Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 5: 2 July 2023


The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23



O God,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to suffer death upon a cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of the enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



This week:

  • Genesis 22:1-14
  • Psalm 13
  • Romans 6:12-23
  • Matthew 10:40-42

  • Next week:
  • Genesis 24:34-38,
  • 42-49, 58-67
  • Psalm 45:10-17
  • Romans 7:14-25
  • Matthew 11:15-19, 25-30

A Thought to Ponder

Pentecost 5 – Matthew 10:40-42
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me . . . and whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me . . . “And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple – amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

Today’s Gospel is the conclusion of Matthew’s collection of Jesus’ wisdom sayings to those who will go forth on mission to proclaim his Gospel – Jesus speaks of the sacrifice demanded of his disciples and the suffering they will endure for their prophetic proclamation of the Kingdom of God. In today’s pericope, Jesus clearly is not attacking family life; he is warning his disciples of the conflict and misunderstanding they will experience for their proclaiming the word. To be an authentic disciple of Jesus means embracing the suffering, humility, pain and selflessness of the cross; to be an authentic disciple of Jesus means taking on the often unpopular role of prophet for the sake of the kingdom; to be an authentic disciple of Jesus means welcoming and supporting other disciples who do the work of the Gospel.
God calls every one of us to the work of the prophet: to proclaim his presence among his people. Some are called to be witnesses of God’s justice in the midst of profound evil and hatred; others are called to be witnesses of his hope and grace to those in pain and anguish; and many share in the work of the prophet/witness by enabling others to be effective witnesses and ministers of God’s love. The gift of faith opens our spirits to realise and accept our call to be witnesses of God’s love borne on the cross and prophets of the hope of his Son’s resurrection.
The most difficult part of imitating Jesus is the cross and what it stands for: unconditional forgiveness, the total emptying of ourselves of our wants and needs for the sake of another, the spurning of safety and popular convention to do what is right and just.

To “receive the prophet’s reward” is to seek out every opportunity, to use every talent with which we have been blessed, to devote every resource at our disposal to make the love of God a living reality in every life we touch.
Authentically committed disciples of Jesus possess the vision of faith and determination of hope to use anything — from a cup of cold water to a sign to protect the most helpless of creatures — to make God’s reign of compassion and peace a reality in our time and place.
© Connections/MediaWorks


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