Saturday, 16 September 2017

Morning Prayer - Saturday 16 September 2017

Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle of the Picts, c.432
Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, Tractarian, 1882

Psalm 147
Alleluia.
How good it is to make music for our God, how joyful to honour him with praise.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem and gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up all their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his wisdom is beyond all telling.
The Lord lifts up the poor, but casts down the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God upon the lyre;
Who covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth;
Who makes grass to grow upon the mountains and green plants to serve our needs.
He gives the beasts their food and the young ravens when they cry.
He takes no pleasure in the power of a horse, no delight in human strength; But the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their trust in his steadfast love.

Sing praise to the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates and has blest your children within you.
He has established peace in your borders and satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends forth his command to the earth and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool and scatters the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casts down his hailstones like morsels of bread; who can endure his frost?
He sends forth his word and melts them; he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and judgements to Israel.
He has not dealt so with any other nation; they do not know his laws.
Alleluia.

Proverbs 31.10-end
A capable wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from far away.
She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls.
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson.
She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchant with sashes.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her:
‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.

Mark 9.30-37
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.

He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’


The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, who called your servant Ninian to preach the gospel to the people of northern Britain: raise up in this and every land heralds and evangelists of your kingdom, that your Church may make known the immeasurable riches of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Tombs of warriors: Not merely made!

The tombs of warriors are not 'merely' made of marble,
nor only found inscribed in places of still remembrance,
but in the deep waters,
the silent moors,
the stifled laugh,
are they made real.

In the faint cry heard, then lost, upon the wind
they are found upon the hearts of those,
mourning loved ones lost,
and in the pride of a nation served,
comrades loved,
and humanity redeemed through sacrifice and loss.


© 2017 Vic Van Den Bergh

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Morning Prayer - Saturday 9 September 2017V

Charles Fuge Lowder, Priest, 1880

Psalm 120
When I was in trouble I called to the Lord; I called to the Lord and he answered me. Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue.
What shall be given to you?
What more shall be done to you, deceitful tongue?
The sharp arrows of a warrior, tempered in burning coals!

Woe is me, that I must lodge in Meshech and dwell among the tents of Kedar. My soul has dwelt too long with enemies of peace. I am for making peace, but when I speak of it, they make ready for war.

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not suffer your foot to stumble; he who watches over you will not sleep.

Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord himself watches over you;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand,
So that the sun shall not strike you by day, neither the moon by night.
The Lord shall keep you from all evil; it is he who shall keep your soul.
The Lord shall keep watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth for evermore.
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 122
I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’
And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem;
Jerusalem, built as a city that is at unity in itself.
Thither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as is decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. For there are set the thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David.

O pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
‘May they prosper who love you.
 Peace be within your walls and tranquillity within your palaces.’

For my kindred and companions’ sake, I will pray that peace be with you.
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek to do you good.

Proverbs 24.23-end
Partiality in judging is not good.
Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are innocent’, will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations;  but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.

One who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips.

Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house.

Do not be a witness against your neighbour without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.
Do not say, ‘I will do to others as they have done to me;  I will pay them back for what they have done.’

I passed by the field of one who was lazy, by the vineyard of a stupid person; and see, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,  and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want, like an armed warrior.

Mark 8.1-10
In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ They said, ‘Seven.’ Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

The Collect
God of constant mercy, who sent your Son to save us: remind us of your goodness, increase your grace within us, that our thankfulness may grow, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen..


Friday, 8 September 2017

Morning Prayer - Friday 8 September

The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You mark out my journeys and my resting place and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but you, O Lord, know it altogether. You encompass me behind and before and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go then from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there your hand shall lead me, your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me and the light around me turn to night,’ Even darkness is no darkness with you; the night is as clear as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike.

For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are your works, my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished; already in your book were all my members written, As day by day they were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.

How deep are your counsels to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I count them, they are more in number than the sand, and at the end, I am still in your presence.

O that you would slay the wicked, O God, that the bloodthirsty might depart from me!
They speak against you with wicked intent; your enemies take up your name for evil.
Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?
Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?
I hate them with a perfect hatred; they have become my own enemies also.

