the story an outrageous one but, is it any more outrageous than the story Jesus tells about the workers in the vineyard? What point was Jesus making? The key to understanding the story is contained in the phrase, 'Are you envious because I am generous?' The story is not about justice. It is not about being fair. It is about the generosity of God. Jesus' audience would have known exactly what he was getting at. Jesus began his story by saying that “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for the vineyard…” Those who had been working all day long were the Pharisees and the Jews in general. Those who were set to work late in the afternoon represented sinners and the Gentiles. In this parable, Jesus is saying that God offers the Kingdom to sinners and Gentiles on equal terms with the Jews. The Jews objected vigorously. They didn't think it was fair; they thought they deserved preferential treatment, having been God’s workers from the very beginning. They assumed that God worked on the merit system. According to this system, you must earn your reward by hard work. And here was Jesus saying that God does not work on the merit system at all. From our human perspective, this parable seems unfair. The idea of “the first being last and the last first,” seems back to front and completely at odds with the way the world works. But, the wonderful truth that this parable so clearly displays is that through his generosity, God’s love is available to everybody. It isn’t something that has to be earned through long service. Whatever our background, whether we are new to the faith, or have been following in the way of Jesus for many years, God’s love, and the promise of a share in his heavenly kingdom is freely offered to each one of us.
Give Thanks unto the Lord (Psalm 105)
Hymn: And can it be…?

| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

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Sunday 20th September 2020 Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Worship and Prayer
Hymn: I cannot tell…
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Bible Readings Exodus 16.2-15 2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.’ 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?’ 8 And Moses said, ‘When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.’ 9 Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.” ’ 10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12 ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’ 13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ * For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.
Give Thanks unto the Lord (Psalm 105)
Philippians 1.21-end 21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. 27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28 and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— 30 since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Hymn: And can it be…?
Matthew 20.1-16 20‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, * he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; 4 and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. 5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6 And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” 7 They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” 8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. * 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. * 11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13 But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? * 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” * 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’ *
Reflections By Reverend Jonathan Hall God’s Generosity… The first shall be last and the last shall be first Having been a personnel officer for 14 years before ordination, I am sure that trade unionists would have something to say about the story of events from our Gospel reading today. Equal pay for equal work, is a basic given when it comes to what is considered fair in the world of work. Most people are paid on the basis of an agreed hourly rate and their final pay packet is directly related to the number of hours they have worked. In the parable that Jesus tells, things work very differently to that. All of the workers receive the same amount of pay, regardless of whether they started work at 9am, noon, 3pm or 5pm. They all receive the wage payable for a full day of work! How is this fair? If like many you consider Jesus' story unfair, here is another story which may help us to understand the point Jesus was making. It is a story told by a catholic priest, Flor McCarthy… The final of a 3000 meters race was in progress. The runners stayed bunched together until halfway round the last lap. Then the eventual winner eased himself into the lead. As he did so another man fell back into last place after a desperate effort to keep up. The other runners were strung out in between. As the leader, a local man, came into the home straight, the spectators rose to cheer him over the finishing line. When the news was flashed up that he had set a new world record, thunderous applause echoed around the stadium. The cameras followed him as he did a lap of honour. He got a standing ovation as he went around. Bouquets of flowers were thrown in his direction. Afterwards everybody wanted to clap him on the back and shake his hand. Microphones were thrust in front of him. 'How does it feel to be a champion?' he was asked. Beaming all over his face he replied, 'Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!' It wasn’t long before newspapers were queuing up for the exclusive rights to his story, and company executives, cheque books in hand, were doing likewise for the right to use his name to endorse their products. While all this was going on, the other runners had finished the race. The last man had to really struggle to finish. Then, with head bowed, he departed for the dressing rooms. A VIP had been invited to perform the prize-giving ceremony. The first three runners home were waiting, all smiles, to take their places on the victory podium. The first sign that something unusual was about to happen was when the VIP said he wanted all the runners present at the ceremony. The runners were duly called, and all was now ready for the presentation ceremony…. Then, to everybody’s surprise, he called the man who came in last and gave the gold medal to him. He gave the silver medal to the man who had come second to last, and the bronze medal to the man who came third to last. Needless to say, there were gasps of astonishment from the crowd, and sighs of embarrassment from the organisers. The mistake was pointed out to him. However, he said, 'This is the way I want it” and he proceeded to give a warm handshake to each of the other runners right down to the man who came first. When the latter came forward he was very angry. 