First Sunday of Trinity
14th June 2020
Rev David Osborn speaks on the first Sunday of Trinity, 14th June 2020.
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Address for the First Sunday of Trinity
The people remain anxious and worried; What will happen next they cry, what will become of us they ask?
How will it all turn out and who will bring us some hope and salvation? When looking back on first century Palestine,
we begin to have a distinct sense of deja vu And before you can all cry out; I knew you were going to say that David,
we need to stress the differences as much as the similarities between where we find ourselves today
and where the people of Israel were.
So where were they? Matthew has no doubts;
Jesus has compassion on the people because they were harassed and helpless Harassed and helpless
Harassed because they had been invaded and had much less control over their own futures
Helpless because their leaders had no bargaining tools; when a mighty army overruns you, the
only real option is capitulation in the hope that the long term survival of the people might be
Now even if you feel harassed and helpless in 21 st century Britain, you need to be aware that we
have much to help us. Just as first century people had Jesus in person we have him in spirit and
we can draw on his teaching and preaching; his healing and comfort; the example of God actually
working in our world
The writer of the psalms knows this: take Psalm 100
We don’t often hear it at the Eucharist but we hear it most Sundays when we have Choral Matins:
Psalm 100, the Jubilate
A brilliant psalm because
a) It is short and
b) it sticks to the point
Know this: the Lord is God; he has made us; he is our shepherd; we should be glad and rejoice,
serve the Lord our God; for not only is he good but his mercy lasts for ever
So everyone, take heart, things may be unsettled at the moment but the Lord our God will keep us
and support us. In the meantime we should continue to serve him in whatever way we feel able
This Old Testament view of God becomes a New Testament view of Jesus of Nazareth; instead of
God being outside our reach, outside our understanding, perhaps even outside our consciousness
God now walks amongst us; talks to us teaches us and heals us. People can see him, they touch
him, they wash his feet, they listen to him, they pray with him
No matter that things didn’t turn out too well at the end of his earthly ministry what really matters is
the legacy of faith and commitment that Jesus leaves. When added to the gift of the Holy Spirit the
sum total becomes a driving force for the creation of the church of Christ and the subsequent
move of that church throughout the ancient world
People feel helpless and harassed for many reasons; we can see much confusion and
bewilderment on our TV screens, lap tops and smartphones. This has truly been an awful time for
so many people and once again our hearts and prayers go out to those we have never met
People are trying to make sense, despite things seeming to be senseless
So much confusion in twenty first century Britain and Northern Ireland.
But I struggle to believe that we are more confused than people in first century Palestine
They had to make do with word of mouth; with garbled accounts and with little written testimony
We should admire and learn from their faith; their determination and their commitment to learn
from our Lord and move onwards. Into the unknown, into places where things were going to be
difficult and they were not sure what was going to happen next
We walk in their footsteps; and in so doing we also walk in the footsteps of our Lord and in doing
that we no longer need to feel harassed or helpless – for he is with us always, to the end of time.
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming
the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the
crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep
without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are
few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast
them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve
apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and
his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of
Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and
enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go,
proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
Words from Psalm 100
O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands : serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence
with a song.
2 Be ye sure that the Lord he is God : it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his
people, and the sheep of his pasture.
3 O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise : be thankful unto
him, and speak good of his Name.
4 For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting : and his truth endureth from generation to
Prayer for the First Sunday of Trinity
God of truth, help us to keep your law of love and to walk in ways of wisdom, that we may find true
life in Jesus Christ your Son.
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour Christ has taught us
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.