Search me out, O God, and know my heart; try me and examine my thoughts. See if there is any way of wickedness in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

Proverbs 22.1-16
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favour is better than silver or gold.
The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all.
The clever see danger and hide; but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honour and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; the cautious will keep far from them.
Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of anger will fail.
Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.
Drive out a scoffer, and strife goes out; quarrelling and abuse will cease.
Those who love a pure heart and are gracious in speech will have the king as a friend.
The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the faithless.
The lazy person says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!’
The mouth of a loose woman is a deep pit; he with whom the Lord is angry falls into it.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a boy, but the rod of discipline drives it far away.
Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss.

Mark 7.31-end
Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, who stooped to raise fallen humanity through the childbearing of blessed Mary: grant that we, who have seen your glory revealed in our human nature and your love made perfect in our weakness, may daily be renewed in your image and conformed to the pattern of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Morning Prayer - Thursday 7 September 2017

Psalm 113
Alleluia.
Give praise, you servants of the Lord, O praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord, from this time forth and for evermore.From the rising of the sun to its setting let the name of the Lord be praised. The Lord is high above all nations and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God, that has his throne so high, yet humbles himself to behold the things of heaven and earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ashes, To set them with princes, with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a place in the house and makes her a joyful mother of children.
Alleluia.

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.

Proverbs 20.1-22
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
The dread anger of a king is like the growling of a lion; anyone who provokes him to anger forfeits life itself.
It is honourable to refrain from strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
The lazy person does not plough in season; harvest comes, and there is nothing to be found.
The purposes in the human mind are like deep water, but the intelligent will draw them out.
Many proclaim themselves loyal, but who can find one worthy of trust?
The righteous walk in integrity— happy are the children who follow them!
A king who sits on the throne of judgement winnows all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, ‘I have made my heart clean; I am pure from my sin’?
Diverse weights and diverse measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
Even children make themselves known by their acts, by whether what they do is pure and right.
The hearing ear and the seeing eye— the Lord has made them both.
Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
‘Bad, bad’, says the buyer, then goes away and boasts.
There is gold, and abundance of costly stones; but the lips informed by knowledge are a precious jewel.
Take the garment of one who has given surety for a stranger; seize the pledge given as surety for foreigners.
Bread gained by deceit is sweet, but afterwards the mouth will be full of gravel.
Plans are established by taking advice; wage war by following wise guidance.
A gossip reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a babbler.
If you curse father or mother, your lamp will go out in utter darkness.
An estate quickly acquired in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.
Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will help you.
lence.

Mark 7.24-30
From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered him, ‘Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ Then he said to her, ‘For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.’ So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

The Collect
God of constant mercy, who sent your Son to save us: remind us of your goodness, increase your grace within us, that our thankfulness may grow, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Morning Prayer - Wednesday 6 September 2017

Allen Gardiner, Missionary, Founder of the South American Mission Society, 1851

Psalm 110
The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’

May the Lord stretch forth the sceptre of your power; rule from Zion in the midst of your enemies.
‘Noble are you on this day of your birth;
 on the holy mountain, from the womb of the dawn
 the dew of your new birth is upon you.’

The Lord has sworn and will not retract:
‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’

The king at your right hand, O Lord, shall smite down kings in the day of his wrath. In all his majesty, he shall judge among the nations, smiting heads over all the wide earth. He shall drink from the brook beside the way; therefore shall he lift high his head.

Psalm 111
Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the faithful and in the congregation.

The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all who delight in them.
His work is full of majesty and honour and his righteousness endures for ever.

He appointed a memorial for his marvellous deeds;
the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.

He gave food to those who feared him;
he is ever mindful of his covenant.

He showed his people the power of his works in giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of his hands are truth and justice; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever; they are done in truth and equity.

He sent redemption to his people;
he commanded his covenant for ever; holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
a good understanding have those who live by it;
his praise endures for ever.

Psalm 112
Alleluia.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord and have great delight in his commandments. Their descendants will be mighty in the land, a generation of the faithful that will be blest. Wealth and riches will be in their house, and their righteousness endures for ever. Light shines in the darkness for the upright; gracious and full of compassion are the righteous.

