Fourth Sunday of Trinity
5th July 2020
Rev David Osborn speaks on the Fourth Sunday of Trinity.
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Address for the Fourth Sunday of Trinity
I once chose the hymn: ‘Thine be the glory risen conquering Son’, in February:
(Well, it had been a depressing winter.)
After the service, one of the congregation came up to me slowly shaking his head:
‘Padre’, he said, ‘ have you no sense of occasion: that hymn is an Easter one; we are (and he solemnly lowered his voice) in the midst of Lent……’
‘And this is not a joyful time’
And well I can see his point: because in a way he was right: there is a place for solemnity: for how can you have a joyful Easter if you haven’t gone through the depths of despair that is Ash Wednesday in February?
And you would say that, at the moment, This is not a joyful time.
Yet somehow, through lockdown, quarantine, social distancing, we have reached summertime and the fish are jumping and the cotton is high.
So we should look to be happy, and we should reflect that happiness in what we say and do as Christian people: as our Lord asks, have we forgotten to play the flutes and to dance?
Put another way: have we lost the ability to laugh at ourselves?
When Tommy Cooper passed away we lost one of the few people on the planet that could make us laugh by saying: ‘my neighbour worships car exhausts- he’s a catholic converter’.
And I wonder, what’s happened to humour in our church; where has the laughter gone? – if it ever existed………….
How come that we, the preachers and teachers and sharers of the gospel, the great news of salvation in our world, the glorious news of redemption, of salvation, of hope and of joy, can be so miserable about it?
Do you know that being deeply serious in our society turns people off? Fact. Yes, I know that it is shallow and deplorable but the truth is: Cole Porter was right: all the world loves a clown so make em laugh,
Humour, laughing at ourselves, rather than at others can be cathartic. It reaches into our souls, it reminds us that we are human beings and not machines. That we live, that we have feelings:
whether it’s the definition of Puritanism: that haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy: or the nature of the three sexes; men, women and clergy.
At the heart of who we are and what we believe must lie the desire to seek happiness. Ask most parents what their wish is for their children: they want them to be happy. Most parents are at their highest level of worry and concern when their children are unhappy.
In a world where there is much pain and suffering: and at the moment where there is great anxiety, terrible worry for our futures, we need to grasp hold of the fun, the laughter and the joy in our lives. For in those we have hope through Christ our Lord.
So let us rejoice and be glad for we live, for our God loves us and has saved us all – sent his Son into the world to save us all – and our Lord encourages us to play the flutes and to dance, for true happiness lies in our faith in Jesus our Saviour.
And if, as Anglicans, riotous cheer is out of the question – then for all our sakes, let us still smile with the Lord.
Matthew chapter 11
‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and
calling to one another,
“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.”
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came
eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and
sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’
At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden
these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for
such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one
knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to
whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take
my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest
for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Trinity
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass
through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal; grant this, heavenly Father, for
our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one
God, now and for ever.
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.