Sunday 25th October 2020
21st Sunday after Pentecost

Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46

(Alternatives: Leviticus 19:1-2,15-18; Psalm 1)

Two workplace themes resonate strongly through this week's readings. The Deuteronomy and Psalm 90 passages particularly focus on the succession of Joshua as the new leader of God's people; the Psalm reminding us that God is the unchanging presence in every generation. This gives opportunity to invite a congregation to reflect on key transitions in their own working lives - some perhaps are taking on new responsibilities themselves; others are perhaps facing retirement and having to think about handing over responsibilities to others. There is a particular opportunity to focus on and pray for those who are starting work, new jobs or perhaps university, further education etc. On a more general note, we might reflect that there is a great deal of change and uncertainty within many workplaces in the current economic and political climate. The reminder of God's unchanging nature may be a helpful focus for people to take into their workplace context. This might naturally lead into prayers for various situations in our world which are unstable and changing, with an appropriate affirmation of God's faithfulness.

Moses was known as the lawgiver, and implicit in the above is a theme which is far more overt in the alternative OT passages and the Gospel reading. There is a natural opportunity for a congregation to reflect on the importance of law and order as a key element in a stable society. We might pray for law and policy makers, particularly that they might seek God's values and purposes in the decrees and statutes that they draft. The Leviticus passage particularly might be more broadly applied by recognising that in all aspects of business and commerce we are called to act justly, fairly and honestly. We might particularly pray that in current difficult circumstances, business leaders will have the courage and faith to act honestly .