Collect and Readings for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity – Amos 8.1-12, Genesis 18.1-10a, Psalm 52, Psalm 15, Colossians 1.15-28, Luke 10.38-42
The Prayer for today
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry they may
serve you in holiness and truth to the glory of your name; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This week we are given a near-lethal dose of the bad news about human nature. The prophecy from Amos is particularly bleak and depressing because it paints such a true picture of the familiar materialistic, self-orientated world we know, both in society and in the secret places of our own hearts.
What hope can there possibly be? As humans we hold on to a vision of what it ought to be, and how we ought to live, but the disturbing truth is that we seem unable to haul ourselves above the selfish nature that drives us. We may see glimpses of nobility here and there in good men and women doing better than the rest of us, but the main tide is in the other direction, with no real possibility of widespread goodness. In Amos we read of that terrible prophecy of a famine, worse than thirst and hunger, which speaks of us being abandoned for our failure and locked out from all hope, as people struggle and search for the word of the Lord but never find it.
Into this misery and helplessness strides Paul, through his letter to the Colossians, like a being from a new and different dimension, shouting to us over the centuries that we need not despair. Someone has done the impossible, and through Christ Jesus, stretched out between earth and heaven in love, God has been able to reconcile all things to himself. Far from being abandoned, he has been searching through the rubble and debris of our human situation and has come in person to rescue us.
Some things to reflect on:
· Are individual lives reflected in the way society develops? Do our small sparks of Christian living affect society? Do our slips of behaviour matter to society?
· Paul talks of his exhausting labour of love in spreading the Gospel. What Martha/ Mary balance should we be aiming for as Christians?
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev’d Fiona Robinson