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A Sunday Guided Tour                            July 26, 2020 

 

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our Sunday Guided Tour for July 26th.   This is the final summer Sunday presentation that we’ll be producing here at Trinity.  Our friends at St. Andrew’s will be producing the weekly Sunday services for the month of August, and they will still all be available on both our websites.  So please do stay tuned, and enjoy the presentations that come from another perspective.

 

Also, I need to let you know that Babs and I will be on vacation in August.  Arrangements for pastoral care have been made with St. Andrew’s so, in case of urgent pastoral need, please do call the office at Trinity, and directions will be given to you there.  The number is 905 227 4644.

 

As we come together, then, in spirit, in this season still of Pentecost, and on this last Sunday in July, we begin our day with prayer.  Let us pray:

 

Loving God, we come together here in spirit, in this space and in our lives and in our love for one and other and for you.  We step aside amidst the worries of our days to feel ourselves in touch with you and close to you again, in heart and soul and mind and strength, to gain our footing and get our bearings and more clearly see the pathway that is life you set before us, and within.  Help us know you close to us, we pray, and bring us close to one another in your love, that we breathe again the breath of life, and walk with you the ways of life and peace and justice to the world.  This we pray in Jesus’ name, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.        -  

 

To God Be the Glory.  

To God be the glory!  great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life-gate that all may go in.

 

    Refrain:

    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice;
    praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice.
    Oh come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
    and give him the glory; great things he hath done!

 

Oh perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives!  R

 

Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see!  R

 

(Words: Fanny J. Crosby    Music: William H. Doane)

 

For the last two weeks, our gospel readings have provided us with parables of Jesus.  We’ve received them, and considered them, and hopefully, considered how our lives might be made better because of them.  We’ve also considered what might be called the “markers” of an “authentic” parable of Jesus.  To reiterate, these markers tell us that a “genuine” parable of Jesus:

    1.   not allegorical

    2.   not moralizing

    3.   include exaggeration

    4.   not interpreted by Jesus

 

Last week, we concluded that the parable of the wheat and weeds was more a parable of Matthew, than of Jesus.  That conclusion makes some sense, because the parable addresses specifically the worries of Matthew’s community of faith, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and not the community before  -  the community Jesus spoke to in his lifetime.

 

Today, however, we’re met with parables of Jesus that seem to truly meet the markers of “authentic”.  One, especially, fills the bill exactly; and it is as though we’re being drawn back into one of those first crowds who stood there right in Jesus’ presence; who heard his voice; who saw his face; who met his animating gaze of life and depth and healing .. and then were changed, for ever.

 

Let’s hear what the gospel has to tell us.  

 

As we prepare to hear the readings for today, I invite you to please share with me a prayer for illumination. 

Let us pray:

 

Gracious Holy Spirit, we pray you guide us in your presence and your wisdom and your love, that the words we hear will be to us Good News, and guide us in the ways of life for all.   We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

[Rick:]

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-46  [47-52] (New Revised Standard Version)

Jesus speaks, in parables, of the kingdom of heaven

31    He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and                sowed in his field;

32   it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that            the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

33   He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with[a]                three measures[b] of flour until all of it was leavened.” 

44   “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes        and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45   “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls;

46   on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.  

[47   “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind;

48   when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad.

49   So it will be at the end of the age.  The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous

50   and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51   “Have you understood all this?”  They answered, “Yes.”

52   And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master        of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”]

 

Footnotes

  1. Gk hid in

  2. about fifty pounds

 

So, today, we hear from Jesus, who is speaking of the kingdom.  He uses parables to tell us.  And the parables suggest the kingdom is like something hidden; something wonderful, and close, and here with us:  something to be sought, and be discovered .. to change our lives, forever.  And we can maybe ask:  How does the reading from the Book of Genesis help inform our gospel understanding?  Because the reading from the Book of Genesis tells the story of Laban and of Jacob; of Leah and of Rachel .. and it seems, at first, the story tells us of deception.  Hear what the authors have to say:

 

Genesis 29:15-28 (Jewish Study Bible)

Jacob Marries Laban’s Daughters

15    Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are a kinsman, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your                wages be?”

16    Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

17    Leah had weak eyes [Leah’s eyes were lovely, NRSV];[a] Rachel was shapely and beautiful.

18   Jacob loved Rachel; so he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

19   Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than that I should give her to an outsider.  Stay with me.”

