Christmas & Any Day

My Dad wrote a Gospel presentation that I was privileged to read for him. You can listen and/or read it below.  You can read more of his writing at Eager4Truth. He has a real gift for making the potentially complex clearly understandable.

My parents treated the Santa Claus story the same way they treated “Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox,” as an imaginary story designed for entertainment.  I feel sorry for kids playfully misled concerning Santa.  I wonder if discovering the truth fosters skepticism.

If you treat the historic birth of Jesus Christ as you do Santa Claus tales, I urge you undertake some history research.  Read the major historic documents: Paul’s letter to the Corinthians chapter 15, then the accounts from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Temporarily, you can ignore the Christian belief that God supervised their authorship; just evaluate the honesty of the authors and the implications of their reports.

I was about age 20 and had a rich Christian background when I was overwhelmed by doubts.  Why would God allow this, and why that?  I wanted to be a Christian; every alternative seemed shallow or untrustworthy.  I settled on two options: sincere Christianity, or total skepticism about life and the despair that implied.  Given those options I decided I could live with unanswered questions if I had a central core of truth.

I reasoned, if I honestly believe that Jesus is God, then I can believe anything He says.  If He says black is white I can accept that, if I genuinely believe He is God.  So what is the evidence that Jesus is God?  His miracles?  The fact that His enemies found no real fault in Him?  I focused on the resurrection.  If I were convinced that Jesus rose from the dead, I would believe He is God.  I found a book that compiled and analyzed the evidence.  My verdict was solid.  I believed Jesus rose from the dead, that He is God, and that God has communicated with us.

That brings me to Christmas.  Some truth about God is discernable from what He made.  In addition, God sent prophets like Moses.  But the ultimate communication from God to man was for God, the Son, to become a human.  With God as His father and Mary as His mother, Jesus became a baby and experienced humanity.  He served.  He taught.  And as His humanity allowed, He died.  Victoriously, He rose again.

The chapters that follow include partial but sufficient information about why we need a heavenly savior and how to be rescued by the only heavenly savior.  His birth is celebrated on Christmas.  His saving activity is available any day.

Danger

 It was 1962; I was 15 years old.  The showdown was tense.  What I remember most clearly is my dad’s sense of danger.  He warned of war.  A Russian ship with missile supplies was headed toward Cuba. The United States prepared to stop that ship.  Then, the Russian ship turned back.  Dramatic good news!  Yet consider thousands of young children to whom that good news was meaningless because they had been unaware of the bad news.  They were unaware, even though they were in danger as much as all Americans.  Some good news is appreciated only by those who understand the bad news.

A Bold Entrance

The city was well known for its deteriorated conditions.  Our neighborhood seemed safe, but changes were occurring rapidly.  Police were ill equipped to deal with problems.

My wife and I had just awakened and were still lying in bed when suddenly a young fellow entered our bedroom.  He walked around the bed to my side … climbed up onto the bed … and said, “I want in the middle.”

If he had been a stranger, his entrance would have been criminal intrusion.  If he had been a friend, his entrance would still have been obnoxious.  But because he was our toddler son, I was struck by the beautiful security of knowing you are wanted.  I thought of an invitation in the Bible.  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (KJV)  Christians come boldly to the throne of God, the sovereign of the universe.  Not with the boldness of a criminal, nor the crude, but with the boldness of a child who knows he is wanted.  What a privilege:  to know that God welcomes the prayers of His people.

Because God loves people, because Jesus died and rose again, peace with God and everlasting life are available.  How?  Read on.

Jesus taught a religious leader that for anyone to enter “the kingdom of God” he must undergo a radical change caused by the Spirit of God.  (The Bible, The Gospel of John, chapter 3)

This major change can be called being “saved.”  The Bible teaches that you have “sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and therefore need to be saved from God’s condemnation.  This salvation is possible because Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  If you turn from your wrongdoing and trust Jesus Christ to save you – He will.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  (Bible, II Corinthians 5:17)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God …”  (Bible, Ephesians 2:8)

Will you receive God’s gift?  In other words, will you make the decision to turn from wrongdoing and trust Jesus Christ to save you from God’s condemnation?

What If I Become a Christian?

 What kind of life can I expect if I become a Christian?  Answer:  A life of righteousness, peace, joy, and trouble.  All four.

In the Bible, life in the kingdom of God (speaking of the current, spiritual kingdom composed of all who voluntarily submit themselves to Jesus as king and savior) is described as “righteousness and peace and joy.” (Romans 14:17) Other parts of the Bible explain that trouble is also part of a Christian life.  Some of that trouble is just the plight common to everyone living in a fallen world:  disease, natural disaster, abuse from other sinners, and personal errors.  Beyond that, there is trouble purposely caused by people who resent Christians. (2 Timothy 3:12)

What then is the motivation for becoming a Christian, if trouble is part of the package?  One reason is forgiveness.  Jesus said, “whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them….”  Matthew 7:12   How often have you broken that law?  That makes you a lawbreaker.  How often have you lied?  That makes you a liar.  “…all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire….”  Revelation 21:8   Catch the reality?  You need forgiveness.

