Lent Compline, Week 2

There is Hope in Gardens!
(Not all seeds grow, not all plants thrive, but many do)



The text for this service is below.


+The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.

A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

The following words of penitence are used:

O Lord, you have created us in your image; yet so often we wander from your pathway. But we rejoice Lord you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You. Look with your eyes of love upon our imperfections and pardon all our shortcomings, that we may be filled with the brightness of Your light and become the image of Your goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Absolution
+ God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit bless, keep and forgive you and in His lovingkindness grant you his grace and the comfort of His peace. Amen

Short Reflection
Let us read / hear these words of Gracia Grindal’s song which recognises the mystery of the seed, its growth and the kingdom:
The kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed.
When it is sown in the earth, it is the smallest seed.
It is like the kingdom of God and a mystery.

For when it is sown, it grows into the largest plant,
greater than all of the herbs, and grows into a tree.
It is like the kingdom of God and a mystery.

It grows so birds can rest inside its crown of leaves,
deep in its shadows, away from any evil prey.
It is like the kingdom of God and a mystery.

And so we can liken it to seeds which make a tree
larger than all of the trees from just the smallest seed.
It is like the kingdom of God and a mystery.

Before the ending of the day:
Calm and still me, O Lord
And keep me from harm, O Lord.
Let all that causes me dis-ease cease, O Lord.
And enfold me in Your peace

May our daily tasks hallow
our nightly prayers.
May our sleep be deep and soft
So our tasks for tomorrow may be fresh


The Word of God Psalmody

GOD rules: there’s something to shout over!
On the double, mainlands and islands—celebrate!
Bright clouds and storm clouds circle ’round him;
Right and justice anchor his rule.
Fire blazes out before him,
Flaming high up the craggy mountains.
His lightnings light up the world;
Earth, wide-eyed, trembles in fear.
The mountains take one look at GOD
And melt, melt like wax before earth’s Lord.
The heavens announce that he’ll set everything right,
And everyone will see it happen—glorious!
You, GOD, are High God of the cosmos,
Far, far higher than any of the gods.
GOD loves all who hate evil,
And those who love him he keeps safe,
Snatches them from the grip of the wicked.
Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people,
Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.
So, God’s people, shout praise to GOD,
Give thanks to our Holy God!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning is now, and shall be for ever. Amen
(Words from Psalm 97- The Message (MSG)© 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson


Scripture Reading

As the sower sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain . . .. (Matthew 13:4-8)

Silence is kept


Gospel Canticle

The Nunc Dimittis (The Song of Simeon)
Now Lord you let your servant go in peace: your word has | been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel. (Luke 2.29-32)
+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the | Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Prayers – Intercessions –

You may wish to pause the video as you offer your intercessions

Collect for the second week of Lent
Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Shared from the Lectionary app. Material subject to copyright.

Visit this place, O Lord, we pray,
and drive far from it the snares of the enemy;
may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace,
and may your blessing be always upon us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Creator God,
may every breath we take be for your glory,
may every footstep show you as our way,
that, trusting in your presence in this world,
we may, beyond this life, still be with you
where you are alive and reign
for ever and ever. 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.

The Conclusion
In peace we will lie down and sleep;
for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.
Abide with us, Lord Jesus,
for the night is at hand and the day is now past.
As the night watch looks for the morning,
so do we look for you, O Christ.

+May God bless us,
that in us may be found love and humility, obedience and thanksgiving, discipline, gentleness and peace.
And the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.


Rev Derek Akker

This video is made using a standard laptop, a webcam and no special recording equipment or editing software.
The video was recorded in one sitting, with no editing, it is an attempt to create as near to live viewing as possible.

On this Trinity Sunday, 7th June 2020, we welcome you to join us as we worship with this written Service with a reflection from Fr Mattijs Ploeger.

We meet in the name of God:
God the Father, God the Son,

God the Spirit: God is one.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts:
the whole earth is full of his glory.

Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength;
ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name.
The whole earth is full of his glory.

The Lord shall give strength to his people:
the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts:
the whole earth is full of his glory.

Isaiah 40. 12–17, 27–end
Matthew 28. 16–20

Written sermon by Fr Mattijs Ploeger

  1. Trinity Sunday – a “popular” feast of getting to know God and praising him

What always strikes me about Trinity Sunday, is that it was introduced into the calender of the Christian Year on the request of the people. Not on the request of theologians or bishops, but of the so-called “ordinary people”. I wonder whether that would happen now. Is the Trinity – one God in three persons – still popular among church people, or is it rather regarded as a technical piece of theological construction without much relevance for us today?