20  So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

21   Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me    my wife, for my time is fulfilled, that I may cohabit with her.”

22   And Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast.

23   When evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he cohabited with her.

24   (Laban had given his maidservant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid.)

25   When morning came, there was Leah!  So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me?  I was in your          service for Rachel!  Why did you deceive me?”

26   Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older.

27    Wait until the bridal week of this one is over and we will give you that one too, provided you serve me another            seven years.”

28   Jacob did so; he waited out the bridal week of the one, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as wife.

 

Footnotes : NRSV says meaning of Heb uncertain; JSB does not

 

O God of Bethel. Hymn BoP #654 (VU #650) 

O God of Bethel, by whose hand

your people still are fed,

who through this earthly pilgrimage

have all your servants led:

 

our vows, our prayers, we now present

before your throne of grace.

God of past ages, be the God

of each succeeding race.

 

Through each perplexing path of life

our wandering footsteps guide;

give us each day our daily bread,

and shelter fit provide.

 

On its surface, the story of Laban and Jacob seems to be one of deception.  It’s as though Jacob has been deceived in the same sense that his father, Isaac, was deceived: Jacob tricked his father into thinking he was Esau, thereby gaining the blessing that should have been his older brother’s.  That deception now is coming back to haunt him.

 

But the elders of the Jewish faith don’t just leave the story there.  They dig a little deeper.  “Why did you deceive me?” Jacob asks of Laban.  And Laban answers, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older.”  It’s as though Laban’s actions were designed to preserve the honour of his older daughter.  And reading between the lines, the elders of the Jewish faith speak of “Rachel’s selflessness and her concern to spare her older sister humiliation.  Jacob [the elders report], had given Rachel certain tokens by which he could identify her, lest her deceitful father succeed in substituting Leah.  Worried that her sister would then be put to shame in her wedding bed, Rachel handed the tokens over to Leah.  In reward for Rachel’s self-effacement [the elders conclude], King Saul was numbered among her descendants.”  That’s what the elders of the Jewish faith conclude.  It’s what’s discerned

between the lines; something hidden and clandestine, until it is discovered:  the same way that the parables suggest the kingdom also is like something hidden; something wonderful, and close, and here with us:  something to be sought, and be discovered .. to change our lives, forever.

 

The psalms assigned for this Sunday both are psalms of praise, but also recognition.   (All the readings for today are posted on the churches’ websites.)  The first psalm, Psalm 105, starts out saying, “Praise the Lord!”  It then resolves itself in words of insight; words of recognition, acknowledging that “God is ever mindful of the covenant, of the promise given for a thousand generations, made with Abraham, sworn to Isaac, and confirmed for Jacob, as eternal.  

These words of insight are just that:  hidden, incidental; neither obvious nor assertive.  

 

The words at the beginning of the psalm are words of praise; but quickly they’re resolved to words of insight and reflection, describing God as “ever mindful of the covenant.”  Praise is on the outside; recognition and reflection are within; and sometimes we don’t see them.  We’re not really looking. 

The same way maybe we’re not looking for the kingdom!

 

The second psalm today, is just the same.  (Two translations are recorded.  One is just a little less male-pronoun than the other, and might be easier to read.) This psalm, Psalm128, speaks of blessing.  But it also tells us that the source of blessing is the living God.  It is with ease we recognize the blessings that are ours; but the source of blessing is not always obvious.  The psalmist tells us, and reveals to us, the source is God.  Again, it is as though the soul and centre of the psalm is at its heart, and slightly hidden.  It’s there though, all the time, for us to know and grasp and understand, if only we would take the time to ponder and to see .. just like the kingdom.

 

Come, O Fount of Every Blessing.  Hymn VU #559 

 

Come, O Fount of every blessing,

    tune my heart to sing your grace;

streams of mercy, never ceasing

    call for songs of endless praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet,

    sung by flaming tongues above.

Praise the mount; I'm fixed upon it,

    mount of God's unfailing love.

 

Here I pause in my sojourning,

    giving thanks for having come,

come to trust, at every turning,

    God will guide me safely home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,

    wandering from the fold of God,

came to rescue me from danger,

    precious presence, precious blood.

 

O, to grace how great a debt

    or daily I am drawn anew!

Let that grace now, like a fetter,

    bind my wandering heart to you.

Prone to wander, I can feel it,

    wander from the love I've known:

here's my heart, O, take and seal it,

    seal it for your very own.

