Newsletter – 21 June 2020

Sunday Letter

Benefice of Padstow & Trevone,

St. Merryn, & St Issey with Little Petherick

During this extraordinary time, with our churches locked and public worship suspended, we thought our congregations might appreciate a emailed letter with the prayers and readings for the Sunday and a short devotional piece, as a way of keeping us together and sharing any thoughts we may have.

Sunday June 21st 2020 – Second Sunday

after Trinity (Proper 7)

Collect

Lord, you have taught us
that all our doings without love are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Readings

First Reading               Jeremiah 20:7-13

Those who are denounced and rejected by people are supported, strengthened and loved by God and used by God in his plan for the world.

Second Reading          Romans 6:1b-11

God’s great generosity to us is not evoked by sin, but is an expression of his love for us. Christ’s death has freed us from sin so that we might enjoy a new kind of life.

Gospel                         St. Matthew 10:24-39

Jesus warns that his followers will be denounced and rejected, so he reminds them not to fear people who can only hurt the body but to fear the insidious nature of evil which can hurt the soul.

Reflection      ‘Being a Disciple’

If you have just read the Gospel reading you may well be feeling a little uncomfortable. This doesn’t sound like the gentle Jesus we know, the loving and caring Jesus whom we follow. But Jesus was outspoken. He was a radical who spoke truth to power. He was a Jew who upset the hierarchy of the Jewish church, even to the point of being condemned to die. We urge him on when he is berating the arrogant Pharisees, we cheer when he annoys them by healing the sick on the Sabbath and when he cleverly saves and forgives the adulterous woman. Yet when Jesus says ‘I have not come to bring peace’ and ‘I have come to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother’ – that feels different. It seems to go against all that we believe Jesus stands for.

This reading is part of the ‘Missionary Discourse’ in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is spelling out to his followers exactly what it means to be a disciple. And he tells it like it is, it will not be easy for them. If they follow him, they will suffer like him. Following Jesus and holding fast to their faith will bring conflict with society and at times with family members. The sword Jesus talks about is to cut through ties with the old life.

And Jesus was right to warn them. In the early church there was indeed much conflict, as the Jesus-followers within the Jewish faith had to grapple with the Gentile question. Whether it was right that Gentile converts could become Christians without obeying Jewish law. Families would have fallen out over such important matters of faith. Eventually those in the early church realised that to be true to Jesus they needed to be inclusive, to welcome Jew and Gentile converts as Christians, even though that led to Jewish-Christians being barred from synagogues. If the early church hadn’t welcomed the Gentiles, it is arguable that Christianity would have remained as a sect within the Jewish faith.

Jesus’ warning also speaks to us. To be a disciple today is not easy, it’s not supposed to be easy. Following Jesus means speaking up for those who don’t have a voice, daring to challenge injustice in society. In our churches today we face questions of inclusivity, which I believe are comparable with the early church. There are issues that cause division, and decisions that need to be made. We can doggedly believe that we need to keep the old rules unchanged, or we can welcome all people as equals within the church and move forward. Space prevents me from saying more – but I leave it with you, to think about, as today’s disciples.

Remember – it’s not supposed to be easy! 

Post Communion

Loving Father,
we thank you for feeding us at the supper of your Son:
sustain us with your Spirit,
that we may serve you here on earth
until our joy is complete in heaven,
and we share in the eternal banquet
with Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYER

Workers in health and social care and emergency services, all keyworkers and volunteers.

Our Benefice and all its communities

Schools, teachers, children and their families

Those in financial difficulty

All who are in isolation, especially those alone

Church – worldwide, Diocese and Benefice

World – peace, equality and justice for all

             – those affected by Coronavirus

Suffering – all who are sick, anxious, lonely, bereaved

Radio4   8.10am   Sunday Worship

BBC1   11.45am   Sunday Worship

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org 

www.trurodiocese.org.uk     

www.trurocathedral.org             

www.kerdh.co.uk for readings, prayers & reflections.

Facebook pages:

United Benefice of Padstow, St Merryn St Issey

St Columb Minor & St. Colan Parish Churches

United Benefice of West Kerrier

Wednesday Morning Prayer 9.00am by Zoom

Email Revd Fiona for link   giorlaf@outlook.com

PRAYERS FOR THIS TIME

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us

from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray to the Lord who is our refuge and stronghold.

For the health and well-being of our nation,

that all who are fearful and anxious

may be at peace and free from worry …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs, and care for them in their vulnerability …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For our homes and families, our schools and young people, and all in any kind of need or distress …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For a blessing on our local community, that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship, where all are known and cared for …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We commend ourselves,

and all for whom we pray,

to the mercy and protection of God.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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