Can you hear me, Mother?!

| Simon Bale | Vicar's Blog

The most important phrase in this passage isn’t actually part of it. Just before Mark writes, “and the crowd came together again so that they could not even eat.” he writes, “Then he went home.”

It’s at the same time typical of mark, to be so brief, but also very interesting that he chooses even to mention this. “Then he went home..” and all kinds of things kicked off.

Picture the scene. Jesus returns home and remains outside his house screaming at, well, the world, I guess...

— He is out of his mind! say the people.

— He is possessed! say the scribes.

Then Jesus launches into a tirade about Satan, about how Jesus is standing outside so people cannot plunder, and about blasphemy. Jesus is very deeply perplexed, that’s for sure. He even seems to denounce his own family, saying, “Who are my mother and brothers?!”

Imagine how his mum and brothers might have felt. Their big brother was getting very agitated. He was back home and instead of having a good chat with his family, he starts accusing people of being divided, of houses standing against houses, of what seems to be a very turbulent time about to come. Speaking of his mother as he appears to seems especially sour. Where is this Gentle Jesus, meek and mild? How come he’s apparently “out of his mind”? Well, he isn’t. Not in the slightest. He knows exactly what he’s saying: everyone is part of the family: Here are my mother and Brothers, those who do the will of God!

OK then, angry Jesus, what is this will of God, and why does it matter that we hear your angry outburst outside your own home?

We often talk about how family relations can be uplifting or destructive: it all depends. It is important to keep this in mind when we hear this passage of Jesus getting extremely agitated about the world outside his own home.

He goes home, but doesn't enter it.

He remains outside and lets rip.

His Mum is worried for him as any mother might be.

His brothers can’t grasp what he’s saying, with all this will of God stuff.

But this passage has to happen at home because “at home” is where we can begin to discern the will of God, where we feel both rooted and sent out. Of course his Mother is his Mother. Of course his brothers are his brothers.

But it goes way further than that and we can go way further as well. When we notice people doing the will of God, of course we are close to them. As we might be in a family. When we walk with people who love and care for all people, how can we not be drawn to them as a family is drawn together. Jesus is speaking of spiritual families not biological families. He is agitated because of that very reluctance we can have to hide away with our families and think nobody else can be like us. He is saying, notice we are all one family!

When we do the will of God, we step out into the world and discover others just like us.

When we do then we can put away our anger, we can look into the faces of our fellows and find brothers and sisters, loving all. When we acknowledge Jesus in this way we can truly be joined as a universal family.

Amen.

Covid Update

Given the significant rise in cases locally (not just among the clergy!), I think it is important that we reconsider the way we distribute communion. For the present time, until things settle down again, we will be reverting to the previous system of “priestly intinction” whereby the president offers an “intincted” wafer to communicants. Please do not feel obliged to receive the wine in this way. It is perfectly acceptable to receive only the bread: please let the president know.

Open Gardens

The weather wasn’t especially helpful, but the gardens of North Curry still looked splendid and the people turned out to marvel! A grand total of £1656.10 was raised over the two afternoons and (by all accounts—the vicar was in quarantine) everyone enjoyed the fellowship, the flowers and the fancies. Thank you to Lorraine Bryan-Brown and Liz Gibbs for their terrific organisation, to Keith Gibbs for his help with communication and to everyone who supported in anyway: car parks, teas and cakes, and most of all by opening your gardens!

Evening Prayer

“For everything there is a season”, (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and it would appear that the season for evening prayer on a Wednesday in Stoke St Gregory has come to an end, by mutual agreement of those who have attended for some years. Following the hiatus of the pandemic, it has become clear that this time of prayer together is no longer needed as part of the pattern of worship in the parish and there will be no more Wednesday evening prayer from now on. Stopping a time of prayer can seem a loss and counter to the mission we all have as Christians, and, of course, anytime to pray is to be welcomed. However, the writer of Ecclesiastes was wise and perceptive. He goes on to point out that, “[God] has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Eccles 3:11) Prayer continues daily in our hearts, I know. And Monday to Thursday each week there is morning prayer across the benefice. A new pattern will emerge in Stoke St Gregory in due course: I have faith that this will be so. In the meantime, all are welcome at 9am in North Curry (Mon), Stoke St Gregory (Tue), Burrowbridge (Wed) or Lyng (Thu).

Ukrainian Cuisine Evening: Tuesday 5th July

Ukrainian Cuisine Evening at the King Alfred Inn, Burrowbridge, in aid of field ambulances. Contact the King Alf Pub for tickets

Evening of Romantic Song and Popular Favourites, Sat 20th Aug

Saturday August 20th at 7.30pm in North Curry Church: Gregory Steward, tenor, presents an Evening of Romantic Song and Popular Favourites. Tickets £10 to include a glass of wine/juice: available from North Curry Post Office or from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on the door. Under-18s free.