Guilt is disturbing.  Guilt is a warning system – warning because sin (wrongdoing) commonly causes extra trouble and sadness  (Proverbs 13:15).  Guilt warns of Hell.  Unforgiven sinners are sent to Hell.  Seek forgiveness.  Only the holy Creator can provide the forgiveness we need.

Men have various ways of dealing with guilt, such as

(1) “Compared to other people I’m pretty good.”  But that comparison doesn’t satisfy God.  By His standard, you fall short.  Having a lot of company in Hell won’t relieve the pain.

(2) “I’ve tried my best; surely that’s enough to satisfy God.”  “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ….”  Romans 3:23  “…if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for in vain.”  Galatians 2:21 (In other words, if we could obey well enough to gain righteous status, there was no need for Christ to die.)

(3) I’m, at the core, in my own way, spiritual.”  Catch the chill in God’s response. “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble!”  James 2:19

(4)  “Evolution shows that we are basically animals; the result of  thoughtless chance.  So there’s no basis for permanent definitions of good and evil; ultimately morality is just popular preferences.”  If someone invades your house, steals your valuables, kidnaps a family member, and then is apprehended; will you stick to the idea that good and evil are merely preferences?  Surely you wouldn’t expect someone to go to jail for having a different preferred morality?  My guess is that in your heart you believe in right and wrong, which comes from an Almighty Judge.

Truth is, your guilt is well founded.  You need forgiveness from the Almighty Judge.  The good news is that the Almighty Judge loves people.  He designed a way for justice to be satisfied.  Jesus Christ, the

Son of God, was crucified, buried, and rose again as the means whereby people like you and me can be forgiven.  If you turn from your wrongdoing (the Bible term is “repent”), and trust Jesus Christ to save you from God’s condemnation, He will.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life ….”     Romans 6:23  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Now back to where this article started.  The same One who tells the truth about trouble can be trusted to lead into “righteousness and peace and joy….”  It’s all part of the kingdom of God which lasts forever.  Romans 14:17

How does a person become a Christian?

Realize that I, by nature, am not acceptable to God because I violate what is morally right – because I fail to meet God’s requirement for righteousness.  Romans 3:23

Realize that by myself I cannot achieve acceptance by God, rather I am separated from God and destined for His wrath.  Romans 3:23, John 3:36

Believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again to save us from separation from God. Romans 5:8

Make a decision –

To turn from wrongdoing to living God’s way (i.e. “repent” – which refers to our intention)  Luke 13:3, Luke 24:47

To trust God to save me, freely – as a gift; i.e. trust (put my faith in, believe in) Jesus Christ as my personal savior. Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:36

Safety in Numbers?

 Both my parents died from pancreatic cancer.  Pretend a doctor told me, “You have advanced pancreatic cancer,” or “Your wife has advanced pancreatic cancer.”  Then he said, “But don’t feel bad. That is a common way to die.”  Would knowing that death from pancreatic cancer is common take away my pain?  I don’t think so.

Suppose a person is guilty of sexual immorality.  Will God say, “No problem, sexuality immorality is common in the United States today?”

We don’t need to guess.  The Bible says, “Now the works of the [sinful nature] …which are: adultery, fornication … those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  (Galatians 5:19-21)   Jesus spoke of the alternative to the kingdom of God:  “hell fire – where…the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:47-48)   What if “hell” is not physical fire forever?  What if everlasting fire is just a word picture?  First, it may be actual fire.  Second, anything that Jesus accurately pictures as everlasting fire will be horrible.

For anyone willing to face up to the bad news, good news is available.  A person currently on route to everlasting torment can be rescued.  Because Jesus died and rose again, rescue is available.  If you decide to begin living right and trust God to put you in the kingdom of God, He will – as a gift.  The same Bible that pictures hell describes the kingdom of God as “righteousness and peace and joy.”  Romans 14:17  Please understand, as long as you are in this world there will be problems, but being at odds with God need not be one of them.

Children Should Know

God is powerful, more powerful than anyone else, more powerful than everyone else put together.  God made people.  The sky is beautiful because God made it that way.  Trees and flowers are nice because God made them that way.  Animals are fun to watch because God made them that way.  Food tastes good because of God.  Families were God’s idea.  God loves people.

Everyone should obey God.  Whatever God requires is right.  Disobeying God causes trouble, sadness, and punishment from God.

Because we do bad things and sometimes have bad attitudes, we deserve terrible punishment.  Everyone who ignores God will get that punishment.  But because God loves people there is a way to be saved from God’s anger.

