‘Sing to the Lord a new song….’
A ‘traditional’ lectionary (Sunday’s set readings) would include a psalm. Few parish churches now read the set psalm and with the almost complete passing of morning and evening prayer from Anglican worship, the psalms themselves are all but gone from the life of the gathered church.
Ironically, the one piece of scripture we can be sure Jesus knew – and would have known ‘off by heart’ – are the psalms. For him, as they are for Jews today, the psalms were the prayers through which he could share in the reality of the God relationship. This relationship was one in which ‘real people’ related to a ‘real God’. Sometimes when (if?) we read the psalms it can be a shock to hear just what is being prayed. Understandably we wince when we read some of those bits which are all too real…. However, that reality can be understood as an outpouring of an honesty which many of us feel we cannot offer God – we only tell God what we think it’s right and proper to tell him…. Terribly Anglican! Yet haven’t we all at times wanted dreadful things to happen to ‘our enemy’? Don’t we all at times want to shout at God and ask ‘Where the bloody hell were you?!’
This Sunday we could hear Psalm 96. It invites us to sing a new song to God. One reading of this could well be that if we really are to acknowledge God’s reality in our lives ‘the majesty and magnificence of this presence’ then we need to get real with God and open not only our hearts and minds but also our guts…. Only then can God’s love in Christ become real in our lives and bring healing and wholeness not only to us but to our enemies.
the main service Songs of Praise at Birdham (9.30am) Ben Harvey’s sermon will be “To Journey with Christ”. At West Wittering (10.00) Annette Stickley’s sermon will be “The Soldier Who Surprised Jesus” and Michael Chater’s sermon at Itchenor (11.00) will be “Faith in religion, self and politics”.
Jonathan Swindells will be officiating at Evensong at West Wittering.
We continue to pray for:
Maurice Stokes, Georgina, Edward, Roy Brundle, Sam Davies, Lesley Jelfs and Baby Hope
The Ministry Team are only too happy to talk through aspects of their Sermon. If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.
Collect for Sunday
O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, nor and for ever.
Readings for Sunday 29th May
1 Kings 8.22, 23, 41-43
Galatians 1. 1-12
Luke 7. 1-10
1 John 4. 7-end
Luke 16. 19-end
Genesis 4. 1-16
Mark 3. 7-19