Additional Service Materials 9th August 2020

Readings and Prayers for 9th August 2020

Additional Service Materials 9th August 2020

THE HOLY GOSPEL

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Matthew chapter 14 verses 22 to 33.

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land,[a] for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 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. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind,[b] he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Praise to Christ our Lord.

 

HYMN

Meekness and majesty

 

1 Meekness and majesty,
manhood and deity,
in perfect harmony,
the Man who is God.
Lord of eternity
dwells in humanity,
kneels in humility
and washes our feet.
Oh, what a mystery,
meekness and majesty.
Bow down and worship
for this is your God,
this is your God.


2 Father's pure radiance,
perfect in innocence,
yet learns obedience
to death on a cross.
Suffering to give us life,
conquering through sacrifice,
and as they crucify
prays: 'Father forgive.'
Refrain

3 Wisdom unsearchable,
God the invisible,
love indestructible
in frailty appears.
Lord of infinity,
stooping so tenderly,
lifts our humanity
to the heights of his throne.
Refrain Intercessions for Ninth Sunday after Trinity Year A

Intercessory Prayers

 

Heavenly Father your Son Jesus calls us to step out onto the water with him, and to leave the safety of our boats, and to walk toward Him in faith. He asks us to join with Him in the work He is already doing in our world.

 

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Gracious Lord, we thank you for the world you have created. We pray for greater wisdom and responsibility in our stewardship of this earth. We pray for fishermen and seafarers remembering those who fish from our shores at Burnham on Sea.

 

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Father, we thank you for the gift of your Son, our saviour, who walks with us on our life’s journey. We pray for this community and the community of the world. We pray for a deepening awareness of our need for one another and of your image in the hearts of all people.

 

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Loving God, we thank You for the gift of life and pray for those whose lives are troubled by illness, and the constant threat of Covid 19. We pray that in the darkness of this Your light will shine to bring assurance and hope.

 

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Heavenly Father, we place in your loving arms all those who have died.

Lord, we pray that we too may show in our lives the promise of heaven’s love, joy and peace and we ask for your comfort and peace to be on all who mourn.

 

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Merciful God, may our lives might proclaim your love, mercy and when the wind and waves get high and threaten to overwhelm us, help us remember Jesus’ words: “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid”

 

Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

O Lord open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim you praise

One Monday shortly after our Church re-opened, it was a beautiful day and I was waiting outside of the church ready to welcome anyone who wished to come in for private prayer. I met a visitor who had come to pray. He told me a lovely story, after we had talked, I asked if I might at some time recount the story, he willingly said yes…. I share that story with you now….

Many years ago, this gentleman was on holiday with his wife and they had gone to visit the site of an ancient battle. Whilst walking around the site he looked across to a nearby field and saw his father. He alerted his wife who also saw him. They turned to leave the site to go to his father but as they did so his father disappeared. The gentlemen went on to tell me that he was filled with a great sense of peace because his father had died a few days earlier, and his great regret was that he was not with him at the time. I knew immediately that this was a true story.

That is a story of prayer, faith and hope, it may be said to be unbelievable in our rational world. Our gospel today is a story of prayer, faith and hope, but it is unbelievable in our rational world.

You’ve all got masks on this morning maybe like me when I am wearing my mask, I feel rather uncomfortable, breathing is not that easy and relating to others a challenge…is that person smiling at me or scowling. Life is not comfortable. We are in a bit of a storm, our thoughts not as calm as they could be.

I believe this gospel passage offers us a way to live in prayer, faith and hope in that storm.

Let us indulge in a bit of Ignatian imaginative prayer. For a moment relax don’t strive to listen to me. Just place yourself before Our Lord and listen to him….” this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased Listen to Him”.

As you listen you hear Jesus commanding the disciples to get into their boat… Now, hear Jesus telling you also to join the disciples. The waters may have looked choppy warning of the impending storm, the disciples knew how to read the weather. But they obey the command of Jesus. You do it, you obey the command too; you get on the boat. You may feel frightened, adventurous, sea sick! Or just unmoved.

Jesus then goes to pray…see Jesus praying, possibly the most important part of this passage for it is for us a pattern…before embarking on anything first must come prayer, and prayer alone, in the quiet of the mountain, that is the presence of God and the place of God’s voice and commands. It is from this awesome place Jesus comes to the disciples later in the night. Meanwhile a storm is brewing the disciples, and us, are in mortal danger. There is much symbolism here, the boat is said to represent the early church and the storm the persecution. Here we are with the threat of Covid 19 rearing it’s head again and again in fact never really going away. There are the disciples, boat being battered by the waves. It is about 4 am in the morning a difficult time if ever you have woken then …nothing seems right and worries are twice as bad and they see a Ghost coming to them! Jesus does not immediately reveal who he is or calm the storm, rather he causes more fear, as He walks towards them on the water. Can things get worse?

At that point when there really is no other option, succumb to the storm or see that revelation of God…

Jesus reveals who He is…” It is I” …in effect he is saying He is God… from his deep prayer in solitude this powerful proclamation is made. Followed by the well-known reassurance of God “do not be afraid”.

In your imagination you are Peter now…you ask to go to the Lord…and it is granted… Peter walks on water he has Faith…and then…when he takes his eyes off of Jesus, he begins to sink…when we take our thoughts off of Jesus the fear takes hold and we sink…we fall away from Him…we are swallowed by the waves of fear.

But as with Peter we only have to be humble enough to admit we are sinking and cry out for help…recognise we are not self-sufficient…. Immediately Jesus reaches out his hand and saves Peter. That “immediate” is a challenge for we often cry out to Our Lord and the immediate we receive may indeed be years…, but in the time of waiting we will not sink, but we shall be changed as the disciples were… for on Jesus entering the boat he was no longer Jesus their teacher they recognised him as “Truly the Son of God” and this is their hope for the future, the Son of God is amongst them, Salvation has come.

In this Ignatian imagination we started from a place of prayer, we followed the command of Jesus and we entered the boat, we hadFaith. A storm of troubles arose. Jesus is there in the storm and we called out and he reached out to us. We have a God who reaches out to us, is there a more wonderful gift than that? Our Lord he enters our lives and calms the storms and chaos which in turn changes us, so we recognise and declare that Jesus is the Son of God our Hope. Take this gospel passage and place it in your life use that pattern of prayer, faith and hope for your now and your future.

I leave you with the words of Bonhoeffer the tortured by the Nazi’s German pastor and theologian.

If it is I who determine where God is to be found, then I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in some way, who is obliging, who is connected with my own nature. But if God determines where he is to be found, then it will be in a place which is not immediately pleasing to my nature and which is not at all congenial to me. This place is the Cross of Christ.”

Let us pray that as we are in the place of the Storm of Covid 19, that it will leads us to the recognition of Jesus as the Son of God our Hope. And we may come to share that revelation and Hope with all caught up in the storms of life. Amen.

Thank you for listening.”

 

 

 

Related Articles

Categories Other