We have re-opened the Minster and associated churches for worship.
Find out more here >
MONDAY – SATURDAY
is available on this page
DAILY PRAYER FOR MONDAY 20 JULY
Micah 6:1-4, 6-8
Make me a channel of your peace
v.8 What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Life was tough for God’s people. They were threatened by powerful nations around them and all their energies were being put into surviving. Worst of all God seemed to have abandoned them, so they turned to other gods for help. They forgot what God had done for them and went their own way. Tragically this meant the powerful became more powerful, the weak became weaker, the poor became poorer, the vulnerable were oppressed. In short, they stopped being the people God had called them to be, a people called to show his love and compassion and mercy.
Into this scene comes the prophet Micah pronouncing judgement and calling them back. Sacrifices and rituals are of no avail. They can’t buy God’s love. They need to repent, to change direction (which is what the word repent means) and learn to be God’s people again. New instructions are not needed. Micah reminds them that God has shown them what to do: to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God.
This passage challenges us to look deeply into our lives and to ask ‘Am I doing what the Lord requires of me’ and if not, what can I do to change?
Whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer we say “Your kingdom come, your will be done…”. We cannot pray and do nothing. In this prayer we are offering ourselves as agents of God’s transforming love.
Christ has no body now on earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but ours. Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out on the world; ours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; ours are the hands by which he is to bless his people, now and to the end of ages. (St Teresa of Avila)
HOLY COMMUNION FOR SUNDAY 19 JULY
A Service of Holy Communion for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity
A Service of Holy Communion for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity led by Revd Wendy Wale (presiding) with Revd Canon Jonathan Baker (preaching) and contributions from Rod and Louise McPhee (Gloria); Sue Robson (Reading); Rachel and Niamh Collins, Izzy Dodds, Ian and George Champion accompanied by Rachel Dent (Hymn: Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us), Rachel, Mike, and Niamh Collins (Hymn: Be Still and Know that I am God), the Choir of Beverley Minster (Introit: Locus Iste, Anton Bruckner). Edited by Revd Tim Kelly.
Accompanying Service Sheet: LINK >
Minster Sunday School
Revd Tim, with contributions from Matt at Scripture Union, leads today’s Sunday School talking about prayer (and making friendship bracelets!)
DAILY PRAYER FOR SATURDAY 18 JULY
Matthew 12 14- 21
All my hope on God is founded LINK >
All my hope on God is founded; he doth still my trust renew.
Me through change and chance he guideth, only good and only true.
Matthew offers us here in this passage an opportunity to reflect on the nature of Jesus’ ministry.
He quotes the prophet Isaiah to explain that the long awaited Messiah will not be a king with a vast military army but rather a Messiah who is the servant of all and who calls all into the mystery of his glorious love. This Messiah does not argue or self-publicise but especially welcomes all those who are rejected by others and he seeks justice for them. He welcomes heals and suffers on behalf of others. This Messiah will be for all people not just the Jewish nation, “and in his name the gentiles will hope.” Jesus is this Messiah.
Over the last weeks of lockdown many of us have had to face uncomfortable truths about the society we live in. We have seen that there are huge inequalities and injustices for many people.
Poverty has grown hugely over the last decade and will continue to grow as we feel the economic effects of Covid 19.
But hope is held out to us, the gospel is about good news for everyone including the poor and disadvantaged for God feels our brokenness. The gospel is not just about my personal faith but about my neighbour too. Maybe our neighbours are a gift from God to help us find and serve him.
So as we reflect on the nature of Jesus’ ministry and the hope it encompasses, we can let our thoughts continue on into our own service and ponder how we might live to bring that hope and good news to those we meet and how we might think and act to combat previous injustice.
Although we need to be aware of past history and to learn from it we are called into a life of hope, God’s glorious vision of what all created life can be and to hold that hope of kingdom living for all people in our hearts so that we might act to bring that hope a nearer reality.
Holy God, renew your hope in us each day that we might embody the life of your kingdom.
Thank you for those we know are our neighbours and for those that we will come to realise are our neighbours too. Help us to find you in them and may they find you in us. Amen
DAILY PRAYER FOR FRIDAY 17 JULY
Psalm 32. 1-8
The psalms have provided inspiration, challenge and comfort to both Jews and Christians for millennia. Part of their power lies in the way they express every facet of human experience and emotions and display deep psychological insight. Today’s reading probes the issues of sickness and health, of wrongdoing and forgiveness. Rightly we no longer hold the view that illness is a direct consequence of sin but we do recognise what we call psycho-somatic conditions; that psychological and spiritual pain may manifest in physical ways. And there is a broadly held view that ‘the unexpressed is the unhealed.’
