Sunday 5 July 20204th Sunday after TrinityProper 9Year A

Collect

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,

without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:

increase and multiply upon us your mercy;

that with you as our ruler and guide

we may so pass through things temporal

that we lose not our hold on things eternal;

grant this, heavenly Father,

for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.or

Gracious Father,

by the obedience of Jesus

you brought salvation to our wayward world:

draw us into harmony with your will,

that we may find all things restored in him,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.ReadingsContinuous:Genesis 24.34-38, 42-49, 58-end

34 So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. 36And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, “You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.”

42 ‘I came today to the spring, and said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! 43I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,’44and who will say to me, ‘Drink, and I will draw for your camels also’—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.”

45 ‘Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water-jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, “Please let me drink.” 46She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, “Drink, and I will also water your camels.” So I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47Then I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” She said, “The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.” So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. 49Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.’ 58And they called Rebekah, and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ She said, ‘I will.’ 59So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
‘May you, our sister, become
   thousands of myriads;
may your offspring gain possession
   of the gates of their foes.’ 
61Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

62 Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb.63Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. 64And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, 65and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?’ The servant said, ‘It is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself. 66And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 45.10-end

10  Hear, O daughter; consider and incline your ear; •
   forget your own people and your father’s house.
11  So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty; •
   he is your lord, so do him honour.
12  The people of Tyre shall bring you gifts; •
   the richest of the people shall seek your favour.
13  The king’s daughter is all glorious within; •
   her clothing is embroidered cloth of gold.
14  She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework; •
   after her the virgins that are her companions.
15  With joy and gladness shall they be brought •
   and enter into the palace of the king.
16  ‘Instead of your fathers you shall have sons, •
   whom you shall make princes over all the land.
17  ‘I will make your name to be remembered through all generations; •
   therefore shall the peoples praise you for ever and ever.’
or Song of Solomon 2.8-13


8 The voice of my beloved!
   Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
   bounding over the hills. 
9 My beloved is like a gazelle
   or a young stag.
Look, there he stands
   behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
   looking through the lattice. 
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
   and come away; 
11 for now the winter is past,
   the rain is over and gone. 
12 The flowers appear on the earth;
   the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
   is heard in our land. 
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs,
   and the vines are in blossom;
   they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
   and come away.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Romans 7.15-25a

15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. 
This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Related:Zechariah 9.9-12


9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
   Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
   triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
   on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 
10 He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
   and the warhorse from Jerusalem;
and the battle-bow shall be cut off,
   and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
   and from the River to the ends of the earth. 


11 As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
   I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 
12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
   today I declare that I will restore to you double.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 145.8-15

8  The Lord is gracious and merciful, •
   long-suffering and of great goodness.
9  The Lord is loving to everyone •
   and his mercy is over all his creatures.
10  All your works praise you, O Lord, •
   and your faithful servants bless you.
11  They tell of the glory of your kingdom •
   and speak of your mighty power,
12  To make known to all peoples your mighty acts •
   and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
13  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; •
   your dominion endures throughout all ages.
14  The Lord is sure in all his words •
   and faithful in all his deeds.
15  The Lord upholds all those who fall •
   and lifts up all those who are bowed down.
Romans 7.15-25a

15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. 
This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.AllGlory to you, O Lord.Matthew 11.16-19, 25-end

16 ‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, 
17 “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
   we wailed, and you did not mourn.” 
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”;19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’

25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

Eternal God,

comfort of the afflicted and healer of the broken,

you have fed us at the table of life and hope:

teach us the ways of gentleness and peace,

that all the world may acknowledge

the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mary – The Secret Joy of Christians

The difference between Anglo-Catholics and Anglican Catholics

WHAT HAS CHANGED?
When you come to the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite (HCC-AR) from some other Church you become a different kind of Christian. This is because the HCC-AR is a different kind of Church, a truly Catholic Church – as that was understood before Christendom began to break up a thousand years ago. If, before you joined the HCC-AR, you were a member of a ‘High Church’ Anglican congregation – an ‘Anglo-Catholic’ – you may have fully believed all the ancient Catholic doctrines concerning Our Lady, used all the right prayers, and followed all the traditional devotions to her. Admittedly some of your fellow Anglicans may not have approved, but you believe the same now as you did then, so what has changed? 

