| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Hymn: God is love, his the care
Pslam 145 The hand of the Lord feeds us
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION St Blasius Home Page St Blasius Home Page St John’s Home Page St John’s Home Page
Hymn: Great is Thy faithfulness
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer
Bible Readings Genesis 15.1-6 15After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ 2But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’* 3And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’ 4But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’ 5He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord * reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Reflections By Reverend Tony Richards There is a story about a little church with a leaking and failing roof. The members of the congregation were worried about how best to fund the repairs and met regularly for coffee and a biscuit after the service to pray for ability to fund the roof repair. One of the people who used to come along was a miserly old man. He would sit at the back of the hall - so he could sneak out just before the collection plate came round. One Sunday, he was held up on his way to the hall by the vicar and when he got to the hall he could only find a seat at the front. During the prayer meeting, a piece of the roof fell and hit him on the head and he felt that the Lord had spoken to him, so he stood up and said "Lord, I’ll give £1000" A voice at the back of the church called out " Hit him again, Lord" perhaps we can get the parish room fixed as well! Often God speaks to us all but hopefully doesn’t use a piece of plaster. A little like the church with a leaking roof, today’s Gospel is about worrying about our status and future. Earlier in the Chapter from Luke’s Gospel, we are told… Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you wear or eat (Luke 12:22). If God so clothes the grass of the field which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much will he clothe you, O you of little faith. And do not set your heart on what you will eat or what you will drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things and you Father knows that you need them. But seek first the Kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:28-31) Today’s reading carries on from last week’s story about Rich Fool, (Luke 12:13-21) where the Rich Fool was rebuked for his greed. He built barns to keep his wealth to himself – rather than sharing his good fortune with those in need. Yet conventional wisdom would tell us to save up against a rainy day. So what is Jesus saying? Those with a lot of money often find it very hard to be generous… Paul Getty, the famous oil baron, was so worried about his money, that it is reputed he installed pay phones in his house at Sutton Place just outside Guildford, Surrey - so that his guests would not waste his money on phone calls. In Luke 12, Jesus then moves on from the greed of the Rich Fool to talk about worry, the subject of our Gospel passage today in which both are linked - The love of money that brings with it worry. And as an aside, I’d like to say that Money itself is neutral – it is the love of money that Jesus criticises. But money (too much or the lack of) is not the only thing we worry about. it may be - ill health or uncertainty for the future, but, whatever the reason a great part of the problem is a lack of trust of God. We all have our own worries and concerns, but why do we worry? My old dad used to say ‘’you die if you worry and you die if you don’t, so why worry?’’ But worry I’m sure affects us all at some point. It might be the concern where life is taking us? Is our life faith based? Do we put our trust in our maker? Hebrews 11.1 tells us that faith is “the substance of things hoped for.” The Bible scholar R.H Mounce said, “Worry is practical atheism and an affront to God.” When we worry, it shows a lack of faith in God as provider - a lack of trust. But Jesus has told us that God knows our needs and will provide for them. Is it OK to put everything into God’s hands and expect him to sort things out for us, or should we prayerfully look to God for guidance? Is it right to worry and show concern and where do we look for help and guidance? Two Christians were talking at the back of church. One said, “I really want to ask God a question. I want to ask God, why He allows all this poverty and suffering in the world today.” The other said, “Well, have you prayed, and asked Him why he allows it?” “I’m afraid to,” the first replied, “I worry that he’ll ask me the same question.” We all want to live in a fair and just world where everyone is free from worry a world where there is peace and love and everyone is provided for, but we must ask ourselves, “Do we want it enough?” In our Gospel reading, Christ tells us “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” but if we are honest, do we think mainly about our own comfort. I sometimes worry that we can be glued to the sofa, escaping into films and computer games; that we have money in the bank to ensure that we remain comfortable even if the house burns down (at least, we’ll be OK for a while). Last week’s reading was about the Rich fool and his selfishness, and I sometimes worry I am like the rich man who builds himself a big barn and sits back and congratulates himself on being so secure; caring little for the poor and their discomfort. Money, possessions, family and comfort are all good gifts from God and we must be grateful to Him for all that he has provided us with, but must never take it for granted that it will always be so. With God’s help we have the ability not just make our world a better place, but a better place for everyone. Our reading tells us how Jesus is describing a household that is ready for God’s kingdom. “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit,” be like the servants of the household who are ready to open the door for the master as soon as the master arrives; and that the master will be so pleased at the readiness of the household that he will serve the servants! In the world of men, it’s not likely - would a master really do this? Probably not in real life, but Jesus did and God leads us to do the same. That’s what the kingdom of God is like – where the master is willing to serve the servant. God has put us in charge of one of his treasured possessions – this world, and made us responsible for caring for it and building God’s kingdom. With God’s help, we are the staff in God’s household where he uses us to invest our time and energy and put heart and soul into our world. We need to be ready, whenever he calls, and we will never know when he does call, so we must be ready all of the time Let’s get dressed for action. Let’s make sure our lamps are lit and make sure we know exactly what we’re working for. That way our worries may not go away, but will be supported and helped by God and Jesus’ grace.
