St. Mary's Church

Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday

7 Nov 2020 • General news

Amos 5. 18-34

18Alas for you who desire the day of the LORD!
Why do you want the day of the LORD?
It is darkness, not light;
19as if someone fled from a lion,
and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
and was bitten by a snake.
20Is not the day of the LORD darkness, not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?


21I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

1 Thessalonians 4. 13-end

13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Matthew 23. 1-13

Jesus spoke this parable to the disciples: 1‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” 9But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” 12But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.’ 

Reflection on Matthew 25:1-13

‘The parable of the ten virgins’

Insight. The parable of the ten virgins advances the theme of ‘watchfulness and faithfulness’ from the previous chapter (Ch 24) and includes ‘readiness’ (Ch 25). The parable specifically teaches readiness in the light of the unknown time of coming of the Son of Man. The OT portrayed God as the ‘husband’ of his people Israel, which paves the way for Jesus as the messianic Son of Man to be pictured as a ‘bridegroom’ in our parable. The ten virgins are bridesmaids who are to be married. According to a typical Jewish wedding ceremony, a bridegroom leaves his home with a group of friends and goes to the home of his bride, where nuptial ceremonies are carried out. After this, the entire party forms a procession to a wedding banquet, which often being held at night.

Parable. The parable describes 10 virgins, 5 wise and 5 foolish. The wise virgins took their lamps, with enough oil for them, to meet the bridegroom, but the foolish virgins only took the lamps and did not take any oil for them. The long wait causes both wise and foolish virgins to fall asleep. After a long wait the cry rings out in the middle of the night: ‘Here is the bridegroom. Come and meet him.’ The wise virgins got up, trimmed their lamps and were ready to go to meet the bridegroom. The foolish ones asked them for some oil. The wise virgins cannot comply, because if they share, their lamps will go out. So they tell the foolish virgins to find their own. While the foolish virgins were away the bridegroom arrived and the whole procession went to the wedding banquet. The foolish virgins finally arrive to the banquet, but the bridegroom calls out to them as they stand in the night darkness: ‘ I tell you, I don’t know you’, a stark , straightforward statement of rejection of a person who does not have a true relationship with Jesus.

Jesus addresses his disciples directly to drive home the lesson of the parable: ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.’ The true disciples of Jesus should be ready and will be ready for arrival of the Son of Man. The destiny of those who are not ready awaits outside the shut door. Here, ‘the shut door’ just as in the previous chapter means the eternal damnation.

Application. For us, as disciples, who love and are committed to Jesus, it would be unthinkable that we do not ready ourselves for his coming. The parable points out the personal nature of our relationship to the Lord. Our commitment and desire to see Jesus face to face when he comes for us should encourage us to prepare appropriately. One of the most important ways of equipping ourselves is to ponder deeply the parable’s significance in such a way that we act on its surety. A suitable attitude of readiness in the church and in our own lives allows our anticipation of eternal things to make more insignificant some of our petty concerns and more manageable some of our bigger concerns.

 Intercessions for Remembrance Sunday

Father God provide us with the time, space and peace to reflect and remember especially today.

Father, we remember all those who have died in any kind of war. We think particularly of those who died in the two world wars here on home soil, at sea and far, far away. For the young men and women who never had the chance to grow old and for those civilians whose lives were destroyed by falling bombs and firepower. We give thanks for the freedoms we have today because of the sacrifices made by others.

Lord as we remember, hear our prayer.

Father we think of all those in the services today whether that be the army, navy or royal air force or the services closer to home such as the police, fire service, coastguard. We think of all service personnel who put others before themselves, who stand in the line of fire, who risk their safety for others and who are quick to step up to help. We ask that you are with them, supporting and encouraging them in the darkest moments when they face opposition and deal with danger. We pray for the safe return of all our service personnel serving abroad in unfamiliar locations and those who go out to help when there has been a natural disaster.

Lord as we remember, hear our prayer.

Father we pray for people across the world living in places where there is ongoing conflict, oppression and violence. We bring before you those who travel thousands of miles to escape and find a better life for themselves and their children. Bring healing to the nations and help us all work for a world where all can live in peace. We ask that you guide leaders of the nations to seek peace first, to put their power and greed aside as they work and cooperate with each other ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected and supported.

Lord as we remember, hear our prayer.

Father we pray for areas of the world struggling to cope in the aftermaths of natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and raging storms. We stand in awe of the power of the natural world, for its beauty as well as its devastating powers of destruction. Help us to be responsible global citizens, to work for a world where the natural resources are cared for, valued and shared with all. Helps us each day to do something to protect the wonderful world you provided for us.

Lord as we remember, hear our prayer.

Father, as we enter a second national lockdown period, we think of all those struggling to cope with this situation. We pray for those who are anxious and afraid, who have money or job worries and for those feeling lonely and isolated. Help us to reach out to those in our communities who need a friend, a smile, some food or an errand running. We pray for those touched by the Coronavirus especially those in hospital unable to be visited by their loved ones. Be with them and make them aware of your healing presence. Work through the medical staff, scientists and researchers trying to find a solution to the issues caused by the virus.

Lord as we remember, hear our prayer.

Father we remember all those who have died particularly those we knew personally and loved and whose physical presence we now miss. We thank you for the wonderful memories we hold in our hearts and minds. We pray for those who have lost a loved one recently. Be with them at this moment of immense sadness and loss, surround them with your love and grant them peace. Comfort them and give them strength to deal with all the issues following a bereavement and cope with a socially distanced funeral.

Lord as we remember, hear our prayer.

On this Remembrance Sunday as we remember the horrors of war, help us work for a better understanding between races and nations. Open our eyes and hearts to see how we contribute to divisions and discord between people at home, at work and in our own community. Be with us this week and renew our spirit so that we seek reconciliation and peace, building harmony, trust and friendship with all who we meet. Help us to show your love in all that we do.

Merciful Father

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Monday

Malcolm Tyler is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Morning Prayer

Time: Nov 9, 2020 09:30 AM London

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Meeting ID: 814 1729 2938

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Tuesday

Malcolm Tyler is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Morning Prayer

Time: Nov 10, 2020 09:30 AM London

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Meeting ID: 899 4480 7448

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Thursday

Malcolm Tyler is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Morning Prayer

Time: Nov 12, 2020 09:30 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

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Meeting ID: 875 5022 6988

Passcode: MP1210