That has been the experience of the writer of today’s psalm. Suffering is turned to healing and guilt to forgiveness by God’s power. Whether it is wrong done to us, or wrong that we have done to others, sharing with another person, be it a priest, counsellor or therapist is so often the beginning of the journey to healing and wholeness. And underpinning all such human help is the love of God expressed in the will to heal and forgive. As the psalmist says,
‘You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.’
Just as I am, without one plea LINK >
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen
DAILY PRAYER FOR THURSDAY 16 JULY
Matthew 11: 28-end.
‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.’
Give Your Heart a Home LINK >
Jesus’ beautiful words touch a chord in all of us don’t they?
We are all labouring under different burdens: worries about work, unemployment, housing, relationships, money, to name but a few. But in Jesus we have a merciful and loving comforter and helper who offers us rest if we only turn to him and put our trust in him.
We don’t need any special qualifications to approach him. He calls to all who are burdened, and he will not turn us away. We can come to him just as we are, in the situations we are in, and ask him for help.
Father God, as we reflect on the burdens we are carrying, we bring them to Jesus. We ask for the grace to be aware that we are never alone in our weariness, for he is there.
Finally Father, just as we are helped, we ask that you encourage and enable us to help others with their burdens, serving others for your sake and glory. Amen
DAILY PRAYER FOR WEDNESDAY 15 JULY
Matthew 11: 25-27
‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants’.
Unto thee O Lord LINK >
The 11th century Archbishop of Canterbury, St Anslem, famously said ‘I do not understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order that I may understand’.
In other words, however much we may pretend that our convictions rest upon our powers of reason and intelligence, in practice they always reflect our pre-existing assumptions and commitments. Scientists cannot go about their work without assuming that the world is based upon patterns and order, yet the underlying rationality of the universe is impossible to prove – it has to be accepted by faith.
This means that those who have the surest understanding of God`s truth are not those with the best powers of logic, but those with the biggest capacity for trust.
Growing up often involves learning to replace trust with caution and even suspicion; but if we are to draw near to God we have to go on a reverse journey, venturing to put aside our defences in order to trust more deeply.
What do you rely on to keep you close to God? Your head, or your heart? Pray for grace that your spiritual journey might develop in you the heart of a child more than the defences of someone more world-weary.
God of wisdom and love, help me to set aside my doubts and questions enough to come to you with simple trust; that knowing the reality of your love, I may explore the majesty of your truth, through Jesus Christ the living way. Amen.
DAILY PRAYER FOR TUESDAY 14 JULY
1 Great is the Lord and highly to be praised, •
in the city of our God.
2 His holy mountain is fair and lifted high, •
the joy of all the earth.
3 On Mount Zion, the divine dwelling place, •
stands the city of the great king.
4 In her palaces God has shown himself •
to be a sure refuge.
Great is the Lord, by Graham Kendrick LINK >
In the Prayer Course that some of us have been recently doing (www.prayercourse.org) the mnemonic P-R-A-Y is introduced as a model of prayer: Pause, Rejoice, Ask, Yield. Another word that could be used for ‘Rejoice’ is Adoration. God is worthy of our praise. Sometimes we are too quick to turn our prayers simply into a ‘shopping list’ (Asking). Today’s psalm, and the setting of some of the words of that psalm to music by Graham Kendrick in today’s youtube link, reminds us that ‘Great is the Lord’. As Pete Greig says, “Reading Psalms and singing worship songs are great vehicles to motivate our praise. However, don’t neglect times of working in your own words. Other people’s words can help lead you to God, but using your own words builds deep wells of intimacy within your heart.”
Perhaps today set aside some time to write down your own words of praise.
Lord, we want to lift your name on high,
and Lord, we want to thank you,
for the works you’ve done in our lives;
and Lord, we trust in your unfailing love,
for you alone are God eternal,
throughout Earth and Heaven above. Amen
DAILY PRAYER FOR MONDAY 13 JULY
V17: learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
God of Justice (send us out) LINK >
The passage from Isaiah pulls no punches. God declares he is tired of burnt offerings, hates festivals and is weary of prayers….the implication being that religious rituals, without any substance, compassion or transformative action, completely miss the point.
The short statements at the end leave us in no doubt that faith has to have an outward focus- our worship of God should transform the lives of the vulnerable and marginalised.
The passage invites us to question our response when we see groups of people marginalised in our world today- and consider how we can use our voice, vote, money, signature, time, talents and energy to challenge injustice where we see it.
