Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
Glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as in the beginning, so now, and for ever. Amen.
A poem: The Lord’s Servant
He was despised; he was rejected:
a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
As one from whom people hide their faces:
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Ours were the sufferings he bore:
ours the torments he endured,
While we thought he was being punished:
struck by God and brought low.
He was pierced for our sins:
bruised for no fault but ours.
His punishment has won our peace:
and by his wounds we are healed.
We had all strayed like sheep:
all taking our own way;
But the Lord laid on him:
the guilt of us all.
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.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen.
The word of the LORD came to me: Mortal, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your sandals on your feet; do not cover your upper lip or eat the bread of mourners. So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded.
Then the people said to me, ‘Will you not tell us what these things mean for us, that you are acting in this way?’ Then I said to them: The word of the LORD came to me: Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and your heart’s desire; and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your upper lip or eat the bread of mourners. Your turbans shall be on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you shall not mourn or weep, but you shall pine away in your iniquities and groan to one another. Thus Ezekiel shall be a sign to you; you shall do just as he has done. When this comes, then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
Hear my teaching, O my people;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will pour forth mysteries from of old,
Such as we have heard and known,
which our forebears have told us.
We will not hide from their children, but will recount to generations to come,
the praises of the Lord and his power and the wonderful works he has done.
He laid a solemn charge on Jacob and made it a law in Israel,
which he commanded them to teach their children,
That the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn,
that they in turn might tell it to their children,
So that they might put their trust in God
and not forget the deeds of God, but keep his commandments,
And not be like their forebears, a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Then someone came to him and said, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these; what do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
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 have given your only Son
to be for us both a sacrifice for sin and also an example of godly life:
give us grace that we may always thankfully receive
the benefits of his sacrifice,
and also daily endeavour
to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;
through the same 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 increase our faith. In our local church, we ask God to bring more life to our church through the ministry of home groups. In our world, we pray for the local representatives who speak for us in government and decide on our laws. We remember before God those who have asked for our prayers, or who are in need of them.
A prayer for the day
Almighty God, who wonderfully created us in your own image and yet more wonderfully restored us in your Son Jesus Christ: grant that, as he came to share our human nature, so we may be partakers in his divine glory; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lord be with us
now and forever.
Let us praise the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
May the God of peace equip us with everything good so that we may do his will; and may he work in us that which is pleasing in his sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
see Hebrews 13.20-21