It goes well with those who are generous in lending and order their affairs with justice, For they will never be shaken; the righteous will be held in everlasting remembrance.
They will not be afraid of any evil tidings;
their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their heart is sustained and will not fear, until they see the downfall of their foes.
They have given freely to the poor;
their righteousness stands fast for ever;
their head will be exalted with honour.

The wicked shall see it and be angry;
they shall gnash their teeth in despair;
the desire of the wicked shall perish.

Proverbs 18.10-end
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.
The wealth of the rich is their strong city; in their imagination it is like a high wall.
Before destruction one’s heart is haughty, but humility goes before honour.
If one gives answer before hearing, it is folly and shame.
The human spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit—who can bear?
An intelligent mind acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great.
The one who first states a case seems right, until the other comes and cross-examines.
Casting the lot puts an end to disputes and decides between powerful contenders.
An ally offended is stronger than a city; such quarrelling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of the mouth one’s stomach is satisfied; the yield of the lips brings satisfaction.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour from the Lord.
The poor use entreaties, but the rich answer roughly.
Some friends play at friendship but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.

Mark 7.14-23
Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’

When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, ‘It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

The Collect
God of constant mercy, who sent your Son to save us: remind us of your goodness, increase your grace within us, that our thankfulness may grow, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Morning Prayer - Tuesday 5 September 2017

Psalm 106
Alleluia.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious, for his faithfulness endures for ever.

Who can express the mighty acts of the Lord or show forth all his praise?

Blessed are those who observe what is right and always do what is just.

Remember me, O Lord, in the favour you bear for your people; visit me in the day of your salvation; That I may see the prosperity of your chosen and rejoice in the gladness of your people, and exult with your inheritance. We have sinned like our forebears; we have done wrong and dealt wickedly. In Egypt they did not consider your wonders, nor remember the abundance of your faithful love; they rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea. But he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his power to be known. He rebuked the Red Sea and it was dried up; so he led them through the deep as through the wilderness. He saved them from the adversary’s hand and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. As for those that troubled them, the waters overwhelmed them; there was not one of them left. Then they believed his words and sang aloud his praise.

But soon they forgot his deeds and would not wait for his counsel. A craving seized them in the wilderness, and they put God to the test in the desert. He gave them their desire, but sent a wasting sickness among them. They grew jealous of Moses in the camp and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord. So the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan and covered the company of Abiram. A fire was kindled in their company; the flame burnt up the wicked. They made a calf at Horeb and worshipped the molten image; Thus they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that feeds on hay. They forgot God their saviour, who had done such great things in Egypt, Wonderful deeds in the land of Ham and fearful things at the Red Sea.

So he would have destroyed them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath from consuming them. Then they scorned the Promised Land and would not believe his word, But murmured in their tents and would not heed the voice of the Lord. So he lifted his hand against them and swore to overthrow them in the wilderness, To disperse their descendants among the nations, and to scatter them throughout the lands.

They joined themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to the dead.
They provoked him to anger with their evil deeds and a plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and interceded and so the plague was stayed.This was counted to him for righteousness throughout all generations for ever.

They angered him also at the waters of Meribah, so that Moses suffered for their sake; For they so embittered his spirit that he spoke rash words with his lips.
They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them.
They mingled with the nations and learned to follow their ways, So that they worshipped their idols, which became to them a snare. Their own sons and daughters they sacrificed to evil spirits.

They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, Which they offered to the idols of Canaan, and the land was defiled with blood. Thus were they polluted by their actions, and in their wanton deeds went whoring after other gods. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he abhorred his inheritance. He gave them over to the hand of the nations, and those who hated them ruled over them. So their enemies oppressed them and put them in subjection under their hand.

Many a time did he deliver them, but they rebelled through their own devices and were brought down through their wickedness. Nevertheless, he saw their adversity, when he heard their lamentation. He remembered his covenant with them and relented according to the greatness of his faithful love. He made them also to be pitied by all who had taken them captive.

Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting and to everlasting; and let all the people say, Amen.
Alleluia.

