Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Morning Prayer - Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Easter Season

Mark the Evangelist

Psalm 37.23-41
When your steps are guided by the Lord and you delight in his way, Though you stumble, you shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds you fast by the hand. I have been young and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging their bread. All the day long they are generous in lending, and their children also shall be blest.

Depart from evil and do good and you shall abide for ever. For the Lord loves the thing that is right and will not forsake his faithful ones. The unjust shall be destroyed for ever, and the offspring of the wicked shall be rooted out. The righteous shall possess the land and dwell in it for ever.

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and their tongue speaks the thing that is right. The law of their God is in their heart and their footsteps shall not slide. The wicked spy on the righteous and seek occasion to slay them. The Lord will not leave them in their hand, nor let them be condemned when they are judged.

Wait upon the Lord and keep his way; he will raise you up to possess the land, and when the wicked are uprooted, you shall see it. I myself have seen the wicked in great power and flourishing like a tree in full leaf. I went by and lo, they were gone; I sought them, but they could nowhere be found. Keep innocence and heed the thing that is right, for that will bring you peace at the last.

But the sinners shall perish together, and the posterity of the wicked shall be rooted out. The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord shall stand by them and deliver them; he shall deliver them from the wicked and shall save them, because they have put their trust in him.

Psalm 148
Alleluia.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you stars of light.
Praise him, heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens.

Let them praise the name of the Lord; for he commanded and they were created.
He made them fast for ever and ever; he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps; Fire and hail, snow and mist, tempestuous wind, fulfilling his word; Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars; Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and birds on the wing; Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world; Young men and women, old and young together; let them praise the name of the Lord. For his name only is exalted, his splendour above earth and heaven.

He has raised up the horn of his people and praise for all his faithful servants, the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
Alleluia.

Isaiah 62.6-10
Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent.

You who remind the Lord, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth. The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have laboured; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts.

Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples.

Acts 12.25 - 13.13
Then after completing their mission Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem and brought with them John, whose other name was Mark.

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.’ Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem;

The Collect
Almighty God, who enlightened your holy Church through the inspired witness of your evangelist Saint Mark: grant that we, being firmly grounded in the truth of the gospel, may be faithful to its teaching both in word and deed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Monday, 24 April 2017

Journal: Trying not to look

Many years back there was a fad surrounding a piece of writing which went by the name 'desiderata' a word which translates from the Latin into 'things we need, desire or want' - a poem by Max Erhmann. It even made the record charts in the early seventies and graced my wall (alongside posters of Crick and Watson, William Shockley, Che Guevara and Oppenheimer) too.

It was the 'footprints' of its time and although I never heard anyone say 'Amen' after reading it in church, it influenced many of us during the era of the hippy (love and peace man!). But the words remain and resonate even to this day, even though I let the idiots, the foolish, the incompetent and the downright lazy rob me of them and the words of Jesus, the Christ, in my daily struggles. Tonight's reflections brought Erhmann's words to the front of the mind, so here they are:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Lord help me to look the other way and ignore those who would cause me to stumble. 
To pick my battles and to refrain from casting pearls before swine.
To leave the foolish to their folly rather than expend energy trying to polish a turd.
They are yours and, to be honest, you are most welcome to them as they build things of this world and seek applause where they should be seeking and making disciples.

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.

As for me and my house - we will seek the Lord :-)

How will we pray this week?

It seems to me that so often people regard prayer as an opportunity to tell God what they want!

For many, prayer is the opportunity to return to the childhood days - when you wanted something, all we needed to do was . . .

Climb on his knee and tell Him what we wanted!

And for so many of us, this is the model of prayer we've adopted and used in our Christian lives.

The question has to be: How will you pray this week?

God knows our needs before we even ask. We pray to remind ourselves how important people and things are, not to tell God what we want Him to do.

Perhaps, for many of us, having lost sight of this can best be explained by this . . .


There are others of us who will be totally bound up in the formulaic ACTS - a great thing to teach people to pray, moving past the 'gimme, gimme.gimme' praying. But so often ACTS is the end point, not the starting point - so if that's what we think prayer is, then we need to grow our prayer life a bit more.



And of course there's that prayer we ought to be saying every day:


Let's try to pray for people and things in a different, more engaged, less demanding way this week and perhaps, where we can be the answer - we will determine to be the answer!


Can't make it to church - 23 April 2017

So here we are, Easter Sunday has been and gone and soon the response to, "He is risen. Alleluia!" will have dropped back to it's normal tired, "He is risen idea!". So let's make hay while the sun shine, eh?

Today we find Peter showing us how to give an answer of the hope that we have in Jesus, the Christ. It's called a 'kerygma' (ker ug ma) - a word that comes from the word 'herald' (in Greek that's 'kerux' ) and it's a model for all of us to take up, adopt and adapt and make our own. The answer we give for the hope that we have is both personal and tailored to the people listening to it - that's why Peter speaks as he does because he's using the understanding the people around him have (don't forget that he's in Jerusalem) and making the story accessible to them.

This is one of the reasons that so many of us struggle in sharing Jesus: we neither make it ours or tailor it to the people who are listening to us!

