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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.