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week starting August 21

scripture readings
textweek resources

In NZ Anglican Church this Sunday is Religious Vocation Sunday.

collect/opening prayer reflection for August 21 and the week following (NZPB)


Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered
together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your
power among all peoples, to the glory 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.

The above collect is the 1928 new collect for Tuesday in Whitsun Week. The preamble originates from a Gregorian collect for Friday after Pentecost (# 542). The petition is new.

Common Worship (CofE)

Almighty God,
who sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Regulars will know that each week commentaries are provided on collects (as above). This last week maintaining the collect tradition has been significant here.

The Sunday Gospel is centred on the word-play with Jesus’ nickname for the disciple Simon, whom he called “Rocky” (Peter). It may have been an ironic nickname for his flaky friend.
The reading has a variety of interpretations:

  • That Peter is the rock and is the foundation of the church – a foundation is not passed on to others
  • That Peter is the rock and is the foundation of the church – a role that is passed on to the Bishop of Rome [on the assumption that Peter (with Paul?) functioned as first bishop of Rome. That Peter was in Rome is a legend, but with strong historical likelihood] Why is the role passed on to the Bishop of Rome and not to the Patriarch of Antioch, a church we know for certain that Peter led?
  • That Peter is the rock and is the foundation of the church – a role that is passed on to every bishop.
  • That Peter’s faith, just declared, is the rock on which the church is founded
  • That we cannot see Jesus’ hand gestures, but that he meant “You are Rocky (Peter) and on this rock (with Jesus pointing to himself) I will build my church.

Commentary on the Sunday reading from Waiapu Academy

You can share any comments as well as any resources, ideas, sermon-starters, children’s activities, hymns, prayers, etc. in the comments section below.

image source The giving of the keys to Saint Peter by Pietro Perugino 1482.

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6 thoughts on “week starting August 21”

  1. If the Roman Catholic church didn’t exist, I wonder if we’d be asking a whole different set of questions?

    1 Peter 2 suggests that Peter wasn’t particularly protective about his rockiness: he names Jesus as the cornerstone, and fellow Christians as living stones in the new temple.

    My inclination for Sundays sermon is to focus on the questions: particularly who do we have as Christians asking us the questions which stretch our understanding of God, and help us to grow as disciples.

    1. Thanks so much, David, for that comment. Many, of course, do not think that 1 Peter was written by Peter 🙂 Those who have heard me preaching in recent months know that I have a particular passion for the questions in the scriptures – particularly those posed by Jesus. Blessings.

  2. I think I’m going to end my sermon on Sunday with this:

    If loving means my being known, open and vulnerable with someone, and for them to be open and vulnerable with me, allowing me to know who they are, – if that’s what love is, (and I believe it is), then I’d like to go back to the Gospel and look again at the interchange between Peter and Jesus.

    Jesus asked Peter, Who do you say that I am? And Peter, who loved Jesus, and had seen him open and vulnerable over the past two or three years – Peter who knew his people’s history, and who knew, not just who Jesus was, but knew him, answered: You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

    In response, Jesus who loved Peter, knew who he was, and knew him, blessed him and said that he would build his church on this rock. What if the rock Jesus was talking about was to do with relationship – to do with loving – about being emotionally present as others reveal themselves to you, and allowing them to be emotionally present with you? That rock would bring in the kingdom – and it can happen each day with you and with me.

  3. When Christ said, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church”, He knew exactly and deliberately what he was saying and the meaning couldn’t be clearer. As we know, the name “Peter” is Greek and the meaning is “rock”. So, Christ built His church on the frailness of Peter and He gave to him, and him alone, the keys to the Kingdom. That being said Christ asked that we love one another as He loved us, but naturally there has to be leadership in any human endeavour for it to succeed.

    1. Actually, Freda, since you bring it up, Jesus couldn’t have been less clear in your text. I thought of five interpretations here. So you are into the interpretation that Peter alone is the rock, and this rockyness couldn’t be passed on. Yesterday’s gospel reading, of course, Jesus applies quite a different name to Simon, this time not rock=Peter, but plainly, “Satan”. Blessings.

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