Proverbs 15.18-end
Those who are hot-tempered stir up strife, but those who are slow to anger calm contention.
The way of the lazy is overgrown with thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.
A wise child makes a glad father, but the foolish despise their mothers.
Folly is a joy to one who has no sense, but a person of understanding walks straight ahead.
Without counsel, plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.
To make an apt answer is a joy to anyone, and a word in season, how good it is!
For the wise the path of life leads upwards, in order to avoid Sheol below.
The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but maintains the widow’s boundaries.
Evil plans are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure.
Those who are greedy for unjust gain make trouble for their households, but those who hate bribes will live.
The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil.
The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the body.
The ear that heeds wholesome admonition will lodge among the wise.
Those who ignore instruction despise themselves, but those who heed admonition gain understanding.
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honour.

Mark 7.1-13
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother”; and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban” (that is, an offering to God)—then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.’

The Collect
God of constant mercy, who sent your Son to save us: remind us of your goodness, increase your grace within us, that our thankfulness may grow, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Monday, 4 September 2017

Morning Prayer - 4 September 2017

Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester (Oxon), Apostle of Wessex, 650

Psalm 98
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things. His own right hand and his holy arm have won for him the victory. The Lord has made known his salvation; his deliverance has he openly shown in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness towards the house of Israel, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Sound praises to the Lord, all the earth; break into singing and make music. Make music to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the voice of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn sound praises before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea thunder and all that fills it, the world and all that dwell upon it.
Let the rivers clap their hands and let the hills ring out together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. In righteousness shall he judge the world and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 99
The Lord is king: let the peoples tremble; he is enthroned above the cherubim: let the earth shake.
The Lord is great in Zion and high above all peoples. Let them praise your name, which is great and awesome; the Lord our God is holy.
Mighty king, who loves justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the Lord our God; bow down before his footstool, for he is holy. Moses and Aaron among his priests and Samuel among those who call upon his name, they called upon the Lord and he answered them.
He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud; they kept his testimonies and the law that he gave them. You answered them, O Lord our God; you were a God who forgave them and pardoned them for their offences. Exalt the Lord our God and worship him upon his holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy.

Psalm 101
I will sing of faithfulness and justice; to you, O Lord, will I sing. Let me be wise in the way that is perfect: when will you come to me?
I will walk with purity of heart within the walls of my house.
I will not set before my eyes a counsel that is evil.
I abhor the deeds of unfaithfulness; they shall not cling to me. A crooked heart shall depart from me; I will not know a wicked person. One who slanders a neighbour in secret I will quickly put to silence. Haughty eyes and an arrogant heart I will not endure. My eyes are upon the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me. One who walks in the way that is pure shall be my servant. There shall not dwell in my house one that practises deceit. One who utters falsehood shall not continue in my sight.
Morning by morning will I put to silence all the wicked in the land, To cut off from the city of the Lord all those who practise evil.

Proverbs 14.31-15.17
Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honour him.
The wicked are overthrown by their evildoing, but the righteous find a refuge in their integrity.
Wisdom is at home in the mind of one who has understanding, but it is not known in the heart of fools.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favour, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
A fool despises a parent’s instruction, but the one who heeds admonition is prudent.
In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.
The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the minds of fools.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves the one who pursues righteousness.

There is severe discipline for one who forsakes the way, but one who hates a rebuke will die.
Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord, how much more human hearts!
Scoffers do not like to be rebuked; they will not go to the wise.
A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.
The mind of one who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
All the days of the poor are hard, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.
Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it.

Mark 6.45-end
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

When evening came, the boat was out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the lake. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

The Collect
God of constant mercy, who sent your Son to save us: remind us of your goodness, increase your grace within us, that our thankfulness may grow, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Friday, 1 September 2017

Morning Prayer - Friday, 1 September 2017

Giles of Provence, Hermit, c.710

Psalm 88
O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before you. Let my prayer come into your presence; incline your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of troubles; my life draws near to the land of death. I am counted as one gone down to the Pit; I am like one that has no strength, Lost among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.

