- Live Stream Sunday Mass: Luke the Evangelist
The live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/1QaeF9R7MRs. This link will work from your computer, tablet or mobile device.
If you are connecting using a SmartTV you will need to open the YouTube application on your television and search for the listing. Due to the large number of listings it’s easiest to search for 1QaeF9R7MRs which will take you directly to it.
Phonetic: 1 Quebec Alpha Echo Foxtrot 9 Romeo 7 Mike Romeo Sierra
- Readings for Luke the Evangelist
3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;6 then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
1 Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.3 He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.6 The LORD lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre.
2 Timothy 4.5-17
5 As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come.7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.9 Do your best to come to me soon,10 for Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry.12 I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds.15 You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.16 At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them!17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road.5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you;9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
- Christmas Hamper
This year NewWine Church Maidstone will be giving out Free Christmas Hampers to members of our Community on 20/12/20 at Langley Park Primary Academy, Edmett Way Maidstone. ME17 3NG.
Furthermore, the time slot for Hamper collection will be allocated to the recipients nearer to the date.
This initiative is for low income earners, single Parents, those struggling to afford a lovely meal, the marginalized, etc.
Vouchers will be issued from Sunday 25th October to Sunday 13th December (Sunday’s only) between 10am to 12noon on a first come, first served basis.
The recipient must provide a valid proof ( such as evidence of low income, income support statement, etc) on the voucher collection day.
Kindly, circulate this information to those that will benefit from it.
Please, see attached flyer for details.
Thank you once again for your continued support.
Pastor Femi Abimbola.
New Wine Church
- Care Home Chaplaincy Online Service
This online service celebrates chaplaincy in care homes. Debbie Thrower, founder of Anna Chaplaincy, leads the service, with contributions from care home chaplains and residents, as well as a poetry reading from Bob Weighton, once the oldest man in the world.
Elizabeth’s work with the care homes during lockdown is described in some detail (at about 24 minutes in).
- Sermon for Trinity 18
Service of the Word; Matthew 22:1-14
An old friend of mine was invited to a royal occasion several years ago – and though I haven’t visited her lately, I think the invitation is still on her mantelpiece. You might wonder if that’s because she wants to show off. I’m sure it isn’t – it’s a reminder for her of one of the big occasions of her life, and it shows how honoured she felt by the invitation and how much she appreciated it.
Our readings today, and particularly today’s Gospel, all point towards what is in fact a royal invitation. God requests the pleasure of His people’s company. And He means that. Our company, if he can have it, is a pleasure to Him. Sometimes we may ask ourselves why – but there it is. We aren’t talking about a jaded West End hostess working through her address book – we are talking about the most gracious royal host we can imagine, who seeks our friendship.
Christopher Robin watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and asked: “Do you think the King knows all about me?”
Well, in this case, this King does know all about me – and He still wants to be my friend, and He wants my company. Hence the invitation.
Our Lord’s story today, as Matthew presents it, is really two stories. It’s fair to say that our Lord might not even have told them on the same occasion – St Luke includes the first but not the second, but for St Matthew they belong together. And, in combination, they can make a modern hearer do a double-take. I can remember being quite upset by today’s Gospel when I first heard it in my schooldays. We finish up with a poor man who has apparently been scooped up off the street and deposited in the middle of a royal banquet, who then gets thrown out because he isn’t wearing the right clothes. Well, any fairly bolshy schoolgirl will say that that isn’t fair.
I think it helps if we take the two stories in turn, and – important – put them together and ask ourselves how they applied to St Matthew’s audience, and how they can apply to us.
