All Saints’ Church Renhold Bedfordshire, England

Parish Communion Service 15th Sunday after Trinity: Disability Awareness

Hymn – PP 10 – Bind us together Lord 

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.


The Greeting

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

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Sit or Kneel

      Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord.


Prayers of Penitence

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

The first commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your

mind, and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

All   Amen. Lord, have mercy.


God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our

sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s

Commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

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 neighbours as ourselves.

In your mercy forgive what we have been,

help us to amend what we are,

and direct what we shall be;

that we may do justly,

love mercy, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Collect for Fifteenth Sunday After Trinity     Let us pray

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, world without end. Amen

The Liturgy of the Word     

Luke chapter 5 verses 17-26;  New International Version

One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.  When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?  Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?  But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”  Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.  Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Rather than a sermon this morning, we are going to listen to some reflections on this passage from the perspective from different people involved in this Bible passage:

1. The Paralysed man  

Take a moment to imagine what life must have been like for the paralysed man before he met Jesus.

 We don’t know if the man had always been paralysed – for some people disability is life-long, for others it happens through illness or accident or later in life.

 Being paralysed, he wouldn’t have been able to move around by himself, leave the house or earn a living – he would be completely dependent on others for everything.

 It is likely that the only way of him being able to get his basic needs to survive would be to be carried outside into the town square to beg.

 This same situation happens today in many developing countries where disabled people are still treated as outcasts.

 Through the Roof ‘Wheels for the World’ mission trips constantly meet people who are in this situation. The trips take refurbished wheelchairs and mobility aids, along with Bibles, for people just like the paralysed man in Luke 5.

 What did the paralysed man need – he needed to know Jesus.

 What do our Wheels for the World recipients need – the need is still exactly the same - they need to know Jesus – and this is demonstrated through the love of Christians providing a wheelchair and a Bible.

2. The Four Friends

These men were true friends – they saw past the man’s disability. They saw the man himself as a friend and responded to what he needed. They treated him with love, respect and compassion.

 It probably wasn’t easy carrying the man on the stretcher.

 We don’t know how far they had to carry him.

 They worked together and they were determined, because they knew how important this was for the paralysed man.

 When they arrived and couldn’t get into the house, they must have felt they were never going to succeed in getting their friend to Jesus.

 It was a brave idea to break through the roof – what would the owner of the house say, or do to them?

 They put their friend’s needs before their own safety or reputation. They knew how important it was for him to meet Jesus.

 The situation is exactly the same today – it is just as important for disabled people to meet Jesus today as it was then.

 Through the Roof’s ‘Roofbreaker’ project is exactly this – to break down the barriers that might prevent disabled people from meeting Jesus.

 It goes further than that too… once someone meets Jesus, they will want to serve Him and tell others about Him too – so barriers need to be removed so that disabled people can not only come to faith, but grow in faith and share that faith in the same way as everyone.

3. The Crowd

The Bible account says that those who were present when the man was lowered through the roof were ‘amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe’

 The Pharisees and teachers of the law who were present didn’t recognise who Jesus was. Jesus chose a disabled man to demonstrate exactly who He was.

 Jesus could have just healed the man, but He didn’t. Jesus chose this moment to demonstrate that He was indeed the Son of Man and that He did indeed have authority to forgive sins.

 What an honour for the paralysed man to be chosen to display Jesus’ authority in this way.

 How much more important it is to meet Jesus, to know who He is, and to have your sins forgiven than just to be physically healed. Physical healing can only be temporary – our earthly bodies will one day die – but when Jesus forgives our sins, He is giving the gift of eternal life.

 So, what impact did it have on the lives of those who witnessed this? Imagine you were one of the people in that crowd. That moment would be a transforming point in your life because of what you had witnessed. That’s why it’s important today to hear about how God still works in and through the lives of disabled people.