The 1 Peter reading is important as it is part of a complete picture we will be building up over the coming weeks. Today we find him speaking of God's great mercy - the coming, dying and rising of Jesus the Christ - by which we are born again: People of the second Adam, no longer of this world but in it.

We have, through the cross of Jesus, the Christ, become a new people! And that has to be worth a 'Hallelujah!'

We will see trials, troubles and tribulations but regardless of the battle's outcome - the war has been won for us by the sacrifice of the new Adam. Do I hear a 'hallelujah' ? Love Him, follow Him, learn about Him and proclaim Him to those around us. And surely, in the twinkling of an eye, he will be with us again - make it soon Lord, make it soon.

Here in first Peter the metaphor is of the devotion of the heart to God, both as it is refined, and in the joy it produces. This is faith. This is life in Christ. This is what 1 Peter is all about.

The Gospel is one of my favourites for we see Thomas join the disciples, who are still hiding in the same room they were on that Easter Sunday afternoon, 'seeing and believing'. So many people label Thomas 'the doubter' and yet he was the one in John (11.6) who was willing to head for Bethany with Jesus and die with him when the 'believers' weren't.

In a nutshell - doubt is not a sin, nor does it have to be something that weakens Church or us!

Doubt is the place where our faith is tested and made real. If you've never doubted then could it be that you might also never have fully believed?

Now that's a question for us all to to wrestle with, isn't it?

Some things need to be tested and challenged - as Christians we are people with brains who take things on faith and challenge them by thinking, study and the practice or reason. We do not 'leave our brains at the church door' - in fact I'd have to say that following like sheep is so often the province of the non-theists. If you don't believe me, ask those who oppose theistic thinking their reason and they will rarely give their own answer; instead they will roll out something one of their tiny gods have spouted - untested and repeated as if the words given were themselves the Gospel truth.

We give an answer for eh hope that we have - and we do it using study, reasons and rational thinking - even for the things which defy logic! Without it, we are not believers but foolish sheep.

So pick up your bibles, read theological(and other) books, ask questions and get stuck in to finding our how we might go about giving an answer to those that ask and develop some understanding as to what our faith is about and the person in whom faith is placed, eh?

The Collect
Risen Christ, for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred: open the doors of our hearts, that we may seek the good of others and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace, to the praise of God the Father. Amen.




Acts 2.14a,22-32
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.

‘You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know - this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him,

“I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;  therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my flesh will live in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.  You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.”

‘Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
“He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.”

This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.


1 Peter 1.3-9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

John 20.19-31
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.




Post Communion Prayer
Lord God our Father, through our Saviour Jesus Christ you have assured your children of eternal life
and in baptism have made us one with him: deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in your love, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.




Morning Prayer - Monday 24 April 2017

Easter Season

George, Martyr, Patron of England, c.304

Psalm 5
Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my lamentation. Hearken to the voice of my crying, my King and my God, for to you I make my prayer. In the morning, Lord, you will hear my voice; early in the morning I make my appeal to you, and look up. For you are the God who takes no pleasure in wickedness; no evil can dwell with you.

The boastful cannot stand in your sight; you hate all those that work wickedness. You destroy those who speak lies; the bloodthirsty and deceitful the Lord will abhor. But as for me, through the greatness of your mercy, I will come into your house; I will bow down towards your holy temple in awe of you.

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness, because of my enemies; make your way straight before my face. For there is no truth in their mouth, in their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulchre, and they flatter with their tongue.

Punish them, O God; let them fall through their own devices. Because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them sing out their joy for ever. You will shelter them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous; and with your favour you will defend them as with a shield.

Psalm 146
Alleluia.
Praise the Lord, O my soul: while I live will I praise the Lord; as long as I have any being, I will sing praises to my God.

Put not your trust in princes, nor in any human power, for there is no help in them. When their breath goes forth, they return to the earth; on that day all their thoughts perish.

Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help, whose hope is in the Lord their God; Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them; who keeps his promise for ever; Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong and bread to those who hunger.

The Lord looses those that are bound;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord watches over the stranger in the land; he upholds the orphan and widow; but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.

The Lord shall reign for ever, your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Alleluia.

Joshua 1.1-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, ‘My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’

Ephesians 6.10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

The Collect
God of hosts, who so kindled the flame of love in the heart of your servant George that he bore witness to the risen Lord by his life and by his death: give us the same faith and power of love that we who rejoice in his triumphs may come to share with him the fullness of the resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Morning Prayer - Saturday 22 April 2017

Easter Season

Psalm 116
I love the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my supplication; because he inclined his ear to me on the day I called to him. The snares of death encompassed me; the pains of hell took hold of me; by grief and sorrow was I held. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I beg you, deliver my soul.’

Gracious is the Lord and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord watches over the simple; I was brought very low and he saved me. Turn again to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has been gracious to you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

I believed that I should perish for I was sorely troubled; and I said in my alarm, ‘Everyone is a liar.’

How shall I repay the Lord for all the benefits he has given to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. O Lord, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me from my bonds. I will offer to you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the name of the Lord. I will fulfil my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Alleluia.

