Welcome to the website for Holy Trinity Church, Ystrad Mynach.
From the Vicarage, Ystrad Mynach
16th October 2020
See Daily Updates page for an important message from Fr Steven and the Ministry team
Father Stevens weekly message for 14th October 2020
The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity 2020 (Proper 24)(18 October 2020)
Following Gods purpose for the Persian King Cyrus, in Isaiah, we are called to both minister and care for God’s people and to reveal God as the one Lord Almighty. We see that Paul commends the Thessalonian Christians’ because their lives have changed from their old ways to a new and Spirit-filled and faithful service of Christ, even if it is achieved through personal hardship and conflict. And in the Gospel, Jesus demonstrates that whilst we are living in the world through testing and challenging times we need to be aware of where our Christian loyalties lie. We are called to worship and to proclaim that God is Lord over creation and over all human rulers, whether they acknowledge his lordship or not. We come to give the honour due to God’s name, with loyalty in our lives for the development of his Kingdom in our times.
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(CWCL) Isaiah 45: 1- 7
Psalm 96: 1-9,10-13
1 Thessalonians 1: 1-10
Matthew 22: 15 – 22
Or [1984 Prayer Book page 199]
The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity 2020 (Proper 24)(18 October 2020)
Jesus Said:- “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)
When you have a coin in your pocket, you are carrying more than a piece of metal. Not only does it have a commercial value, it is also stamped with an image or an emblem that represents something. Before the time of printed documents or electronic communication, governments could use the faces of a coin to communicate to their subjects. Ancient empires knew that coins would pass through the hands of thousands of people and last for years. And present day archaeologist find this information invaluable.
In the fifth-century BC, the Persian King Darius, is said to be the first ruler to appear on a coin, represented as an archer. Subsequent rulers followed suit, often with an idealised image. Emperors would be depicted wearing a victor’s crown or a laurel wreath. The intention was to build an image and impress the people with their achievements. Julius Caesar’s coins used his own profile in such a manner, as did his successor, Brutus, who also had two daggers on the reverse side to symbolise his role in Caesar’s assassination. The coins offered opportunity for commemorations of conquests or anniversaries, landmarks – a coliseum or aqueduct, and for figures who personified ideals such as peace or victory. In other words, coins were the government propaganda of their day. It is a practice which we see on our present coinage.
In our reading, Jesus appears to be carrying no coins. He requests one, not to make a purchase but to illustrate a point. Jesus has just been posed a question: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” It seems straightforward enough, but there is more to the question than first meets the eye. Those asking the question are from a group of Jewish religious authorities along with some Herodians, both supporters of the Roman Empire with Herod, as its ruling representative. They are an unlikely team, united in their hatred of Jesus and their desire to trap him. Their flattery precedes a question in an attempt to lure Jesus into trouble.
If he supports paying the hated Roman tax, he will alienate the Jewish people crippled under its financial and unfair burden. If he answers no, he risks being charged with treason by the Roman rulers. Jesus knows their motives and tells them so. Then He asks for a coin. They produce a denarius bearing the image of the Roman Emperor Tiberias. An image which history tells us was accompanied by an inscription that denotes Tiberias as “son of a divine” and (pontifex maximus) – a high priest. Given that Jews themselves were forbidden to put human faces or images on coins, it is interesting that his questioners have such a coin to hand – they had prepared to trap him, especially as this encounter takes place in the Temple courts. Jesus’ instruction to give Caesar the taxes due, alongside the instruction to give what is due to God, is not an easy division between their civic duty and their religious obligations. Jesus teaches that everything belongs to God. And all Human authority is within that wider framework and that also comes from God. Emperors may well be owed tax, but when they declare themselves divine, they have overstepped their remit of authority.
Jesus is challenging the Pharisees about where their deepest loyalties really lie, and in so doing reminds us where ours are to lie. Christians are made in God’s image, and imprinted with the Holy Spirit. Like coins, we circulate among those around us. We have to ask ourselves, do they see the imprint of God’s likeness – in us? We are called to Spend ourselves in God’s service, not as currency – of an empire, but as treasures of the kingdom of God. It is not always easy to see ourselves as under God’s sovereign rule in a world that does not acknowledge Christ as Lord. Jesus offers no tidy answers for every dilemma we may find ourselves in, and, as has been pointed out recently we are to interpret gods will in our times.
So how should we respond?
Firstly, we can identify those areas where there is nothing stopping us from following Christ more fully, other than our own reluctance.
Secondly, we can review our loyalties and our commitment both practically and financially. Reflecting on who or what truly rules our lives, it may not be the government, but our work, our hobbies, our family or social circle.
What are the boundaries between enjoying the things God has given us, and acknowledging our primary loyalty to Christ as Lord over all?