 

Today’s epistle continues from Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome, and it picks up exactly from last week.  This is what we hear:

 

[Rick:]  

Romans 8:26-39  (Revised Standard Version)

Paul’s ode to the faithful

26   Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself        intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.

27   And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for            the saints according to the will of God.

28   We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his                    purpose.

29   For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he                  might be the first-born among many brethren.

30   And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he          justified he also glorified.

31    What then shall we say to this?  If God is for us, who is against us?

32   He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?

33   Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies;

34   who is to condemn?  Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of          God, who indeed intercedes for us?[a]

35   Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or                    nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36   As it is written,

       “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long;
       we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37   No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38   For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,          nor powers,

39   nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in

       Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Footnotes:  Or It is Christ Jesus .. for us.

In this part of his letter, Paul starts out a little hesitant, it seems.  But then, in faith, he gains his confidence.  

 

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” he asks.  “Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? “

 

And then he answers, with a change of heart and recognition:

 

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

These are words of faith and absolute commitment.  They’re the soul and heart of every word that the apostle writes; they’re the source and not the surface, and they’re not remembered always; and whether he is right or wrong, we can hear his words as faithful and life-giving and committed.  Paul speaks with passion of the life that can be ours in Christ, and the life of which he speaks is one of love.

 

Ministry of Music  -  Rock ‘a’ My Soul

 

So let’s take a look again at the parables that Matthew brings to us today.

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,” says Jesus.  “It’s the smallest of seeds, but it lives and grows, and grows into a tree in which the birds can build their homes.”  Jesus’ listeners would have been taken aback by what he said.  They would have taken notice.  The mustard seed produces a lowly garden plant, a weed; and Jesus’ words would have been heard as a surprising figure for God’s domain and heaven’s kingdom.  

 

But Jesus even stretches it from there.  

 

“The kingdom of heaven,” [he says,] “is like yeast that a woman took and hid in fifty pounds of flour until all of it was leavened.”   

 

Students of the Bible agree that this parable of the kingdom is truly a pure parable of Jesus.

“In this ‘one-sentence parable’” [we are told], “Jesus employs three images in ways that would have been striking to his audience.  The woman takes leaven and ‘conceals’ it in the flour.  ‘Hiding’ leaven in flour is an unusual way to express the idea of mixing yeast and flour.  The surprise increases when Jesus notes that there were ‘fifty pounds’ of flour.  [Fifty pounds of flour would have fed 100 people.]  In Genesis 18, three men appear to Abraham as representatives of God.  They promise him and his wife, Sarah, that she will bear a son the following spring, although she was beyond the age of childbearing.  For the occasion, Sarah is instructed to make cakes of fifty pounds of flour to give to the heavenly visitors.  Fifty pounds of flour, it seems, is a suitable quantity to celebrate an epiphany  -  a visible, though indirect, manifestation of God.  

 

“The third surprising figure in this one-line parable is the use of leaven.  Jesus employs the use of leaven in a highly provocative way.  In Passover observance, Judeans regarded leaven as a symbol of corruption, while the lack of leaven stood for what was holy.  In a surprising reversal of the customary associations, the leaven here represents not what is corrupt and unholy, but [heaven’s kingdom]  -  a strategy that [biblical scholars] believe to be typical of Jesus. 

 

[cf. the “markers” of an “authentic” parable of Jesus:  

    1.  not allegorical

    2.  not moralizing

    3.  include exaggeration

    4.  not interpreted by Jesus]

 

So what is it that we’re being told?  What is it Jesus is telling us about the kingdom?  He follows with the stories of a treasure hidden in a field, a field then bought at any cost; and of a merchant in search of fine pearls, who found one of great value and sold all he had to buy it.   What is it Jesus tells us of the kingdom?

 

And the message that he tells us first is that it’s here  -  among us and within us.  “The kingdom is near to you,” says Jesus in Luke 10; “The kingdom has come upon you,” he says in Luke 11.  And then in Luke 17, he says, “The kingdom is within you,” which most often is translated as “in the midst of you,” and, sometimes, as “within your grasp.”  But what Jesus is saying, every time, is that the kingdom is right here and now and in our lives, and ready to be recognized and lived! It’s maybe hidden and concealed because we just don’t see it; but it’s here!

