Parish News


News Bulletin for 16 July 5th Sunday of Trinity



Volume 7, Number 34 Friday 14th July 2017

From Lex

 

Just like our seasonably warm (for once!), weather at the moment, things heat up for Jesus in the middle of Matthew’s gospel. Throughout chapter 12, we will have seen several stories of clashes between Jesus and the Pharisees, and at the end of chapter 13, his own hometown rejects him. So what happens in these chapters to explain why so many struggle with Jesus and his message? The parable that starts today’s gospel reading, the parable of the sower.

The parable of the sower is unusual in that Jesus offers an interpretation of it to his disciples. The interpretation focuses on reception of the seed by various kinds of soil, as an illustration for varying responses to "the word of the kingdom" Seems relatively simple then as to what we are supposed to take from this. However, this interpretation also raises some troubling questions. For instance, who qualifies as "good soil"? Since soil cannot change itself, is there any hope for the hardened, rocky, and thorny soil? Are these destined to be unproductive forever?

One can find examples of each kind of response to the word in Matthew's Gospel. There are many in Matthew's story who "hear the word of the kingdom and do not understand", including the religious leaders who are antagonistic to Jesus' ministry from the beginning. The disciples themselves might be included among those who fall away "when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word". And the rich young man unable to part with his possessions provides a stunning example of "one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing". But what of the good soil? Who are those "who hear the word and understand it, who indeed bear fruit" and yield an abundant harvest? In Matthew's story, it seems they are the least likely ones.

But these "soils aren’t in fact the main focus. The main character in the parable, of course, is the sower. The sower scatters his seed carelessly, recklessly, seemingly wasting much of the seed on ground that holds little promise for a fruitful harvest. Jesus invests in disciples who look similarly unpromising. Yet he promises that his profligate sowing of the word will produce an abundant harvest.

If we are honest with ourselves, we can probably find evidence of several kinds of soil in our lives. But note that Jesus does not use the parable to encourage hearers to "be good soil," as though we could make that happen. If there is any hope for the unproductive soil, it is that the sower keeps sowing generously, extravagantly, even in the least promising places. We trust that he will not give up on us, but will keep working on whatever is hardened, rocky, or thorny within and among us.

Lex

 


SUNDAY’S SERVICES:

8:00am Eucharist Pr Fr Simon Vivian
9:30am Sung Eucharist Fr Simon Vivian

4:00pm TSS Fr Simon Vivian

6:00pm Evening Prayer Fr Simon Vivian

 

First Reading Isaiah 55:10-13

Thus says the LORD:

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

 

Gospel Matthew 13:1-9 & 18-23

Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!

Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’

 


INTERCESSIONS

 

 

 

+ Alan, Bp of St Albans +Justin, Archbishop

Ontario (Canada), Bishop George Lindsey Russell Bruce and Coadjutor Bishop Michael Oulton

 

 

 

Sick & Bereaved

 

 

Long term: Christina Billington, Judith Hill, Yvonne Rix,

Omid Tatiae, Margaret Taylor, Len Bennett, Priscilla Watt, Matthew Baynes, priest.

and immediate: Diane Luckraft, Gordon Hufford, Wendy Halls, Mary Smith, Giles Pilgrim Morris

 

 

 

RIP

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial

 

Bernie Pennock, Mark Dell

 

 

WEEKDAY SERVICE TIMES NEXT WEEK:

Morning Prayer Monday 9:00am; Tuesday 9:00am at All Saints Shrublands Road;

Wednesday 8:00am; Thursday & Friday 9:00am

Eucharist Tuesday 9:30am at All Saints’ Shrublands Road; Wednesday 8:30am in St Peters

Evening Prayer Monday – Friday 5:00pm; Saturday 6:00pm

 

NOTICES

NO PARKING in the Court House car park, please,

from 11am on Sunday 16 July

due to Parish barbecue.

 

GRIEF AND LOSS SUPPORT GROUP MONTHLY LUNCH 12:30pm Wednesday 19 July at The White Horse, Bourne End. Whether bereaved recently or a few years ago you will be very welcome to join us. If you would like to attend, need help with transport or would like further details, please contact Sylvia Banks 871195.

 

SAVE THE DATE! Oktoberfest 2017 will be held 23-24th September. This year’s there will be a performance of Handel’s Foundling Anthem at Ashlyns Chapel on Saturday 23rd. Singers are needed for the Festival Chorus. Please look out for further information. Wine tasting on Saturday evening, Bavarian beer and breakfast on Sunday morning.

 

PARISH OFFICE the office won’t be open regular hours until September. Please call before you come in.


 

 

MEETING THIS WEEK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSS

 

 

Third Sunday Service for families, 4:00 pm in St Peter’s with tea afterwards

Sun 16 July

 

 

 

 

 

Pastoral Network

 

Philippa Seldon 871534

7:45pm in the Court House

Mon 17 July

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mothers' Union

 

Margaret Burbidge tel: 862139

Summer fundraising lunch 12 noon, 17 Hall Park, beginning with Midday Prayers. Donations to MU Summer of Hope Appeal. All welcome.

Tues 18 July

 

 

 

 

 

Grief and Loss Support Group

 

Sylvia Banks 871195.

Monthly Lunch 12:30pm at The White Horse, Bourne End

Wed 19 July

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Fishes

 

Tracy Robinson 863559

Fridays in term time: 9:30-11:15am Court House. With today: Paul and Silas in prison

Fri 21 July

 

 

 

 

 

PEW LEAFLET notices copy-ready & rota swaps by 2pm Wednesday please

 

 

CONTACT US

 

Fr Tim Pilkington

Rector (day off Friday) 01442 879739

rector@greatberkhamsted.org.uk

Fr Simon Vivian

Assistant Curate (day off Thursday) 01442 864199

curate@greatberkhamsted.org.uk

Fr John Russell

Team Vicar (Gt Gaddesden, Lt Gaddesden, Nettleden)

john_russell@live.co.uk

Revd Penny Nash

Team Vicar (Potten End and Youth Minister)

vicar@holytrinitypottenend.org.uk

Parish Office

Hilary Armstrong and Kate Perera 01442 878227

churchoffice@greatberkhamsted.org.uk