Notices for Sunday 16th July 2017

“The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”
Matt 13:23 (Message)

Help us Father God to bring our best soil, so that the Way of Jesus can take root deep within us.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev John Wiggall
After service tea hosts Bob and Evelyn

Our thanks for the flowers this morning which are given by Christina Wright in memory of her husband Percy
Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 23rd July
11.00am          Mr Carl Squire
Vestry Steward – Bob
Door Steward – Warren
Tea Hosts – Warren and Vera

Diary Dates

Mon 17th       Circuit Meeting at Rhosymedre 7.30pm
Wed 26th     Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Sun 30th       Circuit Farewell Service at Regent Street as we say goodbye to our minister Richard Sharples, his wife Biddy and family. 4.00pm Followed by food and refreshments

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

For the longest time I’ve read the Parable of the Sower as descriptions of various groups of people. As if there are certain people who are, no doubt about it, just plain rocky soil. Then there are others who hang out with the thorns. The lucky ones are the healthy soil.

That would be convenient. Especially if you happened to be fertile dirt. It may even be convenient to be the impervious path, because it might just feel like a condition you had nothing to do with. As if being poor soil is kind of like having acne, or a receding hair line.

But, the uncomfortable reality is that I have good soil potential within me… And, it’s only a stone’s throw from some seriously rocky ground.

Not far from the thorns and weeds either.

They are all within me. And depending on the day, or the moment, or the circumstance, I end up presenting one or the other.

Years ago now my wife and I tried starting a garden next to our house. There was good soil – we lived right by the bank of a creek after all. But, there were also a lot of large rocks. It was amazing how many we pulled out of that little patch. We tried tilling it up, and it was incredibly tough.

We even broke the tiller in the process. Broke a blade right off.

Eventually, after a half-baked effort, we gave up.

I could apply that story as a metaphor to many, many moments in my life. Sometimes I come up all rocks. Sometimes I break things.

Sometimes, to heck with it, I just give up.

Jesus is asking us here to bring our best dirt, so that his Way can take root deep within us. This isn’t something that happens by chance, or because we’re fortunate to have good genes. It’s something we put effort into.

We’re the ones charged with tilling our soil so that the Life which Jesus sows may grow in us, and produce a bounty.

Even if we bust the tiller in the process, there’s no giving up.

Rev Rick Morley, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA

The dreams of little people

All are to be sons of God. People used to call only the kings of Israel sons of God. But Jesus applies that term to anyone who is generous to his enemies. Everyone is then a king.

And is it not a privilege of the powerful to be able to give laws and
repeal old ones? What does Jesus do? He defines new laws. He says:

‘You have heard that it was said to those of old time,
You shall not kill,
and whoever kills is worthy of judgement.
But I say to you,
Anyone who is angry with his brother deserves judgement.’

Chuza had gone pale. He protested wearily:

But why does he present his teaching only to the little people? Why doesn’t he come to Tiberias? Why doesn’t he teach Antipas? I can think of only one answer. He dreams the dreams of little people:

Joanna agreed: ‘Of course he dreams the dreams of little people. He’s not addressing the rich and powerful. But what does he want to do? These little people are bent double by their toil. He wants them to walk upright. They’re bowed down by cares. He wants them to be free from cares. They’re people who feel insignificant. He gives them the feeling that their life has meaning. And you’re all worried about that. All of you and Herod Antipas, you’re worried that the little people might come to feel that they’re not little people. So you’ve spread the rumour that you want to kill Jesus. So that he disappears over the frontier. So that he leaves you in peace. So that the little people don’t hit on rebellious notions and become a danger to you:

Gerd Theissen, from The Shadow of the Galilean

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