This week's bell ringing is Cambridge Minor from Withington, Gloucestershire
Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
HYMN: “Colours of day””
Pray the Collect of the day.
Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding; pour into our hearts such love towards you that we, loving you in all things and above all things may obtain your promises which exceed all that we can desire or deserve through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Read the Epistle from Romans chapter 8 verses 28, 31-35 and 37- 39
Read the Gospel from St. Matthew chapter 13 verses 24 - 30 and 36 - 43
Hymn: “Praise my soul the King of heaven”
All right, I must come clean, I gave you two weeks of epistles from Romans chapter 8 last week, and today you’ve got next Sundays reading! I’ve done this intentionally because this passage has always meant a great deal to me. It all started when I failed my New Testament Greek exam at the end of my first year in college and if the lecturer concerned had his own way I would have been thrown out! In the letter he wrote to me he quoted the first verse of todays reading “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” Well I got back to college and two years’ later I was ordained in Lichfield Cathedral! This passage came to me again during my second curacy at Trentham when the vicar always used it as the last reading at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols – so much better than some of the early Old Testament readings so often used in that service, and in my years as a vicar with my own parish I did the same. It is also a passage which speaks of our response to the wonderful story of the Bible. At the end of a carol service it asks us to make our response to the story we have just heard. Throughout the 60 years since I was ordained it has been a kind of fall back when things seemed to be going pear-shaped! And at each funeral we hear the words from verses 38 and 39 “I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, 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” In some ways it speaks of the way we do the jobs we find ourselves in, and this is especially true for the parish clergy who must be aware that communities require the presence of their clergy, they must be people who know the streets, roads, clubs and organisations of their parishes becoming an informed and kindly presence nurtured by the worship of the God and the living bread of Christ, and to have a willingness to see people at home or at work or where ever they meet and be with them in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Hymn: “One more step along the world I go”
Offer some Prayers
(These prayer suggestions are based on a Church Times cartoon by Dave Walker and on the Beatitudes from St. Matthew Chapter 5 verses 2-11)
Blessed are those who stay indoors, for they have protected others
Blessed are the unemployed and the self employed, for their need of God is great
Blessed are the corner shopkeepers, for they are the purveyors of scarce things
Blessed are the delivery drivers and postal workers for they are bringers of essential things
Blessed are the checkout workers, for they have patience in the face of frustration
Blessed are the refuse collectors, for they see God despite mountains of waste
Blessed are those who are alone for they are children of God and with him will notbe alone
Blessed are the bereaved, for whom the worst has happened they shall be comforted
Blesses are all during this time who have pure hearts, all who still hunger and thirst for justice; all who work for peace and who show mercy. May you know comfort, may you know calm and may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all. Amen
And 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 pour 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 and the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
This Saturday (18th July) our new rector, Revd Cath Brumfit, will be Instituted to the four parishes of Bradley, Church Eaton, Derrington and Haughton and so will end what has been a long time without a rector. So pray this prayer for our four parishes and churches.
God bless these four parishes and churches of Bradley, Church Eaton, Derrington and Haughton, their new rector, Cath, and their officers and congregations and prosper all our attempts to be faithful in work, worship and witness and to draw others to you, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
HYMN: “Thine be the glory”
(Sadly in a way, this will be my last contribution as now we have a new rector and our churches should be re-opening, but over the past 19 weeks I hope these few words and ideas for home worship have helped a little to keep the idea of “church” alive and have helped to keep you in the ways of worship. I am particularly indebted to my wife Margaret whose idea this was in the first place and to Trevor Lock and his Bellringers web-site for the patience he has shown and for the much appreciated additions of church bells and hymns which came after the first few weeks.)
The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Jesus Christ establish, strengthen and settle you in the faith. Amen