'This is not fair!' he exclaimed. 'So you think it's not fair?' the VIP replied calmly. 'I do,' said the man. 'I won the race. So I deserve to get the gold medal.' 'Friend,' said the VIP, 'haven't you got enough already?' 'What do you mean?' the man asked. 'You've had the satisfaction of winning the race. You've had the applause of the crowd and the attention of the media. On top of all this, you've had lucrative contracts offered to you. Now consider the man who came last He finished the race too And what did he get for his efforts? Nothing. Would it be fairer if you got everything while he got nothing." With that the victor was reduced to silence Still fuming, he turned and went away. Flor McCarthy explains that the aim of this story is not to downplay the achievement of the winner but to make a point. It seems wrong that one person should get everything, while another gets nothing - although this is exactly what happens in our world - the winner takes all. Some might still say that the story an outrageous one but, is it any more outrageous than the story Jesus tells about the workers in the vineyard? What point was Jesus making? The key to understanding the story is contained in the phrase, 'Are you envious because I am generous?' The story is not about justice. It is not about being fair. It is about the generosity of God. Jesus' audience would have known exactly what he was getting at. Jesus began his story by saying that “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for the vineyard…” Those who had been working all day long were the Pharisees and the Jews in general. Those who were set to work late in the afternoon represented sinners and the Gentiles. In this parable, Jesus is saying that God offers the Kingdom to sinners and Gentiles on equal terms with the Jews. The Jews objected vigorously. They didn't think it was fair; they thought they deserved preferential treatment, having been God’s workers from the very beginning. They assumed that God worked on the merit system. According to this system, you must earn your reward by hard work. And here was Jesus saying that God does not work on the merit system at all. From our human perspective, this parable seems unfair. The idea of “the first being last and the last first,” seems back to front and completely at odds with the way the world works. But, the wonderful truth that this parable so clearly displays is that through his generosity, God’s love is available to everybody. It isn’t something that has to be earned through long service. Whatever our background, whether we are new to the faith, or have been following in the way of Jesus for many years, God’s love, and the promise of a share in his heavenly kingdom is freely offered to each one of us.
Hymn: Amazing Grace
Prayers Loving heavenly Father, we thank you for your generous love which welcomes each of us to be part of your church family and to share in your mission in the world today. We thank you for the love, care, support and encouragement that we both give and receive from one another. We pray that you will help us to share your love within the life of our community. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Lord God, we pray for the world in which we live. We pray for the leaders of the nations – for wisdom and insight, and the courage to seek and follow the path that leads to peace and reconciliation. We hold before you, all those places where there is social unrest and ongoing conflict and violence – may your love strengthen and uphold them in their suffering and enable a healing of the hurts that lead to conflict. We pray for our Prime Minister, and all those involved in Government. Give them wisdom and integrity, as they continue to give guidance through the coronavirus pandemic and seek the way forward in negotiations with Europe over future trade agreements. May the plans and policies they put in place reflect the needs of all sections of the community. We bring before you, all those who are suffering at this time through the effects of coronavirus here and around the world; and those affected by storms or wildfires in America; we pray for all refugees seeking safety and shelter at this time and for a compassionate international response. Bless the work of all those who seek to bring practical help and support to those in need. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. We pray for our own local community, giving thanks for our families, friends and neighbours and all those with whom we share our daily lives. We remember before you, all those who we know to be in particular need of your love and care at this time. We hold before you all those who are sick… May your healing love surround and strengthen them. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. We give thanks for all those who have shared this earthly life with us, but who have now journeyed on into your presence. We remember all those known to us in the silence of our hearts, giving thanks for their life and love, commending them into your eternal love and protection… May all those who mourn the loss of loved ones, know the comfort of your love for them and find hope and courage through your promise of eternal life all who believe and trust in you. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. In a moment of quiet, we bring before God, our own special thoughts and prayers at this time – people or situations we place into your care and protection, or things for which we want to give you thanks and praise. And now rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Blasius, St John and all the saints, we commend ourselves and all people to your unfailing love. Merciful Father… Accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer 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 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.