It could be as simple as the tins we place in the box for the Food Bank, the donation we make to a refuge for victims of domestic abuse or Age Concern or the challenge to racist language and attitudes if we hear them in our social circles. For others it can be a significant commitment: volunteering at a charity shop, helping at a youth project or supporting a struggling young Mum.
As soon as we begin to see life through the eyes of someone on the margins, to live life WITH those on the margins, our worship will automatically change- we will need to rely on the strength of God to sustain us, the power of God to keep us brave and the wisdom of God to know how best to bring about lasting change.
This is when we can truly pray, ‘Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done’ and when people see God in action in the world.
God of Justice, Saviour of All,
Fill us with your compassion as we reach out to a broken world with your love and truth. Show us where you would have us shine your light, be part of your healing and an agent of your love. May our worship be full of your life and our lives full of worship in action.
HOLY COMMUNION FOR SUNDAY 12 JULY
A Service of Holy Communion for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity
with the Revd Canon Jonathan Baker presiding, Revd Wendy Wale preaching, and contributions from the Choir of Beverley Minster, Robert Poyser, Rod and Louise McPhee, Maddy Bellotti, Sue Baker and Nell Baker. Edited by Revd Tim Kelly.
Accompanying Service Sheet: LINK >
Minster Sunday School
Revd Tim, Charlotte and Levi lead Sunday School based on Jesus’ Parable of the Precious Pearl.
Jonathan shares some notices for this week
DAILY PRAYER FOR SATURDAY 11 JULY
Matthew 10: 24 -33
Jesus said, ‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master. It is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher and a slave to be like the master.’ v24-25a
In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful. LINK >
On Thursday Stephen Cottrell became Archbishop of York and our new Diocesan Bishop.
In his latest book he writes, ‘The church is a community, not an organisation or an institution, a community of men and women formed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his impact in the world, and constantly being transformed by the activity and outpouring of the Holy Spirit….In following Jesus we are enlisted in his service, whether we like it or not [Archbishop’s italics] . Through baptism we all become witnesses to Christ and workers for the Kingdom of God.’
In our reading from Matthew Jesus is giving his twelve disciples warnings and encouragement as he sends them out to work for the Kingdom of God. The Hebrew understanding included the belief that within each person the physical and spiritual are inseparable. This wholeness and our relationship with God is at the heart of Jesus’ teaching. So the disciples were sent out to minister to body and spirit. Jesus warns them that the going will be hard, even dangerous, but three times he reassuringly says ‘do not be afraid’ and encourages them to stay loyal to their calling. How do you see their role in relation to yours as a Christian today?
Today we are sent out into a culture that prizes individualism and self determination. The Christian teaching that we are community and that we belong to each other is counter-cultural. The going may be hard but listen again to the words of Jesus and do not be afraid to follow your own calling in the Lord’s service.
Loving Heavenly Father, by your Spirit teach me to listen for your calling on my life. Help me not to be afraid. Amen
DAILY PRAYER FOR FRIDAY 10 JULY
Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 10.21-22).
He who would valiant be LINK >
It’s not a job description that’s likely to attract many applicants, but you can’t say that Jesus didn’t warn his disciples what they could expect if they signed on as his followers, as witnesses to the Kingdom of God.
In 1563 John Foxe published a book with the (sic) catchy title: ‘Acts and Monuments of these latter and perilous days, touching matters of the Church, wherein are comprehended and described the great persecutions and horrible troubles, that have been brought and practised by the Romish prelates, specially in this realm of England and Scotland, from the year of our Lord a thousand until the time now present.’ His enlarged edition in 1570 stretched back to New Testament times and the martyrdom of Stephen and James and traced a line from then through to Tudor England to the often ordinary men and women with a very rudimentary faith who were prepared to die for the saviour who had died for them. These too were witnesses, martyrs. And their inspiring stories told in Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs’ were a major factor in changing the religious map of England.
Lord, when we are repaid with evil for good,
help us not to return evil for evil,
But to bear witness to your steadfast love,
Shown in the face of your dear Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
(from Common Worship, Ps 119)
DAILY PRAYER FOR WEDNESDAY 8 JULY
Send me, Lord (Thuma mina)
What a motley crew! Among them a group of fishermen, a freedom fighter, an employee of the oppressors, and someone who would betray him…hardly a promising start. And yet it was these twelve that Jesus chose.
He knew them. They had been with him for some time. They’d followed him, listened to him, watched him, learned from him. They were disciples. But now Jesus has something different for them: they are to be apostles, people sent out with his authority to do what they have seen him doing. I guess they were scared, that they thought they couldn’t do it, that they weren’t ready, and probably lots of other things as well. But excuses are ignored and they are sent!
