WEEKLY READINGS AND PRAYERS
Sunday 27th September 2020 16th Sunday after Trinity
O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers of your people who call upon you; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them; 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
First Reading Ezekiel 18. 1–4, 25–end
The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is unfair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is unfair.’ O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.
Psalm 25 1–8
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; O my God, in you I trust; : let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies triumph over me.
2 Let none who look to you be put to shame, : but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.
3 Make me to know your ways, O Lord, : and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, : for you are the God of my salvation; for you have I hoped all the day long.
5 Remember, Lord, your compassion and love, : for they are from everlasting.
6 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions, : but think on me in your goodness, O Lord, according to your steadfast love.
7 Gracious and upright is the Lord; : therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.
8 He will guide the humble in doing right : and teach his way to the lowly.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning is now : and shall be for ever. Amen.
Second Reading Philippians 2. 1–13
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Gospel Matthew 21. 23–32
When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.
Post Communion Prayer
Almighty God, you have taught us through your Son that love is the fulfilling of the law: grant that we may love you with our whole heart and our neighbours as ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Please use these prayers as we continue to pray together day by day
"Each of you should look not only to your own interests but to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4)
This week we are praying for those living in Englefield Close, Falaise and Falconwood
Sunday 27th September
We pray especially for Vicky Earll, ordained yesterday at York Minister. Vicky will serve God now at St Michael-le-Belfry, York. We thank God for Vicky and for her past ministry at the Journey church in Englefield Green. We pray that she will be fruitful for God's Kingdom of God in the new ministry He has given her.
Monday 28th September
We give thanks for our service yesterday and for Guy's ministry in music, film and IT. We thank God for the blessing both Guy and Chloe bring to our worship. We give thanks for Geoff and our St Jude's Choir and for the blessing of their long service among us.
Tuesday 29th September
Feast Day of St. Michael and All Angels Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted the ministries of angels and mortals in a wonderful order: grant that as your holy angels always serve you in heaven, so, at your command, they may help and defend us on earth; 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 forever. Amen
Wednesday 30th September
We pray for the Funeral Service taking place in St Jude's today. We pray for those who grieve for the loss of one dear to them, that they may experience the comfort of your love. We pray for our local Funeral Directors and give thanks for their compassion and skill.
Thursday 1st October
We pray for our local schools; for our head teachers, teachers and all members of school staff. We give thanks for the courage and leadership they demonstrate within our community at this difficult and uncertain time.
Friday 2nd October We pray for all those known to us who are unwell. We pray for those who have been made lonely, isolated or afraid because of COVID 19. We pray for those who are anxious for the safety and well-being of dear ones and for those who face an uncertain future because of the effect of the pandemic upon them or their family.
Saturday 3rd October
We pray for The Revd Andrew Reed as he leads our informal Harvest festival communion in St. Jude's at 9.30am tomorrow, and for those who will watch with us on YouTube. We give thanks for the abundant generosity of God towards us and for all those who contribute to the bringing of food to our tables. We ask God to make us much more mindful of the needs of others and much more willing to share from our plenty.
Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well being; 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 forever. Amen