First of all, the story about the royal invitations, sent out by royal messenger. St Matthew has this coming immediately after the story about the landowner and his vineyard, and he evidently sees those stories as parallels: in the vineyard story the landowner sends out messengers to ask for something (the landlord’s share of the produce) while in this story the king sends out messengers with invitations to something – a royal wedding celebration. But in both stories the messengers are greeted, not with a welcome; not even with a perfunctory “Oh, all right”; but with utter contempt, and, then, with violence. These stories are being told in Jerusalem, and Matthew links them with a comment that the religious establishment figures in that Jerusalem audience knew that what the Lord was saying was about them. God has called His chosen people into a relationship with Him; He expects, from them, respect for Him, and justice in their dealings with one another; He has prepared a feast of rich food and wants to share it with them. He sends messengers to carry the reminders and the invitations, and His messengers get attacked – they don’t even have the guarantee of safety that a messenger has by age-old convention. We might think, as our Lord surely did, of John the Baptist – but also, further back, of Elijah fleeing for his life, or Jeremiah thrown into an underground cistern, or Amos, told to take his prophecies elsewhere before something nasty happened to him. They were all attacked by people who had political or religious power, and who misused it; and our Lord here makes it clear that you can’t go on treating the messengers, and their message, like that for ever. To insult the messenger, or worse, is to insult the one who sent him. If you go on doing that, you can find yourself running out of chances, and someone else (possibly someone you would want nothing to do with) will be given the chance you threw away. Now it looks as if St Matthew, writing after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Emperor Titus in 70 AD, interprets that warning in the light of history – as far as he’s concerned, the burning and pillaging of the temple, and the massacres and atrocities that went with it, were divine retribution, and that’s why, in Matthew’s report of the parable, there seems to be a military expedition just as the banquet is coming to the table. But it’s the punchline of the story that matters, and St Luke agrees about that – that the original guests proved not to be worthy, and they are now going to be replaced by a motley crew, both bad and good, who will be quite astonished to find themselves invited. Matthew and his original audience had, between them, plenty of Jewish background – but they would have got the point: if the Jewish establishment of Our Lord’s time had thrown away their chance, there was room at the table, now, for Jewish people who perhaps didn’t tick all the boxes, and for people who weren’t Jewish at all – a feast of rich food for all peoples, in fact, as Isaiah had suggested there would be.
So much for the messages of invitation. What about the wedding garment? Again, this is about respect for a gracious host. When the Queen gives a garden party these days, she invites all sorts of people who are not millionaires, and she doesn’t expect them to dress like millionaires; the invitation just comes with a line or two of guidance about what you should wear – a suit for the men, a smart summer dress for the women. In other words, take a little bit of trouble. And why wouldn’t we?
Move the scene to a very opulent oriental court in the ancient world, where a royal wedding celebration would go on for a week or more, and things become much more elaborate. The king’s domestic staff will of course greet you on arrival, and wash your feet, and anoint you with perfumed oil, because that’s just common politeness to any dinner guest anywhere – but if you’ve had a difficult journey to come to this royal wedding, and most journeys were difficult, the king’s servants will surely invite you to have a bath and change your clothes before you join the company. And if your clothes are travel-stained and your luggage still on its way – or if the king wants to give you a particular welcome – the servants will offer you, from the palace wardrobes, a fresh robe to put on when you’ve had your bath. So, do you then say to the servants, “I thought this was a come-as-you-are party. Keep your robe, you’re lucky to see me here at all.”? Well, in our Lord’s story, when the King went to mingle with his guests in person, he found a guest who, from the look of him, had quite clearly said just that. And when the King addressed him as “Friend”, he had nothing to say – because, although he was there in the building, he wasn’t there as a friend. He was, as we would say, just there for the beer, and although he was in someone else’s house, he was going to conduct himself exactly as he liked. The king wanted his company, but he didn’t want the king’s company. And once that was clear to all concerned – well, I’m surprised if he waited to be thrown out. In that moment he had come face to face with the king, and seeing the look on the king’s face, he simply vanished into the dark.
For St Matthew’s original audience, there would have been a double message here. First: a message of encouragement, suggesting that God welcomed them to His table, whatever their origins or their past record, and had more pleasure in them than in those who, within living memory, had treated His messenger and His Son with contempt instead of accepting his invitation. They were invited to come “Just as I am….”, and they did. But the second message is a message of warning: Don’t presume on God’s welcome to the point of forgetting your manners. If you do, you yourself will be treating your royal host with contempt. When you arrived, you were invited to take off your tired clothes, to have a bath, and to put on new ones – in other words, as St Paul explains it, to put off your old self, be renewed and put on your new self, put on Christ. Indeed, in the early centuries of the Church, and often today where people are baptised as grown-ups, baptisms would be done just like that. You took off your own clothes, you went down into the water, and when you came up out of the water, there was – a white robe waiting for you to put it on. That was part of the sacramental sign of the fresh start God was giving you. You came just as you were, but you came in repentance, seeking renewal. So: you should be behaving like someone who has had a fresh start.
So what about us? I’d suggest that, for us, there might be an element of warning in both parts of the story. First, perhaps we aren’t given to treating the messengers, or the invitation, with active contempt – but are we… inclined to take God’s invitations for granted? Indeed, do we always recognise them when they come, or appreciate them for the privileges they are? Yes, a royal invitation might indeed involve rearranging one’s timetable or one’s diary – oh, dear, Sunday Mass is at 10.30 and the PCC meets 6 times a year on Wednesdays. Some royal occasions are thrilling, others generally aren’t, and the King probably finds that as well. But He is faithful, and he invites us to be faithful. When he says, “Do this”, he isn’t saying “Come along now and then, if you happen to feel like it”. He’s saying, “I am completely committed to being there, always, because your friendship matters so much to Me. So what about you?”
