Good morning everyone and I hope you are well, today’s gospel reading from Matthew tells us about heaven and makes comparisons to everyday life.
There is no coffee morning next week as we are having an evening at Helena and Mike’s house instead, coffee, tea, cakes, a raffle and bring and buy at their house on the 22nd August at 7pm all proceeds will go to church. It’s nearly safari supper time too more details are to follow.
We will be holding confirmation classes in September for adults and children (year 7 and above). I have forms so please let me know if you are interested. The children’s classes will be held in conjunction with TYC with some extra sessions.
Today’s reflection and intercessions are by myself. Jan B.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Lord, direct our thoughts, and teach us to pray. Lift up our hearts to worship you in spirit and truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OF PENITENCE
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, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you, through our own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what we have left undone. We are heartily sorry and repent of all our sins. For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name. Amen.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who in his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all 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.
Generous God, you give us gifts and make them grow: though our faith is small as mustard seed, make it grow to your glory and the flourishing of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE NEW TESTAMENT READING
ROMANS 8. 26-39
The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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 13. 31-33, 44-52.
Jesus put before the crowd another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’ He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened. The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
Jesus describes in several ways what the kingdom of heaven is, of course we don’t really know and have no real concept of it. But he is trying to make the crowd understand that you have to prepare now as when you get there it will be too late.
Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, this is one of the tiniest seeds you can get and yet it can grow into a huge tree with outstretching branches and provide food and shelter for not only us but for other creatures as well. And because of this we can liken our discipleship, if we hide our faith and don’t talk about it or show in our actions what we believe, then others will not know about it. We would not pass onto others the news of God’s kingdom and how God wants us to live a good life, the phrase “you plant the seed into someone’s mind” , you make them think, you make them ponder on it, they then will act upon it and probably share it with others, and then the message grows like a seed does into a much bigger thing.
That is what happened in Jesus’ time, not many people could read so others had to tell them, if they hadn’t have done, then we wouldn’t know today about the bible and about Jesus being with us.
He goes onto to talk about getting a treasure, something that is the best in the world, something that no-one else has, something that is so beautiful that you feel you must have it. You sell everything you have to get it and once you have it you get rid of the rubbish, baggage or badness. He then compares this to the Kingdom, It is something out of this world; Beautiful peaceful, glorious and in God’s presence with no worries or pressures or anxieties everyone is kind and good. The angels will get rid of the bad hopefully that will not be us, but he is warning us, as some of the other parables have, that we have to prepare ourselves and understand how we can be accepted into God’s Kingdom. Amen.
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.
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 ask for your blessing on all who seek to understand your scriptures and proclaim the good news of your kingdom. We pray for our churches and our leaders both clergy and lay ministers in our mission community and team. We ask your blessing on all our congregations and help us to bring your word to others. We remember those who quietly transform their surroundings for the better and those who show others of your kingdom in their presence.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Lord we ask for your help in persuading others to take climate change seriously. We pray for those affected by the wild fires across the world and suffering in the heat waves. We ask for leaders to help guide and preserve our world and to save it for the generations to come. We ask for your blessing on all who are doing their best to educate others and look after you creation.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We give you thanks Lord for the comfort and security of our homes and the love of our families and friends. May we show others your love through our own actions. We pray for those whose family life is difficult or unhappy. As we richly receive may we share our good fortune, in your name.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We remember those who are sick in mind, body or soul, we thank you for health professionals and carers and those who work in research to make their lives more bearable. We pray for those who have lost hope or are struggling at this time. WE pray especially 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 the promise of your kingdom and life eternal. We remember those whose anniversaries fall at this time; James L Wood, Leon Jones and Eric Greaves, We rejoice in the fellowship of all your saints and commend our loved ones departed this world and ourselves to your unfailing love.
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 God give us his comfort and his peace, his light and his joy in this world and the next and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and for evermore. Amen.