Unlike Easter and Pentecost (which are Jewish festivals, continued to be celebrated by Christians with a partly different content) and Christmas (introduced in the fourth century), the feast of the Holy Trinity “only” dates from the Middle Ages and was not introduced into the calendar before the fourteenth century. That is more than just a bit of historical information, for it tells something about the not-so-central position of this feast in the context of the Christian Year. For a very long time, is has been the conviction of the church that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are to be celebrated best in a direct relation to salvation history. The Father reveals himself in the Son and this happens through the Holy Spirit – and this revelation of God is most appropriately celebrated by following the Christian Year: from Christmas to Easter and Pentecost. Those feasts follow salvation history step by step, and that is the way in which we get to know “who God is” and “how God is”.

In contrast, the feast of the Holy Trinity does not celebrate an aspect of the course of salvation history, but gives a summary of salvation history as a whole. This is probably the reason why the feast was eventually given its place on the first Sunday after Pentecost. After having celebrated Father, Son and Holy Spirit step by step, we now summarise the Christian Year by celebrating them together. And it is probably, I assume, for this reason, that this feast was so popular among “the people”. Because on this feast we can celebrate “in one go” everything the tri-une God has done for us, and everything we have learned – in the preceding course of the Christian Year – about who God is for us.

Another reason why the feast of the Trinity was popular among the people, might be the fact that the liturgy presents the Trinity not as dogmatics (doctrinal teaching) but as doxology (praise). We stand up, and sometimes make a deep bow, at the traditional doxology “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost”. Also in other liturgical texts and hymns, we encounter the Trinity in the context of praise and worship. Far from a dry theory, the Trinity is an inspiration for thanking and praising God.

  1. The Trinity – the biblical basis

Of course, the late development of this feast does not mean that the doctrine of the Trinity was only a medieval invention. We find the tri-une identity of God already in Scripture. For example at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1), the gospels draw – so to speak – a “picture” in which we can “see” the Holy Trinity: Jesus stands in the river Jordan, the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of God the Father sounds from heaven and declares Jesus to be his Son.

Other biblical references to the Trinity are, for example, the command to baptise “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28,19) and greetings at the end of letters, like the final verse of St Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you”. Not surprisingly, the church has chosen such texts as the basis of well-known prayers and blessings. Because such texts perfectly summarise who and how God is for us: he is one God, but we know him als Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  1. The Holy Trinity – God is personal relationship and love, and he wants to share it with us

Perhaps you are waiting for me to start writing about the intriguing question how 1 can be 3 at the same time. Then I will disappoint you. I do not think that the “mathematical” side of the doctrine of the Trinity helps us to focus on what this doctrine is about. To the contrary: I am convinced that too much talk about 1=3 only obscures what the doctrine (developed in the Bible and the Early Church) wants to tell us. It is not about numbers, it is about persons.

What the Trinity tells us, is that God is a personal God. He is, in himself (as Father, Son and Spirit), wholly defined by relationship and love. And he wants to share this relationship and this love – which is (as Trinity) his very self – with us. One way of making sense of creation – including making sense of our own existence – is to see creation as the overflowing of love: Father, Son and Spirit want to share their relationship and their love with creation, and particularly with humanity. We are called to share and spread forth this trinitarian love throughout humanity and creation.

So, rather than talking about numbers, let us talk about persons. God is a personal God. As Trinity he is, in himself, relationship and love. And he invites us to share in, and to spread forth, this love.

That is another reason why we should (physically or mentally) stand up, bow down, and sing: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost”.     Amen.

Prayer in praise of the Trinity by Brian Wren

Living Love,
beginning and end, giver of food and drink, clothing and warmth, love and hope:
life in all its goodness,

We praise and adore you.

Jesus, Wisdom and Word, lover of outcasts,
friend of the poor,
one of us yet one with God, crucified and risen:
life in the midst of death,
We praise and adore you.

Holy Spirit, storm and breath of love, bridge-builder, eye opener,
waker of the oppressed,
unseen and unexpected: untameable energy of life.
We praise and adore you.

Holy Trinity, forever one,
whose nature is community,
source of all sharing,
in whom we love, and meet, and know our neighbour: life in all its fullness, making all things new,
We praise and adore you.

Anthem : Vox Christi – Philip Wilby

Hymn: NEH 146 – Holy, holy holy, Lord God Almighty

Prayers of Intercession

High and holy God,
robed in majesty,
Lord of heaven and earth,
we pray that you will bring justice, faith and salvation to all peoples.
Especially we pray for those countries which are already affected by war, poverty and drought and which are ill-equipped to cope with the added pressures brought about by Coronavirus.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

You chose us in Christ to be your people
and to be the temple of your Holy Spirit;
we pray that you will fill your Church with vision and hope. Especially we pray for the worship and mission of the church, as we seek new ways of blending a continuing online presence with the gradual return towards meeting together in person.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Your Spirit enables us to cry, ‘Abba! Father!’,
affirms that we are fellow-heirs with Christ
and pleads for us in our weakness;
we pray for all who are in need or distress.
Especially we pray for all those who have suffered illness or loss as a result of the Coronavirus epidemic.

