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Sunday Service 22nd August

st johns church

Collect and Readings for The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity, 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43, Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18, Psalm 84, Psalm 34:15-22, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 6:56-69;
The Prayer for today Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray and to give more than either we desire or deserve: pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask but through the merits and mediation of 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.

Who's a football supporter or are you more of a rugby person? Who's a lark and loves the early mornings, who's an owl and loves to stay up late? Who's a dog person and who's a cat person?
All of these are a matter of choice, and happily we are all different so we all like to choose different toppings on our pizzas, different music to listen to and different colours to wear. It's wonderful and important that we are all different.

But there are some things we can't choose, because it's been decided that there is a collective good way of going on. So we all drive on the same side of the road whatever part of the country we are in; we all go to school and learn how to read and write and do maths and science; we all pay taxes on what we earn so everyone, both poor and rich, can use schools and hospitals and so on.

In the Old Testment reading from the book of Joshua, Joshua wants people to decide, before they go in to the promised land, whether they really do want to servie the Lord their God or not. He makes it quite clear that they will only be choosing wisely if they do choose to worship God, as he is real and powerful, and the other gods are not. It's a little bit like asking a football team if they are going to choose to play with a football or a matchbox in an international match. There really isn't much point in playing with anything other than the real thing!

In the Gospel we hear of some of the crowds choosing not to walk with Jesus any more because he seemed to be making out that he was the Holy One of God. Jesus asked his disciples if they were going to turn away as well, and Peter spoke for them all, and for us as well. 'Lord, who else could we go to,' he asked, 'seeing that you are the one with the word of eternal life?' When we know that God is real, and that Jesus really is the Holy One of God, what elsecan we do but make the sensible, wise choice and commit ourselvesto following him? That's the wisest, most important choice we make in the whole of our life.
Some things to do as you to reflect:

  • Will you make or renew your commitment to serve God as a follower of Jesus Christ?
  • If you haven't been baptised or confirmed would you like to take that next step?
  • How do you encourage your children and godchildren to develop their personal relationship with Jesus?
  • Who do you know who you would classify as wise?

God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson

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