 The personal stories of disabled people whose lives have been changed by Jesus are incredibly powerful. We need to hear more of them, so that Jesus can work through those to transform other lives too.

4. Our Response

How does the account of the paralysed man affect us even today as we hear it and respond to its message?

What do we learn from the paralysed man – are we seeking our own encounter with Jesus that will transform our lives completely? Jesus can take our weakness, transform it, and glorify God. Like the paralysed man, our lives will never be the same again once we have had a life-changing encounter with Jesus. And of course, then we need to respond and make sure others can come to know Jesus too.

What do we learn from the four friends? God can use us if we have faith in Him. We may not need to break through roofs, but there are still barriers today that prevent disabled people from coming to Jesus – what can we do? Let’s dig through that roof! Let’s break down the barriers! The barriers might not always be what we would think. The barriers in our churches are not always to do with the building, there can be other barriers too – we need to ask disabled people themselves so that we can break through those barriers as the four friends did.

And what do we learn from the ‘others’ in the story? Are we people who are amazed and give praise to God? Are we ‘filled with awe’ by observing Jesus in action as they were? Or are we like the Pharisees and teachers of the law clinging on to our traditionalism and not being willing to change? If we see Jesus for who He really is, all this will be turned on its head. How will we respond?

Ian  - It's time for churches to make sure there aren’t any barriers for disabled people coming to Jesus. Take an honest look, but most importantly ask disabled people if there are any barriers they are facing. And remember there’s lots of help available – Through the Roof will be delighted to help.

We all need to be transformed by Jesus and that’s exactly what Through the Roof is aiming for. Through the Roof’s mission is: ‘Transforming lives through Jesus with disabled people’. That is exactly what we see in the account of the paralysed man. It is Jesus doing the transforming, but Jesus not only transforms the life of a disabled person, He also works through this person to transform the lives of others too.

Hymn – PP 30 He’s got the whole world in his hands 

Testimony – Jane Ferguson

Prayers of Intercession  

A prayer written by eye movement using an alphabet board by Jonathan Bryan who is 16 years old. Lord of life and love - Hear our prayer

Loving heavenly Father, Thank you for the beautiful diversity of people you have created, and that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. We praise you for the variety of gifts you have given to your people.

Lord of life and love - Hear our prayer

Forgive us for the times we have marred your image within us. We are sorry for when we have made assumptions about people different to ourselves, and excluded those Jesus went out of His way to include.

Lord of life and love - Hear our prayer

Help us to reach out to those on the margins. Enlarge our vision to value and actively include everyone who is differently abled.

Lord of life and love - Hear our prayer

We pray for people who feel disabled by society’s assumptions and who are prevented from reaching their full potential.

Lord of life and love - Hear our prayer

Thank you for Through the Roof and other organisations working hard to unroof the lives of people with disabilities. May your church lead the way in demonstrating life in all its fullness. Amen

A prayer by Lynda Herbert who is a Church of England reader, Through the Roof volunteer and a wheelchair user.

Father, we come before you in prayer, praising you, worshipping you, and thanking you for the life changing, transforming love we have found in you;

A love that reaches out, into our lives, A love we find in friendships, community and worship; reassuring, comforting and guiding us.

Today we are giving thanks for all those who reach out, in support and friendship, enriching the lives of disabled people; enabling and welcoming all into worship, and into the presence of the Saviour himself; Going Through the Roof To bring us to Jesus.

And May we reach out in fellowship


 Father, there are many people Who would love to come into your presence, but struggle to find a place of worship, Community and teaching, that meets their needs.

Help us to work this out, to find new ways of welcome, and of acceptance. Teach us your ways Lord; and help us to be those friends, who go Through the Roof To bring people to Jesus. And May we reach out in fellowship


Father, we pray now for our worshipping community, help us to be welcoming, accessible and considerate to care for all, leaving no-one out, So that together we may praise your Holy Name

Knowing that you are with us; May we find joy in your presence, and help us to be those friends, who go Through the Roof To bring people to Jesus. And May we reach out in fellowship


In our daily lives Father, we ask for your peace and blessing to be with us, our families, friends, work colleagues and all people we meet in passing;

May we feel your presence with us, guiding us, leading us, helping us through the challenges and difficulties we face in life.