Finally, we should cultivate an attentiveness – listening to God, in order to determine when we sense a call to act on his behalf not simply on ours. A call to act for justice; A call to act for Change; A call to act together in love and peace, on His Behalf and not only on ours. Christians need to come together in prayerful discernment at such challenging and changing times.
As those who bear Christ’s image, we are called to live for, love and listen to him. To remember that we are involved, not in a revolution of force and dominance and hate; Our future lies in an evolution of love, humility, courage and service to Christ.
In the name of the father Son and Holy Spirit AMEN
Prayers of Intercessions – 18 October 2020 Year A
Intercessions for Sunday 18th October Year A [PROPER 24]
God our shepherd, give to the Church, her ministers and people, a new vision and a new charity, new wisdom and fresh understanding, the revival of her brightness and the renewal of her unity; that the eternal message of thy Son may be hailed as the good news for this new and alarming era of Covid epidemic.
Lord in your mercy………
Loving God, make us a thankful people, always responsive to your blessings so that we are ready to offer our praise and worship to you. Help us to use our gifts to serve you and your people. Take from us our selfish impulses and deepen within us the spirit of service so that we think less of our own interests and more of the needs of others.
Lord in your mercy……….
Compassionate God, look kindly on those who have a difficult relationship with money. Help those who have made false idols of possessions or financial prosperity to trust in your goodness for their security and happiness. Have mercy on those who’s income is insufficient to supply their basic needs of food and shelter. Aid and prosper the work of charities who help the poor and destitute and agencies such as Christians Against Poverty and Citizens Advice Bureau. Give us a spirit of generosity to support the work of non-governmental agencies working to relieve poverty around the world.
Lord in your mercy……….
Healing God, you know our anxieties and fears better than we know them ourselves. Help us to admit them to you in our prayers so that we can cast them upon you. We are full of concerns about ourselves and our loved ones as we struggle with life in this time of pandemic. Give us quietness of mind and unshaken trust in thee. In a short time of silence let us bring our own personal concerns before God.(Pause)
Lord in your mercy………..
Eternal God, we pray that all those who have died as your faithful servants, that they may rest in the everlasting peace of your Kingdom. Watch over all who are bereaved that they may have strength to face the coming days; not sorrowing as those without hope but in expectation of a joyful reunion in heaven.
Lord in your mercy………
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Inspired by the risen Son of God, may we know the accompanying presence of God, as the love of Christ leads us to NEW WAYS of service, strengthened and led by the joy of the Holy Spirit. And may the blessing of God almighty the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be with you all and remain with you always. AMEN
A Quote of the Week
“If our changing times – and regulations – are making you anxious or overwhelmed, press the pause button and reflect on the goodness, kindness, light and love of those around you who are making life a lot more bearable than it could be.” says Archbishop John Davies
Luke the Evangelist :- Sunday 18th October 2020
Isaiah 35: 3-6. Acts16: 6-12a. Psalm 147: 1-7 2. Timothy 4: 5-17. Luke 10: 1-9
Luke was a dear friend of the apostle Paul, and is mentioned by him three times in his Letters. Paul describes him as ‘the beloved physician’ and, in his second Letter to Timothy, as his only companion in prison. He is believed to be the author of two books of the New Testament, firstly the gospel which stands in his name and also the Acts of the Apostles. Luke’s narrative of the life of Christ has a pictorial quality and shows the sequential pattern from the nativity through to the death and resurrection. The developed sense of theology that comes over in Paul’s writings is virtually unknown in those of Luke but, as a Gentile, Luke makes clear that the good news of salvation is for all, regardless of sex, social position or nationality. Traditionally, Luke wrote his gospel in Greece and died in Boeotia at the age of eighty-four.
From the:- Hagiography from Exciting Holiness by Brother Tristam SSF
The Readings for the Twenty Ninth Week of the Year (Psalter Week 1)
Monday 19 October Ephesians 2: 1-10 Luke 12: 13-21
Luke the Evangelist
Tuesday Ephesians 2: 11-22 Luke 12: 35-38
Wednesday Ephesians 3: 4-12 Luke 12: 39-48
Thursday Ephesians 3: 14-21 Luke 12: 49-53
Friday Ephesians 4: 1-6 Luke 12: 54-59
James of Jerusalem, Bishop & Martyr
Acts 15. 12-22a Psalm 1. 1 Corinthians 15. 1-11 Matthew 13. 54-58
Saturday Ephesians 4: 7-16 Luke 13: 1-9
If we can help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Father Steven Kirk 01443 813246
Father Keith Hemmings 01443 830662
Sarah Steadman 01443 816276
Edward Williams-Price 07715 103273
Fiona Silverthorn 07593 858305