This week’s Worship

Sunday 10th October 2021 19th Sunday after Trinity (2nd Sun.)
              9:15 am   Family Worship, Croston

11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Wednesday 10 am   Holy Communion Croston

Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley has now restarted

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
At the time Jesus lived it was not uncommon to consider that a person who had wealth and riches was blessed by God, and whilst it may be hard to believe, that is still a view which exists today.  Some people think that when things go badly for them that this is a sign of God’s disapproval. When things aren’t going our way and life is tough have you ever wondered, ‘What have I done to deserve this?’  The answer is of course ‘Nothing’ because God does not reward us with blessings, or punish us with curses.  In this week’s Gospel reading Jesus says that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.  The wealth of the rich is not a sign of God’s blessing, indeed wealth has the potential to divide our commitment and loyalty to God.  So when he is questioned by the man as to what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus tells the man to sell everything which he has and give away the money. This is a sure way of making sure that there was no possibility of the material possessions of this world distracting the disciple form Jesus.
The seemingly impossible situation of a camel passing through the eye of a needle when asked how a rich man could enter the Kingdom of Heaven, illustrates that with God, nothing is impossible.
In the gospel readings over the past few weeks Jesus has spoken several times about the need to come to Him as a child.  We are asked to come to Him not as a rich person who, through power and money can exert influence, can make things happen, can be in control, but come to Him as a child who is totally dependent on the Father.  To rest in His love and favour, to allow Him to make the impossible happen.  Psalm 90 speaks about being contained in God’s love, about being secure in God’s presence, and implores us to measure our days so that we might gain a heart of wisdom so that we can rest in His love and let His favour and grace touch us.  To allow Him to make the seemingly impossible happen for each one of us, we must learn afresh to trust to Him as a child trusts their parents.  For us, just as it was for the rich man in the gospel, the more riches we have, the harder it is for us to hold on to them lightly and trust in the Father alone.   It is easy to do something and be justly rewarded for our efforts, but much more difficult to receive something we have not earned.  We all have to learn that we cannot enter God’s kingdom by jealously guarding ourselves and our possessions, for it is by freely giving of ourselves and sharing our resources that we are able to receive God’s gift of eternal life.

With love & prayers.         Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

Next Sunday 20th Sunday after Trinity (3rd Sun.)
            9:15 am      Family Worship, Croston

11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
An Act of Worship from Blackburn Cathedral will be available every Sunday from 9am.  You can view this on the Cathedral YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4GsctW6SLc or on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BlackburnCathedral
This week’s Church of England online worship is led by Fr Richard Springer from St George in the East Church, London.
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.
https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland

Confirmations 2021
Wednesday 1st Dec. 7:30 pm. 

Confirmation is an important part of a lifetime journey of faith as a follower of Jesus Christ,
where a person confirms the promises that were made when they were baptized, often as young child.
At a confirmation service, you make these promises for yourself before a Bishop.  As we prepare you will explore whether you are ready to affirm these promises for yourself and commit your life to following Jesus Christ.  We will begin preparation during October.
Lists at the back of each church or email the Rector.

Covid Guidance in church – please do remember:

  • Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
  • Be mindful of those who may be less confident, especially those choosing to wear a mask
  • Don’t forget Hands, Face Space guidance

Harvest Festivals
Thanks to everyone who decorated our churches, brought harvest gifts, and contributed to the worship.

Mothers Union Wave of Prayer – Thursday 21st October
10:30 am St. Peters Church Mawdesley w Bispham

Date for your diary- Saturday 20th November 6pm Croston Church
The amazing ‘One Voice Community Choir – further details to follow.

Faith reference cards for school applications
If you would like a Faith reference card please email the Rector.

Baptisms – we currently have a waiting list for baptisms and are looking now at dates in December and January, thank you for your patience.

Help for Asylum Seekers/Refugees
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our appeal to support the work of the British Red Cross.   Your support will be greatly appreciated by the refugees that are resettling to our area.  We will update you on future needs.

 

Please do continue to support the Food Bank
Despite the feeling that we are beginning to live ‘normally’, many families continue to struggle.
If you are able, please continue to support this worthy enterprise donations can be left at all our churches.


 

The Collect
Faithful Lord, whose steadfast love never ceases and whose mercies never come to an end: grant us the grace to trust you and to receive the gifts of your love, new every morning, in Jesus Christ our Lord.             Amen

First Reading
Those who are responsible for the administration of justice in Judah are taking advantage of their position for their own gain; but God is watching, and there will be consequences.
Amos 5.6-7,10-15
Seek the LORD and live, or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire, and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.  Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!
They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
Therefore, because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.  For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins – you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate.  Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.  Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said.
Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Second Reading
Nothing we are or do is hidden from God, but our weaknesses are understood, and are met with mercy and grace.
Hebrews 4.12-16
The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.   And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.   Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.   For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.   Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The Gospel
It is hard for people to put following Jesus before all else, but God makes the reward of eternal life available for all.
Mark 10.17-31
 As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’   Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.   You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.”’  He said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’   Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’   When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’   And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!   It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’   They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’   Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’
Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you.’   Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age –  houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields – but with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life.   But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’

Prayer after Communion
Holy and blessed God, you have fed us with the body and blood of your Son and filled us with your Holy Spirit: may we honour you, not only with our lips but in lives dedicated to the service of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

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