Good morning everyone and I hope you are well. Last week’s St. Maxentius day service went really well, Rev Hannah led the service and Rev Robin presided over the communion. It was a service of shared input and it was lovely to hear from Mrs. Cousen, Head at St. Maxentius School about the progress and Ethos of the school. The children that spoke were excellent and were a credit to their school and parents. Thank you so much to them all and to all the children who took part. It was followed by a barbeque in the church grounds and was a great success, many thanks to the organising team and helpers.
Yesterday Rev Hannah was priested in a very moving service at the cathedral and she officiates at her first Holy Communion at St. Maxentius this morning, followed by an evening communion at St. Anne’s (due to the Iron man event). We wish her every success in her new commission and look forward to seeing more of her through the coming years.
Today’s reflection 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 your praise with gratitude and to read to your word with eagerness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OF PENITENCE
Lord God, we have sinned against you; we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to your love.
Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from sin.
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
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; 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 NEW TESTAMENT READING
GALATIANS 6. 1- 16
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbour’s work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads.
Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.
Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.
See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand! It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised—only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh. May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
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 10. 1-11, 16-20
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.”
‘Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.’
The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
Harvest involves gathering in and producing food for human survival and although this was an analogy, it is really the good news of God’s kingdom and Jesus that he wanted the 70 to go out and spread. They were sent on a mission in twos. You could look into this like Noah’s Ark the animals went in two by two to ensure future survival and Jesus is sending these men out to do the same and spread the word with a friend to support each other.
The 70 were sent to harvest people, not with tools and equipment but nothing except their faith and God’s promise. Indeed Jesus tells them he sends them out amidst dangers and rejection but also tells them how to react if they do get this rebuke.
Although we think of the Holy Spirit being brought to the disciples at Pentecost there is evidence here in this story that it was already at work and not just within the chosen 12. Of course this is under Jesus’ “supervision” but was certainly used for healing and getting the attention of non-believers.
The 70 returned joyful that they had been able to rid demons and were received and fed by locals in the towns they visited, but were told not to be joyful of the power to rid evil but of the fact that they would get their reward in heaven.
It all fits nicely with the Galatians reading, again the harvest and reaping the rewards is the focus as many of the people were heavily embroiled in subsistence farming, it was a burden because if the crops failed, their families would go hungry and possibly die.
So what is it telling us? We cannot keep our faith to ourselves, we have to spread the word, talk about it to others even if they have no faith tell them why your faith is special to you. We call it Mission and discipleship. It is a big part of what we do to show others God’s ways, to be an example. Some will find that very difficult or uncomfortable to tell others how they feel. I must admit years ago I did the same and kept it to myself, but as I’ve got more involved in the church over the years and especially when training for ALM began to find it much easier and informative. It was easy talking to people with faith and quite fulfilling and in social or work situations it got easier and now some people ask questions and although not sure are showing an interest. Good luck with it.
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.
Lord we hear your voice and obey your commands to us, may we be witnesses to you and your saving power. We pray for those in our church that help us understand your word and guide us through prayer and service. We pray today for all our clergy and lay teams but especially for Rev Hannah who was priested at the cathedral yesterday. We wish her well for her coming ministry and strength in her faith to continue your work.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
We give thanks for all who seek to serve others. We pray for the Queen and all who are in government. We ask your blessing on the work of the United Nations and all who are striving for peace in our world. We remember all who are affected by war and discrimination and ask for help for all those working with refugees and the poor of the world.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
We give thanks to those that have helped to develop our strengths and abilities, may we use them for good and to make others happy. We pray for teachers, leaders and counsellors who guide young and old may they continue their good work. We pray for our homes and families and thank you for friends and colleagues.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We give thanks for our freedom and health. We pray for those who are restricted, lonely or unwell and feel that they cannot enjoy life. May their faith give them hope and encouragement and may others fell God’s calling to them for strength and support.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
We give thanks that you call us to eternal life and the joy of your kingdom. We rejoice in the fellowship of your saints and pray for our loved ones departed. From our book of remembrance George F M Young and Nancy Walsh. May we all enjoy serving you now and for ever.
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 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, who gives patience and encouragement, give us a spirit of unity to live in harmony as we follow Jesus Christ, so that with one voice we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and forever more. Amen.