Psalm 150
Alleluia.
O praise God in his holiness;
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the trumpet;
praise him upon the harp and lyre.
Praise him with timbrel and dances;
praise him upon the strings and pipe.
Praise him with ringing cymbals;
praise him upon the clashing cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Alleluia.

Song of Solomon 8.5-7
Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in labour with you; there she who bore you was in labour.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.

John 11.17-44
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’

The Collect
Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen.


Friday, 21 April 2017

Morning Prayer - Friday 21 April 2017

Easter Season

Psalm 115
Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name give the glory, for the sake of your loving mercy and truth.Why should the nations say,‘Where is now their God?’

As for our God, he is in heaven; he does whatever he pleases.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak; eyes have they, but cannot see;
They have ears, but cannot hear; noses have they, but cannot smell;
They have hands, but cannot feel; feet have they, but cannot walk; not a whisper do they make from their throats.

Those who make them shall become like them and so will all who put their trust in them.

But you, Israel, put your trust in the Lord; he is their help and their shield. House of Aaron, trust in the Lord; he is their help and their shield. You that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; he is their help and their shield.

The Lord has been mindful of us and he will bless us;
may he bless the house of Israel;
may he bless the house of Aaron;
May he bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great together.
May the Lord increase you more and more, you and your children after you.
May you be blest by the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth he has entrusted to his children. The dead do not praise the Lord, nor those gone down into silence; But we will bless the Lord, from this time forth for evermore.
Alleluia.

Psalm 149
Alleluia.
O sing to the Lord a new song; sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful. Let Israel rejoice in their maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their king. Let them praise his name in the dance; let them sing praise to him with timbrel and lyre. For the Lord has pleasure in his people and adorns the poor with salvation.

Let the faithful be joyful in glory; let them rejoice in their ranks, With the praises of God in their mouths and a two-edged sword in their hands; To execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples; To bind their kings in chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute on them the judgement decreed: such honour have all his faithful servants.
Alleluia.

Song of Solomon 7.10-8.4
I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the fields, and lodge in the villages; let us go out early to the vineyards, and see whether the vines have budded, whether the grape blossoms have opened and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give forth fragrance, and over our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old, which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

O that you were like a brother to me, who nursed at my mother’s breast!
If I met you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, and into the chamber of the one who bore me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the juice of my pomegranates. O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me!
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!

Luke 8.41-end
Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying.

As he went, the crowds pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her haemorrhage stopped. Then Jesus asked, ‘Who touched me?’ When all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the crowds surround you and press in on you.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me.’ When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’

While he was still speaking, someone came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.’ When Jesus heard this, he replied, ‘Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.’ When he came to the house, he did not allow anyone to enter with him, except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother. They were all weeping and wailing for her; but he said, ‘Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and called out, ‘Child, get up!’ Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he directed them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astounded; but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened.

The Collect
Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Morning Prayer - Thursday 20 April 2017

Easter Season

Psalm 114
When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of a strange tongue, Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion. The sea saw that, and fled; Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, the little hills like young sheep.

What ailed you, O sea, that you fled?
O Jordan, that you were driven back?
You mountains, that you skipped like rams, you little hills like young sheep?

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, Who turns the hard rock into a pool of water, the flint-stone into a springing well.

Psalm 148
Alleluia.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you stars of light.

Praise him, heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord; for he commanded and they were created. He made them fast for ever and ever; he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and mist,
tempestuous wind, fulfilling his word;
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,
creeping things and birds on the wing;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and women,
old and young together;
let them praise the name of the Lord.

For his name only is exalted,
his splendour above earth and heaven.
He has raised up the horn of his people
and praise for all his faithful servants,
the children of Israel,
a people who are near him.
Alleluia.

Song of Solomon 5.2-6.3
I slept, but my heart was awake. Listen! my beloved is knocking.
‘Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is wet with dew,  my locks with the drops of the night.’

I had put off my garment; how could I put it on again?
I had bathed my feet; how could I soil them?
My beloved thrust his hand into the opening, and my inmost being yearned for him.

I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh,my fingers with liquid myrrh, upon the handles of the bolt. I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and was gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but did not find him; I called him, but he gave no answer. Making their rounds in the city the sentinels found me; they beat me, they wounded me, they took away my mantle, those sentinels of the walls. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, tell him this: I am faint with love.

What is your beloved more than another beloved, O fairest among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you thus adjure us?

My beloved is all radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.
His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves beside springs of water, bathed in milk, fitly set.
His cheeks are like beds of spices, yielding fragrance.
His lips are lilies, distilling liquid myrrh.
His arms are rounded gold, set with jewels.
His body is ivory work, encrusted with sapphires.
His legs are alabaster columns, set upon bases of gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars.
His speech is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Where has your beloved gone, O fairest among women?
Which way has your beloved turned,that we may seek him with you?
My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to pasture his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he pastures his flock among the lilies.

Luke 7.11-17
Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, rise!’ The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us!’ and ‘God has looked favourably on his people!’ This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.

The  Collect
God of glory, by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.