Material for Worship on Trinity Sunday

I am grateful to the Revd. Jeanette Allan for preparing the reflection and prayers below to enable you to join in worship with me as I celebrate the Eucharist in the church at 8.30 and 10.30 a.m. today. Nerys

What a week it has been, both at home with the easing of lockdown in its various forms and internationally with all the demonstrations which have resulted from the murder of George Floyd in Police custody in Minneapolis; and now it’s Trinity Sunday, with the Genesis 1 Creation story (Genesis 1.1-2.4) and Matthew’s Great Commission (Matthew 28.16-20), right at the end of his gospel as readings. So where does that leave us?

With a huge, but related agenda I think — Creation and Relationship, and that encompasses just about everything!

First, let’s look at the Creation story I apologise that it is so long, but you are able to listen here to Mary and Anthony Birch reading it for us, so thank you to them for that. Again and again in the course of the reading we get the repeated phrase, ‘And God saw that it was good’, and at the end of the sixth day we get, ‘And God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good’. The obvious question then is, of course —what happened? Sadly, what happened was us. When God created, it was ‘very good’. When we look around at our world is it still ‘very good’? I don’t think any of us can look honestly at our world today and say that it is still ‘very good’. For some people it may be, perhaps, but they are definitely very much in the minority.

For many of us as we look at our world, we see a world which is beset with many evils:
• inequality, both of circumstances and opportunity, where poor people are the powerless and the rich have all the bargaining tools;
• war, which is tearing apart nations and where the most vulnerable suffer the most, from famine, from the destruction of their homes, their families and their livelihoods;
• where over 800 children die each and every day from drinking dirty water because there is nothing else for them to drink;
• where many thousands live in refugee camps, displaced from their own country by war and fear;
• where the colour of your skin governs how you are treated —still, racism is alive and well, although the slave trade was abolished in Britain in 1807 and the Abolition of Slavery Act was passed in 1833; still slavery exists in many forms in our own country and elsewhere although in the USA the emancipation of slaves took effect from January 1863 and slavery was banned in 1865;
• where animals are being poached to extinction, and where human activity has damaged animal habitats to the extent of endangering many more species—we have only to look at the destruction of hedgerows and the growth of intensive farming in our own country to see the effects of that, within the lifetime of some of us;
• where the way many of us live is so badly damaging our climate because of the pollution our global way of life produces that it is rapidly getting to the point where we are in very real danger of putting the very survival of our planet at risk.

I remember Bishop Ian saying when he was with us, ‘You are worried about Brexit, multiply that by 100; that’s how worried you should be about climate change’. The cartoon you may find somewhat political, but I recall that it was Desmond Tutu who said, ‘The people who say that politics have no place in religion aren’t reading the same Bible that I’m reading’, so I make no apology for including it.

All this is in direct contrast to the teachings of the Gospel which we say we follow as Christians, a gospel which teaches us to live by love, love for other human beings and love for our world.

Which brings us to Trinity Sunday, which is about relationship, loving relationship within our Godhead and what that means for us as we live our lives as disciples of the God who is Three in One in loving relationship, the God who saw that creation was very good and loves it.
The amazing thing is that God actually loves us and loves us all equally, whoever and whatever we are, and God treats us all equally, whoever and whatever we are and God loves his creation. That totally knocks racism and slavery on the head, it knocks exploitation on the head, not only of human beings but of all creation as well. It demands of us, followers of the God in loving relationship, that we treat the whole of creation, our human brothers and sisters, all the natural world, both animals and plants, with respect and dignity, so that all may continue to be ‘very good’, as they were created to be.
I said at the beginning that this week would encompass just about everything, and now you see why! As individuals we obviously cannot take on the whole world, but we can make a difference in our small corner of it as we seek to treat the world around us with love, dignity and respect, by the way we live in it.
So let’s pray.
We give you thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, for food, for clean water, for a safe home, for a wonderful spring, for birdsong and for all your blessings to those we love.
Lord graciously hear us

For the people of Bengal in the aftermath of the cyclone, and for the Diocese of Calcutta
for those who have lost their lives, and for those who grieve for them;
for those who have lost their homes;
for those who have lost their livelihoods and for all in hardship
for those affected by Covid
Lord graciously hear us

For the people of the Diocese of Amazonia in the Covid pandemic,
for the sick
for those who have died and for those who grieve for them
Lord graciously hear us

For all who are suffering as a result of the Covid pandemic
for those who are sick
for those who have died
for those who mourn them
For those who care for the sick, putting their own lives at risk every day, and who are now very tired,
for nurses and doctors, for hospital porters, for hospital cleaners and all ancillary staff
for care home staff for those caring for people in their own homes.
for those who are finding lockdown difficult
for those whose mental health has been affected
for those who have had financial difficulties

We pray for wisdom for those in power at Westminster and Holyrood as they steer us slowly out of Lockdown.
Lord graciously hear us

Please name for yourself those for whom you pray …
Lord graciously hear us

Finally, we pray for our church, which is very much open though its doors are shut.
Fill us with your love, fill us with your spirit, show us how we can serve.
help us to find fresh ways of being Church in these strange times.
We pray for all the churches in Dunblane,
we pray for our diocese and for our Bishop Ian,
we pray for all countries as their churches struggle to cope with Covid and care for their communities.

Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Southwark Trinity by Meg Wroe