Newsletter – 19 July 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 July 19th 2020 – Sixth Sunday

after Trinity (Proper 11)

Collect

Merciful God,

you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you
that we, loving you in all things and above all things,
may obtain your promises,

which exceed all that we can desire;
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

Readings

First Reading             Isaiah 44:6-8 

God constantly confirms his Lordship, and with

faith, we have no fear of the future.

Second Reading:      Romans 8:12-25

God has made us a new creation. We are no longer limited by the confines of the world and the flesh but united with the Spirit of God-in-Christ.

Gospel:          St. Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

God’s kingdom is intended for all people, good and bad, growing together. Eventually, God will separate out those fit for his eternal kingdom.


Reflection.

“Creation itself will be set free from

its bondage to decay”

Paul is writing about the end times, but this is still a message of hope from Romans 8, especially at a time when we can see, as Paul describes, the whole of creation groaning. Groaning now under a global pandemic, as well as the ever-present climate crisis. God’s promise is that all of creation will one day be freed from sin and brought to eternal salvation.

This contrasts greatly with the account of ‘the end of the age’ that Matthew describes in Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the weeds. Here we have a very black and white description of judgment day, when all causes of sin and all evildoers will be thrown into the furnace. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel very uncomfortable. The righteous will be saved – how many of us would claim to be wholly righteous and free from sin? I certainly wouldn’t!

Matthew was writing his Gospel for the very early church, which was subject to much persecution. There were small groups meeting in secret in houses, in fear of their lives. Newcomers were welcomed, but with some apprehension. There were known to be infiltrators, undercover agents if you like, who claimed to be converts and later betrayed the members of the church to the authorities. In such conditions a simple binary approach to salvation must have been very reassuring. The Christians would be saved to ‘the kingdom of their Father’ and those who were against them, the ‘seed of the enemy’, would be thrown into the furnace. People in those days were seen to be either for Christ or against, seen to be good or evil.

Today, we don’t have such a binary approach. I think we can generally accept that our actions are a mixture of right and wrong, and in some way we are all part of the ‘sin’ of society, outside of our own individual control. However hard we try to follow Jesus and to do the right thing, we will sometimes fall short. We remain a mix of wheat and weeds, never all one or the other. But we are blessed with a forgiving God, who wants us to live well and to flourish.

This loving and all-powerful God, who wants all of creation to be saved, will surely find a way to sort the wheat from the weeds. And when the final harvest time comes, I believe that any weeds to be gathered up and burnt will be the weeds that are within us, still tangled within the wheat of our good intentions. Weeds dealt with, forgiveness where needed, and a welcome into God’s eternal Kingdom.

“Creation itself will be set free from

its bondage to decay”.

Post Communion

God of our pilgrimage,
you have led us to the living water:
refresh and sustain us

as we go forward on our journey,

in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYER

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

Our Benefice and all its communities

Those losing jobs, or facing financial difficulty

Those with mental health problems

Any still in isolation or too anxious to go out

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

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org 

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 Almighty God,

who alone makes us dwell in safety.

For all who are affected by coronavirus,

through illness or isolation or anxiety,

that they may find relief and recovery …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For those who are guiding our nation at this time, and shaping national policies that they may make wise decisions, and that all people will be considerate of others …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,

that through their skill and insights

many will be restored to health …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For a blessing on our homes and families, and our local communities, that all who still need help will be 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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