Saturday, 18 July 2020

Pentecost 7 -- Weeds, Good or Bad?

Opening Music     Soil of God

Soil of God, you and I stand ready to bear  
seeds of faithnourished by God's tender care.  
Growing in everyone for here God is found.  
All stand together, we are...Holy Ground

Soil of God, you and I, now ready to be
part of God's promise, for others to see.
Open to everyone for here God is found
All stand together, we are...Holy Ground

Soil of God, you and I, now called to rebirth,
joining as partners with all of the earth.
Living in harmony for here God is found.
All stand together, this is ...Holy Ground

Gathering         (based on Psalm 75)
We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks
People tell of your wonderous deeds
At a set time God will judge all equally
The earth may struggle, people may disappoint but God will stand firm

God most high, slow to anger but great in power: your judgements are strong and sure.  Amid fear and chaos, refine our focus and steady our hearts with the assurance of Christ's unfailing love; in whos name we pray.  Amen

Reading of Scripture

Reading     Genesis 28:10-19a

Now listen. This gospel a story will tell
Of Jacob, a young man, a real ne'er- do – well
Who cheated his brother (abetted by mother)
To trick his old father that he was another.

So. ' Persona non grata ', he needs to lay low
Or get out of town to avoid Esau's blow.
His mother advised him (as mothers will do)
“Go search for your uncle; He'll look after you.”

Jacob traveled to Haran. By night, he is nearer.
The sun begins setting. A thought now is clearer.
“Where- to have slumber? Where- to rest my head?
No Beauty- rest mattress. No Sleep Centre bed.
A stone for my pillow? Now, isn't that handy.
The Lord has provided. At least, the ground's sandy!”

He slept and he dreamed then, a dream of a ladder
From heaven to earth and reverse. (Yes, that matters.)
A Stairway to Heaven, what a virtual wonder
Celestial beings going down, up, NOT under.

And right by his side, it was quite unbelievable
There was God, the Almighty, His words inconceivable.
For Jacob, He promised this land for his future kin.
Their numbers so great, Jacob felt that his head would spin.
Like dust of the Earth, all his family would multiply
To cover the globe. Now God's blessings would really fly.

(Jacob must puzzle as he has no mate
And he needs a partner to start to 'create'.
But he should not worry; he should not pine.
Rachel makes her appearance. Read Chapter 29.)

With that, it was over, and Jacob awoke.
He felt fear and awe. “That dream was no joke.
I must leave a marker to show God was here.
For a gateway to Heaven, the sign must be clear.
I'll use my stone pillow tho that may be odd.
I'll call the place Bethel. It means House of God.”

Gradual Hymn: Trees of the Field 
Listen here

You shall go out with joy
And be let forth with peace,
And the mountains and the hills
Will break forth before you.
There'll be shouts of joy
And the trees of the fields
Will clap, will clap their hands.

And the trees of the fields will clap their hands,
And the trees of the fields will clap their hands,
And the trees of the fields will clap their hands,
While you go out with joy.
Lyrics Published with Permission Copyright © 1975 Lillenas Publishing Company

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

Hear what the Spirit is Saying to the Church        R: Thanks be to God

Reflective Song        You are the Seed

Prayers of the People
Circle us, Lord
Circle us with the light of your presence within this dark world
Enable us to be overcomers of fear and temptation
Enable us to be victors over sin and despair
Enable us to become that which you would desire
(Silent prayer)

Lord of creation, Lord of Salvation
Circle us with the light of your presence

Circle us, Lord
Circle our family within the shelter of your outstretched arms
Protect them in each moment of their daily lives
Protect them in the decisions that they face
Protect their homes and relationships
(Silent prayer)

Lord of creation, Lord of Salvation
Circle our families with the light of your presence

Circle us, Lord
Circle this world with the joy of your Salvation
Where there is sickness and disease bring healing
Where there is hunger and despair bring hope
Where there is torture and oppression bring release
(Silent prayer)

Lord of creation, Lord of Salvation
Circle this world with the light of your presence

                            — written by John Birch, and posted on his Faith and Worship website.

The Collect of the Day
Let us pray ...

All:      The path we should follow of Jesus, your Son
            We tread now together for He is the One.
            With pure hearts, fixed wills, we can truly aspire
            Your worship in spirit, our only desire. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer

The Benediction
As you go from here into the week ahead,
with whatever joys and challenges it holds,
do not be discouraged or disheartened.
Remember the glory that awaits you as a child of God.
Hold on to that truth;
live in that hope.
And may the peace of God,
the blessing of Jesus Christ,
and the presence of the Holy Spirit
be with you and among you.

Closing Hymn One more Step along the world I go
One more step along the world I go,
One more step along the world I go,
From the old things to the new,
Keep me traveling along with you:

Chorus    And it's from the old I travel to the new;
                Keep me traveling along with you.

Round the corners of the world I turn,
More and more about the world I learn;
All the new things that I see
You'll be looking at along with me:        Chorus 

As I travel through the bad and good,
Keep me traveling the way I should;
Where I see no way to go
You'll be telling me the way, I know:  Chorus       

Give me courage when the world is rough,
Keep me loving though the world is tough;
Leap and sing in all I do,
Keep me traveling along with you:        Chorus 

You are older than the world can be,
You are younger than the life in me;
Ever old and ever new,
Keep me traveling along with you:        Chorus 


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