You have laid me in the lowest pit, in a place of darkness in the abyss.
Your anger lies heavy upon me, and you have afflicted me with all your waves.
You have put my friends far from me and made me to be abhorred by them.
I am so fast in prison that I cannot get free; my eyes fail from all my trouble.

Lord, I have called daily upon you; I have stretched out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Will the shades stand up and praise you?
Shall your loving-kindness be declared in the grave, your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
Shall your wonders be known in the dark or your righteous deeds in the land where all is forgotten?
But as for me, O Lord, I will cry to you; early in the morning my prayer shall come before you.

Lord, why have you rejected my soul?
Why have you hidden your face from me?
I have been wretched and at the point of death from my youth;
I suffer your terrors and am no more seen.
Your wrath sweeps over me;
your horrors are come to destroy me;
All day long they come about me like water; they close me in on every side. Lover and friend have you put far from me and hid my companions out of my sight.

Psalm 95
O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving and be glad in him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God and a great king above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth and the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands have moulded the dry land.

Come, let us worship and bow down and kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is our God; we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice:
‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, on that day at Massah in the wilderness, When your forebears tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my works.

'Forty years long I detested that generation and said, “This people are wayward in their hearts;
they do not know my ways.” So I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter into my rest.” ’

Proverbs 11.1-12
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but an accurate weight is his delight.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but wisdom is with the humble.
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
The righteousness of the blameless keeps their ways straight, but the wicked fall by their own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright saves them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their schemes.
When the wicked die, their hope perishes, and the expectation of the godless comes to nothing.
The righteous are delivered from trouble, and the wicked get into it instead.
With their mouths the godless would destroy their neighbours, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
Whoever belittles another lacks sense, but an intelligent person remains silent.

Mark 6.14-29
King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’ But others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’ But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’

For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee.

When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’ And he solemnly swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the baptiser.’ Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’

The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

The Collect
God of glory, the end of our searching, help us to lay aside all that prevents us from seeking your kingdom, and to give all that we have to gain the pearl beyond all price, through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Morning Prayer - Thursday, 31 August 2017

Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651

Psalm 90
Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another. Before the mountains were brought forth, or the earth and the world were formed, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn us back to dust and say: ‘Turn back, O children of earth.’

For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday, which passes like a watch in the night. You sweep them away like a dream; they fade away suddenly like the grass. In the morning it is green and flourishes; in the evening it is dried up and withered. For we consume away in your displeasure; we are afraid at your wrathful indignation.

You have set our misdeeds before you and our secret sins in the light of your countenance. When you are angry, all our days are gone; our years come to an end like a sigh. The days of our life are three score years and ten, or if our strength endures, even four score; yet the sum of them is but labour and sorrow, for they soon pass away and we are gone. Who regards the power of your wrath and your indignation like those who fear you?

So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Turn again, O Lord; how long will you delay? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us with your loving-kindness in the morning; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Give us gladness for the days you have afflicted us, and for the years in which we have seen adversity. Show your servants your works, and let your glory be over their children.

May the gracious favour of the Lord our God be upon us; prosper our handiwork; O prosper the work of our hands.

Psalm 92
It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to your name, O Most High; To tell of your love early in the morning and of your faithfulness in the night-time, Upon the ten-stringed instrument, upon the harp, and to the melody of the lyre. For you, Lord, have made me glad by your acts, and I sing aloud at the works of your hands. O Lord, how glorious are your works!

Your thoughts are very deep. The senseless do not know, nor do fools understand, That though the wicked sprout like grass and all the workers of iniquity flourish, It is only to be destroyed for ever; but you, O Lord, shall be exalted for evermore. For lo, your enemies, O Lord, lo, your enemies shall perish, and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn you have exalted like the horns of wild oxen; I am anointed with fresh oil. My eyes will look down on my foes; my ears shall hear the ruin of the evildoers who rise up against me.

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon. Such as are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be vigorous and in full leaf; That they may show that the Lord is true; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Proverbs 10.1-12
A wise child makes a glad father,   but a foolish child is a mother’s grief.
Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
A child who gathers in summer is prudent, but a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame.
Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The memory of the righteous is a blessing  but the name of the wicked will rot.
The wise of heart will heed commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever follows perverse ways will be found out.
Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, but the one who rebukes boldly makes peace.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offences.

