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

6th Sunday after Trinity

11 Jul 2021, midnight

Readings: Amos 7v7-15; Psalm 85v8-end; Ephesians1v3-14; Mark 6v14-29

Let us pray: God be in our heads and in our understanding. God be in our eyes and in our looking. God be in our mouths and in our speaking. God be in our hearts and in our thinking. God be at our end and at our departing. Sarum Primer (1527)

A word from Lucy: We have a God who calls and sends out people with messages for a world so loved by God. People like Amos who is sent to the people of Israel in the OT reading on our sheet, and the psalmist who wrote the psalm for others to share in, on our sheet. It also includes Paul, whose letter we heard today to the people in Ephesus. And, from all these messengers we hear about God. For, the psalmist writes: God’s word and actions are trustworthy because in God there is mercy, truth, righteousness and peace. And, Paul writes: we have a God who is worthy of praise because of His blessings, grace, and love; as well as His plan to save us through Jesus; by forgiving us of our sins, by marking us out as a people who are redeemed and by including us in the inheritance of salvation.

Now, as God’s love for us is unconditional, we have a choice to make about how we respond. We can be either like those who listen to and act on God’s call or we can be like King Herod in our gospel reading today. For Herod was a King who liked to listen to God’s messenger John, but sadly was a King who failed to act on John’s message from God. Herod was the sort of King who was foolish enough to arrest and imprison John because John was disliked by Herod’s consort Herodias; and then, after making a stupid and reckless promise to his consort’s daughter, had John beheaded.

Today, like all people, we have a choice to make. If we are called by God, we must step up to the plate. If we are being sent by God, we must step up and go. If we are being asked to listen, we must open our ears and hearts and minds, and dare to do as asked. This is our choice and God gives us the freedom to choose – so today, I pray our choice will be to trust in God, even if this is in fear and trepidation, and then to follow His way with courage. For God is calling out for new kinds of workers to tend his vineyard and God knows what God needs and can make us able to be what God knows we can be.

Let us pray: Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will. Amen. (Saint Ignatius of Loyola)

Lords’ prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen

The Grace: 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

Thank you for joining us today.