Good morning everyone, I hope you are well. As we are into the holiday season a time to relax we will not have our Children’s worship on Wednesday evening until the 14th September. Also Rev Peter has put together a 4 week service programme for August with readings for you to insert as needed, this will replace the worship at home service for 4 weeks. This is because various people are away and to give us a break. Those who get home delivery will have this pushed through the door. I’ll be back in September.
Today’s Gospel reading is from Luke and is a lesson about the parable of the rich fool.
The reflection is by Rev Peter and Intercessions by Alison Greaves, many thanks to them both.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Almighty God, your Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence. Give us new hearts and constant wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; 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
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in the same; 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
COLOSSIANS 3. 1-11
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
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 12. 13-21
Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?’ And he said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
The rich man has two things on his mind – the desire to accumulate more and the desire to relax, but like many rich people his desire to go on accumulating over-rides the idea of being at leisure, because, it would appear, he already has the wealth to relax, and a sufficiently assured income for the future, but still wants more. God is blunt and calls him a fool, but not just because he has waited to the point of harvest before deciding to tear down his existing barns, nor because his desire to accumulate seems to mean relaxation is always second, but even more so because he cannot buy himself out of his mortality – he is not investing in his future!
For peasant farmers possibly in debt to such rich farmers, they would have enjoyed hearing that this man will face God’s judgement. Later in the gospel, a rich man finds himself eternally separated from the beggar Lazarus whom he has not helped; later too, the rich young ruler finds his wealth too attractive or addictive, though there is hope – Zacchaeus manages to break free, or rather he discovers such a welcome from Jesus that he no longer holds his wealth in the same regard. It is easier for a camel to thread itself through the eye of a needle (ludicrous) than for a rich man (or woman) to enter the Kingdom of God, because, as Jesus says, you cannot worship God and Mammon.
So what does this mean for us, wealthy in comparison to so many and with more “possessions” than our forebears; we, pretty much all of us, have pulled down our expectations and built bigger and become used to the larger barns which now need filling. I am – I hope – grateful for what I have but how easily “wealth” wraps around us, enticing us, distorting our vision, manipulating our values. This rich man may be a caricature from the Bible times, but he is also quite an accurate sketch of our world today, with its ever-increasing TV sizes, ever more clever mobile phones, and cars, and our expectation that pine-apples or whatever can be in our shops whenever we want one. Although the story is humorous it challenges our current outlook and values, where God is given no honour or at best a passing nod. If this world is all that matters to us then accumulating will be a mark of success; if our citizenship, future and identity is with God, we can find a freedom – but the pull of Mammon is like gravity – it constantly pulls us, and we must consistently challenge 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.
Everlasting God, we join together in praying to you for the needs of the Church, the world, our communities and ourselves, trusting in your love, which reaches out from before the foundation of the world.
Creator God, we pray for your world. Forgive us when we are ungrateful when spiritual blindness prevents us from appreciating the wonder of your creation and the endless cycle of nature. Forgive us for taking without giving, reaping without sowing. We pray for the farmers of the world and those whose work is affected by climate change and the drastic effects of war.
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.
Creator God, in this time of war after the invasion of Ukraine, revive our efforts for justice and truth, restore and enhance what is good and right and give our leaders wisdom and sensitivity to work for unity and common good – so that we and future generations might enjoy peace without conflict. Father God, we thank you for the love we share with our families and our friends – recognising all our faults and strengths – help us to be adaptable in all our relationships and willingness to accept constructive criticism.
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.
Holy God, give your wisdom and heavenly grace to all Bishops, priests and deacons – especially Bishops David and Mark, all our team clergy and all who hold office in your church that by their service, faith may abound and your kingdom increase.
We give thanks for the ministry of Carol over the years and especially for her years of office at Christ Church Walmsley and within our team ministry. We give her our thanks and love and wish her a restful retirement. Loving God and Lord of life, we pray for the gift of courage to face up to and cope with illness. We pray for those we know and those unknown especially………..
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.
Gracious God, may we look forward with patience and confidence to that time when we will join you in the peace of eternity – especially we pray for those who have died recently and for their families and from our book of remembrance James L Wood ,Leon Jones, Eric Greaves, Richard Greenhalgh, Rev Robert Royston Carmylie and Grace Ethel Young. Faithful God, we thank you for the opportunity of being together in prayer. As we look forward to the week to come, we pray for an awareness of your love and support in all we do.
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 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 for evermore. Amen.