READINGS FOR THE NINTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITYWEEKLY COLLECT
Almighty God, who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church: open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.FIRST READING: 1 Kings 19:9-18
19:9 At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
19:10 He answered, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”
19:11 He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake;
19:12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
19:13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
19:14 He answered, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”
19:15 Then the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.
19:16 Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.
19:17 Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill.
19:18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”PSALM: 85:8-13
85:8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
85:9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
85:10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
85:11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
85:12 The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
85:13 Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
SECOND READING: Romans 10:5-15
10:5 Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.”
10:6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down)
10:7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
10:9 because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10:10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
10:11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him.
10:13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
10:14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?
10:15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
THE GOSPEL: Matthew 14:22-33
14:22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
14:23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
14:24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
14:25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.
14:26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
14:28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
14:29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
14:30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
14:31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
14:32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
14:33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Holy Father, who gathered us here around the table of your Son to share this meal with the whole household of God: in that new world where you reveal the fullness of your peace, gather people of every race and language to share in the eternal banquet of Jesus Christ our Lord…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
STEPHEN’S THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:
God’s salvation is very near to those who reverence Him. Psalm 85.
We are returning at last to public worship in our beloved churches. But it will seem very different at first; social distancing, face coverings, limited social- sing, no hymns. It may not seem like church as we know it but church it is.
When I was an Industrial Chaplain in Durham Diocese, the church came to the people rather than the other way around. So we conducted a Carol service in the Child Benefit centre – the readings all about Jesus’ birth were so relevant. One waggish clerk even questioned if Mary had brought the baby’s P45! We blessed the local fishing fleet standing outside of course, just as we have been doing ‘services’ since Ascension-tide (Kirkcudbright & Gatehouse of Fleet).The date chosen was deliberate as this was the last time our Lord was seen on earth.
I do not believe that the church building does not matter and that somehow only inside our lives counts. Some have even wondered if the churches could not have been kept in limited opening as a beacon of hope during the darkest days of lockdown. These our churches are sanctuaries purposefully set aside for sacred worship just as our hearts and lives are sacred spaces for God to grow His grace in us; He is speaking peace to His faithful people (Psalm 85). The surroundings will have been altered slightly, just as our way of life has changed dramatically. But our text says Mercy and Truth have met together. Stephen
QUOTE of the WEEK: ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord – is moving in this
place’ David Evans
Stephen Hazlett, Interim Priest ( tel 01557 620132 / 07900 23360) .
In our prayers we hold before God:
Those in residential care, housebound or in hospital. Those with long term illness.
Those whose anniversary of death falls at this time.
May light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.
OUR INTERIM PRIEST IN CHARGE: Revd Stephen Hazlett
tel. 01557 620132
mobile: 07800 231360
Stephen is available for pastoral and hospital visits and end of life care.
I just thought that you may be wondering about how the food bank operation is coping during the current ‘lock down’ situation.
I am pleased to be able to report that we are able to continue working as normal and that there have been no restrictions on our operation. Towards the end of last month we experienced an increase in requests for food aid by 26%. This was considerably less than we had anticipated but was mainly due to new people coming to us who had either lost their jobs or had their hours at work cut.
This month we have already seen a sharp increase in the number of requests and once again this is new people who have never accessed our service before. We firmly believe that we will see a steady but gradual increase in demand. However, we do not expect to be inundated or overwhelmed. This is good news because it does mean that as the numbers increase we will have no problems in being able to accommodate this.
Our core volunteers are still actively working for us with the exception of three people who we have ‘stood down’ from duties as they are in the ‘vulnerable per- sons’ category and this is in line with our duty of care towards them. Volunteers have been supplied with protective face masks and gloves and have been given a clear safe code of conduct to follow in line with ‘social distancing’ We have also welcomed several new volunteers to our organisation and this has been a great boost for us.
Although food donations have dropped off dramatically we have seen a great in- crease in cash donations and this is enabling us to ‘buy in’ the food that we need and we are so very grateful to all those people who have kindly donated to our cause. Wherever possible we have sent thank you letters to all these cash donors but there are a few people who have donated anonymously or without giving an address. So if you know of anyone who has donated who may not have received a letter please take the time to sincerely thank them on our behalf.
We are still very much business as usual and would ask that you spread that message.
Joint prayer from the denominations in Scotland
We turn to you, our Father, for we need your help.
Lord Jesus, as you have promised, be with us, whatever lies ahead, Strengthen us, Holy Spirit, as we face this together.
We pray for our world and our country,
as coronavirus threatens our lives and our livelihood, leaving many in lock- down,
while key workers continue, despite the risk.
We pray for government leaders at Westminster and Holyrood, responding to medical and scientific advice,
making tough decisions for the wellbeing of all.
We pray for all who serve on the frontline in the NHS and in social care; facing increasing numbers, overstretched resources
and distressing human need.
Bless those who are ill, those who are alone and afraid,
those exhausted looking after their family, those worried for the vulnerable, those fearful for their finances, those shut in to their fears.
Thank you for those who have returned from retirement to help,
or joined the volunteer army.
Thank you for those working:
to manufacture needed resources,
to find a vaccine,
to keep in contact with the isolated, to encourage others at this time.
Have mercy on us, O Lord. Give us faith, hope and love and hear our prayers, in Jesus’ name. Amen.