We, too, who are disciples, must become apostles. We don’t stop being disciples, but Jesus has work for us to do. We are sent with his authority to proclaim in word and action that he is alive in our world. As those first apostles, we too may be scared, we may feel inadequate, that we’re not ready. At the end of Matthew’s Gospel Jesus is recorded as saying ‘Go…I am with you always…’ We are not alone. The one who sends us has promised that he is with us, and he is faithful.
Risen Christ, you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope: strengthen us to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen (Additional Collect for Easter 3)
DAILY PRAYER FOR TUESDAY 7 JULY
Matthew 9, 32 -38
Brother, sister, let me serve you LINK >
Jesus had been travelling around healing and teaching and this latest healing of the person who was mute brought forth an amazed reaction from the crowd watching. Those who would have liked to teach and heal with similar authority were probably jealous and so in order to discredit him, they suggested that his authority came from Satan not God.
However, we can see that his healings and teachings came from his compassion for the crowds whom he described as,” harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”. Those who should have been leading and teaching the people about God’s kingdom were failing to do so.
He turns aside to the disciples and tells them,” the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”
Jesus is asking his disciples to pray to God for people to be empowered to preach the good news of the kingdom of God to bring about the change that God wants.
As we move out of the lockdown and on to the new normal there is a lot of talk about the need for change in the way we live and the society we live in. The Covid- 19 virus has laid bare the many inequalities in society and as economic difficulties develop from likely unemployment the gap between the poor and everyone else will widen.
During these past few months, we have heard of many heartening stories of kindness and compassion meeting the needs of neighbours and we will pray that this continues but more radical changes are needed.
We are called to pray, just as the disciples were told to pray, so that we and those who lead us may speak out God’s kingdom values and then act to establish a just and fair society for all people.
Holy God, your love is unfathomably deep for each one of us, those who have much and those who have little. We ask for a fresh empowering of your Holy Spirit at this time so that all of us in your church may speak out your kingdom values for a fair and just society. We pray for those who lead us that they will hear your voice in what we say. May we find new gifts to use in your service to help us act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you Lord. Amen
DAILY PRAYER FOR MONDAY 6 JULY
Matthew 9. 18-26
When we read of these two miracles our first thoughts are probably of Jesus’ compassion and healing powers. The first Jewish Christians, for whom St Matthew’s gospel was probably written, would also have been powerfully struck by the radical way Jesus broke strongly held Jewish taboos. In the space of a few verses Jesus renders himself ritually unclean on two occasions; firstly by his contact with the woman with the haemorrhages and then by touching what the onlookers assumed to be a dead body.
These incidents are consistent with Jesus’ frequent challenging of boundaries, prejudices and taboos. Our boundaries, prejudices and taboos may be very different from the 1st century but current movements such as Me Too and Black Lives Matter show that they are no less real and no less in need of being challenged. There is much discussion at the moment of how the Church will look post Covid-19 and what changes will be necessary. One challenge surely must be to do more to make our churches inclusive and to break down those sometimes invisible boundaries, prejudices and taboos which stop us being true to Christ and to the Gospel. We need to embrace the radical and fearless Spirit which marked Jesus’ own earthly ministry exemplified by these two healing miracles.
When I needed a neighbour LINK >
Lord Jesus Christ, you reached out to all people, especially those on the fringes, setting love, compassion and forgiveness above the constraints of your day. May we personally and as a Church follow your example, making ourselves open to all, and part of an equal community which is truly your Body here on earth. Amen
HOLY COMMUNION FOR SUNDAY 5 JULY
A Service of Holy Communion for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity
With thanks to:
Rev’d Wendy Wale (President)
Canon Jonathan Baker (Reflection)
Beverley Minster Choir (pre-recorded) with solo from Edward Jerome
Nick and Alison Wise (Will you Come and Follow Me?)
Jerome Family with Catherine Marsh (Sanctus and Benedictus)
The Vicarage Singers (the Gloria)
Rachel and Niamh Collins (Gospel Reading)
Rev’d Maggie Jeavons (Intercessions)
Libby Naylor for helping to set up the Minster
Rev’d Tim Kelly. (Editing)
Accompanying Service Sheet: LINK >
Minster Sunday School
Claire Wilmoth and her family lead Sunday School for this Sunday.
Jonathan shares some notices for this week
DAILY PRAYER FOR SATURDAY 4 JULY
Matthew 9: 14-17
New Wine LINK >
The three pictures Jesus gives in today’s reading all show how impossible it is to combine the new thing he’s doing with the old way things used to be.
