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Intercessions: 10th Sunday after Trinity (Proper 13) Year C: 4 August 2013


The Collect

Let your merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of your humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Hosea 11.1-11

Hear the word of the Lord, O people. When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them. They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me.
The sword rages in their cities, it consumes their oracle-priests, and devours because of their schemes. My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all. How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. They shall go after the Lord, who roars like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west. They shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will return them to their homes, says the Lord.

Psalm 107.1-9,43

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious, *for his steadfast love endures for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say this, * those he redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands from the east and from the west, * from the north and from the south.
Some went astray in desert wastes * and found no path to a city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty, * their soul was fainting within them.
So they cried to the Lord in their trouble * and he delivered them from their distress.
He set their feet on the right way * till they came to a city to dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness * and the wonders he does for his children.
For he satisfies the longing soul * and fills the hungry soul with good.
Whoever is wise will ponder these things *and consider the loving-kindness of the Lord.

Second Reading: Colossians 3.1-11

If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things – anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!


Gospel Reading: Luke 12.13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?’ And he said to the crowd, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.‘” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’


Prayers of Intercession

The last two weeks have been about prayer, and how to pray. Today is perhaps a warning about what we pray for. God is not Father Christmas, the giver of sackfuls of material wealth, nor the divinity in charge of a cargo cult. So prayer that consists simply of a shopping list is unlikely to produce the intended result. The Revd John Proctor, writing in The Ministry of the Word for today (pp269-71) says of the gospel reading:

Greed is insidious. It creeps in seemingly uninvited, and must be guarded against…In ancient Israel, the promise of God’s blessing leading to prosperity had been corrupted so that all prosperity was seen as a sign of God’s blessing. In the modern West, the triumph of material prosperity has fooled us into believing that consumerism is the superior ideology…greed, we are told, is the motive power of progress. But real life is life with God. Do we invest as much thought… in our spiritual life as in our barns- our cars and clothes, holidays and houses? As his possessions possess him, the man’s world shrinks until his own comfort completely fills his horizons. The needs of others and the worship of God fail even to register on the periphery. But mortality brings reality…are we wise or foolish investors?


¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we pray for your Church. Fill it with all truth, for in your truth lies our peace. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in error, redirect it. Where anything is amiss, reform it; where it is in want, provide for it. Give us grace seriously to take to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions; take away all prejudice and whatever hinders us from union and concord; so that, as there is but one body and one spirit, we may all be of one heart and one soul, united to worship you with one mind and one mouth, with all that we do together being for your greater glory.

We offer you our souls and bodies to do with you as you will; in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, creator of galaxies in our universe and every blade of grass on our planet, inspire in us your servants the will to ensure the survival of the animals and plants which you have given to share this earth with us. Help us to understand that ‘having dominion’ does not license us to exploit the living world without thought for the consequences. Instil in us all the realization that we are not the sole occupants of our world, but part of the celestial music of the spheres, in which we each play our part, weaving and inter-weaving amongst each other in the cosmic dance led by your son.

We offer you our souls and bodies to do with you as you will; in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

Lord, we commend to your continual care the homes in which your people live. Put far from our homes every root of bitterness and the single-minded desire for worldly success, whatever the spiritual cost to themselves and those around them. Fill the hearts of the people with faith and the love of you. Knit together in constant affection those who have made a family together, as well as those in the extended family of the community. So may we constantly see the face of your son in the people around us, amongst whom we live and breathe and have our being.

We offer you our souls and bodies to do with you as you will; in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we bring before you those who suffer. Help us all to remember St John of the Cross,  who found at the darkest moments of his life that it was then he felt your presence and your love most strongly. And from the depths of despair comes the courage to continue, if we but know you are with us. May we be aware of those around us who are in mental or physical pain. And give us the insight which will lead us to a way in which we can help them.

We offer you our souls and bodies to do with you as you will; in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, from whom neither life nor death can separate those who trust in your love,  and whose love holds us all in your embrace; so unite us to yourself that in fellowship with you we may always be united to our loved ones. Give us courage, constancy and hope, through him who died and was buried and rose again for us.

We offer you our souls and bodies to do with you as you will; in your mercy, hear our prayer.




2 comments on this post:

Joyce said...

Thank you for these. Very perceptively and helpfully worded.

07 August 2013 07:00
Keith said...

Very good and thoughtful

26 August 2017 21:18

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