BELIEVING THROUGH THE HOLY TRADITION
In the days when Christendom was still united Christians believed – and true Catholic Christians still believe – five things about Our Lady: 1. That she is the Mother of God (Theotokos, “the God bearer” in Greek). 2. That she has always remained a Virgin, even after the birth of Jesus. 3. That she was free from personal sin throughout the whole of her life on earth (Conception). 4. That she has fulfilled the WHOLE plan of God for us (Assumption). 5. That she is our intercessor in heaven. Even when Christendom broke up and Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholics would have nothing to do with each other, they all STILL believed these five things about the Virgin Mary – and they still do. The reason why they still go on believing is because God the Holy Spirit keeps on telling us these five things are true. The Holy Sprit tells us this through the Holy Tradition, his abiding, guiding presence with the Church. The Holy Spirit, through the Holy Tradition, keeps us, heart and soul, focused upon Jesus who is the source of all Truth. That Truth includes the role and destiny of the Virgin Mary, His earthly Mother. 

WHAT THE FIVE BELIEFS TELL US
The five Marian doctrines tell us about the WHOLE Plan of Salvation. They tell us this through the story of the Blessed Virgin – her preparation for the role of Mother of the Saviour, her cooperation with the will and grace of God, her total dedication (in her case through a life of virginity). They tell us also what is at the end of the Way of Salvation – the complete package, so to speak. Mary has traveled even beyond the final Resurrection, she is filled with the glory of God, sharing, as far as it is possible for a human being, the divine life itself. In the Mother of God the Plan of Salvation is complete and already at work among us. Mary is still herself, she is not hidden away from us in heaven, any more than our Lord himself (who is always present with us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit). Just as she was chosen to be the earthly Mother of Jesus, so she is now the Mother of us all. Through her Son she cares for us, she prays for us, she acts to guide and help us. Anyone who does not realize this has lost out on a whole dimension of the Faith – and many have lost out because of an idea introduced many centuries ago. 

BELIEVING THROUGH HUMAN OPINION
For as long as the Church on earth allowed itself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, through keeping the Holy Tradition, it remained united in a common Faith. During those first thousand years, however, an idea grew up among Christians in the West that Jesus had committed special powers to St. Peter and to his successors, the Bishops of Rome. The earliest written record of the Holy Tradition is the New Testament and this record was now interpreted as giving the Roman Pope authority over all the Christian Churches – the Holy Tradition was being set aside. What God had planned as a FAMILY the ‘Papalists’ were turning into a RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION under central control. The Bible was no longer being used as the foremost witness to the Holy Tradition but as a tool in the hands of merely human opinion and ideology. 

THE HOLY TRADITION LOST
By the end of the Middle Ages the Western Church was dominated by the authority of the Roman Pope. Much doctrinal waywardness and abuse of power had crept in. The Western Church, however, still maintained the five Marian doctrines, a constant reminder that the Church is a FAMILY and not an ORGANIZATION. Reform was needed but when it came it led many Christians even further away from the true understanding of the Church. The leaders of the Protestant Reformation set out to purify the Church and looked to the Bible to provide the blue-print for reform. Just as the Papalists had used the New Testament to support their ideas of what the Church should be, so now the Reformers did the same. Anything that was not in the Bible (as they interpreted it) had to be taken out of the Church. The guidance of the Holy Spirit through the Holy Tradition was ignored and purely human ideas prevailed. Yes, Jesus Christ was still worshipped and gratefully acknowledged as God and Saviour, but the Marian doctrines were thrown out, along with papal authority, as being ‘contrary to Scripture’. The Reformers believed they were returning to the pure Faith; in fact, like the Papalists, they were reinforcing the spirit of rationalism – of merely human opinion – for them the Church remained an ORGANIZATION run on ‘scriptural’ instead of ‘papal’ lines. 

THE HOLY TRADITION REVIVED – PART WAY
Among the Churches of the Reformation, the Anglican Church retained many of the ancient ways and traditions, preserving many things which more zealous Reformers rejected as ‘Romish’. It was on the basis of this heritage that, more than a century and a half ago, the ‘Anglo-Catholic’ movement began to restore the ancient Faith. The Anglo-Catholics faced bitter opposition from Protestant-minded members of the Anglican Church, but made headway nevertheless – even achieving the fight to acknowledge the Marian doctrines. Even so the restored doctrines were established, not as the belief of the whole Anglican Church in harmony with the Holy Tradition, but as the ‘private opinion’ of those who were satisfied that there was a ‘biblical foundation’ for them. This is why so many ‘traditionalist’ Anglo-Catholics have been prepared to stay on in the Anglican Communion – while they are allowed to continue in their ‘private opinion’. Other Anglo-Catholics have embraced all kinds of radical changes because the ‘private opinion’ basis of belief is not only Protestant but also rationalistic (and thus captured easily by ideologies of all kinds). 

