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Welcome to our Service of Holy Communion

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Jacob Wrestles with God


We meet in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

 

Sing: Jesus Christ I think upon your sacrifice   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgzVGFXurgo

 

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 Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

We Say Sorry to God

Jesus Christ, risen Master and triumphant Lord,

we come to you in sorrow for our sins,

and confess to you our weakness and unbelief.

 

We have lived by our own strength,

and not by the power of your resurrection.

In your mercy, forgive us.

Lord, hear us and help us.

 

We have lived by the light of our own eyes,

as faithless and not believing.

In your mercy, forgive us.

Lord, hear us and help us.

 

We have lived for this world alone,

and doubted our home in heaven.

In your mercy, forgive us.

Lord, hear us and help us.

 

Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you,

pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

The Collect

Lord God,

your Son left the riches of heaven

and became poor for our sake:

when we prosper save us from pride,

when we are needy save us from despair,

that we may trust in you alone;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

 

Song: Majesty Worship his Majesty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cv2jyDMrPE

 

First Reading: Psalm 17:1-7,15

 17 Listen, O Lord, to my plea for justice;
    pay attention to my cry for help!
    Listen to my honest prayer.
You will judge in my favour,
    because you know what is right.

You know my heart.
    You have come to me at night;
    you have examined me completely
    and found no evil desire in me.
I speak no evil,
as others do;
    I have obeyed your command
    and have not followed paths of violence.
I have always walked in your way
    and have never strayed from it.

I pray to you, O God, because you answer me;
    so turn to me and listen to my words.
Reveal your wonderful love and save me;
    at your side I am safe from my enemies.

15 But I will see you, because I have done no wrong;
    and when I awake, your presence will fill me with joy.

 

 

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 32:22-31

22 That same night Jacob got up, took his two wives, his two concubines, and his eleven children, and crossed the Jabbok River. 23 After he had sent them across, he also sent across all that he owned, 24 but he stayed behind, alone.

Then a man came and wrestled with him until just before daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he hit Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint. 

26 The man said, “Let me go; daylight is coming.”

“I won't, unless you bless me,” Jacob answered.

27 “What is your name?” the man asked.

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.”

29 Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”

But he answered, “Why do you want to know my name?” Then he blessed Jacob.

 

30 Jacob said, “I have seen God face-to-face, and I am still alive”; so he named the place Peniel. 31 The sun rose as Jacob was leaving Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.

 

Reading Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-PhM9xPZ_E

 

Song: O love that will not let me go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmk9sfX_QPY

Sermon:


Jacob has a problem. He ran away from home- gone back to 

his roots and served his uncle Laban for 20 years- he’s gained 2 wives, Leah and Rachel, and many children, flocks and herds. He’s now a rich man but Laban proves as tricky and slippery as Jacob was in the past. Laban is angry that Jacob has gained so much (even though Jacob has been tricked and not paid!)- so Jacob is on the run again. This time, however, God has also called him back and it’s God’s favour that has made him rich despite his uncle’s scheming. Though Jacob and his whole family, herds and belongings escape one night, Laban does catch up with them and Jacob and Laban make their peace.

But now Jacob has a new problem. He might have escaped 

Laban, but coming towards him is Esau and a huge crowd of

 people. Jacob now both plans and prays. His prayer 

acknowledges God; Jacob recognises that God has blessed

 him with all that he has. Jacob pleads with God to rescue him

 and his family- not because they are particularly worthy but

because God has promised to make Jacob (as God promised 

in the past) the father of a great nation. And Jacob sends gifts of property and animals ahead of hm to Esau – yes, Jacob’s afraid of his estranged brother whom he tricked in the past but perhaps now he’s also trying to make amends.

Perhaps Jacob has truly changed. Though he make plans, he’s not trying to deceive any more. And he prays- the basis of his prayer is God’s goodness and promise.


 

And yet- late in the night, as he prepares to meet Esau, Jacob has a strange encounter. He’s sleeping alone, out in the open and someone appears and fights or wrestles with him. The conflict goes on all night until dawn the next morning. Jacob will not let go of the man until Jacob has received a blessing from him. Jacob realises that this is no human being but an angel from God. The angel gives Jacob as new name. The old name, Jacob had meant he who supplants; that is he who tricks.

But now Jacob’s new name Israel means he who wrestles with God or he who perseveres or strives but also God strives for him.

