Morning Prayer Wednesday, 21 July 2021
Good morning, good people, at the end of another school year which has been disrupted.
I guess that those who have been involved hope it is not going to be repeated.
But it is holiday period, so let us look forward with hope that we can meet in person with one another more.
For Israel had no faith in God
and put no trust in his saving help.
So he commanded the clouds above and
opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down upon them manna to eat
and gave them the grain of heaven.
So mortals ate the bread of angels
and he gave them food in plenty.
He caused the east winds to blow in the heavens
and led out the south wind by his might.
He rained flesh upon them as thick as dust
and winged foul as the sand of the sea.
He let it fall in the midst of their camp
and round about their tents.
So they ate and were filled,
for he gave them all they desired.
But they did not stop their craving:
their food was in their mouths.
When the anger of God rose against them,
and slew the strongest of men
and felled the flower of Israel.
Psalm 78: 22–31
God our deliverer, as you led our ancestors through the wilderness, so lead us through the wilderness of this world, that we may be saved through Christ for ever.
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 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 the many things through 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!’
Matthew 13: 1–9
The psalm is a review of how Israel took all the benefits that God had given and gave no thanks in return, continuing in their disobedience and only listened when disaster fell on them.
The gospel is a familiar parable. It comes in Matthew at the same time as last week’s gospel reading where Jesus was angry with the towns of Galilee for ignoring his teaching. Yet here we have such a crowd outside the synagogue, by the lake wanting to hear.
Jesus starts and finishes the parable with the word ‘listen’ One of the things we offer to our city is that our volunteers on the desk listen to people who come into our building and treat them with dignity whatever their station in life.
We have been thinking and praying together on-line and putting many things we ought to have been doing, ‘on hold’. Have we been listening in that time? Have we used the lockdown wisely?
Now is the time to open up. Are we aware of all that God has given us? Are we ready to give him thanks? We accepted a well thought out programme of actions last Sunday. Are we ready to do what he desires for us as a witness in Central Milton Keynes?
Maybe we are hard like the path, ‘I can’t do anything toward it’;
or shallow, ‘I am all for it but won’t get too involved, it might prove inconvenient’;
or worrying about other things, ‘Should we be that adventurous, surely we have enough on our plate with organising services’.
With God’s help we can be like the seed in good ground and ready to put this programme of actions into effect.
Let us pray for the Church:
Heavenly Father, you have called us to follow you to listen to the message of the gospel, to live it out in our time and to spread the good news in our city. The prophets foretold of Jesus with the name Emanuel, ‘God with us’. Help us to hear and help us to be with those who are in our city centre and not just concerned for those crying for help or needing your love at this time. Give us grace to be your healing touch in our community, that your name will be glorified.
Let us pray for the world
The floods in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have proved so disastrous that we still do not know how many have perished, even in these democratic advanced countries. There are floods and fires, drought and pestilence in many parts of the world which lack the advantages of our region in Western Europe.
We cannot be with these people personally, but our concern has to go beyond the regret that these things happen. We can give towards relief through charities, we can find out more about those causes we support to make our prayers more meaningful and to see if we could volunteer to help them. We can be careful in what we purchase, so that we avoid waste, we avoid things that cause too much harm to the environment or that come at the cost of other people being exploited.
Heavenly Father, you have created this world we inhabit and made it good. By your grace, may we live our lives to keep it good, to keep all your children in health and well-being.
We pray that by your grace all those who work for healing and peace will continue in strength to make our world more as you would have it and less as we have made it.
I hope you have opportunity to be with people today and get the pleasure of real human contact.
Stay cool and walk our planet softly.