We pray that your healing hands may reach out and comfort us when we are sick, and may you tenderly hold those who need our prayers.

We ask for your blessing, and your comfort for those who are distressed, or anxious,

And may your peace be with those who mourn the loss of loved ones, For you are the God of love, and your mercy knows no limits.

Help us to be merciful to one another And to be those friends, Who go Through the Roof To bring people to Jesus. And May we reach out in fellowship


Father your love knows no limits

May we too be limitless

Going above and beyond to welcome and value all people.  Amen

The Peace

Peace to you from God our heavenly Father.

Peace from his Son Jesus Christ who is our peace.

Peace from the Holy Spirit, the life-giver.

The peace of the triune God be always with you        

and also with you.

Hymn – PP 64   Will you come and follow me       

Prayer at the preparation of the Table

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

through your goodness we have this bread to set before you,

which earth has given and human hands have made.

It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

through your goodness we have this wine to set before you,

fruit of the vine and work of human hands.

It will become for us the cup of salvation.

Blessed be God for ever.

Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here.

His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,

at all times and in all places

to give you thanks and praise,

holy Father, heavenly King,

almighty and eternal God,

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word;

through him you have created all things from the beginning,

and formed us in your own image.

Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,

giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;

you raised him from the dead

and exalted him to your right hand on high.

Through him you have sent upon us

your holy and life-giving Spirit,

and made us a people for your own possession.

Therefore with angels and archangels,

and with all the company of heaven,

we proclaim your great and glorious name,

for ever praising you and saying:

       Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

[Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.]

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,

through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,

and as we follow his example and obey his command,

grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit

these gifts of bread and wine

may be to us his body and his blood;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,

took bread and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper

he took the cup and gave you thanks;

he gave it to them, saying:

Drink this, all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it,

in remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father,

we remember his offering of himself

made once for all upon the cross;

we proclaim his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension;

we look for the coming of your kingdom,

and with this bread and this cup

we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died,

Christ is risen;

Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest,

this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,

and as we eat and drink these holy gifts

in the presence of your divine majesty,

renew us by your Spirit,

inspire us with your love

and unite us in the body of your Son,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,

we worship you, Father almighty,

in songs of everlasting praise:

All   Blessing and honour and glory and power

be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour 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.   Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

       Though we are many, we are one body,

because we all share in one bread.

       Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

God’s holy gifts, for God’s holy people

Jesus Christ is holy,

Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father

        We do not presume to come to this your table, merciful Lord,

trusting in our own righteousness,

but in your manifold and great mercies.

We are not worthy

so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table.

But you are the same Lord, whose nature is always to have mercy.

Grant us therefore, gracious Lord,

so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ

and to drink his blood,

that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body

and our souls washed through his most precious blood,

and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

The congregation receive communion.

Prayer after Communion

Almighty God, you have taught us through your Son that love is the fulfilling of the law: grant that we may love you with our whole heart and our neighbours as ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

       Father of all, we give you thanks and praise,

that when we were still far off

you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love,

gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;

we who drink his cup bring life to others;

we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.

Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us,

so we and all your children shall be free,

and the whole earth live to praise your name;

through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hymn – PP 52 One more step along the world I go


May the peace of Christ go with you, wherever life may take you

May he guide you through the wilderness and protect you through life’s storms,

May he bring you home rejoicing at the wonders he will show you

May he bring you home rejoicing, safely to your doors

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

 In the name of Christ. Amen.

Copyright acknowledgement: Some material used in this service is copyright The Archbishops Council; Common Worship and Common Worship Times & Seasons 2002 & 2006;

CCLI number 804157