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12 July 2020

Trinity 5


FIRST READING (click to expand)

Isaiah 55:10-13

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

PSALM (click to expand)

Psalm 65:(1-8), 9-13

Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed,
O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come.

When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions.
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.
By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
By your strength you established the mountains; you are girded with might.

You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

SECOND READING (click to expand)

Romans 8:1-11

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law–indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

GOSPEL (click to expand)

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach.

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”



The Harvest of Prayer?

Is the energy of our concern
as we pray for the needs of others
something like the seed planted in good soil?
Through the power of the Spirit
enabled to yield a bigger harvest
than we could ever envision,
unknown to us
but feeding the spiritual needs of many?

Is our neglect, our half-hearted,
sometimes selfish praying
something like
the seed that fell elsewhere,
wasted potential?
Ever-mindful God,
help us to pray fruitfully
yielding benefit for your whole creation.

For Your Prayers this week

Please take a moment now to bring yourself to a quiet place
notice the rise and fall of your breath
still your thoughts soften your gaze
bring your hands together near your heart
perhaps close your eyes
and let us pray together

Thank you loving God
I am grateful for those people I love very dearly and for their love for me
Help me to be aware of this gratitude welling up in me
and to spread my love further and further

We are so grateful that we can meet some loved ones again
that we can see our friends
and share in worship
and in prayer – it fills us up in a lovely way

God of real power
we pray for leaders who are wise and merciful servants of those they lead.

And so —-we pray for justice and peace in our society
in our homes an in our hearts

May all people everywhere benefit from quiet time
to reflect on long-held priorities and values
to look with fresh eyes at the world around them
to observe and enjoy the beauty and detail of the natural world
to find the peace that comes from being humble quiet and thankful

God of love flowing through all creation a river of life and love, we remember all creatures and habitats under threat from greed from thoughtlessness and pollution and we Pray that human beings will learn to truly turn and face what we have let unfold … and then – in wisdom and in your love let us resolve to treat all sentient beings with care, Lord we want to be people after your own heart …who act with unfailing kindness and respect and who love even stones the earth the clouds and skies that stars and moon and sun

God of beauty and balance
you lead us to wellbeing and the deep abiding health of unity
we hold now in our hearts the work, the burdens and the of medical workers across the world –
and we pray to you for protection of their bodies and their heart’s and their minds

God of Grace
As we remember people in this community and world-wide who have served
other people and creation with kindness and we ask that we too will be people of compassion filled with
your breath Lord, the breath of the spirit of ease and grace
God of abundance we are thankful for each meal for
the amazing way things grow
and we thank you that we have enough for today, day after day after day

God of forgiveness – God without grudges –
a strange sad embarrassment comes to us as we think about those who have not enough to eat
and no clean water
and so we pray for a more equitable way of living
not always the rich getting richer and richer
and the poor getting poorer and poorer
we are unhappy when we see powerful people abusing their power to get more power more money more control
and we feel such deep sadness when we see forests and seas dying –
as we see the wrong we turn from it and so we dare look in your face again and ask for hope – keep us from despair and apathy

We pray that connecting with our sadness and discomfort helps us to be people who live justly and rightly
We know so many people are grieving the death of family and friends right now and we pray for them
courage and peace and hope even in the darkest times
and for the souls of those who have died and for their continuing life in your life and your love dear God of holiness

When we look at the lives of the saints we see people living the reality of love npt the idea just as Jesus showed us

so we pray that we can be like them and be with them in Jesus the Christ and in God and God is us in the beauty of your Kingdom
today and for all eternity.



Lord Jesus, we remember with gratitude
those people who sowed the seeds of faith in our lives
and we recognise how you have blessed our lives
with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

But also, we acknowledge and confess
the times we fail to involve ourselves
in planting any seeds of faith in the lives of others,
the times when our personal agendas become more important than yours,
the times when our lives become so entangled with the values of the world
that we forget what you have said, done and promised.

Lord Jesus, the Sower,
whatever we are today, whatever the mix
of path, rock, thorns or soil
help us become good ground for you, for your word.

Lord, when we become disconnected from you,
when our lives become parched and unfruitful,
our faith stunted and dry,
bless and renew our lives.

Help us to grow in faith so that our relationship with you
is not shallow and weak,
but a deep and mature faith
a faith that can move mountains of doubt
and oceans of fear.

Prepare our hearts, Lord,
help us to receive,
break the hard and stony ground,
help our unbelief.

Plant your word deep in us,
cause it to bear fruit.
Open up our ears to hear.
Lead us in your truth.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

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