Trinity 5

5th SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY Hymns 346, 355, 294, 342

FIRST READING Genesis 24. So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. My master made me swear, saying, “You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.” ‘I came today to the spring, and said, “O [Lord]{.smallcaps}, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,’ and who will say to me, ‘Drink, and I will draw for your camels also’—let her be the woman whom the [Lord]{.smallcaps} has appointed for my master’s son.”‘Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water-jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, “Please let me drink.” She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, “Drink, and I will also water your camels.” So I drank, and she also watered the camels. Then I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” She said, “The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.” So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. Then I bowed my head and worshipped the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, and blessed the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.’ And they called Rebekah, and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ She said, ‘I will.’ So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
‘May you, our sister, become thousands of myriads;
may your offspring gain possession of the gates of their foes.’
Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. 63Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?’ The servant said, ‘It is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Responsorial Psalm 45 – Response: Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words

Listen, O daughter; pay heed and give ear: forget your own people and your fatherʼs house.

So will the king desire your beauty. He is your LORD, pay homage to him. R

And the daughter of Tyre shall come with gifts; the richest of the people shall seek your favor.

The daughter of the king is clothed with splendor; her robes are threaded with gold. R

In fine clothing she is led to the king; behind her are her maiden companions, brought to you.

They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the king. R

Sons will be yours to succeed your fathers; you will make them rulers over all the earth.

I will make your name forever remembered. Thus the peoples will praise you from age to age. R

SECOND READING Romans 7.15-25 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

GOSPEL Matthew 11.16-19,25-30 ‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.” For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’ At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’


A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. A special welcome and thanks to Fr Paul, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

Jubilee School are holding their end-of-year service in our church on Tuesday, 11th July. Can we all please gather up books and pile up kneelers after Mass so that the pews are clear for the visitors?

A diary date for next month – Richborough Festival at St Albans. Join this annual day of fellowship and celebration on Saturday 5th August 2023, with Mass in the Cathedral at noon and then bring your own picnic for lunch in Bishop Norman's garden.

In further Richborough news…

Bishop Norman will lead a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham from Friday 8th – Sunday 10th September 2023.To book, please contact the Shrine accommodation office on 01328 820239, indicating when you book that this is for the Richborough Family Pilgrimage. If you couldn't join this August's pilgrimage, here's a fresh opportunity!

Or, further afield….

Bishop Norman and Canon Adrian Ling are planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 13th to 22nd November 2024. Further details on Please note that the 2023 pilgrimage booked up very quickly, and it would be wise to book, and start budgeting, now. Bishop Norman is an inspiring pilgrimage leader and you can expect a wonderful experience.

Confirmation? If you have not yet been confirmed, or if you have a local godchild who ought to be thinking about Confirmation, Fr Paul will be happy to hear from you. We hope that Bishop Norman may be able to fit in a visit to St Michael's before he retires, and a Confirmation would make the occasion extra-special for everyone. At Synod last week, the Bishop of Dover described a recent Confirmation in a rural benefice where a significant number of candidates had come forward because “they were looking for something more.” Do you fall into that category, or do you know someone who might?

On Saturday, 15th July, between 11 am and 2.30 pm, a formal event, attended by the Mayor and organised by Fant Wildlife Group, will celebrate the fact that Fant Wildlife Area has achieved the prestigious status of Statutory Local Nature Reserve. Those of us who live locally will want to congratulate those responsible for this very pleasing development, as the Wildlife Area is a valuable resource for local residents as well as a precious piece of habitat.

An opportunity for this autumn? Canterbury Diocese is running an eight-session “Deepening Discipleship” course which will take place on Wednesday evenings via Zoom, beginning on 27th September – thus participants will not be faced with cold and tiring journeys in the evenings. This course encourages participants to reflect on, and develop, their Christian life, and it also provides a starting-point for anyone who is exploring the possibility of undertaking lay ministry. Applications close on September 13th. Visit Deepening Discipleship - Diocese of Canterbury ( for further information and an application form. (Could God be calling you to serve St Michael's as a lay minister?)

The PCC is eager to improve the state of our Halls. By way of a first step, surfaces in the Vestry Hall will be washed down and made good in preparation for re-painting, beginning at 9 am on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th July. If you could give some help on either or both of those days (even just for an hour or two), please speak to Martyn or Paul.

“Creativity Unwrapped” is the theme for this year's Heritage Open Day, which takes place on September 9th. As usual, this Day will coincide with Ride and Stride, the splendid sponsored walking and cycling event that takes place each year in aid of the Friends of Kent Churches, in which Catherine has already volunteered to be a Rider. This is an occasion on which we can welcome interested visitors into our Grade 2 Listed church. Have you any creative ideas, and can you offer help on the day? And can you put some money aside to sponsor Catherine?

Could you pass on this sheet to someone else who might like to see it?