Thoughts from the Vicarage 2nd August, Trinity 8
Isaiah 55.1-5; Matthew 14.13-21
Suddenly it’s summer, at least for a day or two! I am writing on 30 July. The Bible readings for this week include our need for some of the basics of life – water and food.
Isaiah 55 is a beautiful chapter with an invitation to drink if we are thirsty – water, wine, milk. If we are hungry there is bread for free as well. Verse 6 follows with another invite “To seek the Lord while He may be found and call on Him while he is near”. The “New Living Translation” of the bible gives this chapter the heading “The Messiah’s Invitation to the World”.
What have you missed the most over the recent months of isolation – family, friends or perhaps the fellowship of our church community? For some the most missed event will have been Communion – not being able to remember Jesus life, death and rising again through the bread and wine. An alternative service offered by the Church of England was “spiritual communion”. Some clergy may have taken communion alone, on behalf of their congregations. For me this did not feel to be something I should do.
Matthew 14 and the feeding of the 5000 is not about spiritual choice but about hunger and sudden need. I guess most of us know the story well. Jesus needed a break and headed off with his disciples for some “time out” away from the crowds on the lakeside. It wasn’t to be, and this random crowd of needy people followed, excited by the power and presence of Jesus. The five loaves and two fish miraculously provide a supermarket warehouse amount of food and enough second helpings for the next day as well.
While writing for this week I have been reminded of two world issues on the rise at present. The first is for those nations facing famine, the second is for individuals, including many Christians, fearing persecution. Even in this country we are seeing increased numbers needing support from foodbanks and other charities. Racial and religious intolerance in some areas is also a growing concern.
Gathering at St Mary’s for our Sunday service this week we will once again be able to share communion again – at this stage just a communion wafer but in time we pray it will also be the wine. Though a little different we will do our best to guide and lead everyone through this in the coming weeks.
Almighty Lord and everlasting God,
we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern
both our hearts and bodies
in the ways of your laws
and the works of your commandments;
that through your most mighty protection,
both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.