THE DIFFERENCE
The difference between the Anglican Catholic and the Anglo-Catholic is as follows. The Anglo-Catholic will pick and chose between doctrines he regards as ‘essential to salvation’ and those which are ‘inessential’, mere pious opinions. The Marian doctrines will be placed in this second category and the Anglo-Catholic can remain in a Protestant Church – provided it is tolerant of his eccentricities. He will, of course, never ‘un-church’ those who believe otherwise because, for him, the Church is a religious ORGANIZATION based on ‘private opinion’. The Anglican Catholic, however, knows that the Faith and the Church form a ‘complete package’ based upon the Holy Tradition -the presence of the Holy Spirit himself. The Marian doctrines will thus be seen as a natural part of the total package. A Church formed by the Holy Tradition is quite different from one based on ‘private opinion’. The second is no more than a religious ORGANIZATION however much it may claim to be ‘Catholic’. The first is a manifestation of the Body of Christ, the New Life in Christ, in which, as a ‘secret joy’, we discover the presence of the Mother of God.

The Church and the Assumption of Mary

The Implications for the Church of the Assumption of the Mother of God

THE FACT OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
In spite of their many other divisions, the vast majority of Christians accept that, at the end of her earthly life, the Blessed Virgin Mary was raised from the dead and received, body and soul, into heaven. This event, although it follows the same sequence as the Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord, is not recorded in Scripture. The Assumption of Our Lady is, however, an integral and necessary element in our understanding of the Faith and of the nature of the Church. 

NOT IN THE BIBLE
The lack of scriptural mention creates a serious obstacle for those entering the fullness of the Catholic Faith from a Protestant background. Protestantism demands direct Biblical evidence for any doctrine, but in the case of the Assumption this cannot be supplied. While the demand for evidence seems reasonable enough, the mistake which is being made here is the implication that only documentary evidence is acceptable. The scriptural account of Our Lord’s own Ascension is testimony to the event, but it is not proof. The reliability and acceptability depends upon the witness, the testimony, of the Apostles, and only secondarily upon the written record. The Apostolic testimony (known as the Holy Tradition) is the primary source of the Faith; it is, like all else connected with the mission of the Incarnate Lord, inseparable from the work of the Holy Spirit. It is not just with the Bible, but with the Lord, Inspirer, and sole true Interpreter of the Sacred Scriptures with whom we have to deal. It is here we must begin. 

“… THEY WHICH TESTIFY OF ME”
Those who give great authority to the Scriptures must heed the words of Christ himself: “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.” (St. John 5:39). The Scriptures are a signpost to salvation, a signpost by which the Holy Spirit points to Christ as the source of salvation – this is true as much of the New Testament as of the Old. Signposts, however, can be turned by men so that they point in the wrong direction, this is why Our Lord did not rely on the Scriptures alone, but promised his disciples the constant presence of the Holy Spirit who would lead them into ‘all truth’ (St. John 16:13). The Holy Spirit, as a result of his outpouring upon the Church, would not only guide the minds of the disciples, he would bring them the fullness of salvation by enabling them to share together in the risen life of Christ himself. 

SALVATION IN CHRIST
Salvation comes by incorporation into Christ, hence the Church, the company of those who have been thus incorporated, is the Body of Christ. This term is no mere figure of speech, it is a reality; Christ is made known to the world-by the Holy Spirit – through those whom he indwells. To this kind of reality which renews and transforms our created and ‘fallen’ condition by the divine grace is given the name ‘sacramental’ – it is at this point that “… earthly things of heaven partake.” Sacramentally we may say, and say truly, that Christ and his Church are one. In baptism as St. Paul says, we die and rise with Christ (Romans 6:3ff); while the Lord himself has assured us, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” and, “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” (St. John 6:53 and 57). 

THE FULLNESS OF THE CHURCH
The Church is not, therefore, just a collection of individual believers drawn together by a common interest, it is one body expressing the life of Christ in all its members, both those on earth and those departed from this life. Since it reflects the totality of the life of Christ – of all that Christ offers to mankind in himself – there will be members of the Church who have passed not just beyond this world into a place of ‘refreshment, light and of peace,’ but those who have already shared the resurrection of Christ (see Matthew 27:52). The Church knows also of one who has not only passed beyond the resurrection but attained to the fullness of deification – the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church cannot be truly the Body of Christ, something is lacking until a representative of redeemed humankind has arrived at that glorification of the creation purposed by the Holy Trinity. 

NO DETAILS
The details of the event of the Assumption of Mary – the mechanics, so to speak – are not disclosed to us. We do not know for sure when this happened or how. What written records exist are comparatively late and somewhat fanciful: they do however hint at a pattern of events passed down by word of mouth and ‘written up’ at different times and in different places. In these circumstances ‘evidence,’ in the sense of literary documentation, is of small value since the ‘event’ of the Assumption, implicit in the Gospel, occurs at that point where the rules of a fallen creation are transcended by the imperatives of the New Creation. The special position accorded to the Mother of God by the Church, as the first of a fallen race to be assumed into heaven and glorified, secures for us both our understanding of the full effect of that New Creation and the destiny to which it leads. At the same time that special position recalls the quality of discipleship required in the Kingdom- “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and do it” – and the height to which cooperation with the will of God raises the redeemed creation. 

