St. Mary's Church

Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Ninth Sunday after Trinity

8 Aug 2020 • General news

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Joseph Dreams of Greatness

37 Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. 2 This is the story of the family of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves.[a] 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.

Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.

He came to Shechem, 15 and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. 18 They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves[a] that he wore; 24 and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. 28 When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

Romans 10:5-15

Salvation Is for All

5 Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say?

“The word is near you,on your lips and in your heart”

(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because[a] if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus Walks on the Water

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.”

Thought for 9th August 2020 by Malcolm Tyler

Matthew 14.22-33

You have to sympathise with Peter. The storm on the Sea of Galilee had clearly put fear into him and the other disciples and then to see Jesus walking on the water was just too much. “Don’t be afraid”, says Jesus (the most common phrase in the Bible) and Peter not wanting to show fear asks Jesus to command him to come to him on the water. Jesus calls him and Peter responds by getting out of the boat and walks on the water. But then he realises what he is doing and starts to sink.Jesus has to save him.

This seems to me common in our human walk of faith. After a difficult period, we ask for Jesus to help us; he calls and we respond but then we get frightened that maybe its all in our imagination; we flounder and Jesus rescues us.

I sometimes wonder if I (and I can’t say we) will ever learn. How many times has Jesus come to save me from myself, I move on, forget the event, fall again and ask again.I don’t seem to learn that Jesus can help me before I get into trouble and that he is with me always.

The lockdown and its gradual easing have been difficult for most of us. Our old routines are up in the air and we have had to find new ways of being and doing. Some are easier than others; one thing I have particularly enjoyed is not working in the evening! But other things are not so easy; having the family around 24/7 can be a challenge!

Perhaps we are struggling and want this whole thing to come to an end. Probably that is something most of us want. Sadly, that is not going to happen any time soon and we have to adapt to new and different ways. Jesus calls us to this; he is there to pick us up when we fall but he believes we can do it because he gives us the power to do even what we think is impossible.

Are you like Peter? Have you got out of the boat and then doubted? Or have you not got out of the boat because you are too fearful? Whichever, hold on to the fact that God loves you whether you are in the boat or trying to walk on the water. He loves you too if you are walking with confidence on the water.

Prayers of intercession for Sunday 9 August 2020 (from Nickie Harwood)

Heavenly Father you promised through your Son to hear us when we pray in faith

Lord help us step out in faith with you as we share all that is on our hearts and minds, all that troubles us and all that we are thankful for – be with us this day Lord.

Lord we pray for the situation in Lebanon and all those affected by the explosion this week in Beirut. We ask for strength for those providing help and support, for rescue workers and medical staff treating the injured. We pray that countries around the world would help with food supplies, making safe buildings damaged and assisting medical services so that they can cope with the increased demand. Lord we hold these people in our hearts.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Lord we pray for the continuing struggle across the world to contain and deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. Bring comfort to all those grieving loved ones who have died and bring peace to those who are worried and anxious, fearful of the virus as it continues to spread. Work through those in government and authority seeking to find solutions. Help us all to be responsible in the things that we do in our lives to prevent the spread of this virus.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we pray for all those facing uncertain futures because of job cuts or reduced hours of working. Help families deal with the added stress that this brings. Be with all those who offer advice and support. We think especially of those providing housing and food support. Be with those running food banks and prompt us to be generous so that there is a ready supply for all those in need. You provide us with a world full of wonderful resources – sufficient for all. Help us all to share.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we give thanks for our families and friends, for those that sustain us and encourage us. Help them to know that they are appreciated even when we do not show it. We pray for a deepening awareness of our need for one another and the ability to be more accepting of each other. Help us to spread your gospel of love for all wherever we go and with whoever we meet. Help us to make time especially for those feeling lost and lonely because of social distancing. Help us find ways to make them feel included, loved and cared for.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we pray for those in our community and those known to us who are ill or who have requested our prayers. We bring them before you now saying their names and having as moment of quiet while we think of them.

Touch each one, hold them safe in the palm of your hand and ease their pain and troubles. Give them confidence and a sense of wellbeing.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we place into your loving keeping all those who have died. We ask for your comfort and peace for all who mourn. Be with them as they plan, organise and attend funerals and remember their loved ones despite all the current restrictions. Help us show the promise of heaven’s love, joy and peace in all we do. Help us to support those who mourn in our prayers, with words of comfort and with practical help in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

As we go into a new week, help us to feel you close by. Give us confidence to step out in faith following in your footsteps and sharing your love with those we meet.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of you Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.



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