Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

A short service for the 16th Sunday after Trinity – 27/09/2020 – Proper 21

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


Opening prayer

Into the mix of humanity,

with friends and neighbours, visitors and strangers,

together we join to worship you, O Lord our God.


Psalm 78: 1-7

My people, hear my teaching;

listen to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth with a parable;

I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

things we have heard and known,

things our ancestors have told us.

We will not hide them from their descendants;

we will tell the next generation

the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,

his power, and the wonders he has done.

He decreed statutes for Jacob

and established the law in Israel,

which he commanded our ancestors

to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them,

even the children yet to be born,

and they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God

and would not forget his deeds

but would keep his commands.


Our Bible reading is Matthew 21: 23-32

The Authority of Jesus Questioned

Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”

Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”

So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Thought for the day by Revd Arif Anees. Please click the link below;


O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers

of your people who call upon you;

and grant that they may both perceive and

know what things they ought to do,

and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them;

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 for ever.


Prayers of intercession

So often we want to pray for others.

But sometimes, God, we don’t know how.

We can’t remember names or numbers;

other issues weigh heavily on our hearts.

Thank goodness, God,

that you know what we mean when we pray.

So, we bring in this moment

those names and faces, images and desires for others

that pop in and out of our minds throughout the day:

the old lady at the bus stop who needed a hand up the step;

the young mum at the checkout trying to contain her four kids;

the chap up the road who’s lost his dog and is calling for him;

the teachers struggling to understand the needs of those in their class;

the doctors who wants to give us more time but who simply can’t;

the young families who can’t make ends meet;

those without work, who can’t find new jobs;

those helping people to find work, knowing it is an uphill struggle;

those with mental health issues and seeking help,

or who are afraid and ashamed to seek help,

or who are ignored and can’t get help.

So, God, for all these people and countless others,

we offer our prayers.

We know you do not need reminding,

but you do need willing workers – even us –

to help them know your love and have their needs met.

Hear our ramblings, O God.

Lord, in your mercy…

Hear our prayer.

In a moment of silence, we will bring before God people, places and situations that we carry in our hearts…

(Silence is kept for few moments)

Lord, in your mercy…

Hear our prayer.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ who reigns with you in the unity of Holy Spirit,


Sending prayer

May we go, Lord God,

to meet the needs of others

and share the love we have from you.


Final blessing

The Lord bless us, and preserve from all evil,

and keep us in eternal life.


The Holy Bible NIV - Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Common Worship – Copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000

© ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2020.

Reproduced with permission.