SALVATION REVEALED IN ITS COMPLETENESS
In Mary, the Mother of God, the whole course, purpose, and fulfillment of Salvation is revealed. The Church has treasured this knowledge within the Holy Tradition, sometimes secretly, sometimes openly (as far as the world is concerned) but true believers must recall constantly and act faithfully upon this knowledge lest, for them, the signpost is moved out of its place.

Sunday 28 June 20203rd Sunday after TrinityProper 8Year A

Almighty God,

you have broken the tyranny of sin

and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father:

give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,

that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God;

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.or

God our saviour,

look on this wounded world

in pity and in power;

hold us fast to your promises of peace

won for us by your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.ReadingsContinuous:Genesis 22.1-14

22After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 2He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ 6Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ 8Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.

9 When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 12He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ 13And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 13

1  How long will you forget me, O Lord; for ever? •
   How long will you hide your face from me?
2  How long shall I have anguish in my soul
      and grief in my heart, day after day? •
   How long shall my enemy triumph over me?
3  Look upon me and answer, O Lord my God; •
   lighten my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
4  Lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed against him,’ •
   and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.
5  But I put my trust in your steadfast love; •
   my heart will rejoice in your salvation.
6  I will sing to the Lord, •
   for he has dealt so bountifully with me.
Romans 6.12-end

12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.

20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Related:Jeremiah 28.5-9

5 Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; 6and the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfil the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. 7But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. 8The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. 9As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.’This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 89.1-4, 15-18

1  My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the Lord: •︎
   with my mouth will I proclaim your faithfulness
      throughout all generations.
2  I will declare that your love is established for ever; •︎
   you have set your faithfulness as firm as the heavens.
3  For you said: ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one; •︎
   I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4  ‘ “Your seed will I establish for ever •︎
   and build up your throne for all generations.” ’
15  Happy are the people who know the shout of triumph: •︎
   they walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance.
16  In your name they rejoice all the day long •︎
   and are exalted in your righteousness.
17  For you are the glory of their strength, •︎
   and in your favour you lift up our heads.
18  Truly the Lord is our shield; •︎
   the Holy One of Israel is our king.
[or Psalm 89.8-18]

8  Who is like you, Lord God of hosts? •︎
   Mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you.
9  You rule the raging of the sea; •︎
   you still its waves when they arise.
10  You crushed Rahab with a deadly wound •︎
   and scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11  Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; •︎
   you established the world and all that fills it.
12  You created the north and the south; •︎
   Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
13  You have a mighty arm; •︎
   strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; •︎
   steadfast love and faithfulness go before your face.
15  Happy are the people who know the shout of triumph: •︎
   they walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance.
16  In your name they rejoice all the day long •︎
   and are exalted in your righteousness.
17  For you are the glory of their strength, •︎
   and in your favour you lift up our heads.
18  Truly the Lord is our shield; •︎
   the Holy One of Israel is our king.
Romans 6.12-end

12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.

20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.AllGlory to you, O Lord.Matthew 10.40-end

40 ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’ 
This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining

and whose power we cannot comprehend:

show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,

and shield us from knowing more than we can bear

until we may look upon you without fear;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Sunday 21 June 20202nd Sunday after TrinityProper 7Year A

Lord, you have taught us

that all our doings without love are nothing worth:

send your Holy Spirit

and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,

the true bond of peace and of all virtues,

without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.

Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.or

Faithful Creator,

whose mercy never fails:

deepen our faithfulness to you

and to your living Word,

Jesus Christ our Lord.ReadingsContinuous:Genesis 21.8-21

8 The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. 10So she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.’ 11The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. 12But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named after you. 13As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.’ 14So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. 16Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, ‘Do not let me look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.’ 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. 21He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 86.1-10, 16-end

1  Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, •
   for I am poor and in misery.
2  Preserve my soul, for I am faithful; •
   save your servant, for I put my trust in you.
3  Be merciful to me, O Lord, for you are my God; •
   I call upon you all the day long.
4  Gladden the soul of your servant, •
   for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5  For you, Lord, are good and forgiving, •
   abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6  Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer •
   and listen to the voice of my supplication.
7  In the day of my distress I will call upon you, •
   for you will answer me.
8  Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord, •
   nor any works like yours.
9  All nations you have made shall come and worship you, O Lord, •
   and shall glorify your name.
10  For you are great and do wonderful things; •
   you alone are God.
16  Turn to me and have mercy upon me; •
   give your strength to your servant
      and save the child of your handmaid.
17  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.
[or Psalm 86.1-10]