And second: are we, as well, inclined to take for granted that fresh robe – the opportunities God gives us for renewal? For most of us, our baptism was a long time ago – when did we last stop and thank God for it? And in addition, we may then realise that our baptismal robe is a bit travel-stained these days – but God is always waiting for us, waiting with a fresh robe, just as the father did for the prodigal son, when we come to ourselves and turn towards home. That’s what sacramental Confession is there for – and it isn’t just for distinguished sinners or distinguished saints; it’s there for ordinary, common-or-garden Christians who find it a source of refreshment and renewal, and choose it as a concrete way of making a fresh start – perhaps before a new stage in their lives, perhaps as a special preparation just before Easter or another festival, perhaps as a way of kick-starting their Christian lives when they feel they’re getting bogged down, perhaps as part of their ordinary rule of life. It’s a sacrament that tends to be under-recognised and under-used in the Church of England, and it shouldn’t be; having it available, and keeping it available, is one of the things a church like St Michael’s stands for. We, of all people in Maidstone, shouldn’t take that for granted.
Today – a day when we are without a priest and can’t therefore celebrate the holy Eucharist – is an opportunity to stand back and appreciate that royal invitation that comes to us, in the ordinary way, Sunday after Sunday. Let us never be tempted to take God’s invitations, or God’s opportunities for refreshment and renewal, for granted.
O may Thy table honoured be,
And furnished well with joyful guests;
And may each soul salvation see
That here its sacred pledges tastes. Amen.
Welcome to the Church of St Michael & All Angels, Maidstone! You’ll find us on the Tonbridge Road (A26) just over half a mile from the town centre. We are the parish church for a population of over 6,000. We have a growing congregation, some of whom have been attending the church for most of their lives, whilst others are newcomers. The age range is from 0 to retired.
Our aim is that we should all have an encounter with Jesus Christ in our services. To that end, our main services are Eucharistic: we gather around Jesus, who is sacramentally present in the consecrated bread and wine. With the very first Christians, we believe “Jesus is the only one who can save people. His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save anyone. We must be saved through Him!” 1Acts 4:12 ERV The quotation from the Bible emphasises our faith in its divine inspiration from cover to cover.
Following all our services there is tea and filter coffee to wash down freshly-baked snacks. We are finding that people are staying to chat and enjoy being together for longer.
You’ll hear our wing of the Church of England sometimes described as Anglo-Catholic (or simply catholic). But what does “catholic” mean? It’s not what you may think: it simply means that it’s for everyone, which therefore includes you. Yes, there is incense at Sunday Mass, there is holy water at all the entrances; there are candles; the choir, ministers and servers wear robes and the priest wears colourful vestments: all of these emphasise the greater significance of what we are doing: our goal is to meet Jesus in our worship and to give Him the highest honour and glory.
Do come and experience Christian worship in this lovely church, meet us and, more importantly, meet our Lord!
Diocese of Canterbury Safeguarding Details
Parish of St Michael and all Angels, Maidstone Safeguarding Statement
This Parochial Church Council has adopted the safeguarding polices and procedures of the Church of England. In particular we are committed to:
- The safeguarding of all children, young people and vulnerable adults;
- Carefully selecting and training paid and voluntary staff who might come into contact with children or vulnerable adults, using the Disclosure and Barring Service amongst other tools, to check their suitability;
- Responding without delay to every complaint made which suggests that an adult, child or young person may have been harmed;
- Cooperating fully with the police, local authority and any other appropriate statutory body in any investigation;
- Ministering appropriately to anyone, child or adult, who has experienced abuse;
- Extending pastoral care to those known to have offended against children or vulnerable adults whilst ensuring that children and vulnerable are protected from them.
Any child wishing to talk about a problem can contact Childline 0800 1111
Any parent or carer wishing to talk about parenting problems can contact Family Lives on 0808 800 2222
- Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults from Harm – Diocesan guidelines
- Promoting a Safer Church; House of Bishops policy statement (2017)
- Protecting All God’s Children (safeguarding policy for children and young people, 4th edition, 2010)
- Promoting a Safe Church (safeguarding policy for adults, 2006)