Good morning everyone and I hope you are all well. Today’s reading is from Matthew’s Gospel and tells us of the calling of Matthew, the healing of a woman and the saving of a girl, a very busy time for Jesus at the height of his mission on earth.
Many thanks to Anthony who completed his parachute jump for us last weekend, I think that is a fantastic achievement and we are all in awe of him and his effort to raise funds for us. We are grateful to him and so glad that he is safe and sound. Thank you to all who sponsored him and we will let you know how much we raised. Our next event will be St Maxentius day on June 25th, with Barbeque after the service and lots of lovely desserts. Hope to see lots of you there.
Todays reflection is by Rev Hannah inspired by Roots and intercessions by Mark Pearson, thank you to them both.
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, to listen to your word with eagerness; through 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.
God of truth, help us to keep your law of love and to walk in ways of wisdom, that we may find true life in Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.
THE NEW TESTAMENT READING
ROMANS 4. 13-25
The promise that Abraham would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’) – Abraham believed in the presence of the God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations,’ according to what was said, ‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’ He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him,’ were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in God who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
MATTHEW 9. 9-13, 18-26
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Glory to you O Lord.
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’ While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, ‘My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.’ And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.’ Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well. When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute-players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, ‘Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
This week we are forced to examine the meaning of merciful living and love in action.
After calling Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him, Jesus is criticised for his association with ‘tax collectors and sinners’. They can’t understand why he is wasting his time with such people. Jesus corrects them, and says that what he wants is mercy, not ritual sacrifices. He tells them that he was sent to those who are sick. The gathering is interrupted by a synagogue leader whose daughter has died and a woman who had been ill for 12 years. Jesus restores the girl to life and heals the woman. News of this spread quickly! It is so easy for us to be critical of others; it’s easy to tell others what they should or should not be doing. We all have power, some have a lot, others a little, but we all have the ability to choose how we use what we have in responding to events and people. In the story, Jesus could have shunned the woman with the haemorrhage, just as the rest of the community had. He could have chosen to say nothing. He could have chosen not to heal her. But he didn’t. He went the extra mile and not only healed her but called her ‘daughter’. This is the only recorded time when Jesus called someone daughter. Jesus showed immense compassion, love and mercy to this woman, because he knew what a difference it would make in her life to be accepted as part of the community, to be loved. He became her advocate because she had nobody else.
This passage encourages us to explore what merciful living is; Jesus wanted mercy, not sacrifice. But what exactly is that? I wonder what mercy means to you? Can you think of a time when you have been shown mercy, or when you might have shown mercy to someone else? This week our gospel passage invites us to explore what it means to live mercifully, to show love and compassion to our neighbours and those we live and work alongside in our communities. We have the power to show God’s love, compassion and forgiveness to those around us. This in turn will have an impact upon their lives and how they might respond to another in need of mercy. How are we able to do this in our church community?
Reflection inspired by Roots
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.
In the power of the spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.
Blessed are you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through Jesus Christ you have broken the power of sin and death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You lead us from darkness into your glorious light; you lead us from death to life eternal.
We rejoice that nothing can snatch us from your hand. Blessed are you, One God now and for ever.
We give thanks for all who serve you faithfully in their daily work, for all who seek to reveal your glory to the world. We pray for all involved in leading worship and in preaching the word. We ask for your blessing upon all who serve us in our church here in Bradshaw and all who lead us within the Turton Moorland Team.We remember those who go out on home visits, all carers, doctors and nurses and social workers. Especially, we remember those who reach out to the outcasts and rejected members of our society.
We give thanks to all who have given their lives in the service and care of others. We pray for those who seek to keep law and order, all who influence the minds of the young
and all who shape our society by their actions. We ask for your blessing on those who stand against evil at the risk of their own lives or well-being.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
Father, we give thanks for all who have cared for us and provided for us. We pray for parents and loved ones, for our families and friends. We pray for those who have taught us the faith and been examples to us. We ask for your blessing upon all who are still our guides and helpers.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Caring God, we pray for all those who are afflicted by physical, emotional or mental illness. Help them to keep their eyes fixed on you. Give them courage to face the trials and temptations that may come. We pray especially for all those known to us and from our parish; Rev Peter Reiss, Thomas Causton, Stephen Haslam, Sue Roberts and Colin Roberts
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
Holy God, your love reaches beyond the grave. At the end of our days on earth be with us and with those we love and with those we love that have gone before us. We pray for those who have died recently and from the book of remembrance, Margaret Elizabeth Foster,
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
Gracious God, we thank you for hearing our prayers. As we move into the coming week
help us to remember that you are with us to guide and support us. Give us courage to meet the challenges that face us knowing that we are doing your will.
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 for ever. 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 ever more. Amen.