Newsletter – 2 August 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 August 2nd 2020 – Eighth Sunday
after Trinity (Proper 13)


Collect
Almighty and everlasting God,
we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and our bodies
in the way of your laws and the works of your commandments:
that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul:
though our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 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 55.1-5
Isaiah foretells the feast in the Kingdom of the Messiah
Second reading: Romans 9.1-5
St Paul agonises over the rift between Israel, his
people and the new Way of Christ.
Gospel: Matthew 14.13-21
The Feeding of the Five Thousand

Reflection
The feeding of the 5000 – one of the most familiar stories in the Bible – but have you ever considered its setting in the Gospel? We are so used to hearing the Gospels in bite-sized snippets that we forget that the writers never intended us to hear them that way, but as a connected whole.
In both Matthew and Mark’s Gospel, this event follows on from the banquet in the palace of Herod Antipas which ends with the beheading of John the Baptist, and I am sure the evangelists intended to mark the contrast, both of the king and the feast: the feast in the palace would no doubt have been of all kinds of fine foods and wine and the guests were the king and his courtiers and the chief people of Galilee (the account in Mark gives many more details than the rather shortened version of Matthew). The feast which Jesus gives is, at first sight, poor fare indeed five bread rolls – barley bread, the cheapest kind, according to John – and two little fish – “sardines” is one translation – and yet the guests there go home satisfied with food left over, while those at Herod’s feast would, I suspect, go home sickened with what they had seen, and with a hearty contempt for the weakness and cruelty of their ruler.
There is also a contrast of kings: Herod Antipas (the son of the Herod of the Christmas story) was only a petty king: he ruled only over a quarter of his father’s kingdom and then only at the mercy of his Roman overlords. Jesus is the King of all, but, as he himself said, “My kingdom is not of this world”, but of eternity. We have one “king” whose rule was maintained by violence and oppression, and another whose rule is one of kindness and love.
What else can we say about this event? Much, far too much for this “Reflection”, but there is just space to note that this act of Jesus was of tremendous importance for the early Church: it is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels, and as St John makes plain (John chapter 6), they saw it as a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. When they met together to break bread, perhaps secretly for fear of persecution, they must have been heartened to hear how the Lord broke bread for a multitude and also said, “Do this in remembrance of me”. In the midst of the Second World War a great scholar wrote of the all the ways that command had been obeyed: he wrote “Gloriously for a coronation…furtively, in a prison camp”, to which we might add “Peculiarly in a pandemic”, but we still obey that command in remembrance of our Lord and Saviour.

Post Communion Prayer

Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands that have taken holy things;
may the ears which have heard your word be deaf to clamour and dispute;
may the tongues which have sung your praise be free from deceit;
may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love shine with the light of hope;
and may the bodies which have been fed with your body be refreshed with the fullness of your life;
glory to you for ever. 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:
http://www.churchofengland.org
http://www.trurocathedral.org
(Video Recorded Services page)

http://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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