Today the Bible readings are related to the celebration of Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist
This is the message we have heard from Christ:
that God is light, in whom there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1.5
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.
My child, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments;
for length of days and years of life
and abundant welfare they will give you.
Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them round your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favour and good repute
in the sight of God and of people.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
The heavens declare the glory of God:
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork;
One day tells it to another:
and night to night communicates knowledge.
There is no speech or language:
nor are their voices heard;
Yet their sound has gone out through all the world:
and their words to the ends of the earth.
There he has pitched a tent for the sun:
which comes out as a bridegroom from his chamber,
and rejoices like a strong man to run his course.
Its rising is at one end of the heavens,
and its circuit to their farthest bound:
and nothing is hidden from its heat.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,
‘When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people.’
(When it says, ‘He ascended’, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’
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:
who through your Son Jesus Christ
called Matthew from the selfish pursuit of gain
to become an apostle and evangelist:
free us from all greed and love of riches
so that we may follow the steps of our Lord Jesus Christ
in the way of self-giving love;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
We thank God for what we have and pray for what we need.
Today we pray for ourselves, that God would give us humility and compassion. In our local church, we ask God to care for the young people in our church. In our world, we pray for people who work in our emergency services. We remember before God those who have asked for our prayers, or who are in need of them.
A prayer for the day
Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to seek for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will.
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