“…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus …”

“For by grace you have been saved through faith”
Jesus Christ is God’s son.  He is God but He is a man also.  He didn’t deserve to be killed, but God was willing for Him to suffer for us.  After He suffered and died, He came alive.  He’s alive now.

Because Jesus died and became alive God offers you a gift.  The gift includes God forgiving all your wrongdoing, treating you as His child, and letting you live in His new world forever.  This gift is for you if you want to turn away from being bad and will receive the gift by simply trusting God to give it to you.  Trusting  –  that’s also called “faith.”  Another way to say it is “believe.”  Do you want to obey God?  Will you trust Jesus to forgive you?

We can read about God and His thoughts in God’s book, the Bible.  Some sections of the Bible that describe God’s gift are John 3:16, Romans 6:23, and Ephesians 2: 8-9.

 Let’s Be Straight Up

 If a person is driving a stolen car, he isn’t eager to meet with a police officer.   Likewise, if a person is living in an immoral way, he isn’t eager to hear from God, unless that person wants to change.  In that case, undeserved kindness and help is available.

Beware of designing your own religion; it won’t be accepted.  It is true that God offers grace (undeserved kindness).  It is true that Jesus died and rose again as part of a forgiveness plan.  But someone can only be accepted by God on God’s terms. To be forever rejected by God is disastrous  To be accepted by God becomes heavenly.  I urge you to accept God’s provision for a new life.  The change was labeled by Jesus as being “born again.”

Yours For the Taking

Years ago I was teaching some boys in a Bible class.  I wanted to illustrate that everlasting life, new quality of life, and forgiveness (the whole salvation package) is received by faith.  It is a gift offered to anyone willing to turn from his wrongdoing (the Bible word is “sin”) and trust Jesus to save him.

I offered one boy a penny.  He took it.  I took off my watch and offered it.  He just sat there.  What made the difference in his responses?  I took it as faith, assuming he believed I would give him a penny, but didn’t believe I’d give him my watch.

Everlasting life, new quality of life, and forgiveness together is a gift.  If you decide to turn away from wrong (sin) and trust Jesus Christ to be your savior (in other words:  to save you) from the wrath and judgment of God, it’s like reaching out to take an offered gift.  Through that faith, the gift becomes yours.

I don’t know what I would have done if he had reached for the watch.  But God’s offer is for sure.  God the Son became a man, died, and rose again in order to provide this opportunity.

The Bible says “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  And “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God.”

Will you decide to turn from your wrongdoing and trust Jesus to save you from the wrath and judgment of God?

*****

If you become a Christian, identify yourself as one by being baptized.  Find a church where people are faithful to the Bible and get involved. A person thrives as a Christian by continuing to turn from any wrongdoing and trusting God to help him live rightly.

*****

Copyright © 2017 Scott R. Long
Contentment Publishing
6516 Georgetown Lane   Ft. Wayne IN 46815

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, Copyright © 1982 by
Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Prayer on July 16 (Year A)

The hour is coming, and is now here,
when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. John 4:23

Preparation

O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, Sovereign God, creator of all,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
You founded the earth in the beginning
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
In the fullness of time you made us in your image,
and in these last days you have spoken to us
in your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.

As we rejoice in the gift of your presence among us
let the light of your love always shine in our hearts,
your Spirit ever renew our lives
and your praises ever be on our lips.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Seek the Lord while he may be found
call upon him while he is near.

Let the wicked abandon their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Turn back to the Lord, who will have mercy;
to our God who will richly pardon.                                                                           cf Isaiah 55

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore to us the joy of your salvation,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen.                                                                                                                                  cf Psalm 51

May the Father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins
and restore us in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Blessed be the Lord,
who has heard the voice of our prayer.
Therefore shall our hearts dance for joy
and in our song will we praise our God.                                                               Psalm 28:7,9

The Word of God

Psalm 106:6-12

Refrain The Lord remembered his covenant.

We have sinned like our forebears;
we have done wrong and dealt wickedly.

In Egypt they did not consider your wonders,
nor remember the abundance of your faithful love;

they rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea.
But he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make his power to be known.

He rebuked the Red Sea and it was dried up;
so he led them through the deep as through the wilderness.

He saved them from the adversary’s hand
and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.

As for those that troubled them, the waters overwhelmed them;
there was not one of them left.

Then they believed his words
and sang aloud his praise. R

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

Leviticus 23:33-44

33 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of booths for seven days to the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work. 36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation to you. You shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you shall do no regular work.

37 “ ‘These are the appointed feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering, a meal offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, each on its own day— 38 in addition to the Sabbaths of the LORD, and in addition to your gifts, and in addition to all your vows, and in addition to all your free will offerings, which you give to the LORD.

39 “ ‘So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 You shall take on the first day the fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations. You shall keep it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in temporary shelters** for seven days. All who are native-born in Israel shall dwell in temporary shelters,†† 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in temporary shelters‡‡ when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the appointed feasts of the LORD.