1  Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, •︎
   for I am poor and in misery.
2  Preserve my soul, for I am faithful; •︎
   save your servant, for I put my trust in you.
3  Be merciful to me, O Lord, for you are my God; •︎
   I call upon you all the day long.
4  Gladden the soul of your servant, •︎
   for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5  For you, Lord, are good and forgiving, •︎
   abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6  Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer •︎
   and listen to the voice of my supplication.
7  In the day of my distress I will call upon you, •︎
   for you will answer me.
8  Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord, •︎
   nor any works like yours.
9  All nations you have made shall come and worship you, O Lord, •︎
   and shall glorify your name.
10  For you are great and do wonderful things; •︎
   you alone are God.
Romans 6.1b-11

6What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Related:Jeremiah 20.7-13


7 O Lord, you have enticed me,
   and I was enticed;
you have overpowered me,
   and you have prevailed.
I have become a laughing-stock all day long;
   everyone mocks me. 
8 For whenever I speak, I must cry out,
   I must shout, ‘Violence and destruction!’
For the word of the Lord has become for me
   a reproach and derision all day long. 
9 If I say, ‘I will not mention him,
   or speak any more in his name’,
then within me there is something like a burning fire
   shut up in my bones;
I am weary with holding it in,
   and I cannot. 
10 For I hear many whispering:
   ‘Terror is all around!
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’
   All my close friends
   are watching for me to stumble.
‘Perhaps he can be enticed,
   and we can prevail against him,
   and take our revenge on him.’ 
11 But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior;
   therefore my persecutors will stumble,
   and they will not prevail.
They will be greatly shamed,
   for they will not succeed.
Their eternal dishonour
   will never be forgotten. 
12 O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous,
   you see the heart and the mind;
let me see your retribution upon them,
   for to you I have committed my cause. 


13 Sing to the Lord;
   praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
   from the hands of evildoers. 
This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 69.8-11 [12-17] 18-20

8  For your sake have I suffered reproach; •
   shame has covered my face.
9  I have become a stranger to my kindred, •
   an alien to my mother’s children.
10  Zeal for your house has eaten me up; •
   the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
11  I humbled myself with fasting, •
   but that was turned to my reproach.
[ 12  I put on sackcloth also •
   and became a byword among them.
13  Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, •
   and the drunkards make songs about me.
14  But as for me, I make my prayer to you, O Lord; •
   at an acceptable time, O God.
15  Answer me, O God, in the abundance of your mercy •
   and with your sure salvation.
16  Draw me out of the mire, that I sink not; •
   let me be rescued from those who hate me
      and out of the deep waters.
17  Let not the water flood drown me,
      neither the deep swallow me up; •
   let not the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
] 18  Answer me, Lord, for your loving-kindness is good; •
   turn to me in the multitude of your mercies.
19  Hide not your face from your servant; •
   be swift to answer me, for I am in trouble.
20  Draw near to my soul and redeem me; •
   deliver me because of my enemies.
[or Psalm 69.14-20]

14  But as for me, I make my prayer to you, O Lord; •︎
   at an acceptable time, O God.
15  Answer me, O God, in the abundance of your mercy •︎
   and with your sure salvation.
16  Draw me out of the mire, that I sink not; •︎
   let me be rescued from those who hate me
      and out of the deep waters.
17  Let not the water flood drown me,
      neither the deep swallow me up; •︎
   let not the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
18  Answer me, Lord, for your loving-kindness is good; •︎
   turn to me in the multitude of your mercies.
19  Hide not your face from your servant; •︎
   be swift to answer me, for I am in trouble.
20  Draw near to my soul and redeem me; •︎
   deliver me because of my enemies.
Romans 6.1b-11

6What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.AllGlory to you, O Lord.Matthew 10.24-39

24 ‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

26 ‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. 30And even the hairs of your head are all counted.31So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32 ‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

34 ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 
35 For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 
36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. 
37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.39Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

Loving Father,

we thank you for feeding us at the supper of your Son:

sustain us with your Spirit,

that we may serve you here on earth

until our joy is complete in heaven,

and we share in the eternal banquet

with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday 7 June 2020Trinity Sunday orYear A

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God,

you have given us your servants grace,

by the confession of a true faith,

to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity

and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:

keep us steadfast in this faith,

that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;

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.or

Holy God,

faithful and unchanging:

enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,

and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,

that we may truly worship you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.ReadingsIsaiah 40.12-17, 27-end


12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
   and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure,
   and weighed the mountains in scales
   and the hills in a balance? 
13 Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,
   or as his counsellor has instructed him? 
14 Whom did he consult for his enlightenment,
   and who taught him the path of justice?
Who taught him knowledge,
   and showed him the way of understanding? 
15 Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
   and are accounted as dust on the scales;
   see, he takes up the isles like fine dust. 
16 Lebanon would not provide fuel enough,
   nor are its animals enough for a burnt-offering. 
17 All the nations are as nothing before him;
   they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. 


