God has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4.6
Glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as in the beginning, so now, and for ever. Amen.
A poem: A Song of Joy
Be joyful in the Lord, all the earth:
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God:
it is he who has made us, and we are his;
for we are his people,and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise:
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good;
his loving-kindness is everlasting:
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.
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.
2 Chronicles 24.17-22
Now after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and did obeisance to the king; then the king listened to them. They abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and served the sacred poles and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD; they testified against them, but they would not listen.
Then the spirit of God took possession of Zechariah son of the priest Jehoiada; he stood above the people and said to them, ‘Thus says God: Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has also forsaken you.’ But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the LORD. King Joash did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. As he was dying, he said, ‘May the LORD see and avenge!’
In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me;
make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a fortress to save me, for you are my rock and my stronghold;
guide me, and lead me for your name’s sake.
Take me out of the net that they have laid secretly for me,
for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit,
for you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
I put my trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your mercy,
for you have seen my affliction and known my soul in adversity.
You have not shut me up in the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in an open place.
Acts 6.8-10, 7.54-60
Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.
Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
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.
We thank God for what we have and pray for what we need.
Today we pray for ourselves, that God would teach us how to love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. 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 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
Lord God, whose blessed Son rose in triumph and set us free: grant us the fullness of life he promised us, that through the Holy Spirit our hearts may possess him whom our eyes cannot see, the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord be with us
now and forever.
Let us praise the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant us to live in such harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus, that we may with one voice glorify our God and Father. Amen.