Sunday 31st July – The Rich Fool and Psalm 107

This Sunday our psalm will be 107. A psalm of rejoicing, below is a version by Poor Bishop Hooper.

Giving thanks is a primary part of our faith. We have much to be thankful for and in the recognition of that, and in giving thanks we become a people more content and more at peace.

Our Gospel reading on Sunday, below, includes the parable of the rich fool. a young man who was far from content or at peace, yet was far from poverty. As a youngest son, he might never own his father’s farm, but neither would he ever be destitute. However rather than giving thanks for all he has, he grumbles about what he hasn’t. Discontent rules his life and his actions, what is more it impacts on those around him.

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”  But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you.  And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”  Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly.  And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’  But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’   So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:13-21

So, wherever you are reading this from, be it within Cumbernauld or further afield why not take a moment to give thanks today. And, if you are close enough, please come along on Sunday at 10am and help us in our rejoicing.

Sunday 24th July – Prayer

Our service of Sung Eucharist begins at 10am and is followed by fellowship in the hall.

In our Gospel on Sunday, Luke 11:1-13, Jesus’ disciples ask him to teach them how to pray. This might seem a strange request as of course the disciples knew how to pray. They were Jews and prayer formed their days. However they had seen that with Jesus prayer was something special. It was more than duty it was about a relationship with God.

The disciples knew how to pray, but they wanted to know how to pray in the way that Jesus did. To answer Jesus taught them what we know as the Lord’s Prayer, followed by some tips.

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."
And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.'  And he answers from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.'  I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.  "So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish?   Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion?   If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

The Lord’s Prayer is in one sense a contract. Give praise to God and you will be fed. Forgive others and you will be forgiven. Ending with the plea that trails and tribulations will be far from us. It is a simple prayer that covers all we require. There is no need for lengthy prayers with lots of words and explanation to God. God already knows those things we need and those we desire before we ask. God also knows the difference between the two. Sometimes prayers are answered in a way we might not have hoped or expected. Sometimes our desires are really a scorpion and God, in wisdom and love, will answer with an egg.

Sunday 17th July – Mary and Martha

Our worship on Sunday begins at 10am and is followed by fellowship in the hall, you are invited to join us.

Gospel Reading

Now as they 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 him 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.”

Luke 10:38-42

In our Gospel reading on Sunday Jesus goes to the home of the sisters Mary and Martha. While one sits and listens at Jesus’ feet the other one fusses around being busy.

The painting below is ‘Christ with Martha and Mary’ by Mikhail Nesterov painted in 1911. This painting gives a different approach to what is a familiar Gospel to many, Mary and Jesus are outside not inside the house and Martha, well. While Mary is sitting listening with a bottle in her hand, it would appear that Martha is bringing our a tray of food. Does this painting capture the scene after Jesus spoke. Is the artist showing how Martha can still be true to her personality by bringing out some food, while she also comes and joins them? Maybe, we might never know, however it does give us some food for thought. We know the scene so well, but what happened next? What did Mary do? What did Martha do? And of course most importantly, What did Jesus do?

Thursday 14th July

The Said Eucharist this Thursday has been cancelled instead you are invited along to the service at St Paul and St John the Evangelist, Springwells Ave, Airdrie for a Said Eucharist at 11am on Wednesday 13th July.

detail from St Paul and St John the Evangelist east window

Sunday 10th July – The Good Samaritan

Our service begins at 10am and will be followed by fellowship in the hall.

Gospel Reading

One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”  The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was travelling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.  “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.  A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.  “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.  Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.  The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[c] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbour to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”  Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Luke 10:25-37
The Good Samaritan Wall Sculpture by Daniel Borup
This parable rests on those closing words, now go and do the same.
Whoever we are and whatever we may have done in the past: Jesus' command to love the Lord your God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbour as our self.   Not just with partly from a distance, but totally and right beside.