ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS’ CHURCH, HELENSBURGH
Charity Registered in Scotland SC006468
INTROIT HYMN – 349 New every morning is the love
Almighty God, without you we are not able to please you. Mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
OLD TESTAMENT READING
Ezekiel 17. 22 – 24
Israel Exalted at Last
Thus says the Lord God: I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out. I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs; I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it, in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind. All the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord. I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree; I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken; I will accomplish it.
PSALM Psalm 92. 1 – 4, 11 – 14
R. It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.
It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High; To tell of your loving kindness early in the morning and of your faithfulness in the night season; R
On the psaltery, and on the lyre, and to the melody of the harp. For you have made me glad by your acts, O Lord; and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands. R
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God; R
They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be green and succulent; That they may show how upright the Lord is, my Rock, in whom there is no fault. R
2 Corinthians 5. 6 – 10, 14 – 17
Brothers and sisters, we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil. The love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
GRADUAL HYMN – 138 For the fruits of his creation
Mark 4. 26 – 34
The Parable of the Growing Seed
Such a large crowd gathered around Jesus that he got into a boat and began to teach them using many parables. Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Jesus also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’
The Use of Parables
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
OFFERTORY HYMN – 160 Glory, love, and praise, and honour
COMMUNION HYMN – 355 Now the green blade riseth
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Holy and blessed God, as you give us the body and blood of your Son, guide us with your Holy Spirit, that we may honour you not only with our lips but also in our lives. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
RECESSIONAL HYMN – 172 God is working his purpose out
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.
Scripture quotations from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA amended according to the Revised Common Lectionary in NRSV. Psalm from the Book of Common Worship of the Church of England. Collect, Prayer after Communion and Blessing from Scottish Liturgy 1982 with Propers and Revised Common Lectionary published by the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Edinburgh 2006.