God’s Blessing May the Lord bless us and keep us, May he make his face shine upon us, And give us his peace, now and always. Amen.
Prayers
Sunday 7th August 2022 EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY Worship and Prayer
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s 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.
Hebrews 11.1-3, 8-16 11Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith* our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.* 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.* 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, ‘as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.’ 13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
Hymn: Be still for the power of the Lord
As you listen to the words of this beautiful song Rest in God’s presence and open your heart in prayer.
Taize Song: O Lord, hear my prayer
The Lord Bless you and keep you John Rutter’s setting of a traditional Irish blessing.
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in the same; 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. Amen.
Luke 12.32-40 32 ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 ‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39 ‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he* would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’

| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Pslam 145 The hand of the Lord feeds us
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION St Blasius Home Page St Blasius Home Page St John’s Home Page St John’s Home Page
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer
Bible Readings Genesis 15.1-6 15After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ 2But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’* 3And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’ 4But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’ 5He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord * reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Reflections By Reverend Tony Richards There is a story about a little church with a leaking and failing roof. The members of the congregation were worried about how best to fund the repairs and met regularly for coffee and a biscuit after the service to pray for ability to fund the roof repair. One of the people who used to come along was a miserly old man. He would sit at the back of the hall - so he could sneak out just before the collection plate came round. One Sunday, he was held up on his way to the hall by the vicar and when he got to the hall he could only find a seat at the front. During the prayer meeting, a piece of the roof fell and hit him on the head and he felt that the Lord had spoken to him, so he stood up and said "Lord, I’ll give £1000" A voice at the back of the church called out " Hit him again, Lord" perhaps we can get the parish room fixed as well! Often God speaks to us all but hopefully doesn’t use a piece of plaster. A little like the church with a leaking roof, today’s Gospel is about worrying about our status and future. Earlier in the Chapter from Luke’s Gospel, we are told… Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you wear or eat (Luke 12:22). If God so clothes the grass of the field which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much will he clothe you, O you of little faith. And do not set your heart on what you will eat or what you will drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things and you Father knows that you need them. But seek first the Kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:28-31) Today’s reading carries on from last week’s story about Rich Fool, (Luke 12:13-21) where the Rich Fool was rebuked for his greed. He built barns to keep his wealth to himself – rather than sharing his good fortune with those in need. Yet conventional wisdom would tell us to save up against a rainy day. So what is Jesus saying? Those with a lot of money often find it very hard to be generous… Paul Getty, the famous oil baron, was so worried about his money, that it is reputed he installed pay phones in his house at Sutton Place just outside Guildford, Surrey - so that his guests would not waste his money on phone calls. In Luke 12, Jesus then moves on from the greed of the Rich Fool to talk about worry, the subject of our Gospel passage today in which both are linked - The love of money that brings with it worry. And as an aside, I’d like to say that Money itself is neutral – it is the love of money that Jesus criticises. But money (too much or the lack of) is not the only thing we worry about. it may be - ill health or uncertainty for the future, but, whatever the reason a great part of the problem is a lack of trust of God. We all have our own worries and concerns, but why do we worry? My old dad used to say ‘’you die if you worry and you die if you don’t, so why worry?’’ But worry I’m sure affects us all at some point. It might be the concern where life is taking us? Is our life faith based? Do we put our trust in our maker? Hebrews 11.1 tells us that faith is “the substance of things hoped for.” The Bible scholar R.H Mounce said, “Worry is practical atheism and an affront to God.” When we worry, it shows a lack of faith in God as provider - a lack of trust. But Jesus has told us that God knows our needs and will provide for them. Is it OK to put everything into God’s hands and expect him to sort things out for us, or should we prayerfully look to God for guidance? Is it right to worry and show concern and where do we look for help and guidance? Two Christians were talking at the back of church. One said, “I really want to ask God a question. I want to ask God, why He allows all this poverty and suffering in the world today.” The other said, “Well, have you prayed, and asked Him why he allows it?” “I’m afraid to,” the first replied, “I worry that he’ll ask me the same question.” We all want to live in a fair and just world where everyone is free from worry a world where there is peace and love and everyone is provided for, but we must ask ourselves, “Do we want it enough?” In our Gospel reading, Christ tells us “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” but if we are honest, do we think mainly about our own comfort. I sometimes worry that we can be glued to the sofa, escaping into films and computer games; that we have money in the bank to ensure that we remain comfortable even if the house burns down (at least, we’ll be OK for a while). Last week’s reading was about the Rich fool and his selfishness, and I sometimes worry I am like the rich man who builds himself a big barn and sits back and congratulates himself on being so secure; caring little for the poor and their discomfort. Money, possessions, family and comfort are all good gifts from God and we must be grateful to Him for all that he has provided us with, but must never take it for granted that it will always be so. With God’s help we have the ability not just make our world a better place, but a better place for everyone. Our reading tells us how Jesus is describing a household that is ready for God’s kingdom. “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit,” be like the servants of the household who are ready to open the door for the master as soon as the master arrives; and that the master will be so pleased at the readiness of the household that he will serve the servants! In the world of men, it’s not likely - would a master really do this? Probably not in real life, but Jesus did and God leads us to do the same. That’s what the kingdom of God is like – where the master is willing to serve the servant. God has put us in charge of one of his treasured possessions – this world, and made us responsible for caring for it and building God’s kingdom. With God’s help, we are the staff in God’s household where he uses us to invest our time and energy and put heart and soul into our world. We need to be ready, whenever he calls, and we will never know when he does call, so we must be ready all of the time Let’s get dressed for action. Let’s make sure our lamps are lit and make sure we know exactly what we’re working for. That way our worries may not go away, but will be supported and helped by God and Jesus’ grace.
God’s Blessing May the Lord bless us and keep us, May he make his face shine upon us, And give us his peace, now and always. Amen.
Prayers
Sunday 7th August 2022 EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY Worship and Prayer
Hymn: Great is Thy faithfulness
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s 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.
Hebrews 11.1-3, 8-16 11Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith* our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.* 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.* 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, ‘as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.’ 13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
Hymn: God is love, his the care
As you listen to the words of this beautiful song Rest in God’s presence and open your heart in prayer.
Taize Song: O Lord, hear my prayer
The Lord Bless you and keep you John Rutter’s setting of a traditional Irish blessing.
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in the same; 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. Amen.
Hymn: Be still for the power of the Lord
Luke 12.32-40 32 ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 ‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39 ‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he* would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’

| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Hymn: God is love, his the care
Pslam 145 The hand of the Lord feeds us
Opening our hearts to God Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Acknowledging our need of Forgiveness Remembering that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven and to bring us to eternal life: We confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (We keep a moment of quiet for silent reflection) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life; to the glory of your name. Amen. Affirming God’s Forgiveness Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Collect Prayer
Bible Readings Genesis 15.1-6 15After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ 2But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’* 3And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’ 4But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’ 5He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord * reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Sunday 7th August 2022 EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY Worship and Prayer
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION SPIRITUAL COMMUNION St Blasius Home Page St Blasius Home Page St John’s Home Page St John’s Home Page
Reflections By Reverend Tony Richards There is a story about a little church with a leaking and failing roof. The members of the congregation were worried about how best to fund the repairs and met regularly for coffee and a biscuit after the service to pray for ability to fund the roof repair. One of the people who used to come along was a miserly old man. He would sit at the back of the hall - so he could sneak out just before the collection plate came round. One Sunday, he was held up on his way to the hall by the vicar and when he got to the hall he could only find a seat at the front. During the prayer meeting, a piece of the roof fell and hit him on the head and he felt that the Lord had spoken to him, so he stood up and said "Lord, I’ll give £1000" A voice at the back of the church called out " Hit him again, Lord" perhaps we can get the parish room fixed as well! Often God speaks to us all but hopefully doesn’t use a piece of plaster. A little like the church with a leaking roof, today’s Gospel is about worrying about our status and future. Earlier in the Chapter from Luke’s Gospel, we are told… Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you wear or eat (Luke 12:22). If God so clothes the grass of the field which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much will he clothe you, O you of little faith. And do not set your heart on what you