Sunday 19th July 2020
7th Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 28:10-19a; Psalm 139: 1-11, 22-23; Romans 8:12-25; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

(Alternatives: Isaiah 44:6-8; Psalm 86:11-17)

Psalm 139 reminds us that there is nowhere we can go or be that God is not present. In some respects we might argue that Jacob experiences the reality of this when he spends the night at Bethel, and discovers it to be a place of meeting with God. The obvious application of this is that if we cannot escape God's presence, then when we are at our desks and workbenches or engaged in whatever our Monday to Friday lives might involve, God is there. There is potential here to develop a sermon from this. Some questions we might consider:

How is our attitude and motivation affected by the sense of God being present in our working lives?

How can we find strength through knowing that God is beside us in our struggles and challenges at work?

In what ways might God build "ladders to heaven" through our presence in the world of work?

A key theme throughout these readings is a sense of God's presence and God's overriding sovereignty in the midst of our adversity. There is an obvious application here to those whose working lives are difficult and involve conflict and struggle. There are a number of prayers on the ICF website which may be appropriate. The New Testament reading explores this theme, and is rooted in the life of a working farmer. There may be opportunities to re-use some of the ideas from last week.