27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
   and speak, O Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord,
   and my right is disregarded by my God’? 
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
   his understanding is unsearchable. 
29 He gives power to the faint,
   and strengthens the powerless. 
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
   and the young will fall exhausted; 
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
   they shall walk and not faint.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 8

1  O Lord our governor, •
   how glorious is your name in all the world!
2  Your majesty above the heavens is praised •
   out of the mouths of babes at the breast.
3  You have founded a stronghold against your foes, •
   that you might still the enemy and the avenger.
4  When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, •
   the moon and the stars that you have ordained,
5  What is man, that you should be mindful of him; •
   the son of man, that you should seek him out?
6  You have made him little lower than the angels •
   and crown him with glory and honour.
7  You have given him dominion over the works of your hands •
   and put all things under his feet,
8  All sheep and oxen, •
   even the wild beasts of the field,
9  The birds of the air, the fish of the sea •
   and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.
10  O Lord our governor, •
   how glorious is your name in all the world!
2 Corinthians 13.11-end

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.12Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.AllGlory to you, O Lord.Matthew 28.16-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.18And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

Almighty and eternal God,

you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:

hold us firm in this faith,

that we may know you in all your ways

and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,

who are three Persons yet one God,

now and for ever.

Sunday 31 May 2020Pentecost / Ordinary TimeYear A

God, who as at this time

taught the hearts of your faithful people

by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:

grant us by the same Spirit

to have a right judgement in all things

and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;

through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.or

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,

ignite in us your holy fire;

strengthen your children with the gift of faith,

revive your Church with the breath of love,

and renew the face of the earth,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.ReadingsActs 2.1-21 †

2When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

14 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. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 
17 “In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams. 
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
     and they shall prophesy. 
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
   and signs on the earth below,
     blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood,
     before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.† The reading from Acts must be used as either the first or second reading.or Numbers 11.24-30

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25Then the Lordcame down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27And a young man ran and told Moses, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ 28And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men,said, ‘My lord Moses, stop them!’ 29But Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!’ 30And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 104.26-36, 37b

26  O Lord, how manifold are your works! •
   In wisdom you have made them all;
      the earth is full of your creatures.
27  There is the sea, spread far and wide, •
   and there move creatures beyond number, both small and great.
28  There go the ships, and there is that Leviathan •
   which you have made to play in the deep.
29  All of these look to you •
   to give them their food in due season.
30  When you give it them, they gather it; •
   you open your hand and they are filled with good.
31  When you hide your face they are troubled; •
   when you take away their breath,
      they die and return again to the dust.
32  When you send forth your spirit, they are created, •
   and you renew the face of the earth.
33  May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; •
   may the Lord rejoice in his works;
34  He looks on the earth and it trembles; •
   he touches the mountains and they smoke.
35  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; •
   I will make music to my God while I have my being.
36  So shall my song please him •
   while I rejoice in the Lord.
37  Let sinners be consumed out of the earth
      and the wicked be no more. •
   Bless the Lord, O my soul.
      Alleluia.
[or Psalm 104.26-end]

26  O Lord, how manifold are your works! •
   In wisdom you have made them all;
      the earth is full of your creatures.
27  There is the sea, spread far and wide, •
   and there move creatures beyond number, both small and great.
28  There go the ships, and there is that Leviathan •
   which you have made to play in the deep.
29  All of these look to you •
   to give them their food in due season.
30  When you give it them, they gather it; •
   you open your hand and they are filled with good.
31  When you hide your face they are troubled; •
   when you take away their breath,
      they die and return again to the dust.
32  When you send forth your spirit, they are created, •
   and you renew the face of the earth.
33  May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; •
   may the Lord rejoice in his works;
34  He looks on the earth and it trembles; •
   he touches the mountains and they smoke.
35  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; •
   I will make music to my God while I have my being.
36  So shall my song please him •
   while I rejoice in the Lord.
37  Let sinners be consumed out of the earth
      and the wicked be no more. •
   Bless the Lord, O my soul.
      Alleluia.
1 Corinthians 12.3b-13

3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord;6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.or Acts 2.1-21 †

2When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

14 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. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 
17 “In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams. 
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
     and they shall prophesy. 
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
   and signs on the earth below,
     blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood,
     before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.AllGlory to you, O Lord.John 20.19-23

19 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.’20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.or John 7.37-39Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.AllGlory to you, O Lord.

