we are forever grateful for all the good gifts you give us, for eyes to see, for ears to hear,
for a brain to understand, and a heart to love.
Call to worship
We know that all things work together for good
for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Come and worship
and seek to know more of God’s purpose and love for you.
StF 255 The Kingdom of God is justice and joy
we are forever grateful for all the good gifts you give us,
for eyes to see, for ears to hear,
for a brain to understand, and a heart to love.
We praise you.
Loving God, we have your word set before us and we strive to be true to the way you call us
We know that you want the best for us, and we long to be obedient.
But so often we trip up, lag behind, or fall down in pain and despair.
We pray, loving God, that you will show your grace and love to us, the people called by your
Guide our steps, and keep us from taking the wrong track.
Keep us strong in our faith when temptations lie in our way.
Accept our tears of repentance for our shortcomings,
and wipe our eyes again that we may see the light of the love and forgiveness that shines
from your face.
Through Christ our Lord who has won the victory for us,
and calls us to share with him in glory. Amen
Reading. Matthew 13 v 31 - 33, 44 – 52
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a
man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows,
it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman
took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it
again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found
one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and
caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they
sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will
be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the
righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and
gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the
kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new
treasures as well as old.”
StF 161 Speak, O Lord as we come to you
Today we have a cluster of short parables from Matthew about the kingdom of heaven: two
pairs of parables and a fifth using an image from fishing.
The first uses exaggerated language, because while the mustard seed might be small it is not
the smallest, and it hardly grows into a tree. The likeness to the kingdom is not so much
with the smallness of the seed but with the transformation into what it becomes: a huge
shrub, several feet high in Galilee. It is an image of growth.
The second parable, about yeast, also uses an exaggerated image. The amount of dough
that the woman produces is way beyond normal domestic needs. Sixty pounds of flour
would be enough to feed more than 150 people. Again the image is of growth – this time
secret growth – for the smallest speck of yeast, if left overnight in a covered bowl, will
leaven enough dough to feed a village. This is how the kingdom develops: from the smallest
beginnings but with miraculous growth.
In a society without banks, burying possessions was the best way to keep them safe.
Someone who chances on a hoard is filled with joy, but the hoard is of such surpassing value
that he uses everything he has to buy the field and gain possession of the treasure. Similarly,
a businessman dealing in pearls that are found in the Mediterranean will give up everything
to gain the one pearl that outstrips in value all the others put together. Such are the joys of
finding the kingdom of heaven.
The final parable is of a dragnet that is taken out to sea by boat and hauled onto the shore
with ropes, a common practice for some of Jesus’ followers on the Sea of Galilee. However,
not all the fish can be consumed. According to Leviticus 11, only fish with scales and fins can
be eaten by a Jew. Fish such as eels, and any shellfish, are not kosher and must be rejected.
The dominant idea is of separation at the end, as it was also with the parable of the wheat
and the weeds earlier in Matthew Chapter 13. So the themes in the Gospel reading are:
miraculous growth from small beginnings; the surpassing value of the kingdom; and the
separation of the righteous from the rest. We need wisdom to understand God’s words
including Jesus’ parables, so we need to be attentive and listen for his voice. He calls us to
repent from our wrongdoing and turn towards him, so that we recognise the “treasure”
which will bring such peace and joy that we are willing to abandon the rival attractions of
the world around us.
Stf 713 Show me how to stand for justice
Prayer of intercession
Loving God, there is so much that is not right with your world,
And yet we know that the best solution isn’t always for us to jump in and try to fix it.
Help us to listen, help us to learn, help us to discern the work you have called us to do, and
the things you are challenging us to let go of.
Help us to do all that we can, all that is ours to do, and to let you – and the people in the
communities we serve – be in the driving seat.
Inspire us, by the gentle nudge of your Spirit we pray. Amen
StF 728 O God, you search me and you know me
May the joy of the kingdom go with you.
May the peace of the kingdom sustain you,
and may you know the king of the kingdom, Jesus Christ,
to be your friend and Saviour
as you journey through this week. Amen
These are the Worship at Home versions of the In Person Services, led by our Minister :-
Each Service has the videos of the songs and a transcript of the Sermon or reflection.
The Song references (StF) are from the Singing the Faith song book.
The videos of the songs are linked to YouTube or vimeo which may have advertising which Kingswood Methodist Church does not endorse.