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

11th Sunday after Trinity

15 Aug 2021, midnight

Readings: Proverbs 9v1-6; Psalm 34v9-14; Ephesians 5v15-20; John 6v51-58

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: Today’s readings call us to the quest for wisdom. The reading from proverbs tells us that wisdom has made her preparations and sent out her servants to call those of us who are simple and without sense to come, to eat and drink, to grow up, to live and to walk our way through life with awareness and understanding. Like proverbs, the Psalm is a word to the wise and is addressed to the holy ones who are those that hold the Lord in awe, as well as all who seek the Lord. The psalm calls us to come and listen as well as to learn so that we shall never want for anything good. And, in the psalm, the way of the wise is to refuse to speak evil, not to tell lies, to turn from evil, to do good, and to seek peace and pursue it. In a similar vein, the letter from Paul to the people in Ephesus, tells us not to be foolish nor unwise, nor to spend our days getting drunk. As an alternative, Paul calls us to be wise by making the best use of our lives, filling our lives with God’s spirit, working to understand the will of the Lord, as well as giving thanks and praise to God the Father, in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, at all times for everything. Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus teaches in a way that requires wisdom to discern the meaning. Jesus says that he is the living bread from heaven, the bread that is given for the life of the world, the bread that is His life, the bread that gives eternal life, the bread that will give life forever to all who receive it.

Today, I believe that we are being called to learn this wisdom for ourselves. For if we have wisdom, we will be able to share it with others. For as the post communion prayers sets out: the faithful need to stay firm on the foundation of the gospel and stay safe from sin, so that the one true sacrifice that takes away our sins and brings us pardon and peace, can be celebrated. For as the collect reminds us: we have a God who is almighty and powerful, yet merciful and kind; and if we keep God’s commandments, we shall receive God’s grace and promise of heavenly treasure.

This is an important message that needs to be shared with the world in every generation. For it is a message from God for all who will become wise through the wisdom of God.

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.