37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” ’ 39Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

Faithful God,

who fulfilled the promises of Easter

by sending us your Holy Spirit

and opening to every race and nation

the way of life eternal:

open our lips by your Spirit,

that every tongue may tell of your glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday 24 May 20207th Sunday of EasterSunday after Ascension DayYear A

Collect

O God the King of glory,

you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ

with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:

we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,

but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us

and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.or

Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,

that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.Readings[Ezekiel 36.24-28]

24I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. 28Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Acts 1.6-14 †

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.† The reading from Acts must be used as either the first or second reading.Psalm 68.1-10, 32-end

1  Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered; •
   let those that hate him flee before him.
2  As the smoke vanishes, so may they vanish away; •
   as wax melts at the fire,
      so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3  But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; •
   let them make merry with gladness.
4  Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
      exalt him who rides on the clouds. •
   The Lord is his name; rejoice before him.
5  Father of the fatherless, defender of widows, •
   God in his holy habitation!
6  God gives the solitary a home
      and brings forth prisoners to songs of welcome, •
   but the rebellious inhabit a burning desert.
7  O God, when you went forth before your people, •
   when you marched through the wilderness,
8  The earth shook and the heavens dropped down rain,
      at the presence of God, the Lord of Sinai, •
   at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9  You sent down a gracious rain, O God; •
   you refreshed your inheritance when it was weary.
10  Your people came to dwell there; •
   in your goodness, O God, you provide for the poor.
32  Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; •
   make music in praise of the Lord;
33  He rides on the ancient heaven of heavens •
   and sends forth his voice, a mighty voice.
34  Ascribe power to God, whose splendour is over Israel, •
   whose power is above the clouds.
35  How terrible is God in his holy sanctuary, •
   the God of Israel, who gives power and strength to his people!
      Blessed be God.
[or Psalm 68.1-10]

1  Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered; •︎
   let those that hate him flee before him.
2  As the smoke vanishes, so may they vanish away; •︎
   as wax melts at the fire,
      so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3  But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; •︎
   let them make merry with gladness.
4  Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
      exalt him who rides on the clouds. •︎
   The Lord is his name; rejoice before him.
5  Father of the fatherless, defender of widows, •︎
   God in his holy habitation!
6  God gives the solitary a home
      and brings forth prisoners to songs of welcome, •︎
   but the rebellious inhabit a burning desert.
7  O God, when you went forth before your people, •︎
   when you marched through the wilderness,
8  The earth shook and the heavens dropped down rain,
      at the presence of God, the Lord of Sinai, •︎
   at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9  You sent down a gracious rain, O God; •︎
   you refreshed your inheritance when it was weary.
10  Your people came to dwell there; •︎
   in your goodness, O God, you provide for the poor.
1 Peter 4.12-14; 1 Peter 5.6-11

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.8Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.10And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.AllGlory to you, O Lord.John 17.1-11

17After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

6 ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you;8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

Eternal God, giver of love and power,

your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world

to preach the gospel of his kingdom:

confirm us in this mission,

and help us to live the good news we proclaim;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thursday 21 May 2020Ascension Day orYear A

Collect

Grant, we pray, almighty God,

that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ

to have ascended into the heavens,

so we in heart and mind may also ascend

and with him continually dwell;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.or

Risen Christ,

you have raised our human nature to the throne of heaven:

help us to seek and serve you,

that we may join you at the Father’s side,

where you reign with the Spirit in glory,

now and for ever.ReadingsActs 1.1-11 †

1In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.† The reading from Acts must be used as either the first or second reading.or Daniel 7.9-14


9 As I watched,
thrones were set in place,
   and an Ancient One took his throne;
his clothing was white as snow,
   and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames,
   and its wheels were burning fire. 
10 A stream of fire issued
   and flowed out from his presence.
A thousand thousand served him,
   and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.
The court sat in judgement,
   and the books were opened. 
11I watched then because of the noise of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking. And as I watched, the beast was put to death, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. 13As I watched in the night visions,
I saw one like a human being
   coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
   and was presented before him. 
14 To him was given dominion
   and glory and kingship,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
   should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
   that shall not pass away,
and his kingship is one
   that shall never be destroyed.
This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 47

1 Clap your hands together, all you peoples; •
O sing to God with shouts of joy.
2 For the Lord Most High is to be feared; •
he is the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdued the peoples under us •
and the nations under our feet.
4 He has chosen our heritage for us, •
the pride of Jacob, whom he loves.
5 God has gone up with a merry noise, •
the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.
6 O sing praises to God, sing praises; •
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth; •
sing praises with all your skill.
8 God reigns over the nations; •
God has taken his seat upon his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the peoples are gathered together •
with the people of the God of Abraham.
10 For the powers of the earth belong to God •
and he is very highly exalted.
or Psalm 93