Mark 6.1-13
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

The Collect
Everlasting God, you sent the gentle bishop Aidan to proclaim the gospel in this land: grant us to live as he taught in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; 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.


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Morning Prayer - Tuesday 29 August 2017

The Beheading of John the Baptist

Psalm 87
His foundation is on the holy mountains. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, Zion, city of our God.

I record Egypt and Babylon as those who know me; behold Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia: in Zion were they born. And of Zion it shall be said, ‘Each one was born in her, and the Most High himself has established her.’
The Lord will record as he writes up the peoples, ‘This one also was born there.’
And as they dance they shall sing, ‘All my fresh springs are in you.’

Psalm 89.1-18
My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the Lord: with my mouth will I proclaim your faithfulness throughout all generations. I will declare that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness as firm as the heavens. For you said:
‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
‘ “Your seed will I establish for ever and build up your throne for all generations.” ’

The heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, and your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones; For who among the clouds can be compared to the Lord?  Who is like the Lord among the host of heaven? A God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible above all those round about him.

Who is like you, Lord God of hosts? Mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you.
You rule the raging of the sea; you still its waves when they arise.
You crushed Rahab with a deadly wound and scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; you established the world and all that fills it.
You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand and high is your right hand. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before your face.

Happy are the people who know the shout of triumph: they walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance. In your name they rejoice all the day long and are exalted in your righteousness. For you are the glory of their strength, and in your favour you lift up our heads.
Truly the Lord is our shield; the Holy One of Israel is our king.

Proverbs 8.22-end
The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth - when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.
When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.

‘And now, my children, listen to me: happy are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
Happy is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favour from the Lord;  but those who miss me injure themselves; all who hate me love death.’

Mark 5.21-34
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

The Collect
Almighty God, who called your servant John the Baptist to be the forerunner of your Son in birth and death: strengthen us by your grace that, as he suffered for the truth, so we may boldly resist corruption and vice and receive with him the unfading crown of glory; 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, 28 August 2017

Morning Prayer - Monday 28 August 2017

Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher of the Faith, 430

Psalm 80
Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, you that led Joseph like a flock; Shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim, before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your mighty strength and come to our salvation.
Turn us again, O God; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry at your people’s prayer?
You feed them with the bread of tears; you give them abundance of tears to drink.
You have made us the derision of our neighbours and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Turn us again, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
You made room around it, and when it had taken root, it filled the land. The hills were covered with its shadow and the cedars of God by its boughs. It stretched out its branches to the Sea and its tendrils to the River. Why then have you broken down its wall, so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
The wild boar out of the wood tears it off, and all the insects of the field devour it.
Turn again, O God of hosts, look down from heaven and behold;

Cherish this vine which your right hand has planted, and the branch that you made so strong for yourself.
Let those who burnt it with fire, who cut it down, perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
Let your hand be upon the man at your right hand, the son of man you made so strong for yourself. And so will we not go back from you; give us life, and we shall call upon your name.
Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Psalm 82
God has taken his stand in the council of heaven; in the midst of the gods he gives judgement:
‘How long will you judge unjustly and show such favour to the wicked?
‘You were to judge the weak and the orphan; defend the right of the humble and needy;
‘Rescue the weak and the poor; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
‘They have no knowledge or wisdom they walk on still in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
‘Therefore I say that though you are gods and all of you children of the Most High,
‘Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals and fall like one of their princes.’
Arise, O God and judge the earth, for it is you that shall take all nations for your possession.

Proverbs 8.1-21
Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
 To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live.
 O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it.
 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right;
 for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
 They are all straight to one who understands and right to those who find knowledge.
 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold;
 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
 I, wisdom, live with prudence, and I attain knowledge and discretion.
 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
 Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
 I have good advice and sound wisdom; I have insight, I have strength.
 By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;
 by me rulers rule, and nobles, all who govern rightly.
 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
 Riches and honour are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity.
 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
 endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Mark 5.1-20
They came to the other side of the lake, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.’ For he had said to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’ Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He replied, ‘My name is Legion; for we are many.’ He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits begged him, ‘Send us into the swine; let us enter them.’ So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned in the lake.

