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

8th Sunday after Trinity

25 Jul 2021, midnight

Readings: 2 Kings 4v42-end; Psalm 145v10-19; Ephesians 3v14-end; John 6v1-21

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: The gospel account of the feeding of a great crowd in Jesus’ time, using only a small amount of food, is not the first time that such an amazing miracle has occurred in the Bible, for Elisha did it in ancient times too. And, amazing as this is, what struck me is that in both accounts, is that those given the instruction to feed the people, did as they were asked even though they must have felt that what was being asked of them was illogical and seemingly impossible.

This thought about people doing as asked, even if they believed it impossible, reminded me that God is able to intervene miraculously, for with God, all things are possible. For when we listen to God, and do as we are asked by God, God is able to fulfil his plans and purposes. For we have a God who the psalm describes as: righteous and loving, sure in all his words and faithful in all his deeds. And, Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that God is one who can do far more that we can either ask or imagine.

Now the idea that God can do more than we can imagine, prompted me to wonder what God may have in mind for us that we are unable to imagine for ourselves?

· Maybe God wants us to be like the religious leader, Elisha. To be his religious leaders in this age, leaders who share what we are given with those in need?

· Or, maybe God wants us to be missionaries like Paul, who praise and thank God as well as pray for the people that God gives so they grow in faith.

· Or, maybe God wants us to do what the psalmist describes. To continue to be faithful servants of God, servants who tell others about God’s nearness and mighty power, God’s everlasting kingdom and mighty acts of care for fallen people?

Whatever it is that God has in mind, I believe that today, God is calling to us and asking us to do his bidding in this time, in our age, in this era for the people of this generation. I also truly believe that God’s call includes instructions for us that may seem either illogical or impossible to us. However, whatever, we may feel, I am confident that if we dare to do what we are being asked to do by God, that God will intervene miraculously. For God has a mission to save all people and the Church is Jesus’ body in the world, a body that is commissioned by Jesus to do God’s will, as an act of thanksgiving for all that Jesus has done for us through the cross of salvation.

I now take for my closing texts the following from our patron Saint Matthew:

St Matthew 9v9: As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And Matthew got up and followed him.

St Matthew 28v18-20: And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

I pray that we will not only listen, but also take action – even if we doubt.

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.