St. Mary's Church

Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

18 Sep 2021 • General news

Proverbs 31. 10-end

10A capable wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.14She is like the ships of the merchant,
she brings her food from far away.15She rises while it is still night
and provides food for her household
and tasks for her servant-girls.16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.17She girds herself with strength,
and makes her arms strong.18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.20She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.21She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all her household are clothed in crimson.22She makes herself coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.23Her husband is known in the city gates,
taking his seat among the elders of the land.24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she supplies the merchant with sashes.25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.27She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.28Her children rise up and call her happy;
her husband too, and he praises her:29‘Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.’30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.31Give her a share in the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the city gates.

James 3. 13—4. 3, 7-8a

13Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

1Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Mark 9. 30-37

30They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ 32But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

33Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

Thought for Trinity 16 (19th September 2021)by Malcolm Tyler

The older I get the more I find some of the Bible passages set by the lectionary compilers difficult to say anything sensible about! It is not that the passages in themselves are necessarily difficult to understand but rather that they seem to be so alien to my own experience of human nature.

Take the three readings we have set before us today. The reading from Proverbs is provocative enough in today’s age and climate. Who can find a capable wife? It is a very brave man who speaks against such a passage and I for one would not want to do so. But I do want to say that marriage is about a partnership and neither partner should either undervalue their beloved or expect him or her to be the main stay of the relationship. It seems to me that we get out what we put into such relationships and that they are sustaining if we pay attention to sustaining them.

The reading from James is primarily about wisdom, reminding us that human wisdom is very far from the wisdom that God might encourage. James reminds us that bitter envy and selfish ambition does not come from above and are earthly, unspiritual and devilish. Most of us would probably agree but find ourselves on occasions being just that. We know deep down that if we draw close to God, he will come close to us but we actually find it quite difficult to do. If I have learnt one thing over the years, it is not to set myself too ambitious a goal. Promising to prayer everyday for 30 minutes or to read the Bible each day is likely to lead to failure fairly quickly. Far better to set a manageable goal. Can I for example promise to say the Lord’s Prayer each day, or to thank God on waking for the promise of a new day or even at the end of the day to think back and recall where I felt God’s presence with me. These sorts of goals, if achieved, can quickly become habits and help to remind us of God’s presence.

The reading from Mark’s gospel tells a very human story. The disciples are arguing amongst themselves about who is the greatest – a typically human response to power. Jesus reminds them that power is about servanthood and pushes the message home by taking a young child and suggesting that whoever welcomes such a child welcomes him and God himself. How often I wonder do we listen to the voices of our young people? So often we say they have little experience or understanding of the world and whilst that may be true, all being well, if they have experienced love and trust they can tell us quite cogently how that feels and that it is worth being like that all the time. That can remind us of what we should aim for in our behaviour.

In their different ways each of these lessons reminds us of a better way to live our life. Are we up to the task?

Intercessions for Trinity 16 (19th September 2021) by Malcolm Tyler

Let us pray to the God of glory in whom we live and move and have our being.

Creator God we pray that the Church may hold fast to the teachings of Jesus, without being persuaded by the lures of status and ambition. We especially pray for the leaders of our churches that they may serve with a spirit of humility without any trace of arrogance or pomposity. As Bishop Christopher returns to work after his sabbatical we pray that he may soon throw off the effects of Covid which he recently contracted.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, we pray that all in positions of power, authority and influence in our world may recognise their calling to servanthood and never lose their identity with the needs and longings of those they serve. Here at home we pray for newly appointed cabinet members and ministers in government that they may quickly understand their new roles and work with officials to improve the lot of people in this country.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray that all in our communities my look after one another, supporting the vulnerable, encouraging the timid, providing practical help for those who need it and nurturing the young in a climate of trust. As our children have returned to their classrooms we pray that they may both feel safe from the ravages of the pandemic and feel supported in any decision they may have to make about vaccinations. We remember too those who have little choice but to work away from home and use public transport. May they be protected both at work and in their journeys from the effects of the Covid 19 virus.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

Father, we pray that no-one in our society may be considered expendable and beyond our cherishing. We pray for those who have lost heart, either through pain, suffering or sin, that you redeeming power may work its wonders in the darkest of situations. We remember those who are still suffering the effects of the pandemic either those still ill themselves or those who have witnessed the death of family members or friends; may they find consolation in your love for them and for those they mourn.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray that all who have died recently may know the joy of burdens laid down, and new, lasting life transforming them through your eternal love. By name we remember Tina Robinson and Gwen Loone whose funerals are to be held at St Mary’s this coming week. May their funerals be occasions in which life may be celebrated and thanksgiving offered to you for all that they have given to their families and their communities.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

And so Father may we find new joy in giving and serving freely, without thanks, rejoicing in the privilege of following Jesus.

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