Sunday 16 August Trinity 10

This Sunday there will be a short said service of Holy Communion at All Saints’ Church, Westbury starting at 9.30am. The service will be led by Revd Rebecca Harris.

Please note that face masks are now mandatory (unless you are exempt) in church. You will be asked to sanitise your hands and observe social distancing at all times. Please follow the instructions of the welcome team who are there for your safety.

There will be a Cafe Church service using Zoom at 9.45am for 10.am. This will be led by Revd Helen Durant Stevensen and Graham Stevensen, LLM. If you would like to join this service please contact us or sign up for our e-newsletter.

At 10am there will a service of Morning Praise ‘al fresco’ at Holy Saviour Church, Westbury Leigh. Please bring a chair (or stay in your car) and your own refreshments if you wish.

Collect for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity

Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Isaiah 56: 6 – 8

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
    to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,
    and hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
    and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
    for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God,
    who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them
    besides those already gathered.

Psalm 67

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
2 that your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

6 The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, has blessed us.
7 May God continue to bless us;
let all the ends of the earth revere him.

Romans 11: 1 – 2a, 29 – 32

11 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.

29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32 For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

Matthew 15: 21 – 28

21 Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.’ 23 But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.’ 24 He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ 26 He answered, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ 27 She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ 28 Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.

Reflection

All the readings for Sunday reflect God’s love for us and His presence with us in our acts of daily living. And as human beings, we need to acknowledge that God is with us.

Psalm 67 reflects this promise – verse 2 ‘that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations’ – every day we hear news of different acts of people not loving their neighbour, and of accidents and wartime activities. So verse 7 ‘May God continue to bless us, let all the ends of the earth revere Him’ is as relevant today, as it was all those years ago when the psalm was written.

The verses in Isaiah 56 also have familiar verses – verse 7 ‘my house shall be called a house of prayer’ words that are well known, and we gather on Sunday in God’s house of prayer. Verses 1 and 2 state that the person who maintains justice and does what is right, and who keeps the Sabbath, will be happy. We find strength and happiness in coming together in the house of prayer on Sunday.

And the verses in Romans 11 give us the promise that God loves us, even when we are disobedient – God is merciful to us.

God’s love for all people is reflected in the words in Luke 15, when the Canaanite woman came from Tyre and Sidon and asked Jesus (she shouted at Him) to cure her daughter who was tormented by a demon. And it is remarkable and interesting that Jesus ignored her appeal, lack of action on Jesus’ part is not something we would expect; but even His disciples asked Him to help, this time by sending her away because she was shouting, they didn’t ask Him to heal her. And Jesus response is thought provoking as He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel – but the woman came and knelt in front of Him and asked for help – that even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table – it wasn’t fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.
Jesus’ replied ‘great is your faith. Let it be done for you as you wish.’ Her daughter was immediately healed.

These readings teach us that God is with us at all times, in everyday living, and in all our prayers.

Janet Likeman, LLM