Sunday 26th July: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion. If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Rev John Purdy.
Hymn StF 610: Best of all God is with us
Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here:
Today’s Gospel Reading:
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
31 Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches.”
The Parable of the Yeast
33 Jesus told them still another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.”
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
44 “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man happens to find a treasure hidden in a field. He covers it up again, and is so happy that he goes and sells everything he has, and then goes back and buys that field.
The Parable of the Pearl
45 “Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man is looking for fine pearls, 46 and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl.
The Parable of the Net
47 “Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Some fishermen throw their net out in the lake and catch all kinds of fish. 48 When the net is full, they pull it to shore and sit down to divide the fish: the good ones go into the buckets, the worthless ones are thrown away. 49 It will be like this at the end of the age: the angels will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good 50 and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth.
New Truths and Old
51 “Do you understand these things?” Jesus asked them.
“Yes,” they answered.
52 So he replied, “This means, then, that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of heaven is like a homeowner who takes new and old things out of his storage room.”
Today’s Epistle Reading:
26 In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27 And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.
28 We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him,[a] those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29 Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers. 30 And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.
God’s Love in Christ Jesus
31 In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things? 33 Who will accuse God’s chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34 Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! 35 Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? 36 As the scripture says,
“For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;
we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38 For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39 neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Time to Reflect
Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!
As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) after 12 noon the Leaving Service video sermon by our Superintendent minister, Rev Andy Bryer or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or (6) to North Bondgate Car Park at 3pm today to the Drive in Service or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.
1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below
2. Or after 12noon listen and watch Rev Andy’s last sermon on the Circuit taken from the leaving service which can be found in full here and watched live at 11am or watch back in full after that from the same link
3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings
4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
Our agricultural friends will know the concept of sowing and reaping. I’m not a gardener but I know if I plant seed potatoes, I will probably dig up potatoes. There are numerous biblical passages pursuing themes of sowing and reaping. Jesus taught parables along these lines. In Galatians 6:7 one reads these words, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (ESV). Similar words are found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 2 Corinthians 9:6.
However, this not just a New Testament concept, in Job 4:8, one reads these words, “As I have observed, those who plough iniquity, and those who sow trouble, reap the same” Job 4:8, and in Hosea 10:18, we discover the prophet’s warning, “You have ploughed in wickedness and reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your mighty men.”
Consider our Old Testament reading in Genesis. Jacob has been deceived and was given Leah instead of Rachel. Jacob the deceiver is himself deceived. We read in Genesis 25:29-34, how Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew. In Genesis, Chapter 27, we read how Jacob tricked his aging, blind father, Isaac into giving him the first born’s blessing. There are other trickeries pertaining to Laban’s flock (Genesis 30) but just before Jacob and Esau meet again, Jacob has an encounter at Peniel.
On this night, Jacob wrestles an Angel and before the day breaks there is a name change. This is significant because Jacob’s name means, supplanter, or one who grasps the heel, (as pertaining to his manner of birth). The name change given to Jacob is now Israel, a combination of the Hebrew words for “wrestle” and “God.”
What is now sown in Jacob’s life through his encounter with God is a new way of life. Not only has his name been changed but his character will be forever marked by the event at Peniel. As Christians, we have received a new name (Isaiah 56:5, Rev 2:17; 3:12, and a new nature (John 3:6, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10, and 2 Corinthians 5:17)so that we can sow good seeds in the lives of others.
I can testify of a new nature within. Since, coming to Christ, I have changed. The Scripture says, “The Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18). According to Wesley there would be an initial sanctification process (a process that attends to the entire work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life) at salvation then a continuing work where the mind of Christ was and is being formed in the Christian’s daily life.
Take a time to sit quietly and ask yourself – what work has already begun in your life? Perhaps, you are not where you want to be but you have progress from where you were.
5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world
6. and/or join us this afternoon or 3pm any Sunday until the end of August and book your place at the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park
7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them
Take a time to sit quietly…
Hope and Millie’s Reflection Slides
Prayers of Intercession
I thank you for the ongoing work in my life. I know it will continue until you take me home. Thank you for sins forgiven, for a life with you now, and a life with you in the hereafter.
We pray for the Methodist Church, nationally and worldwide…
We pray for the universal Church and the churches that have met through technological means during this time…
We pray for all those who have suffered loss in this present coronavirus situation…
We thank you for every act of kindness done during this time and all the imaginative ways that ministers and lay workers have used to keep in touch with their congregations…
We pray for those who are in needing of healing, physically, emotionally, and spiritually…
Lord in your mercy,
hear these prayers.
Hannah’s Creative Prayer
Tissues are fragile. They tear easily.
Think about someone you know, or groups of people, who may feel ‘fragile’ or vulnerable.
If you want to, you can write of draw a hope or a prayer for them onto one of the tissues.
Keep the tissue in your pocket or put it beside your bed to remind you to sleep these people in your thoughts and prayers.
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.
Hymn StF 394: Spirit of God unseen as the wind
Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here:
The blessing of God, the Father, the Son and
the Holy Spirit be upon us, now and always.
Original Materials by Rev Heather Wilson, Wolds & Trent Circuit, Lincolnshire District
All Hymns reproduced under CCLi 882296
If you have enjoyed this service today, you might like to watch the live service marking the end of Rev Andy Bryer’s ministry on our Circuit either as a live stream at 11am today or watch the recording back at anytime.