 

Sometimes we think of the kingdom of heaven as the life to come, once our life on earth is done.  Some Christian traditions think of the kingdom of heaven as the life on earth to be established at the Second Coming, when Christ returns.  Orthodox Christian theology recognizes the kingdom of heaven as having broken into our lives in part in the life and presence of Jesus, the Christ of God  -  Messiah, Saviour, Friend  -  the now and the not yet of the kingdom set to culminate and be completed at the end of time, “When Christ shall come,” as says the hymn, “with shout of acclamation and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!”

 

But Jesus himself tells us, “The kingdom is within you; has come upon you.”

He says to us, “Your faith has made you well; your faith has made you whole.”

It wasn’t me he says, it was your faith!  

He tells us, “Don’t let your heart be troubled.  Believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's domain there are many way stations.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go ahead to prepare for your coming?  And I will come and meet you at each place along the way, that wherever you are, I may be with you.”

And, “I am with you always; even to the end of the age.”

 

“The kingdom is within you and among you,” Jesus says.  “Don’t be afraid. You are a child of God; a sacred trust; co-creator  -  designed to make things happen  -  good things; dust of the earth, to be sure, but animated by the very breath of God  -  a creative vision of the kingdom in your soul.   Stand for what is right and what’s life-giving.  Love your neighbour as yourself.  Stand with me and with the likes of visionaries like Tommy Douglas and Terry Fox, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, Nellie McClung and Viola Desmond.  You don’t have to take the lead, but you can stand beside, and walk beside, knowing I am with you, in your heart and in your strength, and in your prayer for days to come.” 

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and hid in fifty pounds of flour until all of it was leavened.”  “The kingdom is within you,” Jesus says.  And we can pray that we might be the leaven, all our lives, for Jesus’ sake, and then, in Jesus’ name.

 

This is the promise of our living.

This is the fullness of our lives.

And we say thank you. 

 

  I See a New Heaven.  Hymn VU #713

Refrain:    

I see a new heaven.

I see a new earth

as the old one will pass away,

where the fountain of life flows

and without price goes

to all people who abide in the land.

 

There, there on the banks of a river bright and free,

yielding her fruit, firm in her root,

the Tree of Life will be.  R

 

There, there where the darkness brings visions from above.

There where the night, bearing new light,

reveals the promise of love.  R

 

There, there where we work with the love of healing hands.

Labour we must, true to our trust

to build a promised new land.  R

 

Commissioning and Benediction:

(from “Walk Worthy”)

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Risen Lord, Christ Jesus.

Go in peace.

Give your hearts to God.

Live always bearing fruit for him.

Be strengthened by his might 

to ever walk worthy of the Risen Lord.

Amen.

 

Postlude  -  How Great Thou Art

 

 

Bible Readings  July 26, 2020

Genesis 29:15-28 (Jewish Study Bible)

Jacob Marries Laban’s Daughters

15   Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are a kinsman, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your                wages be?”

16   Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

17    Leah had weak eyes [Leah’s eyes were lovely, NRSV];[a] Rachel was shapely and beautiful.

18   Jacob loved Rachel; so he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

19   Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than that I should give her to an outsider.  Stay with me.”

20  So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

21   Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is fulfilled, that I may cohabit with her.”

22   And Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast.

23   When evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he cohabited with her.

24   (Laban had given his maidservant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid.)

25   When morning came, there was Leah!  So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me?  I was in your          service for Rachel!  Why did you deceive me?”

26   Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older.

27   Wait until the bridal week of this one is over and we will give you that one too, provided you serve me another            seven years.”

28   Jacob did so; he waited out the bridal week of the one, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as wife.

 

Footnotes:

  1. NRSV says meaning of Heb uncertain; JSB does not

 

Psalm 105:1-11, 45b (Jewish Study Bible)

A psalm of adoration, and recognition

1     Praise the Lord; call on his name;
       proclaim his deeds among the peoples.
2     Sing praises to him;
       speak of all his wondrous acts.
3     Exult in his holy name;
       let all who seek the Lord rejoice.
4    Turn to the Lord, to his might;
       seek his presence constantly.
5     Remember the wonders he has done,
       his portents and the judgments he has pronounced,
6     O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
       O descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.

7     He is the Lord our God;
       his judgments are throughout the earth.
8     He is ever mindful of his covenant,
       of promise he gave for a thousand generations,
9     that he made with Abraham,
       swore to Isaac,
10   and confirmed in a decree for Jacob,
       for Israel, as an eternal covenant,
11    saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
        as your allotted heritage.”

