Good morning everyone and I hope you are well, today we are looking at Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus is telling his disciples to go out and spread the word of God, like reaping the harvest needs many labourers, God needs many disciples.
Next Sunday we celebrate St. Maxentius Day it will be a 10am service and we will be admitting two of our Wednesday children to Holy Communion. As we are having a barbeque and sumptuous desserts afterwards we thought a 9.30 service may be too near breakfast.
Intercessions and the reflection are by myself this week.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.
Faithful one, whose word is life; come with saving power to free our praise, inspire our prayer and shape our lives for the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OF PENTENCE
The Holy Spirit fills the world and knows our every word and deed. Let us then open ourselves to the Lord and confess our sins in penitence and faith.
Almighty God, long suffering and of great goodness; I confess with my whole heart my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments, my wrong doing, thinking and speaking; the hurts I have done to others, and the good I have left undone. O God forgive me to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who in his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to al those who with heartfelt repentance and true faith turn to him; have mercy on us and deliver us from our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.
Faithful Creator, whose mercy never fails: deepen our faithfulness to you and to your living Word, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE NEW TESTAMENT READING
ROMANS 5. 1-8
Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Glory to you O Lord.
MATTHEW 9. 35- 10.8
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’ Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
In this reading we are told by Matthew about Jesus’ work in spreading God’s word. It was prophesied that he would come and free the Jews and in the previous verses in Chapter 8 and 9 he tells of the many miracles that Jesus performs. It shows Jesus’ great compassion and love for people, he sees the suffering, the disease and lack of joy in those around him, he likens them to sheep without a shepherd and of course he wants to rectify that by bringing them back to God.
How will he do this? He needs help and he chooses 12 men to help him and he teaches and coaches them in what they have to do and how they will do it. He says that the harvest is plenty referring to all these people that are suffering but the labourers are few, referring to those that need to learn and spread the word. In this reading he actually names all the disciples, then something rather unusual, he tells them not to go out of Israel or to the gentiles and Samaritans – the non Jews. But to concentrate on the Israelites. This of course links to the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah where it is the Jews that shall hear the word of God first. Jesus came to tell the Israelites and his mission was for them to hear it first, to give them chance to repent. Later of course as we heard on Trinity Sunday, came the great commission, when he instructed them to travel the world and make new disciples to go out into other countries.
Jesus was keen to emphasise that they should take no money or carry bags of belongings as this might show they were money makers, they were not to swagger around boasting that they were the chosen servants, they were to be healers and restorers and not have any status. Only to accept hospitality when it was given but the Gospel must be free. They really had to have a very humble existence.
Matthew has recorded this in great detail, we obviously live in a very different world today, but wonder indeed if all that it says is still true, and I am sure it still can be relevant in the mission of our churches today.
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 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, and is seated on the right hand of the Father; he will come again in glory 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.
Here we for the church, for the world, those in need and those who have died, you can follow your own prayers or these below on today’s theme.
Blessed are you, Lord God. You give the increase to our sowing, to our work and our plantings. You are the giver of life and life in abundance. May we put our faith in your goodness and, when we have sown, trust the increase to you. Though our faith is often small, it is in a mighty God. Blessed are you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We give thanks for those who taught us in faith, who sowed the seed of the Gospel in our hearts. We ask for your blessing on all who teach and spread your word , especially within our Turton Moorland team and mission community both clergy and lay ministry teams. We remember homes where the word of God is sown and children are given the chance to grow in love and faith.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Lord, we long for the time when the kingdoms of the world will become the kingdom of Christ our Lord. May the rulers on earth reflect the gentle and loving rule of your kingdom in heaven. We pray for all who are striving to do your will in their places of work and in their homes, for all who witness to you by their way of life. We pray for countries in conflict and unrest and ask that they may find peace.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We give thanks for those who love us, for our families and friends, we pray for the lonely and homeless and those that are neglected. We give thanks for the work of the healing profession, for the emergency service workers, for all who work in the NHS and carers and charities. We pray for those who do not have access to help and care. From our own parish we pray for Rev Peter Reiss, Thomas Causton, Sue Roberts, Colin Roberts, Stanley Schofield and Stephen Haslam.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
We give thanks for all the saints, for those who spread the word of God, for those who witnessed to your love, for those who brought the Gospel to this land. We remember all loved ones who are departed from us and from our book of remembrance Harold Isherwood and Harry Done. We pray that they may rejoice in the fullness of your kingdom.
Merciful Father. Accept these prayers for the sake of your 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 today 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 the Lord bless us and watch over us; the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us; the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and forever more. Amen.