Carlops Zoom Devotion Time:  Sunday 7 June 2020     


Welcome and lighting of candles (Adam and Galina)


Call to worship (Chris)

As old as creation.

As new as life itself.

Encompassing the mystery of faith, hope and love:

the Trinity of God.

Come close to us,

come alive in us,

We worship you today,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One God.


Hymn: Christ is our light! (CH4 336)

Christ is our light! the bright and morning star

covering with radiance all from near and far.

Christ be our light, shine on, shine on we pray

into our hearts, into our world today.


Christ is our love! baptized that we may know

the love of God among us, swooping low.

Christ be our love, bring us to turn our face

and see in you the light of heaven’s embrace.


Christ is our joy! transforming wedding guest!

Through water turned to wine the feast was blessed.

Christ be our joy; your glory let us see,

as your disciples did in Galilee.


Bible reading (Gill): 

Matthew 28 vs 16 – 20

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


2 Corinthians 13 vs 11 – 13

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All God’s people here send their greetings.


Reflection (Chris)              

I don’t know anything about Gini Gerbasi, but something she did and wrote last week reassured me that the great commission of Jesus, his sending out of the apostles to bring peace, to baptize and to teach, was still being heard and acted upon in some places. Gini was in Washington DC in the USA and she wrote this :  “Friends, I am frankly shaken, I was at St John’s Church, Lafayette Square most of the afternoon with fellow clergy and lay people and clergy from other denominations too. We were passing out water and snacks and helping the patio area at the square to be a place of respite and peace. We connected with the Black Lives Matter medic team who were amazing. We were driven off the square by police using gas canisters and rubber bullets. I was stunned and I ran with a few bottles of water and eyewash. I could not believe it, we were driven off a place of peace and respite and medical care, so a man could have a photo opportunity in front of the church. People were hurt so that he could pose in front of the church with a Bible!  She finishes by saying “I am OK, but I am now a force to be reckoned with”.

We have all no doubt been deeply disturbed by the murder of George Floyd, by the understandable anger which has followed it, the protests, and the encouragement of a brutal response by riot police. I have been somewhat encouraged to see the number of white women and men taking part in the protest against basic racism, and I have wondered what it must be like to be black and in the police force in America. I was encouraged to see one black policeman saying to the protestors that most of them were also appalled by what had happened, and to see a white military commander kneeling down to show solidarity with the suffering and anger of so many.

It is good to know that here are still people seeking to work for peace and reconciliation in places of violence and anger.

The story of Jesus saying goodbye finally to his disciples and sending them as his apostles to continue his work is powerful both in Matthew and in the letter to the Corinthians. It’s a kind of mission statement for the church and a basis for the trinity, Father Son and Spirit which gives today the name of Trinity Sunday.

It often strikes me that we over spiritualise the words of Jesus in such a way that they only apply to the church and not to the wide world. We forget that the world which Jesus and his disciples occupied was not really a “Sabbath rest by Galilee with calm of hills above”. He lived in a violent age where the Romans ruled with a brutal strength and allowed no opposition. A high proportion of those apostles he was sending out to make peace, and to teach, were going to be martyred and suffer violent deaths. Often because they would not acquiesce to the godship of Caesar.

Most bible scholars recognise that it was the protest of Jesus in the temple which finally ensured his own death.  When he cleared out the money changers from the temple precincts with a whip of cords he was protesting at the misuse of true religion.  Instead of being the place where all were valued equally the temple was a place of profit where the poor were made to feel their poverty and the inadequacy of their offerings. It was a protest at the injustice and sense of entitlement and self righteousness and untouchability of those in power. And they wouldn’t stand for it.

Recently I was intrigued to see that several bishops and church leaders in England had written about the need for integrity among our own political leaders at this very delicate time as they seek a way forward in the present pandemic.  It is a time when we need to trust that those who are making decisions are really working for the benefit of all, leading by example and listening to the needs and questions and fears of all.  Following their comments there was the usual chorus that the church should stay out of politics. But if the church cannot ask questions about integrity one would have to ask what is the church for.  In a more sinister vein these, same leaders were sent emails with death threats.  Perhaps the world hasn’t changed that much.

Jesus commissioned his apostles, his friends and his followers, to go out to the world with a message of justice, mercy and peace. They did it with great integrity, and were then as now, not only OK, but a force to be reckoned with. May we be likewise.  Amen


Prayer (include brief quiet time) (Patsy)

Prayers of approach, contrition, thanks and intercession for others.

Heavenly Creator, You have promised to be with us always, to the very end of time. This morning we all come together as a group of friends and neighbours to claim Your promise that You will be with us, now, to hear our prayers and to renew our strength in Your service through the help of the Holy Spirit.

We know that we cannot fathom the mystery of God, or understand the extent of Your power. 


Psalm 8 says:

When I look up at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

At the moon and the stars you have set in place,

What is a frail mortal, that you should be mindful of him,

A human being, that you should take notice of him?


And yet you do take notice of us – you charge us with the care and safety of your world, and with the spreading of your message of love to all human beings.

We praise and thank you for the wonders of nature which we enjoy so much, especially at this time of pause and reflection, and we are grateful for our great happiness in the love of family and friends. We pray that you will keep us firm in our faith, vigorous in protecting your creation and faithful in spreading the Gospel’s message of love.

We are sorry that we have failed to rid our minds of racial prejudice and that peoples still find more divisive differences in colour and belief than similarities in educational aims, joys in discoveries, happiness in nature, music, art and poetry and all that increases the beauty of life and joy in sharing together. Even the stars vary in colour. We pray that we can grow to appreciate our differences, to learn from all nations and kinds of people, and to share the message of Jesus about the love of God, learning from, as well as teaching those who we meet on our way through life. We pray that You will teach us to truly love and value people of all colours and beliefs, and recognise them as your children and our brothers and sisters.

We thank you for all the people who have supported us by their work during the past months, and ask that you bless them and protect them in you love.

We bring our prayers to You for those in need.

We ask your guidance for the governments of the world during the present pandemic so that they make wise decisions on behalf of the people in their care.

We pray for all those who are in any way distressed in mind, body or circumstances, especially those who are suffering from racial prejudice or from the corona virus. Help us to comfort and relieve them in your name.


Closing words and Benediction (Chris)

Sung Blessing  

May the God of peace go with us, as we travel from this place;

May the love of Jesus keep us, firm in hope and full of grace.