Hymn: Living Lord
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
God’s Blessing May the Lord bless us and keep us, May he make his face shine upon us, And give us his peace, Now and always. Amen.
On Eagle’s wings
Shanklin Isle of Wight St. Blasius Old Parish Church

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Sunday 20th September 2020 Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Worship and Prayer
Hymn: I cannot tell…
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Bible Readings Exodus 16.2-15 2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.’ 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?’ 8 And Moses said, ‘When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.’ 9 Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.” ’ 10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12 ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’ 13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ * For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.
Give Thanks unto the Lord (Psalm 105)
Philippians 1.21-end 21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. 27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28 and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— 30 since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Hymn: And can it be…?
Hymn: Amazing Grace
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
Matthew 20.1-16 20‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, * he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; 4 and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. 5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6 And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” 7 They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” 8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. * 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. * 11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13 But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? * 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” * 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’ *
Reflections By Reverend Jonathan Hall God’s Generosity… The first shall be last and the last shall be first Having been a personnel officer for 14 years before ordination, I am sure that trade unionists would have something to say about the story of events from our Gospel reading today. Equal pay for equal work, is a basic given when it comes to what is considered fair in the world of work. Most people are paid on the basis of an agreed hourly rate and their final pay packet is directly related to the number of hours they have worked. In the parable that Jesus tells, things work very differently to that. All of the workers receive the same amount of pay, regardless of whether they started work at 9am, noon, 3pm or 5pm. They all receive the wage payable for a full day of work! How is this fair? If like many you consider Jesus' story unfair, here is another story which may help us to understand the point Jesus was making. It is a story told by a catholic priest, Flor McCarthy… The final of a 3000 meters race was in progress. The runners stayed bunched together until halfway round the last lap. Then the eventual winner eased himself into the lead. As he did so another man fell back into last place after a desperate effort to keep up. The other runners were strung out in between. As the leader, a local man, came into the home straight, the spectators rose to cheer him over the finishing line. When the news was flashed up that he had set a new world record, thunderous applause echoed around the stadium. The cameras followed him as he did a lap of honour. He got a standing ovation as he went around. Bouquets of flowers were thrown in his direction. Afterwards everybody wanted to clap him on the back and shake his hand. Microphones were thrust in front of him. 'How does it feel to be a champion?' he was asked. Beaming all over his face he replied, 'Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!' It wasn’t long before newspapers were queuing up for the exclusive rights to his story, and company executives, cheque books in hand, were doing likewise for the right to use his name to endorse their products. While all this was going on, the other runners had finished the race. The last man had to really struggle to finish. Then, with head bowed, he departed for the dressing rooms. A VIP had been invited to perform the prize-giving ceremony. The first three runners home were waiting, all smiles, to take their places on the victory podium. The first sign that something unusual was about to happen was when the VIP said he wanted all the runners present at the ceremony. The runners were duly called, and all was now ready for the presentation ceremony…. Then, to everybody’s surprise, he called the man who came in last and gave the gold medal to him. He gave the silver medal to the man who had come second to last, and the bronze medal to the man who came third to last. Needless to say, there were gasps of astonishment from the crowd, and sighs of embarrassment from the organisers. The mistake was pointed out to him. However, he said, 'This is the way I want it” and he proceeded to give a warm handshake to each of the other runners right down to the man who came first. When the latter came forward he was very angry. 'This is not fair!' he exclaimed. 'So you think it's not fair?' the VIP replied calmly. 'I do,' said the man. 'I won the race. So I deserve to get the gold medal.' 'Friend,' said the VIP, 'haven't you got enough already?' 'What do you mean?' the man asked. 