• Re: Welland Fosse Sunday Morning Prayer 13..09.2020 LIVE on Zoom 11.00 am PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME

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Greeting: Welcome in the name of Christ. God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you.

And also with you

Collect:  Almighty God, whose only Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence, give us pure hearts and steadfast wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Confession: The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart God will not despise. Let us come to the Lord, who is full of compassion and acknowledge our transgressions in penitence and faith.

Most merciful God, father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbour as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are and direct what we shall be




May the God of love and power forgive us and free us from our sins heal and strengthen us by his spirit and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.


Hymn: Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to His feet thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
who like me His praise should sing?
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favour
to our fathers, in distress;
Praise Him still the same for ever,
slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Glorious in His faithfulness.

Father-like He tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands He gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Widely as His mercy flows.

Angels help us to adore Him;
ye behold Him face to face;
sun and moon, bow down before Him;
dwellers all in time and space.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise with us the God of grace.




Reading: Matthew 18:21-35

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a]

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[c] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”


Sermon: Ann Robinson




Two weeks ago I started my talk with “Poor Peter” and this week could begin the same. Jesus had been teaching about how to resolve problems between people and Peter thought he would carry this a bit further. Should I forgive someone seven times? Peter thought this was being very generous because the rabbis taught that someone should only be forgiven three times and then be punished severely on the fourth occasion. But Jesus is having none of this and tells Peter that he should forgive seventy times seven. This did not mean keeping a record until you reached four hundred and ninety!

To help the disciples understand the principle of forgiveness Jesus told the story of the servant who owed an enormous amount. He owed what in some versions is 10,000 talents. A talent represented 15 years average wage so the amount owed would be impossible to pay back. The servant had really lived an extravagant life on other people’s money. He pleaded and said he would pay it all back although how is not mentioned! The Master took pity on him and wiped out the debt.

You can imagine the glee and perhaps smugness with which the servant went out, full of swagger and joy. He had been let off so much. Then he met a man who served him and decided that he wanted back everything that was owed to him from this man which was about one day’s wage. There was no writing off that debt and the man was arrested and thrown into prison. Very unfair and the other servants were outraged. The Master threw his servant into prison until he could pay.

A story of exaggeration perhaps but the point is clear: forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. How often we say it! When I was very young, about seven I had a prize from Sunday School, a book with short stories in it. I can’t remember what the book was called, who had written it but I remember very vividly one of the stories. It was about a little girl who quarrelled with her brother because he broke her toy. She visited an old priest and she tearfully told him what had happened and ended with the words: I’ll never forgive him. The priest spoke to her and gently said that she would never be able to say the Lord’s Prayer again and she had been very proud that she had learned it. I can’t remember any more but that story has had a profound effect on my thinking.

Another story which I first saw on television has also had a great effect on me. Joan Scourfield’s son James, a paramedic was murdered by Jacob with one punch. It was 11 weeks before the funeral could be held and eventually Jacob was sentenced and served thirteen months in prison. Joan was appalled at such a paltry sentence for her son’s life. She was approached by a charity which dealt with restorative justice and after many meetings with mediators she eventually met Jacob.

He couldn’t understand why she cared and wanted to meet him and the first meeting resulted in many tears as both sides talked about what had happened. Joan realised he was not a monster but a young man of 19. Because someone cared, Jacob studied for his GCSEs and continued to rebuild his life. Now Joan states: It’s taken a long time to feel comfortable with the word forgiveness. I used to feel that if I forgive Jacob it meant I’d forgotten James but now that Jacob has done so well forgiving him feels really natural. Forgiveness for me means being at peace, letting go of the bitterness and letting Jacob into my life. I’ve grown fond of him.

The Greek word for forgiveness means “letting go” and needs to be an act of healing. Anger raises the risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure. Anger and hatred can build up until it is colossal and we are unable to see beyond it and we become consumed. Martin Luther King Junior said “Forgiveness is not an occasional act it is a constant attitude”. We need to cultivate that rather than wallow in hatred.

Peter’s question, “How many times should I forgive” is relevant to us today. But it is hard to look into ourselves and look hard enough to find those areas of our life where there is a lack of forgiveness. It is uncomfortable and this is made even worse when we remember the final words of Jesus on the subject: “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Forgiving small infringements can be difficult so how much more challenging is it to forgive something huge like murder of someone you love? And yet that is what God does for us. He will forgive all the huge things we have done that we ought not to have done. Christ died an appalling death for us and took all of our sins on himself. But there is the caveat that we do the same for others. St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians wrote: Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Uncomfortable. Difficult. Unimaginable. But God searches us and knows us and his compassion is endless.

Let us pray:

Lord, we confess that we long to know that we are forgiven, that the slate is wiped clean and that we can begin again. We know that although we long to be forgiven we find it so hard to forgive others; that we don’t want to share with others the gift which we have received and simply do not deserve. By your grace, may we become the forgiving, accepting people that you call us to be. Cleanse, renew and forgive us for Christ’s sake. Amen.


Hymn:  Forgive our sins

 ‘Forgive our sins as we forgive,’
you taught us, Lord, to pray,
but you alone can grant us grace
to live the words we say.

2. How can your pardon reach and bless
the unforgiving heart,
that broods on wrongs and will not let
old bitterness depart?

3. In blazing light your cross reveals
the truth we dimly knew:
what trivial debts are owed to us,
how great our debt to you!

4. Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls,
and bid resentment cease;
then, bound to all in bonds of love,
our lives will spread your peace.

Creed: Do you believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist?

We believe and trust in Him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again?

We believe and trust in Him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world?

We believe and trust in Him.

This is the faith of the church

This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


Intercession Prayers:


Lord’s Prayer


Hymn: When I survey the wondrous cross

  1. When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.
  2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.
  3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingling down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
  4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were an offering far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.





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