will eat or what you will drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things and you Father knows that you need them. But seek first the Kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:28-31) Today’s reading carries on from last week’s story about Rich Fool, (Luke 12:13-21) where the Rich Fool was rebuked for his greed. He built barns to keep his wealth to himself – rather than sharing his good fortune with those in need. Yet conventional wisdom would tell us to save up against a rainy day. So what is Jesus saying? Those with a lot of money often find it very hard to be generous… Paul Getty, the famous oil baron, was so worried about his money, that it is reputed he installed pay phones in his house at Sutton Place just outside Guildford, Surrey - so that his guests would not waste his money on phone calls. In Luke 12, Jesus then moves on from the greed of the Rich Fool to talk about worry, the subject of our Gospel passage today in which both are linked - The love of money that brings with it worry. And as an aside, I’d like to say that Money itself is neutral – it is the love of money that Jesus criticises. But money (too much or the lack of) is not the only thing we worry about. it may be - ill health or uncertainty for the future, but, whatever the reason a great part of the problem is a lack of trust of God. We all have our own worries and concerns, but why do we worry? My old dad used to say ‘’you die if you worry and you die if you don’t, so why worry?’’ But worry I’m sure affects us all at some point. It might be the concern where life is taking us? Is our life faith based? Do we put our trust in our maker? Hebrews 11.1 tells us that faith is “the substance of things hoped for.” The Bible scholar R.H Mounce said, “Worry is practical atheism and an affront to God.” When we worry, it shows a lack of faith in God as provider - a lack of trust. But Jesus has told us that God knows our needs and will provide for them. Is it OK to put everything into God’s hands and expect him to sort things out for us, or should we prayerfully look to God for guidance? Is it right to worry and show concern and where do we look for help and guidance? Two Christians were talking at the back of church. One said, “I really want to ask God a question. I want to ask God, why He allows all this poverty and suffering in the world today.” The other said, “Well, have you prayed, and asked Him why he allows it?” “I’m afraid to,” the first replied, “I worry that he’ll ask me the same question.” We all want to live in a fair and just world where everyone is free from worry a world where there is peace and love and everyone is provided for, but we must ask ourselves, “Do we want it enough?” In our Gospel reading, Christ tells us “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” but if we are honest, do we think mainly about our own comfort. I sometimes worry that we can be glued to the sofa, escaping into films and computer games; that we have money in the bank to ensure that we remain comfortable even if the house burns down (at least, we’ll be OK for a while). Last week’s reading was about the Rich fool and his selfishness, and I sometimes worry I am like the rich man who builds himself a big barn and sits back and congratulates himself on being so secure; caring little for the poor and their discomfort. Money, possessions, family and comfort are all good gifts from God and we must be grateful to Him for all that he has provided us with, but must never take it for granted that it will always be so. With God’s help we have the ability not just make our world a better place, but a better place for everyone. Our reading tells us how Jesus is describing a household that is ready for God’s kingdom. “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit,” be like the servants of the household who are ready to open the door for the master as soon as the master arrives; and that the master will be so pleased at the readiness of the household that he will serve the servants! In the world of men, it’s not likely - would a master really do this? Probably not in real life, but Jesus did and God leads us to do the same. That’s what the kingdom of God is like – where the master is willing to serve the servant. God has put us in charge of one of his treasured possessions – this world, and made us responsible for caring for it and building God’s kingdom. With God’s help, we are the staff in God’s household where he uses us to invest our time and energy and put heart and soul into our world. We need to be ready, whenever he calls, and we will never know when he does call, so we must be ready all of the time Let’s get dressed for action. Let’s make sure our lamps are lit and make sure we know exactly what we’re working for. That way our worries may not go away, but will be supported and helped by God and Jesus’ grace.
God’s Blessing May the Lord bless us and keep us, May he make his face shine upon us, And give us his peace, now and always. Amen.
Prayers
Hymn: Great is Thy faithfulness
We gather together all our prayers in the words that Jesus taught us… The Lord’s 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.
Hebrews 11.1-3, 8-16 11Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith* our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.* 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.* 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, ‘as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.’ 13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
As you listen to the words of this beautiful song Rest in God’s presence and open your heart in prayer.
Taize Song: O Lord, hear my prayer
The Lord Bless you and keep you John Rutter’s setting of a traditional Irish blessing.
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in the same; 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. Amen.
Hymn: Be still for the power of the Lord
Luke 12.32-40 32 ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 ‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39 ‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he* would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’