Splendour and majesty are yours, O God;
you are exalted as head over all.

Blessed are you, God of Israel, for ever and ever,
for yours is the greatness, the power,
the glory, the splendour and the majesty.
Everything in heaven and on earth is yours;
yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
and you are exalted as head over all.
Riches and honour come from you
and you rule over all.
In your hand are power and might;
yours it is to give power and strength to all.
And now we give you thanks, our God,
and praise your glorious name.

For all things come from you,
and of your own have we given you.                                                1 Chronicles 29.10b-13, 14b

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

Splendour and majesty are yours, O God;
you are exalted as head over all.

Mark 9:81-3

Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only.

As they were coming down from the mountain, he commanded them that they should tell no one what things they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept this saying to themselves, questioning what the “rising from the dead” meant.

11 They asked him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

12 He said to them, “Elijah indeed comes first, and restores all things. How is it written about the Son of Man, that he should suffer many things and be despised? 13  But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they have also done to him whatever they wanted to, even as it is written about him.”

Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead
And Christ shall give you light.
You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.
And Christ shall give you light.
When Christ our life appears you will appear with him in glory.
Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

Proverbs 22:28-29

28 Don’t move the ancient boundary stone
which your fathers have set up.

29 Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will serve kings.
He won’t serve obscure men.

Prayers

Intercessions are offered

for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

Silence may be kept

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

The Conclusion

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,
and keep us in eternal life.

Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Prayer on July 15 (Year A)

Preparation

O MOST holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons and one God,
infinite in power, wisdom and goodness,
our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier;
our Owner, Governor, and Father; hear our prayers,
and have mercy upon us, miserable sinners.                                         after Richard Baxter

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

Night Has Passed/Morning Has Broken

The Word of God

Let your word be spoken and heard by us as the word of God:
Give us attentive, hearing ears,
and opened, believing, understanding hearts,
that we may no more refuse your calls,
nor disregard your merciful, outstretched hand,
nor slight your counsel and correction;
but be more ready to hear,
than to give the sacrifice of fools.                                                                Ecclesiastes 5:1

Psalm 106:1-5

Refrain: The Lord remembered his covenant.

Praise the LORD!
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever.
Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD,
or fully declare all his praise?
Blessed are those who keep justice.
Blessed is one who does what is right at all times.
Remember me, LORD, with the favour that you show to your people.
Visit me with your salvation,
that I may see the prosperity of your chosen,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance. R

Silence may be kept

O Lord God, full of mercy and pity, who did many times deliver your people from their adversity: Remember us O Lord, according to the favour you bear for your people, and visit us with your salvation, that though we have done amiss, and dealt wickedly against you and against your covenant, yet be pleased to help us for your Name sake, and make your power to be known in the mighty deliverance and redemption of us from so great danger and misery. Give us grace to believe your words, to abide your counsels, to walk in your Laws, and to relinquish our own sinful and vain desires. Pity us, and save us according to the multitude of your mercies. Your Name be blessed, O Lord God, everlasting, and world without end, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Leviticus 23:23-32

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, there shall be a solemn rest for you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work. You shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’ ”
 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “However on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement. It shall be a holy convocation to you. You shall afflict yourselves and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. You shall do no kind of work in that same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whoever it is who shall not deny himself in that same day shall be cut off from his people. Whoever does any kind of work in that same day, I will destroy that person from amongst his people. You shall do no kind of work: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall deny yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall keep your Sabbath.”

 

A Song of Jerusalem our Mother

Refrain:
Thus says our God, I will comfort you,
you shall see and your heart shall rejoice.

‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
all you who love her,’ says the Lord.

‘Rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her,

‘That you may drink deeply with delight
from her consoling breast.’

For thus says our God,
‘You shall be nursed and carried on her arm.

‘As a mother comforts her children,
so I will comfort you;

‘You shall see and your heart shall rejoice;
you shall flourish like the grass of the fields.’              Isaiah 66.10, 11a, 12a, 12c, 13a, 14a, b

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

Thus says our God, I will comfort you,
you shall see and your heart shall rejoice.

Proverbs 22:26-27

Don’t you be one of those who strike hands,
of those who are collateral for debts.
If you don’t have means to pay,
why should he take away your bed from under you?

A song may be sung       Suggestion: “He Does Abide”[1]

 

Mark 9:2-8

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and brought them up onto a high mountain privately by themselves, and he was changed into another form in front of them. His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus.
Peter answered Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let’s make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” For he didn’t know what to say, for they were very afraid.
A cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only. [2]

 

Prayers

Prayers may include these concerns:

Our homes, families, friends and all whom we love
Those whose time is spent caring for others
Those who are close to death
Those who have lost hope
The worship of the Church

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

Silence may be kept

The Collect of the day or the following is said

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. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Conclusion

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,
and keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God. [3]

 


[1] The Brilliance

[2] All Scripture from the World English Bible: British Edition (WEBBE)

[3] N. Andrew Long. The Offerings of Our Lips: Prayer in Community. Nampa, ID: In(habit) Media, 2017.

Prayer on July 14 (Year A)

Preparation

O Lord, open our lips,
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Eternal, incomprehensible, and invisible God,
infinite in power, wisdom and goodness,
dwelling in the light which no man can approach,
where a thousand thousands minister unto you,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before you,
yet dwelling with the humble and contrite,
and taking pleasure in your people:
You have consecrated for us a new and living way,
by the blood of Jesus,
and have bid us seek you while you may be found:
We come to you at your call,
and worship at your footstool.
Behold us in your tender mercies.
Despise us not, though unworthy.                                                          after Richard Baxter

Variant on Benedictus

Chosen first among the priests
To serve within the temple walls
Zacharias stood in awe
As he heard the angel call

Refrain
Benedictus
Benedictus
Blessed is the Lord
Benedictus
Benedictus
God’s incarnate Word

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God
Will come to raise salvation’s horn
God Incarnate, Word made flesh
To a virgin shall be born

Refrain

Christ brings light to sin’s dark night
Our Dayspring, Jesus, from on high
Saints and angels sing God’s praise
All the earth and heav’ns reply

Refrain

God’s incarnate Word
Benedictus
Benedictus

The Word of God

Let your word be spoken and heard by us as the word of God:
Give us attentive, hearing ears,
and opened, believing, understanding hearts,
that we may no more refuse your calls,
nor disregard your merciful, outstretched hand,
nor slight your counsel and correction;
but be more ready to hear,
than to give the sacrifice of fools.                                                                Ecclesiastes 5:1

Psalm 105:39-45

Refrain: Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

39 He spread a cloud for a covering,
fire to give light in the night.
40 They asked, and he brought quails,
and satisfied them with the bread of the sky.
41 He opened the rock, and waters gushed out.
They ran as a river in the dry places.
42 For he remembered his holy word,
and Abraham, his servant.
43 He brought his people out with joy,
his chosen with singing.
44 He gave them the lands of the nations.
They took the labour of the peoples in possession,
45 that they might keep his statutes,
and observe his laws.  Praise the LORD!

Silence may be kept

O God Eternal, who is always mindful of your covenant, and who delivered the seed of Abraham from the slavery of Egypt, from the waves of the sea, from the rage of Pharaoh, from the thirst and famine of the wilderness, continue like mercies to all your people; deliver us from the bondage of our sins, and preserve us in the Ark of the Church, that we perish not in the waves of this troublesome world; save us from all our earthly and spiritual enemies, feed us with food from heaven, and give us enough on earth, that we may gladly keep your statutes, observe your Laws, and so imitate your Son. Grant this, we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Leviticus 23:9-22

9 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.  11 He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  12 On the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb without defect a year old for a burnt offering to the LORD.  13 The meal offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah* of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a pleasant aroma; and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.  14 You must not eat bread, or roasted grain, or fresh grain, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God. This is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 “ ‘You shall count from the next day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.  16 The next day after the seventh Sabbath you shall count fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to the LORD.  17 You shall bring out of your habitations two loaves of bread for a wave offering made of two tenths of an ephah of fine flour. They shall be baked with yeast, for first fruits to the LORD.  18 You shall present with the bread seven lambs without defect a year old, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their meal offering and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet aroma to the LORD.  19 You shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings.  20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.  21 You shall make proclamation on the same day that there shall be a holy convocation to you. You shall do no regular work. This is a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 “ ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you must not wholly reap into the corners of your field, and you must not gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must leave them for the poor, and for the foreigner. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

Proverbs 22:24-25

24 Don’t befriend a hot-tempered man,
and don’t associate with one who harbours anger:

25 lest you learn his ways,
and ensnare your soul. 

A song may be sung       Suggestion: “In Labor All Creation Groans”[1]

In labor all creation groans till fear and hatred cease,
Till human hearts come to believe: In Christ alone is peace.

In labor all creation groans till prejudice shall cease,
Till every race and tribe and tongue in Christ will live in peace.

In labor all creation groans till rape and murder cease,
Till women walk by night unharmed and Christ is this world’s peace.

In labor all creation groans till false divisions cease,
Till enemies are reconciled in Christ who is our peace.

Mark 9:01

1 He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see God’s Kingdom come with power.” [2]

Jesus said, I am the gate for the sheep.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.                          John 10:7,10b

Prayers

Prayers may include these concerns:

  – as your spirit is prompted

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

Silence may be kept

The Collect of the day or the following is said

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. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May God kindle in us the fire of love.
May those who cause division by perverting the truth be stilled.              Rom. 16:17-20 [4]

(the pdf of this prayer may be downloaded here)


[1] Bifrost Arts | Lamentations: Simple Songs of Lament and Hope, Vol. 1

[2] All Scripture from the World English Bible: British Edition (WEBBE)

[4] N. Andrew Long. The Offerings of Our Lips: Prayer in Community. Nampa, ID: In(habit) Media, 2017.

Prayer on July 13 (Year A)

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Worthy is the Lamb

The veil of heaven opened wide
The scene was clearly set
John saw a scroll writ either side
Where seven seals were met
With booming voice the angel said
To now unseal the scroll
But none was found to meet the task
Not even one lone soul

Refrain
Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb
Worthy, worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Convulsed with tears and broken heart
John’s hope was now assailed
“Weep not,” the elder counseled him,
“A Lion has prevailed!”
No lion came to take his claim
No beast of royal reign
Instead there stood a bloodied Lamb
Like one who had been slain

Refrain

Ten thousand times, ten thousand more
The host of heaven cried
All blessing, honor, glory, and pow’r
To Christ, the Lamb that died

Refrain

Christ the Lamb, who was slain            [1]

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

Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God;
let your kindly spirit lead me on a level path.                                                    Psalm 143:10

The Word of God

Psalm 105:30-38

Refrain: Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
30 Their land swarmed with frogs,
even in the rooms of their kings.
31 He spoke, and swarms of flies came,
and lice in all their borders.
32 He gave them hail for rain,
with lightning in their land.
33 He struck their vines and also their fig trees,
and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came
with the grasshoppers, without number,
35 ate up every plant in their land,
and ate up the fruit of their ground.
36 He struck also all the firstborn in their land,
the first fruits of all their manhood.
37 He brought them out with silver and gold.
There was not one feeble person amongst his tribes.
38 Egypt was glad when they departed,
for the fear of them had fallen on them.

Silence may be kept

God of our earthly pilgrimage,
feed your people with the bread of heaven,
that we may hunger and thirst for righteousness
until we reach our promised land;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Leviticus 23:1-8

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The set feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my set feasts.

“ ‘Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no kind of work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings.

“ ‘These are the set feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed season.  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is the LORD’s Passover.  On the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  In the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work.  But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days. In the seventh day is a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work.’ ”

Proverbs 22:22-23

22 Don’t exploit the poor, because he is poor;
and don’t crush the needy in court;
23 for the LORD will plead their case,
and plunder the life of those who plunder them.

 

A song may be sung       Suggestion: “Simeon’s Song”[2]

Lord bid your servant go in peace
Your word is now fulfilled
These eyes have seen salvation’s dawn,
This child so long foretold

This is the Savior of the world,
The Gentiles promised light
God’s glory dwelling in our midst,
The joy of Israel

Behold this child will pierce your heart
His Word will be a sword
A sign opposed to hearts concealed
And grace for heaven’s adored

Almighty Father, hear our cry
Through Christ the only Son,
Whom in the Spirit we adore
For ages without end

Mark 8:31-38

31He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.  32 He spoke to them openly. Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.  33 But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men.”

34 He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the sake of the Good News will save it. 36  For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? 37  For what will a man give in exchange for his life? 38  For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when he comes in his Father’s glory, with the holy angels.” [3]

Jesus said, I am the gate for the sheep.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.                         John 10:7,10b

Prayers

Prayers may include these concerns:

  – Local government, community leaders
  – All who provide local services
  – Those who work with the young and the elderly
  – Schools, colleges and universities
  – Emergency and rescue organizations

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

Silence may be kept

The Collect of the day or the following is said:

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. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May God kindle in us the fire of love.
May those who cause division by perverting the truth be stilled.              Rom. 16:17-20

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May God bless the work of our hands.
Amen[4]

(the pdf of these prayers may be downloaded here)


[1] Music by Jeff Lippencott | Words by R.C. Sproul | Album: Glory to the Holy One

[2] Bruce Benedict | Canticles | Cardiphonia

[3] All Scripture from the World English Bible: British Edition (WEBBE)

[4] N. Andrew Long. The Offerings of Our Lips: Prayer in Community. Nampa, ID: In(habit) Media, 2017.

Prayer on July 12 (Year A)

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord,
and teach me your paths.  Psalm 25:3

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and of great kindness.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his mercy upon those who fear him.

Silence is kept for reflection

Holy God,
Holy and strong,
Holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he set our sins from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so is the Lord merciful towards those who fear him.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. cf Psalm 103

You, Christ, are the King of glory,
The eternal Son of the Father.
When you took our flesh to set us free
You humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
And opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.[1]

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

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord,
My strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

The Word of God

Psalm 105:23-29

Refrain: Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

23 Israel also came into Egypt.
Jacob lived in the land of Ham.
24 He increased his people greatly,
and made them stronger than their adversaries.
25 He turned their heart to hate his people,
to conspire against his servants. R
26 He sent Moses, his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They performed miracles amongst them,
and wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and made it dark.
They didn’t rebel against his words.
29 He turned their waters into blood,
and killed their fish.