Lyng Harvest Supper, 3rd September at 6pm

Come and celebrate the season with friends and food. Delicious fare for us to share. Ticket £5 available in advance only to include supper and a glass of wine, beer or a soft drink. We will be collecting donations for the local food-bank.

A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.

Lyngfest! Saturday July 30th, 7pm

Join us in the Village Hall garden for an evening of live music accompanied by Cheese and Cider tasting. Ticket £10 available in advance only. Kids go free. A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.

Pastoral care, July 2022

Years Mind

We call to mind parishioners who have died at this time in recent years.

Sylvia Dawe, Joyce Gridley, Margaret Hayhoe, Donald Phillips, Michelle Sutton, Charles Townshend, Eric Willoughby, Ronald Boobyer.

For those who are sick or in need

We hold in our prayers those affected locally and around the world by the Coronavirus: patients, carers, families, and friends.

We pray also for Alison, Andrea, Andy, Anne & family, Anne, Aoife, Audrey (2), Barbara, Ben, Bill, Brian, Carolyn, Chris & Jean, Dave & family, Sally, Edna, Jean, Val, Jan and Peter, Diane, Eileen, Elizabeth & George, George, Hannah, Helen, Innes, Isaac and his family, Jean, John, Joan, Joyce, Judith & David, Kay, Ken, Laurence, Libby and her family, Lorraine, Margaret, Mary, Mignon, Pam, Portia, Primrose, Ralph, Rita, Sheila, Sue & Robert, Susan, Thomas, Tom, Vi, Victoria, Zillah … ... and for their families and carers, and all those who are in need but not named.

If you would like to have a name added or removed from this list, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A prayer for Ukraine

Father of all,

We hold before you today the country of Ukraine and its people. We have no words to express the sadness we feel for them. We pray that your Holy Spirit will act to bring peace; that violence and brutality will have no place in its lands; that you will hold your people safe

Lord have Mercy

We pray that the people of your world will work together

To protect the poor and the afraid To heal the sick and the dying To free those oppressed and in prison We hold them all before you

Christ have Mercy

We hold before you those we know who are caught up in the situation. We pray for our armed forces. We pray for all those who stand for good in the face of evil. We pray for those hurting and grieving for their country. We hold them all in your love

And above all we pray for hope.

Lord have Mercy

Amen

Athelney Prayer

Almighty God, who made all things and sustains all things, we come together remembering the past and full of hope for the future.

We thank you for the part you call us to play in our Benefice's continuing story.

Lord, bind us more closely together and unite us in the work of your kingdom in our communities. Help us to draw on the gifts and talents in our midst and to use them in your service.

May we be a welcoming and loving community, united in worshipping you and open to your guiding Spirit.

Holy Spirit guide us and fill us with vision and energy; make us faithful in prayer and worship, that we may discover your way for the future and see your kingdom grow.

We ask these things in the name of your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Amen

Upcoming events


04 Jul 2022
09:00AM - 09:30AM
Morning Prayer: NC

05 Jul 2022
09:00AM - 09:30AM
Morning Prayer: SSG

07 Jul 2022
11:00AM - 12:00PM
Bells Committee

08 Jul 2022
04:00PM - 05:00PM
Choir practice

10 Jul 2022
Zoom link

10 Jul 2022
09:30AM - 12:00PM
Zoom Worship in Athelney

10 Jul 2022
10:00AM - 11:00AM
United Benefice service

11 Jul 2022
09:00AM - 09:30AM
Morning Prayer: NC

11 Jul 2022
06:30PM - 07:30PM
Kathryn Astin

11 Jul 2022
07:30PM - 09:30PM
Parish Council: Stoke St Gregory

Trinity 4, 10th July 2022
Deuteronomy 30:9-14

Moses said to the people of Israel, "The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors, when you obey the Lord your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

"Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?' No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe."

Psalm 25:1-9

Ad te, Domine, levavi

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you; *
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

2 Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.

3 Show me your ways, O Lord, *
and teach me your paths.

4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, *
for you are the God of my salvation;
in you have I trusted all the day long.

5 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, *
for they are from everlasting.

6 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *
remember me according to your love
and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.

7 Gracious and upright is the Lord; *
therefore he teaches sinners in his way.

8 He guides the humble in doing right *
and teaches his way to the lowly.

9 All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness *
to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Colossians 1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 10:25-37

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live."

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, `Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.' Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."