The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighbourhood. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.

The Collect
Merciful Lord,
who turned Augustine from his sins to be a faithful bishop and teacher: grant that we may follow him in penitence and discipline till our restless hearts find their rest in you; 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.


Friday, 25 August 2017

Morning Prayer - Friday, 25 August 2017

Psalm 55
Hear my prayer, O God; hide not yourself from my petition. Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaining.

I am alarmed at the voice of the enemy and at the clamour of the wicked; For they would bring down evil upon me and are set against me in fury. My heart is disquieted within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and a horrible dread has overwhelmed me.

And I said:
‘O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest.
‘Then would I flee far away and make my lodging in the wilderness.
‘I would make haste to escape from the stormy wind and tempest.’

Confuse their tongues, O Lord, and divide them, for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about on her walls; mischief and trouble are in her midst. Wickedness walks in her streets; oppression and guile never leave her squares.

For it was not an open enemy that reviled me, for then I could have borne it; Nor was it my adversary that puffed himself up against me, for then I would have hid myself from him. But it was even you, one like myself, my companion and my own familiar friend. We took sweet counsel together and walked with the multitude in the house of God.

Let death come suddenly upon them; let them go down alive to the Pit; for wickedness inhabits their dwellings, their very hearts. As for me, I will call upon God and the Lord will deliver me. In the evening and morning and at noonday I will pray and make my supplication, and he shall hear my voice. He shall redeem my soul in peace from the battle waged against me, for many have come upon me.

God, who is enthroned of old, will hear and bring them down; they will not repent, for they have no fear of God.

My companion stretched out his hands against his friend and has broken his covenant; His speech was softer than butter, though war was in his heart; his words were smoother than oil, yet are they naked swords.

Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you, and will not let the righteous fall for ever. But those that are bloodthirsty and deceitful, O God, you will bring down to the pit of destruction. They shall not live out half their days, but my trust shall be in you, O Lord.

Proverbs 3.27-4.19
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it’ when you have it with you.
Do not plan harm against your neighbour who lives trustingly beside you.
Do not quarrel with anyone without cause, when no harm has been done to you.
Do not envy the violent and do not choose any of their ways; for the perverse are an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.

The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous. Towards the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favour. The wise will inherit honour, but stubborn fools, disgrace.

Listen, children, to a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight; for I give you good precepts: do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, and my mother’s favourite, he taught me, and said to me,
‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.
'Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
'Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.
'The beginning of wisdom is this:
'Get wisdom, and whatever else you get,
'get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
'she will honour you if you embrace her.
'She will place on your head a fair garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.’

Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what they stumble over.

Mark 4.21-34
He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’

He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’

He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

The Collect
Lord of heaven and earth, as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer, give us patience and courage never to lose hope, but always to bring our prayers before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Morning Prayer - Thursday 24 August 2017

St Bartholomew the Apostle

Psalm 86
Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and in misery.
Preserve my soul, for I am faithful; save your servant, for I put my trust in you.
Be merciful to me, O Lord, for you are my God; I call upon you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For you, Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer and listen to the voice of my supplication. In the day of my distress I will call upon you, for you will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord, nor any works like yours. All nations you have made shall come and worship you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wonderful things; you alone are God.

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; knit my heart to you, that I may fear your name. I will thank you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and glorify your name for evermore; For great is your steadfast love towards me, for you have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave.

O God, the proud rise up against me and a ruthless horde seek after my life; they have not set you before their eyes. But you, Lord, are gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and full of kindness and truth.

Turn to me and have mercy upon me; give your strength to your servant and save the child of your handmaid. Show me a token of your favour, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed; because you, O Lord, have helped and comforted me.


Psalm 117
O praise the Lord, all you nations; praise him, all you peoples. For great is his steadfast love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.
Alleluia.

