Good morning everyone I write this after we have said a final goodbye to Her Majesty the Queen and as many of you know after a death in the family although the funeral is over, there is still hurt but it is now a time to get to a new normal, you may feel guilty for carrying on but life does go on, and in our Gospel reading a twist on this theme which may or not give you some solace.
Moving on we had a lovely safari supper and many thanks to all who organised and provided a lovely meal for us. A time to get together and support each other and to raise a little money for church.
The Tuesday service is now well under way and it will be Holy Communion or morning prayer starting at 10.30am and I hope more of you will join us. At the moment it is in the side chapel and is a quiet reflective service with time for a cup of tea or coffee and a chance to catch up and have a chat. Everyone is welcome so do come and join us.
The reflection today and intercessions are by myself.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Loving God, we have come to worship you.
Help us to pray to you in faith, to sing to you in praise with gratitude, and to listen to your word with eagerness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OF PENITENCE
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 all of 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.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us. You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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. Amen.
THE OLD TESTAMENT READING
JEREMIAH 32. 1-3a, 6-15
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah, where King Zedekiah of Judah had confined him. Zedekiah had said, ‘Why do you prophesy and say: Thus says the Lord: I am going to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;
Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of your uncle Shallum is going to come to you and say, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.’ Then my cousin Hanamel came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.
And I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions, and the open copy; and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. In their presence I charged Baruch, saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. Glory to you O Lord
LUKE 16. 19-31
‘There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.” He said, “Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.” Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.” He said, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” ’
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
A difficult hard hitting parable, some people have argued that it was a real life story, it makes you feel uncomfortable but then also focuses on the extremes of the story, a man covered in sores, a rich greedy man and then the admission to heaven.
We have all been there and seen the homeless person in the doorway, looking dishevelled, dirty and smelling, maybe he/she is shouting or asking us for money. What do we do? We are told not to give money to feed their addiction? Do you buy them a cup of tea or sandwich? Do they scare you? It is not easy. But it is in our faith to love your neighbour, how can we balance help and greed, love or repulsion. Many of us prefer to help the charities working with them, some of us are struggling ourselves, and some haven’t the confidence. So what is this saying? Is it just about charity and giving, well no it is about the prophets the teachings of Jesus and about heaven.
The previous week’s readings of the lost sheep, lost coin, the shrewd manager, the great banquet leads us into this reading in a much more powerful way. It is about wealth but it is looking at blessings of those that are comfortable or talented and the curses that it brings. Were the poor and downtrodden put there to test those that were blessed? It seems cruel to them, or are we given these blessings so that they can be shared out, like world resources. We are told in no uncertain terms that those that squander or store up their riches will not go to heaven.
The rich man had been ignoring the teachings of the prophets and seeing his mistakes wanted to pre warn his relatives so that they didn’t make the same mistake, it was said that even if someone came back from the dead they would not listen, but the punch line was that was not possible. All the teachings are there but if we choose to ignore them that is something we must face.
We too are in a difficult position, we live in a different world, we have responsibilities, we have to keep our families and we have added pressures. We are collaboratively squandering our world resources is this greed? We are in creationtide at the moment and we hope that we are all recycling, cutting down on carbon emissions, preserving our world life etc. and surely this is also what this reading is doing. Looking at our lifestyle, looking at helping each other where we can and keeping our faith in mind during our busy lives.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
During the intercessions, we pray for the church, our country, our government, people in difficulty and those who have died. You can use your own prayers or if you prefer here are some on today’s theme.
We give thanks for your church throughout the world. May the church be an instrument of reconciliation and peace between nations and people. Bless our churches in our team and mission community, our clergy and lay ministers and all who help in our communities. We ask your blessing on ALM’s who are being commissioned or re -commissioned at the cathedral this afternoon.
Lord in you mercy. Hear our prayer.
Father we give thanks for the peace you offer to us. We remember in your presence those who are victims of war or violence, those whose communities are being attacked or mean that they are living in fear. We ask you to bless our own communities and those that contribute to a caring and harmonious environment.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
We thank you for our family friends and loved ones and all who have enriched our lives. We ask you to keep us safe and we pray for those who have broken relationships or live in poverty, violence or neglect. We pray for all who are suffering through loss of a loved one.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Father, we bring to your love the suffering and sorrow of our world. We remember in your presence all who are ill at home or in hospital, especially today Doreen Wood, Katherine Browning, Kevin Maguire and Maureen Hulme. We pray for those involved in accidents or acts of cruelty or violence, those who live in fear or feel they cannot cope.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Father you created us for yourself and for your love. As we give our love to you we pray for our loved ones who are departed from us, and from our book of remembrance David Philip Summerton, Irene Rose Hart, John Edward Davies and Phyllis Hamer. May they rejoice in the light of your presence and in the fullness of eternal life.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of you Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the source of all goodness and growth, pour his blessing upon all things created, and upon us his children, that we may use his gifts to his glory and the welfare of all peoples; and may the blessing of God almighty the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and forever more Amen.