Sunday 9 February 20203rd Sunday before LentProper 1Year A

Almighty God,

who alone can bring order

to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity:

give your people grace

so to love what you command

and to desire what you promise,

that, among the many changes of this world,

our hearts may surely there be fixed

where true joys are to be found;

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.orEternal God,

whose Son went among the crowds

and brought healing with his touch:

help us to show his love,

in your Church as we gather together,

and by our lives as they are transformed

into the image of Christ our Lord.ReadingsIsaiah 58.1-9a [9b-12]

58Shout out, do not hold back!
   Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
   to the house of Jacob their sins. 
2 Yet day after day they seek me
   and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practised righteousness
   and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgements,
   they delight to draw near to God. 
3 ‘Why do we fast, but you do not see?
   Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day,
   and oppress all your workers. 
4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
   and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
   will not make your voice heard on high. 
5 Is such the fast that I choose,
   a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
   and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
   a day acceptable to the Lord? 


6 Is not this the fast that I choose:
   to loose the bonds of injustice,
   to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
   and to break every yoke? 
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
   and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
   and not to hide yourself from your own kin? 
8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
   the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. 
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
   you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. 


If you remove the yoke from among you,
   the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,[ 
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
   you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. 


If you remove the yoke from among you,
   the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, 
10 if you offer your food to the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
   and your gloom be like the noonday. 
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
   and satisfy your needs in parched places,
   and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
   like a spring of water,
   whose waters never fail. 
12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
   you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
   the restorer of streets to live in. 

]This is the word of the Lord.AllThanks be to God.Psalm 112

1  Alleluia.
      Blessed are those who fear the Lord •
   and have great delight in his commandments.
2  Their descendants will be mighty in the land, •
   a generation of the faithful that will be blest.
3  Wealth and riches will be in their house, •
   and their righteousness endures for ever.
4  Light shines in the darkness for the upright; •
   gracious and full of compassion are the righteous.
5  It goes well with those who are generous in lending •
   and order their affairs with justice,
6  For they will never be shaken; •
   the righteous will be held in everlasting remembrance.
7  They will not be afraid of any evil tidings; •
   their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8  Their heart is sustained and will not fear, •
   until they see the downfall of their foes.
9  They have given freely to the poor;
      their righteousness stands fast for ever; •
   their head will be exalted with honour.
10  The wicked shall see it and be angry;
      they shall gnash their teeth in despair; •
   the desire of the wicked shall perish.
[or Psalm 112.1-9]

1  Alleluia.
      Blessed are those who fear the Lord •︎
   and have great delight in his commandments.
2  Their descendants will be mighty in the land, •︎
   a generation of the faithful that will be blest.
3  Wealth and riches will be in their house, •︎
   and their righteousness endures for ever.
4  Light shines in the darkness for the upright; •︎
   gracious and full of compassion are the righteous.
5  It goes well with those who are generous in lending •︎
   and order their affairs with justice,
6  For they will never be shaken; •︎
   the righteous will be held in everlasting remembrance.
7  They will not be afraid of any evil tidings; •︎
   their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8  Their heart is sustained and will not fear, •︎
   until they see the downfall of their foes.
9  They have given freely to the poor;
      their righteousness stands fast for ever; •︎
   their head will be exalted with honour.
1 Corinthians 2.1-12 [13-end]

2When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

6 Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But, as it is written,
‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
   nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him’— 
10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.[ 13And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are discerned spiritually. 15Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny. 
16 ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord
   so as to instruct him?’
But we have the mind of Christ.]
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 5.13-20

13 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.This is the Gospel of the Lord.AllPraise to you, O Christ.Post CommunionMerciful Father,

who gave Jesus Christ to be for us the bread of life,

that those who come to him should never hunger:

draw us to the Lord in faith and love,

that we may eat and drink with him

at his table in the kingdom,

where he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

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