Genesis 28.10-17
Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’ Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!’ And he was afraid, and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’

John 1.43-51
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, who gave to your apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach your word: grant that your Church may love that word which he believed and may faithfully preach and receive the same; 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.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Morning Prayer - Wednesday 23 August 2017

Psalm 77
I  cry aloud to God; I cry aloud to God and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord; by night my hand is stretched out and does not tire; my soul refuses comfort. I think upon God and I groan; I ponder, and my spirit faints. You will not let my eyelids close; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old; I remember the years long past; I commune with my heart in the night; my spirit searches for understanding.
Will the Lord cast us off for ever?
Will he no more show us his favour?
Has his loving mercy clean gone for ever?
Has his promise come to an end for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he shut up his compassion in displeasure?

And I said, ‘My grief is this: that the right hand of the Most High has lost its strength.’

I will remember the works of the Lord and call to mind your wonders of old time.
I will meditate on all your works and ponder your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy; who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who worked wonders and declared your power among the people.
With a mighty arm you redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.

The waters saw you, O God;
the waters saw you and were afraid;
the depths also were troubled.

The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; your arrows flashed on every side;

The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lit up the ground; the earth trembled and shook.

Your way was in the sea, and your paths in the great waters, but your footsteps were not known.
You led your people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Proverbs 2
My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you,  making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures - then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; prudence will watch over you; and understanding will guard you. It will save you from the way of evil, from those who speak perversely, who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil; those whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.

You will be saved from the loose woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, who forsakes the partner of her youth and forgets her sacred covenant; for her way leads down to death, and her paths to the shades; those who go to her never come back, nor do they regain the paths of life.

Therefore walk in the way of the good, and keep to the paths of the just. For the upright will abide in the land, and the innocent will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

Mark 3.19b-end
and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’—for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’
Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’

The Collect
Lord of heaven and earth, as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer, give us patience and courage never to lose hope, but always to bring our prayers before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Morning Prayer - Tuesday 15 August 2017

The Blessed Virgin Mary

Psalm 98
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things. His own right hand and his holy arm have won for him the victory.
The Lord has made known his salvation; his deliverance has he openly shown in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness
towards the house of Israel, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Sound praises to the Lord, all the earth; break into singing and make music. Make music to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the voice of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn sound praises before the Lord, the King. Let the sea thunder and all that fills it, the world and all that dwell upon it. Let the rivers clap their hands and let the hills ring out together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. In righteousness shall he judge the world and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 138
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods will I sing praise to you. I will bow down towards your holy temple and praise your name, because of your love and faithfulness; for you have glorified your name and your word above all things. In the day that I called to you, you answered me; you put new strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, that great is the glory of the Lord.

Psalm 147.1-12
Alleluia.
How good it is to make music for our God, how joyful to honour him with praise.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem and gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up all their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars and calls them all by their names.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his wisdom is beyond all telling.
The Lord lifts up the poor, but casts down the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God upon the lyre; Who covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth;  Who makes grass to grow upon the mountains and green plants to serve our needs. He gives the beasts their food and the young ravens when they cry. He takes no pleasure in the power of a horse, no delight in human strength; But the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their trust in his steadfast love.

Isaiah 7.10-15
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: ‘Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.

Luke 11.27,28
While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’

The Collect
Almighty God, who looked upon the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and chose her to be the mother of your only Son: grant that we who are redeemed by his blood may share with her in the glory of your eternal kingdom; 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, 12 August 2017

Morning Prayer - Saturday 12th August 2017

Psalm 41
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.

The Lord protects and preserves them - they are counted among the blessed in the land - he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.

The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish?” When one of them comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it around.

All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, “A vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.” Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.

But may you have mercy on me, Lord; raise me up, that I may repay them. I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

Psalm 42
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon - from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me - a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”

My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.

Psalm 43
Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain,  to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God,  to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre,

O God, my God.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.

Ezekiel 36.16-36
Again the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman’s monthly uncleanness in my sight. So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols. I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the Lord’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’ I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone.

“Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.

“‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’

James 5.7-end
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and UIKEYINPUTUPARROW sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

The Collect
Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven and became poor for our sake: when we prosper save us from pride, when we are needy save us from despair, that we may trust in you alone; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.