This week’s Worship
Sunday 25th July 2021 8th Sunday after Trinity (4th Sunday)
8:00 am BCP Holy Communion, Mawdesley
9:00 am Family Worship, Bretherton
9:15 am Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
Wednesday 10am Holy Communion, Croston
** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
As the crowds catch up with Jesus in this week’s Gospel we can almost hear the frustration in his voice, after he’d fed the five thousand, they wanted to make him king as they thought he would make Israel great again, rich, powerful, and hunger would be banished for good.
Roughly translated, Jesus tells them: “You aren’t chasing after me because you understood. You just want more free grub.”
But Jesus wasn’t only thinking of their physical hunger, he knew that in the crowd, as in each of us, there is also a spiritual hunger.
If only they’d understand, they’d be able to satisfy that hunger, too.
The question from the crowd should really be “Who is it?” rather than “What is it?” John’s Gospel gives the answer right at the beginning in that well known Christmas passage: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John has no doubt about the identity of Jesus, and writes his entire Gospel so that others may also believe. But for the crowd in today’s story, the penny still hasn’t dropped, even though Jesus had performed many signs, they didn’t believe. So when they ask, “What sign are you going to give us?” Jesus replies, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry.” Believing in him is food for the soul, “the food that endures for eternal life”. God’s bread truly is “that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the soul”.
The manna in the wilderness was a sign of God’s loving care and it is Jesus who personifies God’s love. There is no longer need for signs, symbols, metaphors and figures of speech that human beings use in our attempts to describe God. Jesus just is God, the real thing.
The “I am” statements – the good shepherd, the light of the world etc help to flesh this out, and in the Old Testament, the name of God is Yahweh (or Jehovah) which simply means: “I am”.
In Jesus, God came into the world as a human being and died for us, in the Eucharist we refer to his body as bread, which is both food for the belly and food for the soul.
Jesus tells us to work for the spiritual bread that will nourish us, bringing us into s closer relationship with him that will build us up and make us strong. This is the bread of life that gives life to the world, life in all its fullness, life as we were intended to live it – in partnership with God and at peace with one another.
To believe in him, says Jesus, is to do the work of God.
So we must first believe in just who he is and then we will be lead to follow his example and learn from his teaching: to love God, and our neighbours as ourselves. Believing in Jesus, as God’s love in person, feeds our souls and strengthens us for his service out in the world.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 8th August 2021 10th Sunday after Trinity (2nd Sunday)
9:15 am Family Worship, Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Rita Dunleavy, William Eric Glover, John Mayor,
Stanley Parker and Barbara Shearon
Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon him, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.
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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 worship “I am the Lord your God” comes from St Michael and All Angels’ Harrow and will be led by
Rev Jody Stowell will lead the worship.
You can watch the service from 9am Sunday.
Notice of Croston Graveyard Inspection – August 2021
We are required to conduct an annual inspection of the headstones in our graveyard, this will be undertaken during August and the inspection will follow the relevant Diocesan procedures. If you would like to speak to someone, would like to give us your contact details or have any concerns please contact Revd Michael at the church or by emailing email@example.com
Croston St. Michael and All Angels
The grounds around church and our graveyard are always so well maintained and a delight for all who visit.
If you can spare a few hours each week to help with the mowing and general maintenance and tidying up please contact:
Derek Alty – tel. 600584 or firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Peters Mawdesley w Bispham
Do you have time to help keep YOUR Graveyard tidy at St. Peters
If so please ring DAVID 07919558259
Do you have time to help clean the brasses in Church?
If so please contact the Churchwardens.
We have been overwhelmed by requests for baptisms and at the moment the Rector is waiting to plan a two week break so it is taking us some time to respond to all enquires, we apologise for the delay.
Please email: email@example.com for further details.
Faith reference cards for school applications
Whilst Covid 19 restrictions remain in place across our churches, as they have done since the start of this pandemic we will treat all requests for a faith reference as full attendance. The Government Roadmap currently indicates that the earliest that all restrictions will now be lifted is 19th July. It is very unlikely now that we will monitor attendance before the start of the new term in September. This will be reviewed over the summer.
Almighty God, who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church: open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace; 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
The Israelites complain bitterly against the lack of food in the wilderness. God promises to provide them with both bread and meat.
The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’
Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.
Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the LORD, for he has heard your complaining.”’ And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. The LORD spoke to Moses and said,
‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.”’ In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.’
Christians are encouraged to live together “in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace” to form one body which builds itself up in love.
I, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, ‘When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.’ (When it says, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
Jesus confounds the crowd by telling them that by believing in him, they are doing the work of God.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were at the place where Jesus had given the bread, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’
Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’
Prayer after Communion
God of our pilgrimage, you have willed that the gate of mercy should stand open for those who trust in you: look upon us with your favour that we who follow the path of your will may never wander from the way of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen