Trinity 19

TRINITY 19 Hymns: 418, 485, 310, 393

FIRST READING Exodus 20 Then God spoke all these words:  I am the [Lord]{.smallcaps} your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the [Lord]{.smallcaps} your God, for the [Lord]{.smallcaps} will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work.Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the [Lord]{.smallcaps} your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 19 Response: Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. R
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye. R
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. R
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favour before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. R

SECOND READING Philippians 3.4b-14 If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

GOSPEL Matthew 21.33-46 ‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:”The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes”? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’ When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

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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 Matthias, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. Everyone is warmly invited to coffee in the Vestry Hall after Mass. If new to St Michael's, do join us so that we can welcome you properly!

Valerie Brown's funeral Mass will take place in church on Friday, 27th October, at 12.30 pm (please note the slight alteration in timing), followed by cremation at Vinters Park at 2.45 pm. A card from the St Michael's congregation has been sent to her daughter Catherine.

Grateful thanks to all who helped with the bagging-up (last Sunday) and the loading (last Thursday) of the harvest gifts, and to Sue for her kindness in driving it all to the Foodbank run by Maidstone Homeless Care, where the staff were delighted to see us, helped us unload, and sent a message of thanks to all the contributors. This message has also been passed on to the St Michael's Schools. This Foodbank and Day Centre helps not only homeless people but “anybody in Maidstone” who is in urgent need. To find out more, visit Donations of money and imperishable food are always hugely appreciated.

Many thanks too to Martyn, who is tackling several maintenance jobs in the church halls during the Wendy House half-term. Martyn also directs the Garden Working Party. If you also would like to offer some of your time and skill to keep our site attractive and welcoming, Martyn will always be happy to suggest ways in which you can help!

From Our Tower: On Monday, 20th November, we shall be welcoming visitors from Gloucestershire who will be ringing our bells from 7.30 to 8.30 pm.

Vacancy News: The Archdeacon has invited the two representatives chosen by our PCC to attend a shortlisting meeting on October 18th. Please continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide all concerned in the appointment process.

Choral Evensong often speaks not only to active Anglicans but to many people whose links with the Church are far less definite. Everyone will be welcome at Choral Evensong at St Michael's at 5 pm on Sunday, 29th October, with a gathered choir conducted by Gareth James. Do pass the word around!

The Maidstone Deanery Roadshow at St Luke's, Maidstone, on Monday October 16th at 7 pm - what is it? Deanery Roadshows are a chance for parishes to learn about the financial plans of the diocese and how they will affect the deanery and its parishes. Those present can ask questions and, indeed, make representations about financial matters that concern them. Recently St Michael's has made its presence felt, and its voice heard, on these occasions. Please try to come along.

Flowers in church: Members of the congregation sometimes wish to dedicate a flower arrangement in church in memory of a loved one. If you would like to do this, please have a word with Margaret G., who can provide information and help.

The Parochial Church Council meets on November 8th at 7.30 pm. If you have any items you would like included in the agenda, please speak as soon as possible to Jonathan, Paul, Eleanor or another PCC member. There is scope for our PCC to include one or two co-opted members; if you might be willing to contribute ideas, skills or an extra pair of hands in this way, please speak to Jonathan.

Our Fair! Labelled boxes for Tombola prizes and other attractions will now be found at the back of the church. Please keep a lookout for suitable items and bring them to church – and please also contact Sara (07837 919761) with ideas and offers of assistance.

A prayer for the Holy Land by the Very Reverend Andrew Nunn:

Lord Jesus,
who walked the land you made holy
and blessed those who made peace;
look with compassion
on the people of your land today,
Jew and Muslim and Christian,
Israeli and Palestinian.
May peace come for all with justice,
may war cease and all live in harmony,
and be the children of the one God
whom you made known,
now and always.