July 2017

Sunday 2nd July: Trinity 3 :  Matthew 40-42

Jesus wanted his disciples to teach people that whatever good they do to and for other people will be counted as doing it for Jesus.  He particularly wants us to love and look after the vulnerable, the poor, the sick, the people of races different to our own – in fact, to do what he himself did.  If Jesus were here, we would want to reach out to do whatever he asked or needed, and by helping his people we are in fact doing just that.

Is there anyone you could reach out to this week – someone who may be hasn’t many friends? Who finds things difficult? Who struggles?  

Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me

welcomes the one who sent me.  Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet

will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person

as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.  And if

anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my

disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

 

Sunday 9th July: Trinity 4: Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30

Jesus knew that things would not always go easily for his disciples or the people they taught – or for us.  But he wanted them to know that he would never ask them to do more than they were capable of doing.  We will always be given the strength to meet whatever challenges face us, even though at the time they seem overwhelming; they won’t necessarily be taken away;  wrongs will not always be righted, nor will things go the way we want or expect them to go.  But – with God’s help, we can remain calm as we face them as we know he is there beside us.

Are you facing troubles at the moment? Are you experiencing great joy, with no-one to share it?  Ask God to be with you, and you will know his all-surrounding love and help.

……………At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 

Sunday 16th July: Trinity 5: Matthew 5 1-12

This well-known list from the Sermon on the Mount – the Beatitudes – shows us the people who will receive blessings – holy joy.  It gives us a blueprint for living and includes some surprising kinds of people, omitting what many might feel were important. God’s ‘holy joy’ is not something which makes a fleeting appearance, like human joy.  It is deep, long-lasting, and is given freely, not earned by us. 

Can you relate to any particular one of these Beatitudes? –  Ask God for his blessing – his holy joy – and you will receive it.

…….Jesus said - “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Sunday 23rd July: Trinity 6: Mathew 13: 24-30: 36-43

This well-known parable of the sower and the seed describes so well the way we listen and act on God’s word – his speaking to us.  It is so easy for us to listen and start well, but go off on our own path away from where God wants us to be – and vulnerable to negative input from other people.  We need to listen, learn, and continue to pray so that the truth of God’s word grows in us and shows us what to do.

Is there any area in which you feel you have listened, but not acted on what you have learnt? It’s never too late to start again, to ask God for his help, and get back on the right path.

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ” …….. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.  “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

 

Sunday 30th July: Trinity 7: Matthew 13: 44-52

Jesus wanted his disciples and us to know how important it is to hold on to the wonderful facts we learn about God.  It is more important than anything else – worth holding on to through thick and thin.  If we have something we treasure we don’t hide it away, but we keep it to hand, enjoying it, revelling in it, sharing it with others.

Is there a favourite saying of Jesus you find really helpful?  Can you write it down and put it where you will see it this week – draw out of it all its goodness and make it a part of every day?.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it………  “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”




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