This week’s Worship

5th Sunday after Trinity 17th July (3rd Sun.)
           9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am       Baptism & Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am       Communion by extension, Mawdesley
4:00 pm       Farewell service for Revd Janet Taylor, Croston
Wed.   10:00 am      Holy Communion, Croston
Frid.     9:00 am      Morning Prayer, Mawdesley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

After the practical down to earth parable of the Good Samaritan last week, this week and directly following on in Luke’s Gospel, we come to another well known story told by Jesus’, the visit to the house of Mary and Martha.   Martha exemplifies the domestic approach, whilst he sister Mary simply sits at Jesus’ feet, absorbing his words, enjoying the moment.  But someone needs to get the supper ready, give instructions to the servants, make sure there’s enough to drink, check that the house is clean enough, so it’s Martha who takes responsibility for all this.  I can just imagine her rushing around trying to make sure everything is just right whilst at the same time getting more and more cross that she isn’t getting any help from Mary.  Then eventually she explodes. “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?” she demands of Jesus.  As far as Martha can see, Jesus is encouraging Mary to sit around doing nothing while Martha has it all to do.   I suspect anyone who has ever cooked and cleaned for a family knows how she feels.
Then Jesus’ reply to Martha sounds like a rebuke, “Mary has chosen the better part,” he says, “which will not be taken away from her.”
He is telling Martha to calm down, and see that it’s not entirely true that Mary is doing nothing.  She is doing what is right for her at that moment, regardless of what Martha may want her to do.
Martha has let it all get on top of her, and built up resentment, which she needs to let go.  Of course all the practicalities are important, but there are other things that are sometimes more important.
Martha probably knows that, really.  According to John’s Gospel, she has her own moment of great insight on another occasion, when she understands that seeing the signs of God at work is more important than anything else in the world.   John’s Gospel tells us the story of the death of Martha’s brother Lazarus, and the way Jesus brings him back from the dead.  Martha asserts her faith in the power of Jesus even before Lazarus returns. “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world,” she proclaims.

That’s all we hear of Martha in the Bible, but tradition gives us another story.  Legend has it that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were expelled from Palestine and travelled on a raft to France, where they were involved in missionary work.

Sometimes you need the domestic approach and our churches are full of people who roll up their sleeves and get on with all the practical stuff, just like Martha, and they are very important people.
This story reminds us, though, that sometimes the practicalities can get in the way of time to think, and to draw close to God in contemplation.  The reality is we will follow different approaches at different times, hopefully as circumstances and needs dictates.
We need both reflection and action, busyness and quiet contemplation, if we are to both hear the word of God, and get on and do it.
Jesus does not call Mary lazy & tells Martha that it is alright for Mary just to be still and listen to him.  There may be times when we all need to guard against becoming so busy that we forget the most important thing, to look for the signs of God at work all around us and join in with that.  So remember there will be times when jobs can be left, God’s mission does not depend upon us slowly burning ourselves out and there will be time enough for working when we have enjoyed our day of rest.

With love & Prayers

       Michael   (Rector)

Tel: 01772 600548, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

Next Sunday – 6th Sunday after Trinity 24th July (4th Sun.)
           9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston
9:30 am       Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am       Holy Communion, Bretherton

Revd Janet Taylor will be licenced to St Leonards Penwortham on Tuesday 26th July at 10 am by Bishop Philip during Morning Prayer all are welcome to attend.
There will be a service to give thanks for Revd Janet’s Ministry at Croston on Sunday 17th July at 4 pm.
We would welcome any cakes etc for refreshments after the service.
If you would like to make a contribution to a farewell gift for Revd Janet please pass them to the Rector or Churchwardens tomorrow morning.

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 weeks Church of England worship is an all-age service from
Holy Trinity Platt Church, Manchester.
Rev Sarah Bradley, and Rev Dr Paul Mathole, will be leading the service and preaching on ‘The transforming power of the gospel.
https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via

Financial support for our Church’s
As a charity we are dependent upon the generosity of our supporters, apart from a small amount of income from weddings and funerals our main source of income is what people regularly give.
Could you consider setting up a standing order?

The Annual inspection of the Graveyards in all our Churches will hopefully take place during August.

Review of services across the3churches
Over the summer the rector will be reviewing the times and types of worship we offer across the3churches.  He would welcome any thoughts or comments you may have.

Bishop Julian – has now laid down his crozier and handed pastoral care for our diocese over to Bishop Phillip.  Julian will attend the Lambeth Conference before fully retiring – we give thanks for his ministry and pray for Julian and Heather as they begin a new stage in ministry.

Bretherton Church and Grounds Maintenance
Can you help with cleaning inside church and/or the maintenance of our churchyard?  Please speak to Churchwarden Naomi or the rector if you would like to help – many hands make light work!

Prayer & Bible Study House Group, Tues. 19th July 8pm
This will be the final meeting before a break in August note the change to 8 pm in the evening to coincide with Sunset.  Meet at The Bungalow, High Street, Mawdesley, L40 3TD.  All are welcome Parking available at Church and please bring your Bibles!

Can you help with the cleaning of Mawdesley Parish Room once per week?  If so please call Barbara 01704 822468

Can you help at Croston Church?
New people are needed to join both the cleaning team on a rota basis, and also to help maintain the church and cemetery Grounds.


The Collect
Almighty God, send down upon your Church the riches of your Spirit, and kindle in all who minister the gospel your countless gifts of grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                             Amen

First Reading
Abraham offers hospitality to three strangers who arrive at his tent. One promises to return and says that Sarah will bear a son.
Genesis 18:1-10a
The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day.  He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground.  He said, ‘My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant.  Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on – since you have come to your servant.’ So they said, ‘Do as you have said.’  And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.’  Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it.  Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to Abraham, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’  Then one said, ‘I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.

Second Reading
Paul extols the majesty of Christ and the eternal significance of his death and resurrection.
Colossians 1:15-28
Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – all things have been created through him and for him.  He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him – provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.
I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints.  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

The Gospel
Jesus arrives at the house of Mary and Martha. Martha is resentful that Mary goes to listen to Jesus, leaving the housework to her. Yet Jesus says that this is “the better part”.
Luke 10:38-42
Now as Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.  But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’  But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’

Prayer after Communion
Grant, O Lord, we beseech you, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by your governance, that your Church may joyfully serve you in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.            Amen 

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