Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

6th Sunday after Trinity

19 Jul 2020, midnight

Sixth Sunday after Trinity - 19th July 2020 find attached a daily prayer book below, that you can download for use at home

Readings: Isaiah 44v6-8; Psalm 86v11-end; Romans 8v12-25; Matthew 13v24-30 & 36-43

Let us pray: Dear God, may we hear what you are saying to us today. Amen

A sermon from Lucy: In today's reading we hear about the wonder of God and the glorious Kingdom into which we are called. The Prophet Isaiah tells us that we are God’s witnesses and are to proclaim that: God is the Lord of hosts, the King of Israel, Redeemer, the first and the last, a God like no other, the one who has told us in advance of things to come, the one we can depend on and our rock. The psalm is a covenant prayer made by the psalmist during a time of great difficulty when a proud and ruthless horde were hunting to kill him. The psalmist tells us that God is gracious, full of compassion, slow to anger, full of kindness and truth; and ends by asking God to have mercy upon, give His strength to and save His servant, the child of God’s handmaid; so that everyone who hates God’s servant will see God’s token of His favour and be ashamed. The psalmist promises to thank and glorify God for His steadfast love, help, comfort and deliverance; and in return asks to learn how to respect God and walk in the ways of God’s truth. In his letter to the people in Rome, Paul says that if we are led by the spirit of God that we are children of God and joint heirs with Christ who not only suffer but also are glorified with him. Paul says that, like us, the whole of creation is waiting to be set free from a destiny of decay and looking forward eagerly to the glory of the children of God. Then, in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus uses a story about fields, seeds, plants, weeds, harvest time, sorting the plants from the weeds and what happens next. Jesus uses the parable to teach his disciples that the Son of Man came to bring in the Kingdom of Heaven but that the devil is working against him by turning people bad. Jesus warns that at the end of time that His angels will gather up and sort out the plants from the weeds; and, after being sorted out, the weeds (sins and people who are evil) will be destroyed and the plants (the righteous) will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Jesus closes this teaching about the great battle that is going on in the world and what will happen at the end of time with the words “Let anyone with ears listen!” A call that each one of us should pay attention to.

So what should we hear? First we need to call to mind that Jesus teaches us to help us. Also, the other readings give us some helpful pointers. The prophet says that we are called to be God’s witnesses, a people who are sent to proclaim that: God is the Lord of hosts, the King of Israel, Redeemer, the first and the last, a God like no other, the one who has told us in advance of things to come, the one we can depend on and our rock. From the psalmist we learn that God is so steadfast in love, gracious, full of compassion, slow to anger, full of kindness, helpful, comforting and able to deliver us from danger that God is worthy of being thanked, glorified and asked to teach us how to respect and walk in God's ways of truth. Finally, in the letter from Paul to the people in Rome, Paul teaches that if we are led by the spirit of God then we are: children of God and joint heirs with Christ; a people who will be glorified with Christ. So today, let's listen to and hear the message of warning about the afterlife and also the promise of glory to come for all who avoid the ways of evil.

Let us pray: 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; 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

Prayer of blessing May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen.

Closing Note This message is sent to you with love and prayers as: a word of encouragement and a sign of hope as we live the new normal