St. Mary's Church

Seventh Sunday after Trinity

Seventh Sunday after Trinity

17 Jul 2021 • General news

2 Samuel 7. 1-14a

1When David was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’ 3Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is with you.’

4But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’ 8Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD declares to you, David, that the LORD will make you a house. 12When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.

Ephesians 2. 11-end

11So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’? a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands? 12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

Mark 6. 30-34, 53-end

The apostles returned from their mission. 30They gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

53When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Thought for Trinity 7 18th July 2021 by Malcolm Tyler

There is something wonderful about being recognised but there also comes a moment when you might rather just blend into the crowd. Quite often I am recognised in the street both by adults and children and usually I don’t mind. Sometimes an adult with a young child will recognise me and as I walk past having returned the acknowledgement the child will ask “who was that man?” only to be told it was the man who baptised you. I snigger to myself because I suspect the adult will feel slightly embarrassed that the child had not waited until I was out of earshot. But there comes a time when I would rather not be recognised; sometimes because I am at a loss to remember the person who has recognised me and sometimes because it just wasn’t the right moment. I recall years ago when I used to go swimming at what is now the Holiday Inn that I had got into the water on my first day and within 10 seconds someone had said that she was glad to see me because her son needed a baptism certificate to get married!

We don’t know how Jesus felt about being recognised but clearly he knew the importance of both of getting away to be by himself and of rest and recreation. As we are approaching the end of the restrictions placed upon us by Covid19 many people are extremely tired. My heart goes out to those in the teaching profession at the moment and also to those in the health service. Both have had to cope with changes that have been introduced at a moment’s notice and I suspect are anxious for the next few months which seem so uncertain. Both too are having to cope with the problems of others around them having to self-isolate, thereby increasing the workload of those who can still work.

Rest is extremely important to all of us. It allows us the opportunity both to recharge our batteries but also to reflect upon the experiences that have made us tired or in need of a break. The Bible recognises the importance of rest. Almost on its first page God rested on the seventh day from all his labours of creation. The third commandment reminds us to keep the sabbath and not to work continually. And Jesus often felt the need to abstract himself from the crowds both to pray and to rest.

With the holiday season upon us we have the opportunity to reflect upon what lessons we have learnt from the pandemic. Ironically, what many people have found is that relationships are so important to us. We need the contact of other people. The lack of people has brought stresses and strains into our living, but we can have too much of a good thing! Too many people can tire us.

As ever life is about balance, a healthy diet, a mix of rest and work and I would say a reliance both on ourselves and God to get us through. The principle of Sabbath is a good one; it can restore the balance we so often need. Whether we can manage it is another matter. Here I know I am speaking to myself just as much to anyone. However, the principle remains; rest and rhythm allow for re-creation and it is God who can take the strain and re-create us if we give him the chance.

Intercessions for Trinity 7 (18th July 2021) by Malcolm Tyler

Knowing God’s love and concern for us all, let us settle ourselves in his presence and pray to him now.

Lord we recognise our brokenness and disunity as your Church and we pray that you would lead us and draw us closer to one another as we draw closer to you; we pray for our Christian friends in this neighbourhood, especially the congregations gathered at Walsgrave Baptist Church and St Philip’s Potters Green but also for others unknown to us as well as for those who are searching for meaning in their lives.

The Lord is my shepherd:

there is nothing I shall want.

Creator God, the noise of global conflict and human deprivation resounds in our ears causing us to doubt and question your goodness to us. We pray for your shepherding of your people so that we may learn to take responsibility for the wrongs of our world and see ways to a fairer and more just society. At this time we pray for all who seek to warn us of the dangers of climate change and for those who offer solutions to avert the dangers we face. We pray too for a more equitable solution to the problems of vaccines for all in a world where the poorest suffer the most.

The Lord is my shepherd:

there is nothing I shall want.

Lord with changing patterns of family life challenging our values and pressures to conform to norms seeming in conflict with your will we pray for sound and centred wisdom in all our daily living and life choices. As the Church of England continues to grapple with issues around sexuality, gender and identity, we pray that the recent Living in Love and Faith report may help us to learn how to live together celebrating the centrality of your love for us whilst acknowledging the differences we have in following your word.

The Lord is my shepherd:

there is nothing I shall want.

Creator God, as we move to greater freedoms in the way we may live our lives once again, we accept that the covid pandemic has caused problems of stress, burden and mental ill health for many. Help us to work together to relieve some of the stresses so that we may lead balanced lives which recognise you as the giver of all good things. May we be patient with those who want to move to freedoms at a different pace to ourselves and considerate in the decisions we make for the ordering of our own lives.

The Lord is my shepherd:

there is nothing I shall want.

Lord we remember with thanksgiving, love and gratitude the lives of those who have died in faith, especially Trefor Richards and Bob Davies.We commend them to your eternal rest and unchanging love and pray for their relatives as they continue to mourn their loss. May we follow their examples of Christian faith as we face each new day with confidence in your love for us.

The Lord is my shepherd:

there is nothing I shall want.

Lord, like the crowds who followed you in Galilee, may our hearts be lifted with joy at your presence among us, for we know that you alone have the words of eternal life.

Merciful Father

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.