5 Jun 2021 • General news
1 Samuel 8. 4-11, 16-20
4All the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5They said to him, ‘You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’ 6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to govern us.’ Samuel prayed to the LORD, 7and the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. 9Now then, listen to their voice; only – you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’
10So Samuel reported all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11He said, ‘These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots;
16He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. 17He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the LORD will not answer you in that day.’
19But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, ‘No! but we are determined to have a king over us, 20so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.’
14Samuel said to the people, ‘Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.’ 15So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they sacrificed offerings of well-being before the LORD, and there Saul and all the Israelites rejoiced greatly.
2 Corinthians 4. 13—5.1
13Just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture – ‘I believed, and so I spoke’ – we also believe, and so we speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. 15Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
1For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Mark 3. 20-end
20The crowd came together again, so that Jesus and his companions could not even eat. 21When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ 22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ 23And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
28Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’ – 30for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’
31Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ 33And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ 34And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! 35Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’
Thought for Sunday 6 June 2021 by Malcolm Tyler
One of the really good things that has happened over the past two weekends has been the visits of our children Andrew and Hannah. Sadly it couldn’t be co-ordinated that the whole family was together at once but two weekends on the trot, with visits to restaurants, was a treat that lockdown had denied us for a long time.
With such lovely weather over the Bank Holiday weekend, we were able to sit and eat outside and on one occasion, once Stephen had left the table, the conversation turned to theology, quite why I can’t remember. The question we were thinking about was whether we should have a physical body come the general resurrection! To me this is an abstruse issue which I don’t really need to worry about just now – it will be what it will be is my view. However Hannah had suggested we will have a physical body and I had to admit to having not really thought about it, nor even worried about it. When pressed I said I was not convinced our resurrection body would be as our current body and Hannah suggested kindly that I read 1 Corinthians 15.I did and am still not convinced that the resurrection body will be physical in the sense that I know it to be now. As I say at burials of cremated remains, quoting 1 Corinthians 15.44, ‘it is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body’.
This all came to mind again as I read the epistle for today, the last verse of which suggests ‘if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hand, eternal in the heavens’. And preceding this is the idea that even if our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed each day.
Coming to terms with the aging process, disease and illness can be difficult for all of us. I have long said that I would like to have words with God about the more unpleasant things that seem to come with age. Actually, I hope I won’t, not least because I happen to believe that whatever happens to the body I am used to after death, the spiritual body will be so good that what is past will be not worth worrying about. But that still leaves me with the problem of slowing down now and not being able to manage the things I think I ought to be doing. Some days I find this easier to cope with than others. On a fine sunny day, when I can sit back and relax, enjoying the warmth, I don’t worry nearly so much as when in the depths of winter my joints are just a bit more achy. However, whilst not wishing to reduce my physical span on earth I am comforted by the promise of ‘an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure’ for which we are being prepared.
Just after Easter I happened to read Dante’s Divine Comedy. This is most famous for his vision of hell (and who was in it) but in the final section (Paradiso) we are treated to his understanding of being in the presence of God himself. What comes across is that nothing matters other than being in God’s presence whose love is so overwhelming that it almost obliterates any other thought from our minds (the eternal weight of glory?)
The God in whom we believe is faithful. I do not believe that we shall be cast off to suffer pain or any other form of frustration in the life to come and that hope manages on most occasions to keep me from worrying about the difficulties of this life. May it be so for you.
Intercessions for 6 June 2021
Let us draw together in faith as we bring our thoughts, prayers and all that is on our hearts to our Father God.
Lord, we thank you for the sunshine and the promise of the summer to come that we have seen and felt this week. We thank you for the opportunities to relax with family or friends, to enjoy lighter, brighter evenings and for the hope we have in knowing you as our Lord.
Lord we pray for the church throughout the world and pray especially for all those who serve you through their ministry. We thank you for their leadership and the way they guide us and help us to draw closer to you. We think especially of our Diocese in Coventry and for our church here in Walsgrave. We pray especially for the Open Heaven prayer walk in Coventry this June which aims to cover every street in the city with prayer. As a city of reconciliation, help us and Christians everywhere to work to bring people together. Inspire us with the desire to put aside differences as we seek to serve you. Guide us so that we may become the people you would have us be.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord, we pray for the nations of the world as they continue to fight this global pandemic that appears to have no end. We think of places struggling to cope with a second wave and those areas of the world where a third wave appears to be developing. We bring before you areas where unrest, war, poverty, hunger and injustice make things far worse especially for the most needy and vulnerable. We pray for the children in Syria who have lost their parents or their homes. We pray for world leaders and all those who make decisions which affect others. May they have the courage and determination to work together to solve problems in a just and caring way. We pray that we all can work together to create a world where all are treated equally. Help us play our part in achieving that.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord, we pray for the communities in which we live, work and relax. We give thanks for the opportunity to spend time with others and enjoy their company as lockdown eases. We pray for communities torn apart by a lack of respect and where anger or violence has frightened so many. We ask that your Holy Spirit work to transform those places. We give thanks for our families and friends and for those who mean so much to us. Help us to be gentle with all those we care about and put them first. Take from us the hard words and the cynical look given in haste. Help us to show how much they mean to us.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Lord, we pray for all those sick or suffering in some way at the present time. We pray for those with physical, emotional or mental illnesses. Be with them and give them courage as they struggle to find a way through their pain. We continue to pray for medical staff everywhere and ask that you uphold them and strengthen them as they work tirelessly to care for so many. We take time to think of those known to us, for those in our congregation who are ill and suffering and those who are on our hearts this week. Touch them with your healing hand and reassure them of your presence.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Lord, we pray for all those who have recently died through illness, those who have been lost in accidents, victims of war and terror. We pray especially for all those who have lost a loved one in recent stabbings, for the young people caught up in racial hatred and violence resulting in death and for the family of Tony Estlake stabbed while selling flowers on his stall in London. Surround them with your love as they come to terms with their loss and grief. We pray for those we have loved and see no more knowing they are at peace with you.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Lord fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may go out this week with joy and an eagerness to serve you, to cover your streets with prayer and to serve you in any way we can.
Accept these prayers, for the sake of your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.