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Newsletter - Trinity 5

30/06/24

Your weekly update from the Benwell & Scotswood Team

Click below to read this week's information and latest news.

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Annunciation (detail) by Botticelli; Uffizi Florence
 
 

Services this week


Sun 30 June

9.30am - St John's Holy Communion

11am - Hub service at St James (Parish Eucharist)


Thurs 27 June

10.30am - Holy Communion at Ven Bede

 

Dates for your Diary

Sun 30 June

3pm ordination at Newcastle Cathedral

5pm celebration of Abi and Claire's ordination at St James


Sat 3 Aug

Benstock Festival

 

News


Abi and Claire's ordination - this Sunday!


We are delighted that Abigail Harris and Claire Lewis, two of our own congregation will be ordained deacon at Newcastle Cathedral on 30th June.


We will be going to the Cathedral for the ordination at 3pm.


We will then have a celebration at 5pm in St James' hall.


The cathedral address is:

St Nicholas Cathedral, NE1 1PF


Claire has been training at Cranmer Hall, Durham, and will become curate at St Mary’s Monkseaton. Abi has been training at Westcott House, Cambridge, and will become Curate at Hexham Abbey.


 

Embrace - Gaza appeal


The people of Gaza are living through an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Israel’s response has led to indiscriminate civilian suffering, with residents forced to move from place to place in search of safety. Food and medical supplies have all but run out; water, electricity, and fuel have been cut off.

The people of Gaza were already on their knees with 80% of residents reliant on humanitarian aid to survive. Please, can you make a donation into help in their hour of need?

You can donate online, by clicking below, or by calling 01494 897950. Your gift will support Embrace’s Christian partners in the immediate aftermath of this humanitarian crisis and to help to heal the wounds it’s caused across Israel – Palestine.





 

Sunday Worship



Sunday 30 June 2024

Trinity 5

Green

Readings



Lamentations 3.22–33

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,   his mercies never come to an end;23 they are new every morning;   great is your faithfulness.24 ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,   ‘therefore I will hope in him.’

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,   to the soul that seeks him.26 It is good that one should wait quietly   for the salvation of the Lord.27 It is good for one to bear   the yoke in youth,28 to sit alone in silence   when the Lord has imposed it,29 to put one’s mouth to the dust   (there may yet be hope),30 to give one’s cheek to the smiter,   and be filled with insults.

31 For the Lord will not   reject for ever.32 Although he causes grief, he will have compassion   according to the abundance of his steadfast love;33 for he does not willingly afflict   or grieve anyone.


Gospel


Mark 5.21–43

21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ 24So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ 29Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ 31And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ 32He looked all round to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ 36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ 40And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.



Intercessions


Prayers for others:

  • John Nicholson

  • Malcolm Smith

  • Paulette Thompson

  • John Peterson

  • Maria Hawthorn

  • Herbert Agbeko

  • Ellis Nelson

  • Pauline Nelson

  • Michelle Wilson

  • Peter Wilson

  • Alan Taylor

  • Maureen Taylor

  • Irene Foskett

  • Lorraine Atkinson

  • Pat Law

  • Moe and Mary

  • Hilary Dixon

  • Lynn Mosby

  • Nelly

  • Irene Scaife


Other

  • Abi and Claire as they are ordained deacon.

  • The ongoing situation in Russia, Ukraine, Gaza, Iran, Sudan and all other places at war.


If you would like to add someone to the prayer list please email church@benwellscotswood.com

The name will stay on the list for 1 month unless requested to be long-term.


 

Sermon

Revd Chris


We have two powerful stories of Jesus’ ministry here. A father comes to Jesus, begging to heal his twelve-year-old daughter who is at the point of death. As Jesus goes to the girl, a woman in the crowd follows, too scared to approach to ask for help. She has been bleeding for twelve years, as long as the girl has been alive, she reaches out to touch the hem of his cloak and is instantly healed.


These two people are part of the same story, the Gospel writer wants us to notice the both the girl and the woman at the same time. But why?

*

We are being asked to compare their situations directly. The young girl cannot advocate for herself, she is too ill to come to Jesus, but she does have a father who loves her - the leader of the synagogue no less, Jairus, someone of standing in the community who can boldly approach the famous teacher. The woman, however, we assume is alone, there is no one there to advocate for her. No friends to carry her on a mat or lower her through the roof to be seen by Jesus. Having a constant bleed would not only leave her exhausted but would have made her ritually unclean - she would be unable to enter the Jerusalem temple and anyone else who touched her would become unclean themselves and therefore would keep their distance. She must have felt cut off from both God and community.

*

Both the woman and the girl’s father are driven by a desperate hope. Although they approach from very different positions, both have nowhere else to turn. Hope brings them to the same point of faith, reaching out to Jesus Christ, believing he can heal. Both come from different places to the same source of healing.  

*

The Gospel writer treats the story of the woman with great care and compassion. Despite everyone else keeping their distance we, the readers, are drawn so close that we are granted a glimpse of the woman’s most vulnerable inner thoughts, we hear her words as she says to herself ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’

We sense the shame she must have felt, the loneliness, the desire for connection to God and others. She does not even want to touch him directly and make Jesus unclean, but just to touch something that touches him will be enough.

*

The story becomes hyper-focused on that tiny distance between her finger and the worn and dusty cloth wrapped around Jesus, such a small physical distance but a huge chasm of shame. Her skin brushes against the fibres for the tiniest moment.


And everything stops.


Jesus looks around and to see who has done it. Trembling and overwhelmed she falls down before him and pours out her whole story for all to hear. And he responds ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’


Daughter.

*

Jesus must continue on. He goes to Jairus’ house, to his daughter, there Jesus is laughed at and told not to bother, for she is dead already, beyond all help. Jairus must have felt his world collapse, it was too late even for Jesus to save her. The distance between finger and cloak seemed so great, but the gap between life and death is insurmountable. But no, ‘little girl, get up’ Jesus says. And she does. The room is full of amazement.

*

By comparing these two stories we are being told about how God sees us. Whereas the girl has a father to care for her, the woman who had no one, has become a daughter too. We are being told Jesus looks on us with the same love that Jairus looks on his daughter. The woman is no longer alone, outcast by others, but welcomed into the family, into the heart of God.

And we too are being called to be like Jairus, we have the privilege to love others, pray for others, those who cannot advocate for themselves, and God will respond because he loves them as his own children.

*

When we reach out to God we may feel the distance is huge, we feel ashamed and unworthy, but God turns to us, sees us in the crowd, knows us fully, even in our shame. We may feel unnoticed and insignificant in the universe, but God looks on us as his own children and loves us.

*

I think it is significant that the first thing Jesus tells the girl after she is healed is “get up and eat”! This is what we do too. We eat together. And as we normally say in our liturgy, “Blessed are those who are called to his supper” “Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word”. Today we break bread together. Here we touch Jesus’ clothing of flesh in communion. We touch the body and drink the blood.

*

Whatever in your life brings you shame and disconnects you from others, know that you are loved as a child of God. Many things may stand in our way that seem insurmountable, but it is enough to want to even just touch something that touches God. You might not know what you believe, but it is enough to want to come close, to be near others in the crowd. God sees you amongst it all and calls the rest of us to care for you, love you, and eat together.

*

Amen.

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