Newsletter – 25 October 2020

Sunday Letter

Benefice of Padstow & Trevone,

St. Merryn, & St Issey with Little Petherick

During this extraordinary time, we thought our congregations might appreciate an 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 October 25th –  Bible Sunday

Collect

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning:
help us so to hear them, to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them
that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word,
we may embrace and for ever hold fast the hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our 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             Nehemiah 8:1-4a, 8-12

The rebuilt community in Jerusalem hears God’s word afresh, and offers us an example of an appropriate response of both shame and joy.

Second Reading       Colossians 3:12-17

The model Christian life involves forgiveness and understanding within the Christian community, and an attentiveness to what God desires.

Gospel                        St. Matthew 24:30-35

Hope for the judgment and renewal of the world rests on the words of Christ, which stand for ever.

Reflection for Bible Sunday

“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning…”

Today is Bible Sunday. Every Sunday, of course, is Bible Sunday in that we read and hear the Scriptures in church as an essential part of our worship, but largely because of the Collect for the day, one Sunday has been marked out for a special celebration of the Scriptures, and a consideration of our response to them.

This is nothing new: in the first reading today, from Nehemiah 8, we heard how the newly returned exiles in Jerusalem were summoned to hear the reading of the “book of the law of Moses”, by which was probably meant the first five books of our Old Testament, by Ezra, which meant not just somebody who could write, but someone learned in the sacred writings.  The people must have had great stamina, for we are told that Ezra read from “early morning until midday”, but probably not Ezra only, because there were many others to help him, all mentioned by name – a challenge for today’s reader, if he or she chooses to read all the lesson!  Furthermore, the reading was given “with interpretation. They [that is, those helping Ezra] gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” Neh. 8.8

That was partly because Hebrew, in which the books were written, was beginning to be replaced in general use by Aramaic, which, by our Lord’s time, was the common language of the Middle East, but also because the Scriptures are not always self-explanatory. By Ezra’s time (c. 450 BC) Moses was already 800 years in the past, and Abraham much further back than that. Those people needed help, as we do, in understanding the Scriptures. We need, in the words of the Collect, help to “read, mark learn and inwardly digest them”. But there is much that we can all understand and profit by. St Gregory the Great commented, in a memorable phrase, that Scriptures provides “water in which elephants may swim and lambs may paddle”.  We can all can learn and profit from Scripture at our own level; the paddling of the lambs can be as spiritually valuable as the swimming of the elephants.

So on this Bible Sunday, we thank God for the gift of the Scriptures, for those who translated them for us, for those who explain them, for the help and encouragement we get from the history of God’s dealing with humanity, but above all for the teachings of our Lord and Saviour and the record of his life, death and resurrection.

Post-Communion Prayer

God of all grace, your Son Jesus Christ fed the hungry
with the bread of his life and the word of his kingdom:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness sustain us by your true and living bread;
who is alive and reigns, now and 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

Schools-teachers, children and parents

Colleges and students

Church – worldwide, Diocese and Benefice

World – peace, equality and justice for all

            – those affected by Coronavirus

Suffering – all who are sick, anxious, lonely

– refugees and all who are homeless

Radio4   8.10am   Sunday Worship

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org 

www.trurocathedral.org 

            (Video Recorded Services page)  

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

Sunday 25th Teatime Service 4.00pm 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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