And in the silence, we name before God those known to us.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

In the baptism and birth of Jesus,
you have opened heaven to us
and enabled us to share in your glory;
the joy of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
from before the world was made.
May your whole Church, living and departed, come to a joyful resurrection in your city of light.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

To finish, we say  The Grace

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.

Part four, the final instalment, of Rev Derek Akker’s Prayers from my Teens. Prayers for Life was Derek’s first prayer book – a book that offered adventure, a radical departure from the prayers he was used to hearing… read on for this final instalment.

Keep Hope

In his own inimitable style Michel Quoist faces the hard reality of death and he is not shy about bringing his raw feelings or confronting the Lord in prayer. He begins his prayer entitled ‘My friend died last night, Lord’ with a simple statement that ‘It is God’s will that each of his children is born, lives and dies. But we should all die a ‘natural’ death at the end of our lives. Premature death from accidents or illness are not God’s doing, nor are they ‘the will of God’ any more that just a matter of luck,’ He sees these premature deaths as a consequence of how we exercise our freedom and how we exercise our responsibility of ourselves and others. Incurable illnesses are often down to how we treat our own bodies and the lack of cures is down to the need to divert monies, intelligence and energy from ‘inventing way of killing each other to finding ways ….to protect life and bring it to its full potential’. A point reinforced by Bill Gates in an interview with the BBC broadcast on Easter Day morning. Bill Gates warned 5 years ago that the world was not in a good position to face a pandemic and was critical at the funding of military resources and the lack of funding of research to protect the world from pandemics.

The prayer starts with the words:

‘My friend died last night, Lord’. In a short sentence Quoist refers to a life ebbing away from him and his friend’s fight against cancer and the care of his family and medical team.

Quoist then prays:
I’m not saying, Lord:
since that is what you wanted,
may your will be done;
and still less am I saying:
may your holy will be done.
But I’m telling you,
very quietly, very quietly,
because so many people will never understand.
I’m telling you, Lord, that my friend died . . .
And you could do nothing about it;
you couldn’t do what I so desperately longed for,
you couldn’t do what I foolishly hoped for.

Then Michel Quoist has a conversation with the Lord in which he recognises the influences for friends and his own faith journey;

that the Lord:

wants life not death
and that because you love more
You suffer more than any of us
when you see so many of children dying before their time.

            . . .

            I understood that because of your respect and love for us
            you never wanted to take our place
            in the battle against illness,
            but always offered to suffer with us
            and to struggle with us.

Michel Quoist describes his friend’s approach to his terminal cancer. He desired that his medical team strive for a cure. He asked for the courage to suffer, to accept treatments ‘so that others after him might suffer less and even be cured some day.’ ‘He asked for everyone … the joy of living.’

            Lord, my friend didn’t offer up his suffering
            Because he used to say that suffering is evil

and God does not like suffering.
He offered his long and painful battle
against suffering.

My friend, Lord
didn’t give in to his suffering,
but like you,
with you,
Oh my Saviour Jesus,
he gave his life
that we might live.

My friend died last night, Lord,
and I am weeping
but my heart is at peace
because my friend died last night,
but with you,
he gave me life.

(Keeping Hope’ – Kindle edition )

As we deal with the questions of death and life caused by COVID 19 may we see suffering for what it is, let us NEVER forget that Jesus, the Risen Lord, is there in the suffering.

May we do whatever we can to encourage research for a cure and vaccination for Coronavirus / COVID 19

In moments of stillness let us prayerfully remember

All the key workers who work and care for our neighbourhood
Those in hospital with Coronavirus / COVID 19
Those recovering from Coronavirus / COVID 19
Those in social isolation who live alone.
Those with mental health issues
For our church family
For family and friends
For ourselves.

You may choose to close this time with the Lord’s Prayer and

May the God who raised our Saviour Christ to life
Give us strength to face to days ahead,
knowing that we are loved and precious in the eyes of our Lord.
And the blessing of our Lord Jesus Chris
and Lord of God
and fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


As Easter People let us keep hope

Fr Derek

Tomorrow will be a strange Mothering Sunday indeed, when normally we are together at this beautiful time of year. We send love, prayers and happiness to all our congregation. If you would like to join the service led by Revd Ruan Crew at St James, Voorschoten please follow the link. The service starts at 1030am. We hope you enjoy this live streamed service. God Bless.
Live Streamed Service: http://www.stjames.nl/live
Service Sheet: https://www.stjames.nl/uploads/8/4/8/6/84869802/2020-03-15_morning_prayer.pdf