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Intercessions for Trinity + 7 (Proper 11) Year B: 19 July 2015


Benjamin Haas via shutterstock

The Collect

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things:  graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in the same; 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: 2 Samuel 7.1-14a

When David was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.’ But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’ Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you, David, that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.

Psalm 89.20-37

‘I have found David my servant; *with my holy oil have I anointed him.
‘My hand shall hold him fast * and my arm shall strengthen him.
‘No enemy shall deceive him, * nor any wicked person afflict him.
‘I will strike down his foes before his face * and beat down those that hate him.
My truth also and my steadfast love shall be with him * and in my name shall his head be exalted.
‘I will set his dominion upon the sea * and his right hand upon the rivers.
‘He shall call to me, “You are my Father, * my God, and the rock of my salvation;”
‘And I will make him my firstborn: * the most high above the kings of the earth.
‘The love I have pledged to him will I keep for ever, * & my covenant will stand fast with  him.
‘His seed also will I make to endure for ever * and his throne as the days of heaven.
‘But if his children forsake my law * and cease to walk in my judgements,
‘If they break my statutes * and do not keep my commandments,
‘I will punish their offences with a rod * and their sin with scourges.
‘But I will not take from him my steadfast love * nor suffer my truth to fail.
‘My covenant will I not break * nor alter what has gone out of my lips.
‘Once for all have I sworn by my holiness * that I will not prove false to David.
‘His seed shall endure for ever * and his throne as the sun before me;
‘It shall stand fast for ever as the moon, * the enduring witness in the heavens.’

Second Reading: Ephesians 2.11-22

Remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’ – a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands – remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

Gospel Reading: Mark 6.30-34,53-56

The apostles returned from their mission. They gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

The lectionary for today packs a lot in, and each time I re-read it I find something new. The RSCM points out: ‘One of Jesus’ greatest miracles came when ‘many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat’. A friend pointed out: Christ ‘had compassion for them…he began to teach them’: we are used to stories of his healing the sick in a physical sense, but here he responded to a group whose hopeless lack of direction was obvious to him. Breaking down dividing walls between groups. Christ as the cornerstone (again). And Janeites can find her unique insight on these passages here (search ‘escalated’ pp 89/90). But the key is perhaps our individual relationship with God, which engenders – or ought to – our overwhelming gratitude:

Human beings need to feel special…knowing that we are identified as individuals is an essential element in both Judaism and Christianity, despite the deeply communal nature of each faith…Friedrich Schleirmacher…said that religion is the external expression of internal feelings of faith….none is more fundamental than gratitude. Gratitude is the consummate religious expression…A million things evoke gratitude towards someone or something beyond ourselves – whether or not we feel able to define who or what that someone or something is…we express gratitude by putting to good use the gifts with which we are blessed…there is a Jewish saying that we will have to give account on the judgement day of every good thing that we refused to enjoy when we might have done so.

I shall not want‘ by the Revd Dave Tomlinson (pp 79-84)

Prayers of Intercession

As sheep who have found their shepherd, we pray through Christ our Lord.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord God, we thank you for your work in the Church, where your followers attempt to be members one of another in the body of your son. We thank you for those times when you are able to work through us, and for the privilege such responsibility affords. And we thank you that, when needed, you work around and in spite of our efforts, for you know our frailties. Guide us, O Lord, as we seek to serve you.

To the greater glory of you in all that we do: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

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

Lord, whose beauty is beyond our imagining, and whose power we cannot comprehend: show us your glory so far as we can grasp it, while shielding us from more knowledge than we can bear until we may look upon you without fear. Your Spirit is around us in the air we breathe; your glory touches us in the light that we see, the fruitfulness of the earth, and the joy of its creatures. You have written for us your revelation, as you have granted us your daily bread: teach us how to use it.

To the greater glory of you in all that we do: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

Lord, help us to know and love the people whom you have planted as our fellow labourers in the vineyard. May we be fresh air and nourishment to each other, through your grace. And if we become bruised, and find it hard grow together, you have promised to break down the divisions between us. Where fields are overgrown with thorns, you will disperse every trace of bitterness and replant. And in you shall we find our peace.

To the greater glory of you in all that we do: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶Those who suffer

Lord, you have compassion on your people in all their needs, and have promised your steadfast love if we do but build on you as our cornerstone. You look into our hearts and see a beauty worth the battle: you watch over our growth and find a purpose worth the pain. The past bears your footprints; the future holds your hope; but, above all,  be the presence in our present, O Lord, our comforter.

To the greater glory of you in all that we do: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we lay before you all those who have died. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. As you make us a dwelling place for you in the here and now, so may we come to dwell with you for ever.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers…


The prayers today draw inspiration from Gerard Kelly’s Twitturgies.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Collect (7th after Trinity) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

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