At home for June 28th

At home: Sunday June 28th 2020

 

As you sit with this service in front of you, pause for a moment and think about the past week; the times of joy and happiness and the times of sorrow.

 

If you are lighting a candle, do it now.

 

Opening hymn:

New Evr’y morning is the love. Its number 2 or you can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x8okg3T_mg

 

Opening prayer:

God of each and every generation, we come to worship you.
With our words, we will proclaim your faithfulness.
With our music, we will sing of your steadfast love.
In our listening and praying, with our neighbours around us, we worship you with the very best that we can offer. Amen.

 

Reading:

Matthew 10 verses 40 – 42

Jesus said, ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’

 

Reflection:

I’m sure we’ve all received a letter, that is signed pp; signed on behalf of someone else. It is a practice that is becoming more and more used these days, especially in business circles. But actually, its not something new to the 21st century, 2000 years ago it was the ‘normal’ for the Jews. In most of Paul’s letters we read, at the end, something like, “I am writing this in my own hand …” Paul had dictated his letter to a scribe and he just wrote the very last part.

But this wasn’t just the case with letters, to receive an envoy was to receive the person themselves. Again Paul often talks about sending Timothy, or Silas, or Barnabas to a community sometimes to prepare the way for him, but often on his behalf and in Philemon Paul has the audacity to send Onesimus, Philemon’s escaped slave, as a free man on his behalf to Philemon!

With this practice in mind, our reading sets out the links in a chain of salvation:

  1. There is God, out of whose love salvation began
  2. There is Jesus who has brought the message to mankind
  3. There are the human messengers; The prophets who speak; the good man who is an example; the disciple who learns and the believer who becomes an adopted son of God and hence a messenger themselves.

We can’t all be prophets, but we can still receive the reward if we give time and hospitality to God’s messenger. We can’t all be perpetual shining examples of goodness, but helping someone, anyone, is important, is an act of kindness and goodness. The great beauty of this passage is its stress on the simple things.

Yes; the church will always need its great leaders; its theologians; its deep pray-ers; those saint-like people. But there is also the need for those in whose homes and hearts there is hospitality. Each of us, in our own way, works for God’s kingdom, and as long as we give God the credit each of us is an evangelist for God.

 

Hymn: O for a heart to praise my God. Its number 230 or you can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aoE20z6a90

 

Prayers:

Let us pray for the world, God’s world, brought into being with a word of acceptance: ‘be’, designed with room for each and every being to find their place, intended with food and sustenance for all, pronounced ‘good’ in every way.

Let us pray for the world, our world: where the vulnerable long for acceptance, where the needy struggle with the effects of greed, where refugees are desperate to find a welcome, and goodness competes with that which is wrong.

Let us pray for the world, your world: where societies make peace and work for the greater good, where differences between communities are celebrated to make the world a better place, where individuals reach out to those around them, and goodness prevails.

Amen.

 

Hymn:

I will sing the wondrous story. Its number 315 in Mission Praise or You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAcpYr9I6Tk

 

Final prayer:

God, you welcome us in and draw us to yourself,

so send us out to share that welcome with others,
and surprise us as we find you in everyone we meet
as we go about our daily lives this coming week.
Amen.

 

Some of this service is reproduced, with permission, from Roots for Churches 2020 (whom hold the copyright)

 




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