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Weekly worship: Sunday 2 September

Points for sermons and prayers for the fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost.

Aster holding firewood

This month we deviate from the Revised Common Lectionary to mark Creation Time. You can read more about Creation Time here.

The weekly pointers this month are based on the Creation Time Lectionary (CTL). This lectionary was produced for use in the Church of England parishes of Pilton, Croscombe, North Wootton and Dinder in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. It is used with permission.

CTL Year B: Isaiah 55:6-13, Psalm 104:1-23, 2 Corinthians 9:6-12, Mark 4:1-9 

2 Corinthians 9:9 ‘God scatters abroad, God gives to the poor; God’s righteousness endures forever.’

If we want to find God, we need to know what God is like. Otherwise, how can we recognise the divine presence?

Paul says that generosity and a special concern for people living in poverty are two of God’s distinguishing features. They are reflected in the whole of creation which is God’s gift to us. Recognising that everything we have is a gift, and getting swept up into the joy of God’s generosity, enables us to stop thinking of ‘mine’ and start thinking of ‘our’ and the bonds of humanity that connect us with all people. Being ‘a cheerful giver’ is the disposition of those who recognise that the act of giving brings us into the presence of God and unites us with our true nature.

Mark 4:3 ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow…’

For Jesus, what better image of God is there than a sower broadcasting seed so that it scatters indiscriminately and abundantly? You can imagine that the sower laughs for joy as the seed, the image of new life, is thrown openhandedly. The sower’s feet are planted on the earth and in the sower’s heart is the hope of new life. The sower’s action is purposeful and courageous. The seed is precious and not all will grow. But only by scattering the seed can the community be fed. Listen, says Jesus, and pay attention. God is present if you know where to look. Seek God and join in.

In our Harvest stories, we see the sower’s generosity and courage reflected by Aster and her sisters in Ethiopia. The women work together and support each other in their solar shop. Their solidarity invites us to stand alongside them too. Together, we find ourselves bringing the Harvest closer.

Prayer

God of all time,
we give thanks for women
past and present, far and near
who turn the soil, sow the seeds
and reap a harvest of community.

May they be an example for us.

Amen.

Prayer taken from the Harvest Appeal resources; more harvest resources can be found here.

Points for prayer

Pray for Aster and the women’s hub in Ethiopia – a group of women who have come together to set up their own shop powered by the sun. Pray for Christian Aid’s partner in Ethiopia training these women and helping other communities to set up thriving businesses that transform lives.

Pray for the Christian Aid Harvest Appeal, sharing the stories of women’s hubs in Ethiopia. Pray that it would engage and inspire church communities here to invest in a flourishing future for all.

Give thanks for the season of Creation Time, pray that it will renew us all to care for our wonderful shared home.

Points for prayer are taken from the prayer diary. You can read the prayer diary in full here