Worship for Sunday 13th September, by Deacon Pru Cahill

God our Maker calls us into love. In love we are forgiven and in love we are commanded to forgive.

Prayer of Approach

Gracious God, we take a moment of quiet to approach you. We praise you for the gift of Jesus. You have brought us into the time of Jesus, his birth, life, death and resurrection. We thank you for the assurance of your forgiveness and grace that bring us into the presence of your three-fold nature – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

StF 113 O Worship the King (v 1,2,4,6)

O worship the King, all-glorious above;
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendour, and girded with praise.

O tell of his might, O sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space;
his chariots of wrath the deep thunder-clouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.

Your bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air; it shines in the light;
it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distils in the dew and the rain.

O measureless Might, ineffable Love,
while angels delight to hymn thee above,
your ransomed creation, though feeble our praise.
in true adoration our voices we raise.                 

Robert Grant (1779 – 1838)

Prayer of thanksgiving

Lord, you fill the earth with life and love
and all creation shines with your glory.
Bless the Lord, my soul,
let all that is within me bless his holy name.

Lord you fill our lives with gifts;
without you we have nothing.
When we come to you in sorrow,
you meet us with compassion.
Bless the Lord, my soul, let all…

Lord, you are just and righteous
the mighty judge of all the earth.
When we come to you in loss,
you meet us with comfort.
Bless the Lord, my soul, let all…

Lord, you love us
with the strength of a mother,
and the tenderness of a father.
You know us better than we know ourselves.
When we come to you in weakness,
you meet us with steadfast love.
Bless the Lord, my soul, let all…

Lord, you long for us to live
according to your law of love.
When we fall short
you meet us with forgiveness.
Bless the Lord, my soul, let all…

(adapted from rootsontheweb.com)

StF 437 When the Music Fades

When the music fades, all is stripped away
and I simply come

longing just to bring
something that’s of worth
that will bless your heart.

I’ll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required.
You search much deeper within through the way things appear.
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
and it’s all about you, it’s all about you, Jesus.
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
when it’s all about you, all about you, Jesus

King of endless worth
no one could express how much you deserve.
Though I’m weak and poor
all I have is yours, every single breath.

I’ll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required.
You search much deeper within through the way things appear.
You’re looking into my heart.

(Matt Redman b 1974)

Matthew 18: 21-35

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”


I’m sure many of you, like me, were moved by the testimonies of the relatives of people killed by Brenton Tarrant in the attack on a mosque in Christchurch last year. Janna Ezat spoke movingly about her son, Hussein-Al-Umari, 35. It was her birthday when Janna received Hussein Al-Umari’s body which was still riddled with bullet holes. “He used to give me flowers for my birthday but instead I got his body,” she said.

Janna ended her statement, however, by saying, “I decided to forgive you Mr Tarrant, because I don’t have hate. I don’t have revenge. The damage was done and Hussein will never be here so I have only one choice … to forgive you.”

I’d been pondering on these words alongside those of Jesus in our reading for today when another declaration of forgiveness caught my attention: from the 2015 film version of Cinderella shown over the bank holiday weekend, Cinderella’s words to her wicked stepmother in the final scenes are a simple, “I forgive you.”  The story is a classic fairy-tale with a happy ending and so it is fitting that this includes a declaration of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not easy. If it were, Jesus would not have needed to say so much about it! Words of forgiveness have also to be matched in actions. Forgiveness can take a long time and even when we want the words of forgiveness we say to be true, it can take time for this to be fully worked out. No wonder forgiveness (received and offered) is a vital part of The Lord’s Prayer, to be as part of our life as daily bread.

Peter asks Jesus how often he should forgive someone who offends him. To his surprise Jesus gives him an answer that is without limit. This sets the scene for the parable that follows and which is told to help our understanding.

In an extraordinary story, the kingdom of heaven is compared to two exaggerated figures – a king and a slave. characters representing God and humanity. The ultimate expression of God’s love for humanity is Jesus’ saving and forgiving action on the cross. Each of our sins measured up against the limitless forgiveness of God is a debt we can never repay. Matthew’s answer is to model our behaviour after the king in the way he forgave the slave.

The parable applied to ourselves reminds us of how much we have already been forgiven. It is from the position of knowing ourselves forgiven that we can begin to forgive others. 


Reflective music

Crowder – Forgiven


Lord Jesus, give us the courage
to try and change only those things that you would have us change.
Lord, hear our prayer, and keep us in your love.

Lord Jesus, give us the grace
to accept difference and diversity.
Lord, hear our prayer, and keep us in your love.

Lord Jesus, give us the wisdom
to be patient with situations which provoke us.
Lord, hear our prayer, and keep us in your love.

Lord Jesus, give us the vision
to share in your vision that all the world may be one.
Lord, hear our prayer, and keep us in your love.

Lord Jesus, give us the strength
to work for healing in our own communities.
Lord, hear our prayer, and keep us in your love.

Loving Lord, hear our prayers
and let your Spirit prepare us with joy
for that great day when you will harvest
the seed that you have sown among us. Amen.


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.


 StF 397 The Spirit Lives to Set us Free

The Spirit lives to set us free,
walk, walk in the light.
he binds us all in unity,
Walk, walk in the light.

Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light of the Lord.

Jesus promised life to all,
walk, walk in the light;
the dead were wakened by his call,
walk, walk in the light.

He died in pain on Calvary,
walk, walk in the light.
to save the lost like you and me,
walk, walk in the light.

We know his death was not the end,
walk, walk in the light.
he gave his Spirit to be our friend,
walk, walk in the light.

By Jesus’ love our wounds are healed,

walk, walk in the light.
the father’s kindness is revealed

walk, walk in the light.

The Spirit lives in you and me,
walk, walk in the light.
His light will shine for all to see,
walk, walk in the light.

Damian Lundy (1944-1996)



God calls us to be generous, merciful and forgiving
and blesses us with grace and truth and courage,
so go in the name of Christ thankfully, faithfully and joyfully.

May the blessing of God Almighty.
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.