Friday, 1 August 2014

Morning Prayer - Aug 1

Psalm 142
I cry aloud to the Lord; to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before him and tell him of my trouble. When my spirit faints within me, you know my path; in the way wherein I walk have they laid a snare for me.

I look to my right hand, and find no one who knows me; I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for my soul. I cry out to you, O Lord, and say:
‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.
‘Listen to my cry, for I am brought very low; save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
‘Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name; when you have dealt bountifully with me, then shall the righteous gather around me.’

Psalm 144
Blessed be the Lord my rock, who teaches my hands for war and my fingers for battle; My steadfast help and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in whom I trust, who subdues the peoples under me.

O Lord, what are mortals that you should consider them; mere human beings, that you should take thought for them? They are like a breath of wind; their days pass away like a shadow.

Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains and they shall smoke. Cast down your lightnings and scatter them; shoot out your arrows and let thunder roar.

Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and take me out of the great waters, from the hand of foreign enemies, Whose mouth speaks wickedness and their right hand is the hand of falsehood.

O God, I will sing to you a new song; I will play to you on a ten-stringed harp, You that give salvation to kings  and have delivered David your servant.

Save me from the peril of the sword and deliver me from the hand of foreign enemies, Whose mouth speaks wickedness and whose right hand is the hand of falsehood; So that our sons in their youth may be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters like pillars carved for the corners of the temple; Our barns be filled with all manner of store; our flocks bearing thousands and ten thousands in our fields; Our cattle be heavy with young: may there be no miscarriage or untimely birth, no cry of distress in our streets.

Happy are the people whose blessing this is.
Happy are the people who have the Lord for their God.

1 Samuel 9.1-14
There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. He had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders above everyone else.

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, had strayed. So Kish said to his son Saul, ‘Take one of the boys with you; go and look for the donkeys.’ He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the boy who was with him, ‘Let us turn back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and worry about us.’ But he said to him, ‘There is a man of God in this town; he is a man held in honour. Whatever he says always comes true. Let us go there now; perhaps he will tell us about the journey on which we have set out.’ Then Saul replied to the boy, ‘But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What have we?’ The boy answered Saul again, ‘Here, I have with me a quarter-shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God, to tell us our way.’ (Formerly in Israel, anyone who went to inquire of God would say, ‘Come, let us go to the seer’; for the one who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.) Saul said to the boy, ‘Good; come, let us go.’ So they went to the town where the man of God was.

As they went up the hill to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and said to them, ‘Is the seer here?’ They answered, ‘Yes, there he is just ahead of you. Hurry; he has come just now to the town, because the people have a sacrifice today at the shrine. As soon as you enter the town, you will find him, before he goes up to the shrine to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterwards those eat who are invited. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.’ So they went up to the town. As they were entering the town, they saw Samuel coming out towards them on his way up to the shrine.

ing(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

Luke 22.1-13
Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.’ They asked him, ‘Where do you want us to make preparations for it?’ ‘Listen,’ he said to them, ‘when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, “The teacher asks you, ‘Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ ” He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.’ So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

The Collect
Merciful God,
you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things and above all things,
may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

The darkness becomes more obvious

The words of John 1.5:

The light shines in the darkness - and the darkness . . .

are probably some of the best known words from the Bible; everyone appearing to know it.

This and, 'It's always darkest before the dawn,' are definitely two of the top trite phrases of 2014 thus far. Used by well-meaning folk who are seeking to bring some cheer and hope in what appears to be a cheerless and rather hopeless world.

We need only to open our newspapers or turn on the TV or radio to realise that we live in a world where the darkness is becoming more obvious and the light, which my scientific training and empirically derived knowledge of the properties of darkness and light tells me the light is destined to win, is appearing to be overcome!

Experience, from working a hundred feet or more underneath London, tells me that even the smallest light (literally at the end of the tunnel) can dispel the blue-black that swamps you once your Tilley lamp (a pressurised paraffin lamp) goes out. As the light vanishes the darkness greedily washes over you and your senses, swamped and confused by the loss of light, renders you totally lost. Hearing is affected too - and standing between the two tracks - you begin to feel the panic rise, just a little, in the pit of your stomach and that little space at the back of your brain.