In his struggle with God, Jacob is changed. He is no longer someone who schemes and deceives but someone who relies on God’s promises to him. Jacob is changed into Israel and the injury to his hip is a physical reminder of that.

And incidentally,Esau does forgive him when they meet!

 

What does this tell us about God?

Again and again, the stories in the Old Testament repeat the same theme. God is faithful. God promises. His love and faithfulness don’t depend on our actions but on His nature. God loves because he loves. He is faithful because he can’t be otherwise.

What about Jacob?

Jacob has changed- he recognises God’s work in his life; he knows now that he depends on God and not on his own cleverness. He is truly a marked man.


But what about us?

Jacob’s wrestling with God can be understood as a model of our wrestling with God in prayer.

That’s why our first reading is from Psalm 17. As in other Psalms, the writer is pleading with God. And they go on a journey through the Psalm. The person starts with justifying themselves.

They have a just cause. It’s not wrong to bring before God our anger or bitterness, our pain and frustration. He hears us; God listens. But God acts on what is right. So we can bring whatever it is to God – but we can expect him is act according to his justice.

I might want to pray that God would destroy such and such; God would punish so and so and God hears the cries of those who are down-trodden, those denied justice. He won’t act on the things I say when I’m being petty or vindictive; God acts in justice.

As Jacob was changed- both physically and in name by God, we too are changed in prayer. The psalmist goes from justifying themselves (they have a right to get God to hear them) to leaning on his love and power. In verse 7, they recognise what God is like.

Reveal your wonderful love and save me;
    at your side I am safe from my enemies.

 

And this then brings them peace.

 15 But I will see you, because I have done no wrong;
    and when I awake, your presence will fill me with joy.

The person who started as pleading and anxious, leans on God and is changed.

This is what peace looks like. The storm hasn’t gone away- but the person in the middle of it has hope. God is with them. They can look forward; God has heard them. Things will change according to God’s plans; but they are also changed.


 

The Creed

Let us declare our faith in God.

 

We believe in God the Father,

from whom every family

in heaven and on earth is named.

 

We believe in God the Son,

who lives in our hearts through faith,

and fills us with his love.

 

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,

who strengthens us

with power from on high.

 

We believe in one God;

Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Our Prayers:

Let us pray to God our Father,

 

We pray for peace among the countries of our world, that God 

may rid the world of violence and let peoples spend their everyday lives in peace and harmony

 

 

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer

 

For those who serve our country in governments and councils,

that they may work for the common good so everyone on 

everyday may live to their full potential

 

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer

 

 

For Christian people everywhere,

that we may joyfully proclaim and live our faith in Jesus Christ

 on Sunday and everyday

 

 

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer

 

For those who suffer from hunger, grief or loneliness,

that the presence of Christ may bring them health and 

wholeness in the darkest days and everyday

 

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer

 

Let us commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,

to the mercy and protection of God.

Amen

 

The Peace

 

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

 

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

 

Song: Your name is power https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H62gNjAYOs

 

Holy Communion

 

https://youtu.be/fHVmDKTUAmg

 

The Lord be with you

and also with you.

 

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

 

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

 

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;

in your love you made us for yourself.

When we turned away

you did not reject us,

but came to meet us in your Son.

 

You embraced us as your children

and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

 

In Christ you shared our life

that we might live in him and he in us.

 

He opened his arms of love upon the cross

and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

 

On the night he was betrayed,

at supper with his friends

he took bread, and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

 

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his body is the bread of life.

 

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;

do this in remembrance of me.

 

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his blood is shed for all.

 

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,

send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine

may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.

 

As we eat and drink these holy gifts

make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

 

With your whole Church throughout the world

we offer you this sacrifice of praise

and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

 

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

 

We continue with the words of The Lord's Prayer:

 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen

 

We break this bread

to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,

because we all share in one bread.

 

Every time we eat this bread

and drink this cup,

we proclaim the Lord’s death

until he comes.

 

God’s holy gifts

for God’s holy people.

Jesus Christ is holy,

Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.


Prayer of Spiritual Communion 

 

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, 

for all the benefits you have given me, 

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me. 

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, 

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart. 

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, 

may I know you more clearly, 

love you more dearly, 

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

 

The Blessing

 

The peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds

in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

 

Song: The Blessing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U

 

 

 

The Dismissal

 

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 


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