Sunday Worship, Nineteenth Sunday in Trinity
We join together in worship this Nineteenth Sunday in trinity. This week our service is led by Revd Jake DeJonge.
Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen.
Almighty God, who calledst Luke the physician, whose praise is in the gospel to be an evangelist and physician of the soul: may it please thee that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
+ St. Luke, the Evangelist today. A fascinating person.
He is the author of St. Luke’s gospel, of course, and also of the book the Acts of the Apostles. There are not too many people of whom you can say that they have more than one book in the Bible. Luke is the only one I think.
That excludes the epistles of course for St. Paul and St. Peter and St. John; they each have more than one letter, one epistle, in the New Testament.
First of all I’d like to say something more about St. Luke. He was born a ’heathen’, meaning he was no Jew; (by Jewish custom everyone who was not Jewish was called a heathen); according to an old source did Luke come from Antioch. And Greek was his mother tongue. Luke was a medical doctor; St. Paul writes with praise about ’…our dear friend Luke, the doctor’ (Col. 4, 14) and looks upon him as a valued ’fellow worker’. (Philemon 24.
Luke may well have been Paul’s longest companion on the missionary travels. We meet him with Paul in Troas and Philippi (Acts 16, 10-17) in the years 50 -51 of our age. Seven years later Luke travels with Paul from Philippi to Jerusalem (Acts 20, 5-21) and about ten years after that they travel together to Rome (Acts 27, 1-28); Luke as friend and co-worker and, probably, as as personal physician. There was great trust between these two and we read that, to the end, Luke stayed with Paul. During his second time in prison, and just before his death, Luke is Paul’s only companion, as we heard read in the second lesson: ‘Only Luke is with me.’
As I said already, according to an old tradition, from the second century, Luke hails from Antioch, a city in what is now called Syria. That might well be true, for he describes the church community in Antioch in great detail (Acts 11, 19-30), and gives a list of ‘prophets and teachers’, for example, and emphasises three times the importance of the Church there as a missionary post to the non-Jews. (Acts 13, 1-3; 14, 26-28; 18, 22-23.)
After Paul’s death St. Luke worked in Achaia, now Southern Greece and it is thought that it was there that he wrote the book Acts of the Apostles.
Luke never married and died at the age of 84; how and where is not certain according to the tradition. He probably died a natural death but some claim that he was martyred. And about the place of his death: three choices, Thebe where his physical remains were kept for a time, or Patras or Rome. I donot know!
This is, briefly, the story of St. Luke. Very understandably, he became the patron saint of medical doctors and has been an inspiration for groups within the Church where the healing ministry and praying for the sick, as in this parish, is important. St. Luke describes medical matters, also with healings, in greater detail than the other evangelists
There is also the willingness to respond to God’s call as we read in today’s gospel; to be prepared to be sent out as representatives of the gospel of peace and to be prepared to give your life and energy to that cause.
St. Luke is a good example here: he gave his life in service to the gospel, as friend and co-worker and physician to St. Paul and as historian who left us his version of the life and mission of Jesus and of the work of the Holy Spirit who empowers the followers of Jesus at Pentecost and sends them out to proclaim the gospel in word and way of life to the ends of the world.
The book Acts of the Apostles, has by some also been called Acts of the Holy Spirit, because it becomes very clear that all their decisions, what they do and what they do not do, are inspired by the Spirit whom Jesus had sent upon his followers on the day of Pentecost.
The strong emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit is typical for St. Luke. That may be St. Paul’s influence, or perhaps, even more so, the powerful outworking of God’s grace in his own life.
St. Luke, evangelist, historian and medical doctor, but above all a human being touched by the love of God for sinful people. So deeply touched to pass on God’s love in preaching and in witness, that became his calling and his task.
We can learn a lot from the calling of St. Luke. And of his being prepared to give himself fully to Jesus Christ and to Jesus’ message. To work, under the powerful guidance of the love and power the Holy Spirit gives, to work at spreading hope and healing which the gospel offers to people and to a world that hurts and is in pain.
Prayers and Intercessions
Heavenly Father, we thank You that despite difficult circumstances, we are able to come together as a congregation, part of the spiritual Body of Your Son, to worship You and be refreshed and nourished by You.
We continue to pray for the world struggling with the renewed ravages of the Covid virus, we pray for all suffering from it, and for all whose lives are affected by it;
We pray for the world struggling with the many other powers of evil, hatred, greed and rebelliousness, and the consequences thereof, wars, terrorism, addictions of all kinds, global warming;
We pray for all governments and leaders in their decision-making, that they may turn to You for wise judgement in all matters entrusted to them, and for all peoples the spirit of acceptance of authority and mutual respect;
Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
We continue to pray for the Church in its present apparent helplessness in the face of many enemies;
renew in it the hope of Your Son’s return in power, fill its ministers with Your Holy Spirit to discern what You would have them do, and to witness for Your truth, that in the light of this witness rulers and people may turn to You;
We thank you especially for your ministers who faithfully support our Chaplaincy in its interregnum, particularly at this time for Fr. Jake Dejonge and Irene;
Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
We pray for all in distress at this time, for all sick and suffering,
particularly those of our own congregation, for those on our Chaplaincy Prayer List;
for the mentally depressed and those struggling with faith,
for those too frail or handicapped to be present with us in Church,
and for those for whom we personally wish to pray …..
Comfort, O God, all in distress, relieve them from their suffering if it be Your will,
and lift them up in Your everlasting arms;
Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Heavenly Father, You have promised to provide light in the darkness for those who trust in You: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what You would have us do, the humility to listen to Your Holy Spirit, and Your light to guide our footsteps that we may not stumble;
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of Your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen
Anthem and Hymn
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.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.