What a challenge to our freedom and to our wisdom! Jesus is calling us to accept the radical novelty of the Kingdom he has come to inaugurate, and to be ready to give up what is now old to be able to embrace it fully. So many opportunities are lost because we, as individuals and as communities, are not ready to leave behind us what is no longer valid and useful, and look for painless change.
Yet we also need the wisdom to distinguish between what is really new and what is now old and useless. Some things are always new, they never grow old, especially love and the new commandment to love as Jesus loves us. Like good wine they even improve with age.
Father, being a follower of Jesus is never one-dimensional. To walk with Jesus we must always remember that there is a time for fasting and a time for celebrating.
DAILY PRAYER FOR FRIDAY 3 JULY
John 20: 24-29
‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’
Let all the world in every corner sing LINK >
Have you ever noticed how many sermons about Thomas begin along the lines of ‘Although he’s called Doubting Thomas’, Thomas is my favourite disciple’?
The story of Thomas comes at the climax of John’s Gospel, after John’s account of the resurrection, because Thomas is a key figure, linking the first disciples with those of us who come after. Thomas is presented as the disciple we most identify with, because he was challenged to believe in Jesus without having first seen his resurrected body.
Thomas’ doubt was reasonable; after all, dead people don’t normally come back. He was also perhaps more far-seeing than the other disciples. Whilst they simply marvelled at once more seeing the Lord, Thomas understood that if this was real, nothing was ever going to be the same again. If Jesus was risen, then God was truly in him, and could not be ignored; Thomas’ life would have to be surrendered to his risen Lord, with who knew what consequences? So no wonder he wanted to be as sure as possible.
When Thomas is granted a second opportunity to respond to the risen Jesus, he does so wholeheartedly: ‘My Lord and my God!’ It is the most direct statement of Jesus’ divinity and of a disciple’s commitment in the whole Bible.
Sometimes it is when we come before God honestly with our questions and uncertainties that he makes himself known to us afresh. Sometimes it is when we find the words to declare our faith, however haltingly, that our commitment deepens. Read again the story of Thomas, and make his words your prayer of praise: My Lord and my God.
Lord Jesus, you know my doubts and fears better than I know them myself. Meet me in my uncertainty, and help me to know that nothing can separate me from your love.
DAILY PRAYER FOR THURSDAY 2 JULY
And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town.
And just then some people were carrying a paralysed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.
No Longer Slaves LINK >
Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.
Take heart, daughter; your sins are forgiven.
When approached by the paralytic man and his friends Jesus’ first response is not to ‘fix’ his physical ailment. Instead, it is to include him. Son. Daughter. This man who, by his condition, may have been forced to live on the edge of society and gatherings is now brought directly into the family through Jesus words.
There may be things paralysing you today. There may be things that make you feel excluded or on the edge. Hear this welcome of Jesus for yourself. Take heart, son. Take heart, daughter. In the words of today’s song (linked above) “We are no longer slaves to fear. I am a child of God”.
Help me to hear your welcome as a child hears the words of their father or mother. Thank you that you call me not to simply be a fan, admirer, or student of Jesus. You call me to be a child of God. Amen.
DAILY PRAYER FOR WEDNESDAY 1 JULY
Amos 5.14-15, 21-24
Seek good and not evil, that you may live;
….. let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
O Lord, the Clouds are Gathering (let justice roll) LINK >
We only have to watch a short news programme to be reminded that the world is not a just place. Where we are born and the colour of our skin can determine our life expectancy, our chances of education and whether our basic human rights will be protected. Even within a ‘just society’ many of us have experienced injustice in our own lives- prejudice, poverty, alienation or betrayal.
It’s when our story isn’t believed, what we thought was a secure job or relationship has caused us rejection or harm or where deep wounds have been caused by someone letting us down or treating us unfairly.
I was moved to tears recently by the story of the little boy ‘Tony’ who had to have both his legs amputated after physical abuse from his birth parents – a story of hope as he was raising money while learning to walk on his prosthetic limbs.
The words of the prophet Amos are a powerful prayer and inspiration for life. How can we play our part in seeing justice and righteousness roll in the places they are absent? Do we have wounds that need God’s healing and restoration?
How can I seek good today, that I may live?
Lord we cry out for your justice and mercy to be seen in all the world. We pray especially today for those who live in hunger, fear or the despair of betrayal and abuse.
We pray especially for those around the world who know that Covid-19 is close, and who are without medical support.
Show us how to be bearers of hope and lights in the darkness.