1  The Lord is king and has put on glorious apparel; •
   the Lord has put on his glory
      and girded himself with strength.
2  He has made the whole world so sure •
   that it cannot be moved.
3  Your throne has been established from of old; •
   you are from everlasting.
4  The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
      the floods have lifted up their voice; •
   the floods lift up their pounding waves.
5  Mightier than the thunder of many waters,
      mightier than the breakers of the sea, •
   the Lord on high is mightier.
6  Your testimonies are very sure; •
   holiness adorns your house, O Lord, for ever.
Ephesians 1.15-end

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.or Acts 1.1-11†

1In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.AllGlory to you, O Lord.Luke 24.44-end

44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

God our Father,

you have raised our humanity in Christ

and have fed us with the bread of heaven:

mercifully grant that, nourished with such spiritual blessings,

we may set our hearts in the heavenly places;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday 17 May 20206th Sunday of EasterYear A

God our redeemer,

you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;

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.or

Risen Christ,

by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:

help your Church to obey your command

and draw the nations to the fire of your love,

to the glory of God the Father.Readings[Genesis 8.20-9.17]

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. 21And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. 
22 As long as the earth endures,
   seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night,
   shall not cease.’

9God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. 3Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life. 
6 Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
   by a human shall that person’s blood be shed;
for in his own image
   God made humankind. 
7And you, be fruitful and multiply, abound on the earth and multiply in it.’

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ 17God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Acts 17.22-31 †

22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live,27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said,
“For we too are his offspring.” 
29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent,31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’
This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.† The reading from Acts must be used as either the first or second reading.Psalm 66.7-end

7  Bless our God, O you peoples; •
   make the voice of his praise to be heard,
8  Who holds our souls in life •
   and suffers not our feet to slip.
9  For you, O God, have proved us; •
   you have tried us as silver is tried.
10  You brought us into the snare; •
   you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
11  You let enemies ride over our heads;
      we went through fire and water; •
   but you brought us out into a place of liberty.
12  I will come into your house with burnt offerings
      and will pay you my vows, •
   which my lips uttered
      and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
13  I will offer you fat burnt sacrifices
      with the smoke of rams; •
   I will sacrifice oxen and goats.
14  Come and listen, all you who fear God, •
   and I will tell you what he has done for my soul.
15  I called out to him with my mouth •
   and his praise was on my tongue.
16  If I had nursed evil in my heart, •
   the Lord would not have heard me,
17  But in truth God has heard me; •
   he has heeded the voice of my prayer.
18  Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer, •
   nor withheld his loving mercy from me.
1 Peter 3.13-end

13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence.Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water.21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.AllGlory to you, O Lord.John 14.15-21

15 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

18 ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

God our Father,

whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life:

may we thirst for you,

the spring of life and source of goodness,

through him who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Sunday 10 May 20205th Sunday of EasterYear A

Almighty God,

who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires,

so by your continual help

we may bring them to good effect;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.or

Risen Christ,

your wounds declare your love for the world

and the wonder of your risen life:

give us compassion and courage

to risk ourselves for those we serve,

to the glory of God the Father.Readings[Genesis 8.1-19]

8But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; 2the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred and fifty days the waters had abated; 4and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5The waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.

6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground;9but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. 10He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; 11and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15Then God said to Noah, 16‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’ 18So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19And every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Acts 7.55-end †

55But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’57But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ 60Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.† The reading from Acts must be used as either the first or second reading.Psalm 31.1-5, 15-16

1  In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
      let me never be put to shame; •︎
   deliver me in your righteousness.
2  Incline your ear to me; •︎
   make haste to deliver me.
3  Be my strong rock, a fortress to save me,
      for you are my rock and my stronghold; •︎
   guide me, and lead me for your name’s sake.
4  Take me out of the net
      that they have laid secretly for me, •︎
   for you are my strength.
5  Into your hands I commend my spirit, •︎
   for you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
15  ‘My times are in your hand; •︎
   deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
      and from those who persecute me.
16  ‘Make your face to shine upon your servant, •︎
   and save me for your mercy’s sake.’
[or Psalm 31.1-5]

1  In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
      let me never be put to shame; •
   deliver me in your righteousness.
2  Incline your ear to me; •
   make haste to deliver me.
3  Be my strong rock, a fortress to save me,
      for you are my rock and my stronghold; •
   guide me, and lead me for your name’s sake.
4  Take me out of the net
      that they have laid secretly for me, •
   for you are my strength.
5  Into your hands I commend my spirit, •
   for you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
1 Peter 2.2-10

2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture:
‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
   a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ 
7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
‘The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the very head of the corner’, 
8and
‘A stone that makes them stumble,
   and a rock that makes them fall.’
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 
10 Once you were not a people,
   but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
   but now you have received mercy.
This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Gospel ReadingHear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.AllGlory to you, O Lord.John 14.1-14

14‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ 5Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

8 Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ 9Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post Communion

Eternal God,

whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:

grant us to walk in his way,

to rejoice in his truth,

and to share his risen life;

who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.