St. Mary's Church

Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Fourth Sunday after Trinity

4 Jul 2020 • General news

Genesis 24:34-38

34 So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. 36And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, “You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.”

42 ‘I came today to the spring, and said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! 43I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,’ 44and who will say to me, ‘Drink, and I will draw for your camels also’—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.”

45 ‘Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water-jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, “Please let me drink.” 46She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, “Drink, and I will also water your camels.” So I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47Then I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” She said, “The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.” So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. 49Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.’

58And they called Rebekah, and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ She said, ‘I will.’ 59So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
‘May you, our sister, become
thousands of myriads;
may your offspring gain possession
of the gates of their foes.’61Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

62 Now Isaac had come from* Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. 63Isaac went out in the evening to walk* in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. 64And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, 65and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?’ The servant said, ‘It is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself. 66And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Romans 7:15-25 New Revised Standard Version

15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

Matthew 11:16-19

16 “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,

17 ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”[a]

Jesus Thanks His Father

25 At that time Jesus said, “I thank[i] you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.[j] 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Reflection on Romans 7:15-25 By Revd Dmitry Lutsenko

Romans 7:15-25 is one of the most controversial passages in the epistle of Romans. If we are to have any hope of accurately understanding these verses, we must start where Paul does, with Mosaic Law. Paul’s purpose here is to explain why Mosaic Law, which meant to help people to become righteous in God’s eyes, has brought death to Israel. In fact, it has proven to be ineffective against the law of sin and led Israel into a further downfall and despair.

Paul begins the passage in a state of confusion. His dilemma is that he does not understand what he does. ‘For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do’ V15. The reason for his action lies in verse 20, it is sin living in me that does it. According to Paul, his mind desires to do good, but his body does otherwise. Or, in other words, his good intentions are not being translated into actions, because of the sin that lives in him. According to St Augustine, human beings are inheritably evil and corrupt because of the original Sin, which came into this world with Adam’s disobedience to God. No matter what human beings do, they cannot change their fallen state. God in his great wisdom, love and mercy gave them the Law through Moses to follow, so they can become righteous again. However, the Law comes to people already held captive under sin, therefore, they are incapable of obeying it. At the end the Law was powerless as it was weakened by our sinful nature. God’s Law simply does not have power to deliver us from the power of sin.

In verses 21-25 Paul describes the tension within him, and indeed within any person, between the law of sin and Mosaic Law. As a result, not only he is a prisoner of the law of sin, because of the original sin, but he also becomes a prisoner of the law of mind, a reference to the Mosaic Law. His sinful nature (flesh) disabled him to obey the Mosaic Law in order to be free again. Paul’s conclusion is heartfelt, what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death VV24-25.

In answer to the question above, Paul cannot help but to give thanks to God. Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ V25. And rightly. By sending into this world his only Son Jesus Christ, God gives us a chance to break out from the bondage of sin and death. On the cross, Jesus Christ won the ultimate victory over sin and death. They have no more power over us. Christians have the help of the Holy Spirit to live their lives according to the Spirit. The truth is that we never become totally sinless, only Jesus Christ is, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we will certainly sin less.

So where do we go from here? Firstly, we should break out in thanksgiving to God when we recognise that state from which He rescued us. In the words of Christian hymn ‘Amazing Grace’: I once was lost but now I am found, was blind but now I see. Christians indwelled and regenerated by the Spirit have deeper understanding and appreciation of God’s self-giving act, which is seen in his Son Jesus Christ. Secondly, we need to remind ourselves that we can only be saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ and not by any self-righteous deeds. And thirdly, we need to think of others who are still lost and walk in the darkness. Once, we were saved and were brought from the darkness into the light. Other people need to know that there is a way out from the bondage of sin and death, and that is through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 


O God, the protector of all who trust in you,

without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:

increase and multiply upon us your mercy;

that with you as our ruler and guide

we may so pass through things temporal

that we lose not our hold on things eternal;

grant this, heavenly Father,

for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen

Let us pray: God the Father,

All have mercy upon us.

God the Son,

All have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit,

All have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief;

from pride, vanity and hypocrisy;

from envy, hatred and malice;

and from all evil intent,

All good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;

from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,

All good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow;

in all times of joy;

in the hour of death,

and at the day of judgement,

All good Lord, deliver us.

Hear our prayers, O Lord our God.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Govern and direct your holy Church;

fill it with love and truth;

and grant it that unity which is your will.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Give us boldness to preach the gospel in all the world,

and to make disciples of all the nations.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Enlighten Christopher our Bishop and all who minister

with knowledge and understanding,

that by their teaching and their lives they may proclaim your word.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Give your people grace to hear and receive your word,

and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Bring into the way of truth all who have erred

and are deceived.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Strengthen those who stand;

comfort and help the faint-hearted;

raise up the fallen;

and finally beat down Satan under our feet.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Guide the leaders of the nations

into the ways of peace and justice.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Guard and strengthen your servant Elizabeth our Queen,

that she may put her trust in you,

and seek your honour and glory.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Bless those who administer the law,

that they may uphold justice, honesty and truth.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Bless and keep all your people.

All Hear us, good Lord.

Help and comfort the lonely, the bereaved and the oppressed.

All Lord, have mercy.

Keep in safety those who travel, and all who are in danger.

All Lord, have mercy.

Heal the sick in body and mind,

and provide for the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.

All Lord, have mercy.

Show your pity on prisoners and refugees,

and all who are in trouble.

All Lord, have mercy.

Forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers,

and turn their hearts.

All Lord, have mercy.

Give us true repentance;

forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance

and our deliberate sins;

and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit

to amend our lives according to your holy word.

All Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Sorry, no prayers together on Tuesday as I am at an all day zoom meeting!Malcolm


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