Silence may be kept.

O God Eternal, who is always mindful of your covenant, and who delivered the seed of Abraham from the slavery of Egypt, from the waves of the sea, from the rage of Pharaoh, from the thirst and famine of the wilderness, continue like mercies to all your people; deliver us from the bondage of our sins, and preserve us in the Ark of the Church, that we perish not in the waves of this troublesome world; save us from all our earthly and spiritual enemies, feed us with food from heaven, and give us enough on earth, that we may gladly keep your statutes, observe your Laws, and so imitate your Son. Grant this, we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [2]

Leviticus 21:17-33

17 “Say to Aaron, ‘None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For whatever man he is that has a defect, he shall not draw near: a blind man, or a lame, or he who has a flat nose, or any deformity, 19 or a man who has an injured foot, or an injured hand, 20 or hunchbacked, or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye, or an itching disease, or scabs, or who has damaged testicles. 21 No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a defect shall come near to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire. Since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23 He shall not come near to the veil, nor come near to the altar, because he has a defect; that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the LORD who sanctifies them.’ ”

24 So Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel.

Proverbs 22:20-21

20 Haven’t I written to you thirty excellent things
of counsel and knowledge,

21 To teach you truth, reliable words,
to give sound answers to the ones who sent you?

A song may be sung (“Ghost of a King” | Gray Havens )

Ghost of a King

Met a ghost of a king on the road when I first fell, fire burning
To my knees, to my knees I fell
Met a ghost of a king on a road

Words of fire
He said, “You are a lonely soul
With a heart of stone that rakes against your thirsty bones
Such a lonely soul”
Said, “I can show you what can save you, but we need to go
Where no chariot can take you
Where the river meets the sand
There is water there that can quench your thirsty bones
And make you well, make you well”

So I followed the ghost of a king with every step
I tried to see beyond for a trace of the riverside
But restlessness was my prize
And then we came upon a golden shore
But the voice of fire wasn’t comin’ from a ghost no more
My heart of stone came alive
When my eyes were opened up
And I saw that I had come
Where no chariot can take you
Where the river meets the sand
There is water there that can quench your thirsty bones
And make you well, make you well

So I knelt beside the river and I drank until, I drank until, I drank until I died

There’s something in the water, must have brought me back
It brought me back, it brought me back to life

Where no chariot can take you
Where the river meets the sand
There is water there that can quench your thirsty bones
And make you well, well
Where no chariot can take you
Where the river meets the sand
There is water there that can quench your thirsty bones
And make you well, make you well

Mark 8:27-30

27 Jesus went out, with his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”
28 They told him, “John the Baptiser, and others say Elijah, but others: one of the prophets.”
29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”
30 He commanded them that they should tell no one about him. [3]

Today, Father, may your words be always in front of my eyes;
may my hands be engaged in the practice of your commandsPsalm 143:8

Prayers

Prayers may include these concerns:

– That which burdens you

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day or the following is said

O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart;
that so desiring, we may seek and find you;
and so finding, may love you;
and so loving, may hate those sins from which you have delivered us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Conclusion

I will meditate on your precepts,
and fix my eyes on your ways.  Psalm 119:15

I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.  Psalm 119:32

The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. Amen. Psalm 119:160  [4]

(the pdf of this days prayer may be downloaded here)


[1] from Te Deum Laudamus

[2] after THE PSALTER OF DAVID WITH Titles and Collects according to the matter of each PSALME. OXFORD, Printed by Leonard Lichfield, Printer to the University. 1644.

[3] All Scripture from the World English Bible: British Edition (WEBBE)

[4] N. Andrew Long. The Offerings of Our Lips: Prayer in Community. Nampa, ID: In(habit) Media, 2017.

Prayer on July 11 (Year A)

Prayer Upon Rising

I thank you, O living and eternal King, for you have graciously given me another day to serve you. You are forever faithful and abounding in compassion! May your kingdom reign this day in my life and my home. I acknowledge you as Lord, and declare myself your servant.

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust.   Psalm 25:1a

Come, O Lamb of God, to Save

Come, O Lamb of God, to save
Our hearts are chilled with fear
Raise our souls from torpid daze
And send Thy Spirit near

Enflame our spirits by Thy power
Our zeal to persevere
Give life and breath to passive saints
To truth that You hold dear

Refrain
We rise to Thee from bended knee
To do whate’er You say
We give our love, our hearts, our all
Your summons to obey

We love Thy law, O precious Lord
It brightens ev’ry path
In it we see Thy perfect rule
Thy mercy and Thy wrath

Refrain

Roar forth, Thou King of Judah’s seed
That we might never fall
Give strength and might
That we may heed
Thy sacred royal call

Refrain [1]

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

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord,
My strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

The Word of God

Psalm 105:16-22

Refrain: Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

16 He called for a famine on the land.
He destroyed the food supplies.
17 He sent a man before them.
Joseph was sold for a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles.
His neck was locked in irons,
19 until the time that his word happened,
and the LORD’s word proved him true.
20 The king sent and freed him,
even the ruler of peoples, and let him go free.
21 He made him lord of his house,
and ruler of all of his possessions,
22 to discipline his princes at his pleasure,
and to teach his elders wisdom. R

Silence may be kept.

O God Eternal, who is always mindful of your covenant, and who delivered the seed of Abraham from the slavery of Egypt, from the waves of the sea, from the rage of Pharaoh, from the thirst and famine of the wilderness, continue like mercies to all your people; deliver us from the bondage of our sins, and preserve us in the Ark of the Church, that we perish not in the waves of this troublesome world; save us from all our earthly and spiritual enemies, feed us with food from heaven, and give us enough on earth, that we may gladly keep your statutes, observe your Laws, and so imitate your Son. Grant this, we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[2]

Leviticus 21:1-16

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, which they make holy to me, and that they not profane my holy name. I am the LORD.
3 “Tell them, ‘If anyone of all your offspring throughout your generations approaches the holy things which the children of Israel make holy to the LORD, having his uncleanness on him, that soul shall be cut off from before me. I am the LORD.
4 “ ‘Whoever of the offspring of Aaron is a leper or has a discharge shall not eat of the holy things until he is clean. Whoever touches anything that is unclean by the dead, or a man who has a seminal emission, 5 or whoever touches any creeping thing whereby he may be made unclean, or a man from whom he may become unclean, whatever uncleanness he has— 6 the person that touches any such shall be unclean until the evening, and shall not eat of the holy things unless he bathes his body in water. 7 When the sun is down, he shall be clean; and afterward he shall eat of the holy things, because it is his bread. 8 He shall not eat that which dies of itself or is torn by animals, defiling himself by it. I am the LORD.
9 “ ‘They shall therefore follow my commandment, lest they bear sin for it and die in it, if they profane it. I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
10 “ ‘No stranger shall eat of the holy thing: a foreigner living with the priests, or a hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. 11 But if a priest buys a slave, purchased by his money, he shall eat of it; and those who are born in his house shall eat of his bread. 12 If a priest’s daughter is married to an outsider, she shall not eat of the heave offering of the holy things. 13 But if a priest’s daughter is a widow, or divorced, and has no child, and has returned to her father’s house as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s bread; but no stranger shall eat any of it.
14 “ ‘If a man eats something holy unwittingly, then he shall add the fifth part of its value to it, and shall give the holy thing to the priest. 15 The priests shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer to the LORD, 16 and so cause them to bear the iniquity that brings guilt when they eat their holy things; for I am the LORD who sanctifies them.’ ”

Proverbs 22:17-19

17 Turn your ear, and listen to the words of the wise.
Apply your heart to my teaching.
18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19  I teach you today, even you,
So that your trust may be in the LORD.

A song may be sung

Mark 8:22-26

22 He came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to him, and begged him to touch him. 23 He took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village. When he had spat on his eyes, and laid his hands on him, he asked him if he saw anything.
24 He looked up, and said, “I see men; for I see them like trees walking.”
25 Then again he laid his hands on his eyes. He looked intently, and was restored, and saw everyone clearly. 26 He sent him away to his house, saying, “Don’t enter into the village, nor tell anyone in the village.” [3]

Speak to my heart of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.
Cause me to know the way that I should go, for to you I lift up my soul Psalm 143:8

Prayers

Prayers may include these concerns:

– All who are sick in body, mind or spirit
– Those in the midst of famine or disaster
– Victims of abuse, violence, and prejudice
– Those whose are bereaved
– All who work in the medical and healing professions

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer
Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day or the following is said

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. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May Christ our redeemer bring us healing and wholeness.
You are the light of the minds that know you,
The joy of the hearts that love you
and the strength of the wills that serve you;
Your service is perfect freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. after Augustine of Hippo (430) [4]

(The pdf of these prayers may be downloaded here.)


[1] Music by Jeff Lippencott | Words by R.C. Sproul | Album: Glory to the Holy One, “Come, O Lamb of God, to Save”

[2] after THE PSALTER OF DAVID WITH Titles and Collects according to the matter of each PSALME. OXFORD, Printed by Leonard Lichfield, Printer to the University. 1644.

[3] all Scripture from the World English Bible: British Edition (WEBBE)

[4] N. Andrew Long. The Offerings of Our Lips: Prayer in Community. Nampa, ID: In(habit) Media, 2017.