'You've had the satisfaction of winning the race. You've had the applause of the crowd and the attention of the media. On top of all this, you've had lucrative contracts offered to you. Now consider the man who came last He finished the race too And what did he get for his efforts? Nothing. Would it be fairer if you got everything while he got nothing." With that the victor was reduced to silence Still fuming, he turned and went away. Flor McCarthy explains that the aim of this story is not to downplay the achievement of the winner but to make a point. It seems wrong that one person should get everything, while another gets nothing - although this is exactly what happens in our world - the winner takes all. Some might still say that the story an outrageous one but, is it any more outrageous than the story Jesus tells about the workers in the vineyard? What point was Jesus making? The key to understanding the story is contained in the phrase, 'Are you envious because I am generous?' The story is not about justice. It is not about being fair. It is about the generosity of God. Jesus' audience would have known exactly what he was getting at. Jesus began his story by saying that “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for the vineyard…” Those who had been working all day long were the Pharisees and the Jews in general. Those who were set to work late in the afternoon represented sinners and the Gentiles. In this parable, Jesus is saying that God offers the Kingdom to sinners and Gentiles on equal terms with the Jews. The Jews objected vigorously. They didn't think it was fair; they thought they deserved preferential treatment, having been God’s workers from the very beginning. They assumed that God worked on the merit system. According to this system, you must earn your reward by hard work. And here was Jesus saying that God does not work on the merit system at all. From our human perspective, this parable seems unfair. The idea of “the first being last and the last first,” seems back to front and completely at odds with the way the world works. But, the wonderful truth that this parable so clearly displays is that through his generosity, God’s love is available to everybody. It isn’t something that has to be earned through long service. Whatever our background, whether we are new to the faith, or have been following in the way of Jesus for many years, God’s love, and the promise of a share in his heavenly kingdom is freely offered to each one of us.
Prayers Loving heavenly Father, we thank you for your generous love which welcomes each of us to be part of your church family and to share in your mission in the world today. We thank you for the love, care, support and encouragement that we both give and receive from one another. We pray that you will help us to share your love within the life of our community. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. Lord God, we pray for the world in which we live. We pray for the leaders of the nations – for wisdom and insight, and the courage to seek and follow the path that leads to peace and reconciliation. We hold before you, all those places where there is social unrest and ongoing conflict and violence – may your love strengthen and uphold them in their suffering and enable a healing of the hurts that lead to conflict. We pray for our Prime Minister, and all those involved in Government. Give them wisdom and integrity, as they continue to give guidance through the coronavirus pandemic and seek the way forward in negotiations with Europe over future trade agreements. May the plans and policies they put in place reflect the needs of all sections of the community. We bring before you, all those who are suffering at this time through the effects of coronavirus here and around the world; and those affected by storms or wildfires in America; we pray for all refugees seeking safety and shelter at this time and for a compassionate international response. Bless the work of all those who seek to bring practical help and support to those in need. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. We pray for our own local community, giving thanks for our families, friends and neighbours and all those with whom we share our daily lives. We remember before you, all those who we know to be in particular need of your love and care at this time. We hold before you all those who are sick… May your healing love surround and strengthen them. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. We give thanks for all those who have shared this earthly life with us, but who have now journeyed on into your presence. We remember all those known to us in the silence of our hearts, giving thanks for their life and love, commending them into your eternal love and protection… May all those who mourn the loss of loved ones, know the comfort of your love for them and find hope and courage through your promise of eternal life all who believe and trust in you. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer. In a moment of quiet, we bring before God, our own special thoughts and prayers at this time – people or situations we place into your care and protection, or things for which we want to give you thanks and praise. And now rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Blasius, St John and all the saints, we commend ourselves and all people to your unfailing love. Merciful Father… Accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s Prayer 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 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.
Hymn: Living Lord
God’s Blessing May the Lord bless us and keep us, May he make his face shine upon us, And give us his peace, Now and always. Amen.
On Eagle’s wings
Shanklin Isle of Wight St. Blasius Old Parish Church