45b Hallelujah!

 

 

Psalm 128  (Jewish Study Bible)

The source of blessing is God

A song of ascents

1     Happy are all who fear the Lord,
       who follow his ways.
2     You shall enjoy the fruit of your labours;
        you shall be happy and you shall prosper.

3     Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
       within your house;
       your sons, like olive saplings around your table.
4     So shall the man who fears the Lord be blessed.

5     May the Lord bless you from Zion;
       may you share the prosperity of Jerusalem
       all the days of your life,
6     and live to see your children’s children.
       May all be well with Israel!

 

Psalm 128  (Good News Translation)

1.    Happy are those who obey the Lord,
       who live by his commands.

2     Your work will provide for your needs;
       you will be happy and prosperous.
3     Your wife will be like a fruitful vine in your home,
       and your children will be like young olive trees around your table.
4     A man who obeys the Lord
       will surely be blessed like this.

5     May the Lord bless you from Zion!
       May you see Jerusalem prosper
       all the days of your life!
6     May you live to see your grandchildren!

       Peace be with Israel!

 

Romans 8:26-39  (Revised Standard Version)

Paul’s ode to the faithful

26   Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself        intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.

27   And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for            the saints according to the will of God.

28.  We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to

       his purpose.

29   For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he                  might be the first-born among many brethren.

30   And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he          justified he also glorified.

31   What then shall we say to this?  If God is for us, who is against us?

32   He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?

33   Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies;

34   who is to condemn?  Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand  

       of God, who indeed intercedes for us?[a]

35   Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or                    nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36   As it is written,

     “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long;
       we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38   For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,          nor powers,

39   nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ        Jesus our Lord.

 

Footnotes: Or It is Christ Jesus .. for us.

 

 

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-46 [47-52] (New Revised Standard Version)

Jesus speaks, in parables, of the kingdom of heaven

31   He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and               sowed in his field;

32  it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that             the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

33   He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with[a]                three measures[b] of flour until all of it was leavened.” 

44   “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes        and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45   “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls;

46   on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.  

[47.  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind;

48   when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad.

49   So it will be at the end of the age.  The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous

50   and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51   “Have you understood all this?”  They answered, “Yes.”

52   And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master       of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”]

 

Footnotes:

  1. Gk hid in

  2. about fifty pounds

Morning Prayer

                            

Loving God, we thank you for the promise of the kingdom:  a creative, living vision of the wonder that is life  -  not only of a life to come, but of the life we know with you and one another in the gift that is our life today.  “See my face in one another, in your fellow-being,” says the Risen Christ, the One we know as Saviour and as Friend and Dear Companion.  “See my face in one another, and know me deep within you  -  in my vision and my love, in my care and in my healing; in my prayer ‘thy kingdom come.’”   Gracious Saviour, Holy Spirit, dwell in us in passion and commitment, and take us with you in the healing of the world.  We pray in Jesus’ name, for Jesus’ sake.

And, Gracious Saviour, hear the prayers we join with those of others.

We pray for people everywhere suffering the heavy burdens that are prejudice and doubt; discrimination that is limiting and deadly; characterization so misguided, and shaped by the mythology of victor and of unprevented power.  Help us see through your eyes what is there to see, and know the truth you’ve dared to share with us, and die for.

 

We pray for people everywhere who commit their lives to life for all the world; who live for justice and for peace; who work for justice and for peace; who risk their lives for justice and for peace .. not just for themselves alone, but for the world and all its people  -  ones they’ve never known nor met.  Help us see the courage and the rightness of their ways, and inspire us, through the kingdom and the presence deep within us, in heart and soul and mind and strength, to walk with them the ways that are your own.  We pray in Jesus’ name.

 

And Gracious God, we join our prayers with all our fellow beings, who pray for life and love; who pray for the well-being and the safety of their children; who pray for jobs and for protection, for justice and compassion and support, for equity and wisdom, for empathy and human kindness and the living presence of your soul.  Bring, to all who grieve, your unerring promise and compassion and your rest.  Bring the healing only you can bring to all who suffer illness and anxiety and doubt; and to the ones who love them, bring your healing and your love.

 

Gracious Saviour, hear the prayers we offer, in all love and understanding; and in the wonder of compassion that is holy, help us know your answer.  Dear Lord, we pray for peace; and all in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Trinity United Church Thorold 

905-227-4644  /  tuc@vaxxine.ca