Friday 17th July
Today’s reflection from REV JAMES HAIR

Readings : Isaiah 38, 1-6,21 -22,7-8 and Matthew12:1-8

The attached picture is from one of my urban sketchers collection, sketched at Portland Street, Fareham roundabout 7am., and with it go some of the lines from Gerald Manley Hopkins’ poem, “The Grandeur of God”,

“……Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is sear’d with trade; bleared, smear’d with toil:
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel being shod”.

Many have remarked that lockdown was like the Sabbath, the devapourised skies, the bird song, the quiet A27, this poor stricken planet was given a breather from desecrating humanity.

So when I read today in the gospel passage about Jesus confrontation with some Pharisees about breaking the Sabbath rest, it was a bit disconcerting to find I was with Pharisees on this one! After all, excuse me Lord, you know the Scriptures (You the Word Himself should know better!), Commandment number 4 is very clear, ease up on day 7! Give yourself and everyone else a break!” and whilst I am it, Lord, just to reinforce my point you yourself said you didn’t show up to break the Law or to abolish it! So…….what do you say to that?

What do you mean you have come to fulfil it? Flesh it out?

Mercy is more important?

Now I am beginning to get the point! The Sabbath is the means to an End, not the End Himself.

We turn things into idols, little deities very quickly. I don’t know you about you but I am fed up with hearing about the Economy. The Economy is not God! The economy is merely the means to an end, to create common wealth and well being for humans and creatures. That’s called the Kingdom of God, which we glimpsed in those sabbath days and we valued the care workers and wanted them to be protected because they knew more about mercy than the people in the city suits. The care workers who shut themselves away in the care homes with the residents to protect them. That is a model of God’s Incarnation and that is a picture of the Kingdom.

“Learn what this means, I will have mercy, not sacrifice!” But it was too hard a lesson to learn, so they thought to silence him. Come, Lord Jesus.

Hymn: Thy kingdom come O God


DOCTORS: Damian Mayo, Jenny Mayo, Charlotte Cox
NURSES: Caroline Frost, Penny Hensman, Ruth Tunski, Jenny Olding, Stephanie Smith
POLICE: Tom Wrenn, Scott Brodrick (RN)
NURSING HOMES: Jemma Frizelle
RETAIL AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Chris Jones (Sainsbury’s home delivery driver), Christine Horton (BP Garage, Portchester), Nick Knight (Tescos at Cosham), Natalie Ejemai (Tescos at Fratton) Debbie Foster and
Wendy Castle at Morrisons, Horndean, Keith Fleming-Brown (preparing hot meals for distribution to the
community)and Mark and Wendy Pyatt (delivering food through Portchester Community Centre to the community)

If you have a special prayer request we will put this on the page and ask for your prayers. Contact the Vicar on or phone 02392 375422.

St. Mary’s Facebook

St. Mary’s YouTube Channel

For our service changes and response to the Coronavirus outbreak, please click here.

To make a donation via regular giving to St. Mary’s, please click here

To make a one time donation, please click here.

For updates from the Church of England please visit their site here.

For update from the NHS please visit their site here.