Weekly Reading, Prayers and Reflections

12 July 2020            Fifth Sunday after Trinity                       Green

Genesis 25.19-34              Psalm 119.105-112           Romans 8.1-11

Matthew 13.1-9,18-23


Opening responses

Jesus, Lord of the miraculous catch, calmer of the sea, fisher of people, may we make peace in your name. The peace of the Lord be always with you.


We take a moment to think about this past week.


Eternal God, In the ordinary moments of our lives
When thoughts, distractions and busyness might keep us apart
Open our hearts to let you in

When you stand before us, as angel or stranger
And whisper softly to our soul
Open our hearts in obedience to your will


We are sorry Lord

For the times when we forget to thank you Lord

For the times when we have abandoned

others instead of offering a lifebelt

For the times when we have not risked a full life

but been content with a safe life. We are sorry


May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Collect

Almighty Father creator of the oceans and land whose Son sailed the seas and calmed the storms. Anoint all seafarers with your Holy Spirit, that as it breathed over the waters of creation, so may you bring newness of life to them and us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Gospel                      Matthew 13.1-9,18-23

1Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!

18Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When 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. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet 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. 22As 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. 23But 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.’



Sea Sunday and we have a reading about farming! But at the very beginning of the reading we see that Jesus sat beside a lake – a tenuous link but one I intend to build upon! Jesus was often seen around water, he sailed the sea of Galilee, calmed the storm, called Peter across the waves, and saved him when Peter began to sink. He called fishermen to follow him. He advised on how to fish too! Many of the things we know about Jesus are related to events that happened around water. (Also the woman at the well, water into wine … )That he was able to control creation, that he was a leader who inspired others, He was someone who saved, and that he was a teacher, as in today’s reading.


Being by the sea is soothing, I walk around the coast path to keep sane, and to remember that God and his love are bigger than all the worries that I have. I do wonder if Jesus felt the same sense of timelessness of being next to water. Nothing about the sea gets old, all is new and fresh, peaceful, and stormy, and we just have to accept the sea’s many moods for what they are. Deep and dark blues chase along with turquoise and shimmering diamond droplets, white “horses” race faster than a thoroughbred filly, and the gentle rocking motion can send you to sleep, but moments later to a bucket when the gentle part becomes rough! The sea is kind and violent, a hard mistress and one that needs to be treated with caution and respect.


So, Jesus gets into the boat, and the people stand on the beach listening to him. What always seem important is that they are on a transitional place, the beach will grow and shrink with the tide, and what seemed safe ground can suddenly become submerged. The ground they are standing on to listen to Jesus will soon disappear, might all they learn disappear too? Now they are close to him, soon he may be gone across the sea, and they wont be able to follow. Hearing about the parable of the weeds, how many were suddenly submerged? Hearing about the seed sowing, and recognising that the parable related to their lives, where is the seed of the kingdom landing in their life? On the ground which is uncertain and easy to be swept away by concerns and business, or on rocky ground – starting off with good intentions until the next fad comes and all energy goes in following the new things.


We might want to claim kingdom sowing in our lives, for if you are reading this you are likely to be interested in God! But to harvest seeds for the kingdom takes more that an interest, it takes a dedication to following Jesus in words AND action, in hearing AND responding to the challenges of becoming one of Jesus’ followers. May you stand as one of the friends of Jesus not in the transitional land of uncertainty, but on the firm ground where your harvest will be one of all the fruits of a life lived following the Lord of Life with all your heart, mind, soul and actions. Amen.


Intercessions from Mission to Seafarers


Lord God, creator of all that is,              Hear our prayer.

Gracious God, today, on Sea Sunday, we offer our prayers for those whose lives are affected by the sea. We pray for people whose work takes them to sea; for those in the different branches of the navy; for those who transport goods by ship; for those who catch fish for their living. Be with them as they work, and keep them safe when the weather is bad and seas are rough. Lord God, creator of all that is, Hear our prayer.


We pray for those who give help when people get into difficulties at sea.

For the RNLI Sennen Cove and all the lifeboat service, and for air-sea rescue; for coast guards, Coastwatch and for lifeguards. We thank You for their courage and ask that You will guard and guide them as they work for others in need. Lord God, creator of all that is,                  Hear our prayer.


Lord, the sea is a place full of beauty, but it has also been damaged by our greed and by our selfishness. People are not always careful about how they treat the sea; poisons are allowed to seep into it; rubbish endangers the plants and creatures that live in it. Be with those whose special work it is to make the sea clean, and show us how we can share this wonderful resource.

Lord God, creator of all that is,              Hear our prayer.


We pray for those who are going on holiday to the seaside, especially those from our own congregation. Keep them safe on the beaches and in the sea;

May they come back refreshed, and ready for new work and activity.

Lord God, creator of all that is,              Hear our prayer.


We pray now for ourselves. As we think of the sea, we ask that You will help us

To value this wonderful resource, and to play our part in caring for it, so that those who come after us may also have their lives enriched by all that it can offer. We offer these our prayers in the name of Jesus who called fishermen to be His friends, and who preached from a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Amen

Concluding with the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be on done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.


Closing Prayers

May you see the way wherever the journey takes you, sailing safely over rough water and weathering the waves’ dips and crests

May you find treasure in Earth’s infinite variety, beauty and surprise

May you hear the ocean’s music in every shell you hold to your ear

May your boat fill with insight, laughter, generosity and love as you discover new landscapes and explore the wide expanse of memory.

And the may the blessing of God our Creator, of Jesus the great fisherman and of the Holy Spirit who moves over the face of the sea guard and guide us today and always, Amen.


Set sail in peace to love and serve the Lord. 

In the name of Christ. Amen.


Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):

Genesis 25.19-34 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA  Matthew 13.1-9,18-23 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA  Romans 8.1-11 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA  Psalm 119.105-112 (Nun) ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000  Some material included in this service is copyright: ©  The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)




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