Grace to you and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as in the beginning, so now, and for ever. Amen.
A poem: A Song of Hope
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me:
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good tidings to the afflicted.
The Lord has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted:
to proclaim liberty for the captives,
and release for those in prison,
To comfort all who mourn:
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning:
a garment of splendour for the heavy heart.
They shall be called trees of righteousness:
planted for the glory of the Lord.
The opening prayer
By night and by day we worship the Lord; let us pray with one heart and mind.
We remember God’s presence and pause in silence.
Father of lights, receive the prayer and praise we offer you as our daily sacrifice; make us a light for all the world, delivered by your goodness from all the works of darkness; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty;
he is your lord, so do him honour.
The people of Tyre shall bring you gifts;
the richest of the people shall seek your favour.
The king’s daughter is all glorious within;
her clothing is embroidered cloth of gold.
She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework;
after her the virgins that are her companions.
With joy and gladness shall they be brought
and enter into the palace of the king.
Instead of your fathers you shall have sons
whom you shall make princes over all the land.
I will make your name to be remembered through all generations;
therefore shall the peoples praise you for ever and ever.’
1 Corinthians 7.25-31
Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that. I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
‘Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
‘Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
‘But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
‘Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
‘Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.
This week’s prayer:
you know us to be set in the midst
of so many and so great dangers
that by reason of the frailty of our nature
we cannot always stand upright:
grant to us such strength and protection
as may support us in all dangers
and carry us through all temptations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We thank God for what we have and pray for what we need.
Today we pray for ourselves, that God would help us find a way to play an active part in the work of his Kingdom. In our local church, we ask God to guide and bless our bishops and all who provide leadership in our diocese. In our world, we pray for truth and honesty in our media. We remember before God those who have asked for our prayers, or who are in need of them.
A prayer for the day
Eternal light, shine into our hearts,
eternal goodness, deliver us from evil,
eternal power, be our support,
eternal wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance,
eternal pity, have mercy upon us;
that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength
we may seek your face and be brought by your infinite mercy
to your holy presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord be with us
now and forever.
Let us praise the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13.14