DAILY PRAYER FOR TUESDAY 30 JUNE
‘Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
We have an Anchor that keeps the Soul LINK >
The sea can be a powerful force. Perhaps because I was brought up at the seaside, I love to walk by the sea and watch it in all its changing moods. There is something awesome about standing on the shore and watching the sea in a storm with its towering waves crashing against the rocks and flotsam being tossed and thrown onto the shore. But a very different story to be out in a little boat, far from land on a tumultuous sea that is fraught with danger!
Jesus gets into a boat and his disciples follow him. As they sail, a windstorm arises so great that the boat is swamped by the waves. It may be awesome but the disciples are filled with terror. The storm is out of their control.
I wonder what the disciples expectations were as they followed Jesus into that boat?
And those of us today who have decided to follow Jesus: I wonder what are our expectations?
Life does not always go as we expect. Life and its circumstances are sometimes out of our control. I wonder how do we react when life is frightening?
The disciples wake Jesus up! They cry out to him, “Lord save us! We are perishing!”
How do we respond? Is our first response to cry out to God or do we forget he is with us in our boat? If we call he will hear and he will help us.
Do we have the faith to believe that Jesus has sovereign authority over all creation?
Have we asked him to be sovereign in our life? If we have, then we can trust him to be with us always, no matter how stormy our life might seem.
Jesus’ response to the disciples cry is to ask them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” He rebukes the wind and the sea and there is a ‘dead calm.’ And they are amazed.
Lord when our faith is weak helps us to trust you.
When the storms of life come upon us, hear our cry and hold us safe and fast in the anchor of your love.
Help us to trust in your sovereign power.
For yours is the glory the power and authority for ever and ever. Amen.
DAILY PRAYER FOR MONDAY 29 JUNE
Matthew 16: 13-19
‘But who do you say that I am?’
Jesus the name high over all LINK >
Today is the Feast of St Peter and St Paul, and the reading focusses on Peter’s great declaration of faith in Jesus: ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’
But before the declaration there is a question which Jesus puts to his followers; a question which is initially general, and then very personal: ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’, followed by, ‘But who do you say that I am?’.
The question is not academic. Peter senses that his entire future will turn on the answer. If Jesus really is the Messiah, then he cannot be ignored. If Jesus is the Messiah, then nothing can be the same again. And, so, taking a deep breath, Peter nails his colours to the mast and says what he really thinks about Jesus. And saying it somehow makes it more real.
Jesus responds with the greatest pun in the New Testament: ‘You are Peter (‘petra’ meaning ‘rock’ in Greek), and on this rock I will build my church’. Peter turns out to be anything but a rock. In fact, he is decidedly flakey. Nevertheless, it turns out to be true that wherever the name of Jesus is affirmed as the Son of God, there God will build his church.
In one sense, the Church is no more complicated than that. If we wish to play our part in building the Church of God, all we have to do is honour the name of Jesus: not just in theory, but in making our lives unconditionally available to him. It’s simple to say. But are we ready to do it?
Perhaps the Lord is addressing us today; fixing us with his loving gaze, knowing what we are really like, he looks into our hearts and asks: ‘Who do you say that I am?’.
Father in heaven, reveal your Son to me by your Spirit. May I know the power of his name, that I may acknowledge him as my Lord and King.
HOLY COMMUNION FOR SUNDAY 28 JUNE
A Service of Holy Communion for the Third Sunday after Trinity
Holy Communion for the Third Sunday after Trinity with Revd Canon Jonathan Baker presiding, and reflection by Revd Tim Kelly. Contributions from the Bedford Family (Opening Hymn: Give me joy); Rod and Louise McPhee (Gloria); David and Patricia Brunt (Gospel reading); Estella, George and Ian Champion (Intercessions); Nell Baker (Sanctus and Hymn During Communion: Abba Father); Maddy Bellotti and Luca Myers (Hymn: Brother, sister, let me serve you); Revd Tim Kelly (Editing)
Accompanying Service Sheet: LINK >
Minster Sunday School
Revd Wendy Wale and Alice Bostwick lead Sunday School for this Sunday.
Jonathan shares some notices for this week
DAILY PRAYER FOR SATURDAY 27 JUNE
We cannot measure how you heal LINK >
He took our sickness away and carried our diseases for us (verse 17, Jerusalem Bible), and yet we still get ill. We have seen that so starkly over these past months when so many have been affected by covid-19 with well over 40,000 people tragically losing their lives – each a real person and part of a grieving family, far far more than a grim statistic.
