Sunday, 28th June

Together in Prayer

Greeting

O Lord, open our lips
And our mouth shall declare you praise!
Blessed are you, creator of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As your dawn renews the face of the earth
bringing light and life to all creation,
may we rejoice in this day you have made;
as we wake refreshed from the depths of sleep,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Prayers of Penitence

Loving Father,
with open arms you welcome us home,
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, by your cross you defeated sin,
forgive us, and mend our hearts,
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Holy Spirit, come,
fill us with your life,
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Receiving God’s Love

May the God of love and power
forgive us and free us from our sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,
and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Reading: Matthew 10:40-42
Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.

Thought for the week
Today’s gospel is all about the mission that Jesus sent his new recruits on and their role in mission, even what they should do if rejected. Today the message is the same for us. In order for the Kingdom of God to grow, we need to welcome the stranger, the sojourner into our midst.
Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the
one who sent me (Matt 10:40)
Our problem is in this very verse – how welcoming are we? How easy is it for the stranger to come into our Church and join us in our worship? (Aside from Covid regulations) How easy is it for us to talk about our beliefs and our hope embedded in the Lord Jesus?

The reading message is like a relay race, Jesus is handing on the baton. He’s sending out his closest disciples to continue his own mission proclaiming and putting into practice the good news of the kingdom of God. In this chapter the twelve disciples have been appointed and then Matthew records the instructions that Jesus gave them for mission. They were to heal the sick, drive out evil spirits, witness to Jesus and announce that the Kingdom was near. It would be a difficult task and they would need to risk hardship, rifts with their loved ones and even their very own lives. Why, then, should they bother? Why should we bother
with mission?

Today Jesus sums up the whole purpose of their mission.

The people who listen to them, the ones who welcome the good news they bring, will receive a reward. The key for me is in this word we use so often – WELCOME. It’s two words put together WELL COME.

This immediately brings to mind that wonderful verse spoken by Jesus – Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will refresh you. WELL COME! Have you ever thought why we are sharing this this morning – It is the baton in the relay race of life.

Like the original disciples, we are called to spread the good news of the kingdom of God, the good news of God’s love. What a privilege, what a responsibility! But talking about it isn’t enough it needs to be put into practice, just like the disciples. And whoever welcomes you welcomes the one who sent you – and I don’t mean me.

Cling onto Jesus’ words “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” WELL COME – Come unto me
Jesus didn’t just preach about the kingdom of heaven: He opened the door to all who would listen to the Good News, in Jesus, is the word of God, love in action. Pass it on!

Collect for the Eve of Saint Peter
Almighty God,
who inspired your apostle Saint Peter
to confess Jesus as Christ and Son of the living God:
build up your Church upon this rock,
that in unity and peace it may proclaim one truth
and follow one Lord, your Son our Saviour Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Intercessions
Gracious Lord, we thank you
For your hospitality, your welcome
and your faithful embrace.
You, O Lord, are ever loving,
full of compassion, slow to anger
and of great mercy.
You call us all to be your beloved children
Lord, we come to you

Lord as we draw near to you,
we know that you draw near to us,
we bring to you our hearts and minds
and all that fills them and troubles them.
We bring our cares and fears,
We bring our joys, and celebrations.
We especially bring to you the suffering,
of those around the world,
and in our own communities.
We pray for healing,
Reconciliation and peace,
We pray for hope and
Light to shine in dark places.
Lord we come to you

We remember all who feel like outcasts,
Those who do not feel welcome,
We pray for the church,
that, as strangers in the world,
it may extend your love to the lost,
and your care for all those in need.
We lift our communities to you,
and pray that we might
We pray that those who feel isolated,
or broken hearted, or anxious,
give peace in our time O God,
and may we welcome you,
that your kingdom would come
and will be done
in every aspect of our lives,
Lord, we come to you

Open prayer
As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

From where we now are
to where you need us,
Jesus, now lead us on.
From the security of what we know
to the adventure of what you will reveal,
Jesus, now lead us on.
To refashion the fabric of this world
until your kingdom comes,
Jesus, now lead us on. Amen