Sunday 20 September Trinity 15

This Sunday All Saints’ will be celebrating harvest with a service of Holy Communion at 9.30am.

Please bring something for the Westbury Foodbank.

There will be a service of Cafe Church on Zoom at 10am led by Rev’d Melanie Otto.

This Thursday 24 September there will be a service of Holy Communion at 10.30am on Zoom.

Please contact us if you would like the details on how to join or sign up for our newsletter on this page.

Collect for the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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. Amen

Jonah 3: 10 – end, 4: 11

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.

The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’

But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?’ And he said, ‘Yes, angry enough to die.’ 10 Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’

Psalm 145: 1 – 8

I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will bless you,
    and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
    his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall laud your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendour of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
    and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Philippians 1: 21 – end

21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28 and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— 30 since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Matthew 20: 1 – 16

20 ‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13 But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?”16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Readings for Harvest at All Saints’

Deuteronomy 8: 7 – 18

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. 10 You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.

11 Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. 12 When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, 16 and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. 17 Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today

Luke 12: 16 – 30

16 Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” 18 Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” 20 But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’

22 He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

Reflection

Harvest Time! Are you aware of all the crops growing in the fields which surround Westbury, Westbury Leigh and Dilton Marsh? And have the vegetables and fruit been growing well in your garden?

It’s an amazing time, isn’t it?

I have to admit, though, I get a bit frustrated when I’m driving the car, and there is a delay following the tractors which have masses of crops on the trailers.

So the parable of the rich fool reminds us that we must appreciate all the food we grow (and buy), and use it appropriately to feed our bodies, and keep ourselves alive physically, mentally, and very importantly, spiritually.

God our Father is with us at all times, as we know and we must respond to His guiding words in all their different forms.

Are you aware when God our Father says to you “Well done”, and do you listen when He advises you to behave differently, to be still and reflect on His guiding words?

Jesus told His disciples not to worry about the physical aspects of their life – “life is more than food”.

Yes we do need to eat, and make certain that those people who do not have food, have some way of obtaining food.

Locally, think of the importance of the food bank at Crosspoint, which was completely full when I took the church donations on Monday, but this food is not wasted as the food is taken to people in need in this area.

Another fascinating comment in the parable, is not to worry about what we wear, because (verse 23) ‘for life is more than food, and the body more than clothing’.

Whether we are active, or still, God is with us, which we must acknowledge in different ways and respond in love and reverence.

(Verse 30) ‘For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things and your Father know that you need them’

Let us be aware of what God our Father is telling us and follow His guiding words.

Janet Likeman, LLM