If Jesus could heal 2000 years ago, why not now? What is going on? Much ink has been spilled in trying to answer the question ‘why?’ and I am not going to add to it here! What I see in this passage is not an answer, but rather a reason for hope: Jesus’ love for all who come to him in desperation. There is in v.17 the assurance that we are not alone in our sufferings. Jesus is with us, carrying them for us. A former Bishop of Selby describes Christian healing as ‘Jesus touching you at the point of your need’. The challenge is the same one the Jews faced in Jesus’ day: do we, do I trust him? Perhaps it feels as if we are barely hanging on by our fingertips, but let it be to the hem of his garment (see Matthew 9:20 – 22).
Lord Jesus, I trust in you. Please touch me and those I love and for whom I am concerned at the point of our need today. Amen.
DAILY PRAYER FOR FRIDAY 26 JUNE
Psalm 137 1-6
By the Rivers of Babylon LINK >
This short psalm is one of bitterness and lament and has been used by oppressed peoples over the centuries because it is about the forced displacement of a community. The psalmist is writing about the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple in about 587 BC. The majority of those who lived in Jerusalem at that time were taken as captives to Babylon over nine hundred miles away.
The captives weep as they sit by a foreign river and remember that Jerusalem and the Temple is lost to them. They want to hang up their lyres because they feel that they are no longer able to sing of the great love and might of the Lord God. However, their captors taunt them by telling them to sing but how can they sing the Lord’s song in a strange, alien place.
They do begin to sing of Jerusalem maybe because they feel that they never want to forget their home, their nationality and the Lord their God. Perhaps they sing in their own language which their captors would not understand and so the song becomes an act of defiance as well as a lament.
The reading set for today asks us to consider only the first six verses maybe because the final three verses are a call to God for violent revenge. This expression of violence shocks us particularly as it refers to children.
We are reading this at home in a place of safety so it seems shocking to us, but the suffering of displaced people can generate great extremes of emotion.
All life is present in the Psalms, hope, love, delight, despair, grief, anger, and hate. We shouldn’t lock those emotional thoughts away but rather bring them before God, into his marvellous light.
This is what we are doing in the prayer of preparation at the beginning of eucharistic worship.
“Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, and all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden.”
If we are going to follow Jesus’ instruction “to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”, then we need to acknowledge in prayer violent feelings, both our own and those of others.
Perhaps we can use this psalm as a means of intercession for those who are displaced, those who are refugees and those who experience violence and injustice in all its forms.
Lord God, you search the hearts of all who know and love you.
Help us to be aware of what is in our hearts and in the hearts of others.
Please show us the way to understand how others are experiencing violence and injustice and to give our support to those who seek to establish your kingdom of love and equality.
DAILY PRAYER FOR THURSDAY 25 JUNE
Matthew 7. 24-28
Foundations, whether of our home or our lives are something we tend not to think about on a day-to-day basis. It is only when some crisis threatens them that we start paying attention. Speaking to a number of people during the present crisis and hearing from many more via the media, one thing has struck me. Some people have discovered, to their delight, that their foundations are stronger than they thought whilst others have been shocked to find that theirs are more shaky than they would have hoped.
Most of us will have grown up with today’s parable in the form of the little song, sung with the actions of course, ‘The wise man built his house upon the rock’’ Jesus dramatically points up the perils of inadequate foundations. Many have found their foundations recently in family and friends, their homes and gardens, in absorbing hobbies from music to baking, jigsaws to needlework. They all have a part to play but Jesus tells us that the safest foundation of all comes from God and following his way. Indeed one of the commonest themes running through Old and New Testament alike is that of the security we can find in God, both in good times and bad.
Christ is made the sure foundation LINK >
Heavenly Father, help us to know that you are our rock and our stronghold, a safe foundation for our lives. When we feel uncertain and shaky or are consumed by anxiety help us to know that you hold us securely. Trusting in you may we reach out to others and help them to find that same firm ground on which to build their lives and futures; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
DAILY PRAYER FOR WEDNESDAY 24 JUNE
Paul stood up with a gesture and began to speak…… ’My brothers, you descendants of Abrahams family, and others who fear (revere) God, to us the message of salvation has been sent’.
These are the Days of Elijah LINK >
There are moments in history that signal a new beginning. We have one here as we meet Paul (until now known as Saul) at the beginning of his first missionary journey. The account is full of specific details, they have left Antioch in Syria and sailed to Salamis in Cyprus, travelled to Paphos and set sail for Perga in Pamphylia, then over land to Antioch in Pisidia. With an atlas or some web searching you can easily follow their journey.
In the synagogue Paul is giving his first reported sermon to a mixed audience of Jews and Gentile converts. He is on home territory here and understands their culture and religious practices. Using their scriptures (our Old Testament) he re-tells the story of God’s people Israel, highlighting the continuity that is pointing to Jesus as God’s promised Saviour. Paul quotes John announcing the coming of the Messiah, another new beginning and one that requires Israel to repent and prepare for his coming.
