Sunday 23rd August 2020
12th Sunday after Pentecost

Exodus 1:8-2:10 Psalm 124 Romans 12:1-8 Matthew 16:13-20

(Alternatives: Isaiah 51:1-6 Psalm 138)

The story of the Hebrew midwives introduces a number of significant workplace themes. Perhaps not as dramatic as that which the Biblical narrative recounts, but many congregational members will face the dilemma of being asked to do things in the workplace which they believe to be wrong. The midwives' solidarity is a reminder of how through work, we can often be drawn together to stand against that which we believe to be wrong. Although not rooted in so obvious a historical event, the Isaiah reading conveys similar themes - the reader is encouraged to be a seeker of righteousness and to remain fixed on the justice of God.

The New Testament reading from Romans 12, offers a very clear opportunity to highlight the connection between our acts of organised communal worship, and the everyday lives that we live. Our "act of spiritual worship" is not restricted to the shared liturgy and organised ritual of Church Services, but in the daily giving of ourselves in whatever vocation we are called to. So a whole congregation, whatever their role during the week, can be encouraged to see what they do as something that can be offered to God in worship. There are several prayers on the ICF website which might be of use in this context. Click here for a link to a reflection on work as worship