St. Mary's Church

The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary

5 Sep 2020 • General news

Isaiah 61. 10-end

10I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.

Galatians 4. 4-7

4When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ 7So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Luke 1. 46-55

46‘My soul magnifies the Lord,47and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,48for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.50His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.51He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;53he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.54He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,55according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

Thought for 6th September (from Malcolm Tyler)

One of the more interesting pieces of art that I have ever seen is by a pre Renaissance artist called Simone Martini. The picture depicts the annunciation. Mary is told by the angel Gabriel that she is to expect Jesus. In some senses Mary looks terrified even unhappy but what makes the picture fascinating to me is that her response is written upside down and because she is on the right hand side of the picture the writing goes from right to left. Why is this you may ask? Simply so that God could read it!

Sometimes our view of God is very like that of the artist Simone Martini. God lives in heaven (ie above us) and of course speaks our language. For Mary such a simplistic view of God was challenged by the annunciation and her song (the Magnificat and today’s gospel reading) which she sang a little later when visiting her cousin Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) indicates her thinking had moved on somewhat. Whilst it echoes the passage from Isaiah, Mary speaks of a God who is neither remote (ie only in heaven) nor interested only in the rich and famous. Rather he lifts up the lowly and fills the hungry with good things, whilst the rich are sent away empty.

Maybe until the moment of the annunciation Mary tended to think of God as a bit distant and not interested in her life. From that moment on though her view had to change. God was very clearly interested in her and had a plan for her.

It is easy to imagine that God cannot be interested in us. Most of us go about our daily lives and have only influence upon those close to us. How, we imagine, can God be interested in us? This is not the tenor of the gospel stories. God is very interested in each one of us, so much so that he sends Jesus, so that through his death and resurrection we may be brought back to God to live with him for ever.

For centuries the Church seemed to promote a view of God that he was to be feared (perhaps artists like Martini have encouraged us in that view but of course even the Bible also tells us frequently that those who came into contact with God were afraid). I am encouraged that now a predominant message of the church is that actually he loves us beyond measure and that we do not need to be afraid.

At this time of pandemic this is perhaps a message that we would do well to really take to heart.

Intercessions for 6.9.20

As we pray to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we say with Mary:

Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.  Holy is your name.

Your prophet of old foretold a day when a virgin would conceive

and bear a son who would be called God-with-us.

Help us to look forward to your deliverance and to seek the fullness of your kingdom.

Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.  Holy is your name.

Your angel declared to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Saviour.

Help every Christian person to be open to your word and obedient to your will.

Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.  Holy is your name.

Mary rejoiced with Elizabeth and sang your praise,

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.’

Help us to live joyful lives that sing your praise.

Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.  Holy is your name.

Mary bore a son of David’s line, a king whose reign would never end.

Bless all the nations of the world with Christ’s gift of peace.

Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.  Holy is your name.

The child Jesus grew in wisdom and stature in the home of Mary and Joseph.

Strengthen our homes and families, and keep under your protection all those whom we love.

Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.  Holy is your name.

At the foot of the cross of Christ stood his mother, and from the cross she received his lifeless body in her arms.

Give comfort and healing to all who suffer and all who watch the suffering of those they love.

Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.  Holy is your name.

The apostle John saw a vision of a woman in heaven, robed with the sun.

Bring us with all those who have died in the faith of Christ

to share the joy of heaven with Mary and all the saints.

Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.  Holy is your name.

Almighty and everlasting God,

your handmaid Mary magnified your name and rejoiced in your saving love:

trusting in that same love,

we ask all these our prayers

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.


Monday

Malcolm Tyler is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Morning Prayer

Time: Sep 7, 2020 09:30 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85645904527?pwd=K2ZDeUZtbUFmOTVSYmJEOFNsUTFjUT09

Meeting ID: 856 4590 4527

Passcode: MP79

Tuesday

Malcolm Tyler is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Morning Prayer

Time: Sep 8, 2020 09:30 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81952030164?pwd=UXRpVGUvNGFENmYwUzByTjNRSXQ2UT09

Meeting ID: 819 5203 0164

Passcode: MP89

Thursday

Malcolm Tyler is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Morning Prayer

Time: Sep 10, 2020 09:30 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84256505764?pwd=eUlkZThnZUJveXpCbmVPMHlUTVJIdz09

Meeting ID: 842 5650 5764

Passcode: MP109