Trinity 8

Prayers at home for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Acclamation
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
If we endure, we will also reign with him;
If we deny him, he will also deny us: if we are faithless, he remains faithful;
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack
and save me for his heavenly kingdom.
To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Tim 2 : 8, 11-13; 4:18)

Penitence
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all………
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

May almighty God have mercy of us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Collect & Readings
Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws and in the works of your commandments, that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Isaiah 55 1-5
Psalm 145 : 8-9, 15-22
Romans 9 : 1-5
Matthew 14 : 13-21

Affirmation of Faith
Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of Jesus
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers, and to all the apostles;
this we have received and this we believe. (1 Cor 15 : 3-7)

This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Intercessions

Father in heaven, we pray for all peoples in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the Church, for Bishop Gregory and for all who lead, teach and minister in Christ’s name. Grant that we may be nourished in our faith and understanding and bear daily witness to Christ’s love
Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
We pray for the nations of the world and for those who take authority to serve the cause of justice and human well being. Give the leaders of the nations wisdom, courage and integrity that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
We pray for those who are afflicted in the present pandemic. Father, fill them with resurrection hope and bless those who stand by them in their need.
Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
We pray for the people we are called to serve, in the home, the neighbourhood and at work. Help us to work hard at building relationships and to strive for reconciliation when they break down.
Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
We pray for those who suffer from illness, loneliness or loss. Raise them from despair to hopefulness and health.
Lord of life, in your mercy, hear us.
We remember with thanksgiving those who have died. Strengthen all who mourn, with the sure hope that, in Christ, their loved ones are raised to fullness of life.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our Father

(If you are able you might like to make the Act of Spiritual Communion now with others who are keeping this prayer time with you)

Lord, be thou a bright flame before me. Be thou a guiding star above me. Be thou a smooth path below me. Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me. Today – tonight- and forever. Amen
(St. Columba)

May the Lord bless us and preserve us from evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen

A reflection on the Gospel Reading for Trinity8 – Matthew 14 : 13-21.

Tuesday last week was our wedding anniversary…quite a big one, our thirtieth. As on other occasions we celebrated by having a meal together. In normal circumstances we would have invited extended family but on Tuesday it was just Helen, the children and myself. When we celebrate we want to do it with others and a meal is a perfect way of sharing the joy of the occasion. We share food and know we belong to this group of people, we share in the life of the group. We have all done it many, many times in the past and will again.

In the Gospel reading today Jesus fulfils the promises of God made to his people through the prophets in the Old Testament. A promise of rich abundant food. A banquet where there is no limit to God’s provision. Jesus feeds a huge crowd with some ordinary bread and a couple of fish.

The actions of Jesus have a deep and symbolic meaning. They anticipate the Eucharist in which Jesus will perform the same characteristic actions of taking bread, giving thanks to God as he blesses it, breaking it and giving it to his disciples. It is an enactment of the banquet foretold by the prophets where God freely gives good things to his people, a symbol of care and his desire to include us in the celebration of his love. The Eucharist is an anticipation of the banquet of the kingdom. In it we express our belief that the heavenly banquet, God’s final victory over evil has already begun in the life and work of Jesus. The perfection that God promises is already at work in our lives if only we have the eyes to see it.

Lockdown has meant we have been absent from the Eucharist, for some of us, for the longest period in our lives so far. It is a painful absence but can also be a time to reflect on the great gift God gives to us in Holy Communion. Absence really should make the heart grow fonder. In the Eucharist we celebrate the fact that God uses ordinary things – bread and wine – to feed us and enable us to receive the life-giving presence of his Son. Our task is to allow the gift to transform us so that using us God can transform the world.

When we gather again around the altar in church we will once again celebrate the fact that God has begun to transform us. He invites us to allow him to use us, ordinary as we are, to allow others to see the power and love of God at work in their lives, as in ours. That little child gave such a small ordinary thing to Jesus, his packed lunch. Jesus receives that ordinariness with gratitude and transforms it into something extraordinary and miraculous. He can do just the same with us. The Eucharist is a celebration of that. We need to give ourselves to him, allowing him to take us in his hands, to break us where we need to be broken and to use us to his glory.