For us too, our faith is enriched by a greater familiarity with the history of God’s people in the Old and New Testaments and the connections and continuity of God’s covenant promise through to the present day. If we are preparing to be effective and relevant in our mission in a post Covid 19 world we will need sure foundations.
Jesus, light of the world, light up my life. By your Spirit refresh and restore me and equip me to be a bearer of your Gospel in word and deed to a hurting and broken world. Amen.
DAILY PRAYER FOR TUESDAY 23 JUNE
Matthew 7: 12-14
Do Unto Others – the Nelsons LINK >
Jesus’ instruction to do to others as we would have them do to us is sometimes called the ‘Golden Rule’. The rule is ‘golden’ because if we apply it in any situation, it becomes clear to us what we ought to do – it may not be the easy thing to do, but we can see the right course of action.
As Christians, the way we treat other people is the greatest unspoken witness we have, and for our witness to be sincere and authentic, it needs to be shown in acts of kindness and love.
Lord, you call us to treat others as we would wish to be treated.
Help us to put ourselves in others’ shoes, and give us the wisdom and strength to act as true children of our heavenly Father, remembering that what we do for others, we do for you.
DAILY PRAYER FOR MONDAY 22 JUNE
Matthew 7: 1-5
Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
God forgave my sin LINK >
‘Do not judge’ has always sounded like an unrealistic command, if not actually dangerous. Surely we need to judge people who have committed crimes, and we need to exercise discernment in making choices? We exercise judgment every day as we distinguish right from wrong, and the good from the best.
Perhaps the clue to the puzzling first verse lies in the second: the measure you give will be the measure you get. The meaning is not that we should refrain from exercising any kind of discernment, but that we should not presume to offer a final verdict on anyone; the judgment being referred to is judgement in the sense of a final, irrevocable condemnation. This being so, we shall be wise if our judgments are tempered with mercy.
Remembering that the measure of grace we receive may depend upon how much grace we show others could transform our attitudes and our relationships.
Who might you be tempted to judge negatively today? Instead of condemnation, can you ask the Lord to help you show grace?
Eternal God, you judge us with compassion and mercy. Help us so to receive your grace that we may show it in our dealings with others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
HOLY COMMUNION FOR SUNDAY 21 JUNE
A Service of Holy Communion for the Second Sunday after Trinity
A Service of Holy Communion for the Second Sunday after Trinity – President: Rev’d Wendy Wale; Reflection: Canon Jonathan Baker; Reading: Evelyn Wise; Intercessions: Catherine Drake; Introit: Parry: I was Glad, recorded at the 2019 Beverley Minster Girls Choir Anniversary Concert; Gloria: Rod and Louise McPhee; Sanctus and Benedictus: Nick and Alison Wise; Hymn during Communion: Make me a Channel of your Peace, Nick and Alison Wise; Hymn: All My Hope on God is Founded, Edward Jerome and Rachel Dent; Editing: Rev’d Tim Kelly
Accompanying Service Sheet: LINK >
Minster Sunday School
Revd Tim Kelly and Levi Kelly lead Sunday School for Father’s Day.
Jonathan shares some notices for this week
DAILY PRAYER FOR SATURDAY 20 JUNE
Matthew 6:24-34 LINK >
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us LINK >
Jesus encourages to recognise our self-worth and the value we have in God’s eyes. Worry and anxiety has a nasty habit of distorting truths and speaking lies. Jesus is reminding us who our heavenly Father is and that he loves us, or – put another way – that we are beloved children of God.
Often our temptation is to try to insulate ourselves from the source of our worries. There are plenty of adverts that promise ‘Worry-free…’solutions– Pensions that promise a ‘worry free retirement’, products that offer ‘worry free motoring’. These solutions rely on our own capacity to buy, or insure, our way out of problems. To ‘get busy’ in the pursuit of a trouble-free life. Unfortunately, as we’re often rudely reminded by the real-world there’s rarely such a thing as trouble-free life. Jesus is calling us to a way of life that is quite different than this. He calls us to focus outside of ourselves, to focus not on our own capacity and capability, but to point to the one who holds us in his hands – the one who has guaranteed our ultimate future.
Jesus speaks and says, “Remember … you don’t have to manage this on your own. Look to God”
Jesus speaks and says, “Do Not Worry”.
Father God, Thank you for your deep love for me. Help me today with my worries and anxieties. Remind me of your promise to be with me in all I do. Amen.