Apart from the bizarre knowledge that being a smoker would mean you had a lighter to see momentarily with (and destroy for longer any chance of seeing in the longer term) you stand still and, collecting whatever composure you might be able to muster, reach out to the side of the tunnel. Your hands seeking two copper wires which, should you have the field telephone to hand, would enable you to communicate with people who, oblivious to that which you're experiencing, are living in the light!

These two wires also tell you which you're going - East or West - something that offered you a little control in an otherwise potentially out of control situation. Feeling them on the right of the tunnel meant you were facing East. This knowledge allowed you to start the journey to the nearest station and safety.

Having read the news, seen the dawn break and experienced the relative darkness that is night be dispelled it seems to me that the spiritual darkness is slowly, like fog on the Thames, creeping in and gaining the upper hand. It's removing clear vision and touching the emotions and muddling the senses. Our clear sense of direction, whilst intellectually maintained, is replaced by something more akin to panic!

So how do we proceed in a world:

Where war crimes abound in Syria, Iraq, Israel and Gaza?

Where innocent lives are taken by lunatics armed with weapons provided by more powerful lunatics?

Where ordinary people in an affluent Western world find themselves relying on Food Banks to survive?

Where 'drug resistant' Malaria and untouchable Ebola virus are tightening their deadly grip*?

Well, of course I would say this, the answer is simple.

We pray - we keep calm - we act like Jesus tells us to act - we give our money - we give our time - we tell it as it should be told (excuse me Israel, you're not acting like God's people, you're acting like very naughty unbelievers - love The Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself, humility, justice and mercy - and that sort of thing) - we tell our politicians what we feel they should be doing to make things right - we teach our children right from wrong - and (you know what the 'and' is don't you?)"

It's not really dark at all - try removing you head from under the covers and you'll not only see the light dispel the darkness but you'll also see it's probably later than you think too!

This is your 'Happy Friday' wake-up call ;-)

* I got pinned in a corner at a party by a medical researcher some years back. A nice chap who told me how if we spent just 2% of the money the world spends on weapons and armament, how we would eradicate malaria, polio, diabetes and the other 'popular' diseases in the world - doubt this scenario has changed much!

Morning Prayer - July 31

Ignatius of Loyola,
Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

Psalm 143
Hear my prayer, O Lord,cand in your faithfulness give ear to my supplications; answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement with your servant, for in your sight shall no one living be justified. For the enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like those long dead.

My spirit faints within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the time past; I muse upon all your deeds; I consider the works of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul gasps for you like a thirsty land.

O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me; hide not your face from me lest I be like those who go down to the Pit. Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for in you I put my trust; show me the way I should walk in, for I lift up my soul to you. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies, for I flee to you for refuge.

Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God; let your kindly spirit lead me on a level path.
Revive me, O Lord, for your name’s sake; for your righteousness’ sake, bring me out of trouble.
In your faithfulness, slay my enemies, and destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for truly I am your servant.

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

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

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

The Lord looses those that are bound; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord watches over the stranger in the land; he upholds the orphan and widow; but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign for ever, your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Alleluia.

1 Samuel 8
When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. Yet his sons did not follow in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, ‘You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’ But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to govern us.’ Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’

So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, ‘These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plough his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.’

But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, ‘No! but we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.’ When Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to their voice and set a king over them.’ Samuel then said to the people of Israel, ‘Each of you return home.’

Luke 21.29-end
Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’

Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.

The Collect
Merciful God,
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you
that we, loving you in all things and above all things,
may obtain your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire;
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.
AllAmen.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Made me Laugh: Tick Warning

Speaks for itself - but it's fun:

Morning Prayer - July 30

William Wilberforce - 1833
Olaudah Equiano - 1797
Thomas Clarkson - 1846
Anti-Slavery Campaigners

Psalm 119.153-end
O consider my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me; according to your promise, give me life.
Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.
Great is your compassion, O Lord; give me life, according to your judgements.
Many there are that persecute and oppress me, yet do I not swerve from your testimonies.
It grieves me when I see the treacherous, for they do not keep your word.
Consider, O Lord, how I love your commandments; give me life according to your loving-kindness.
The sum of your word is truth, and all your righteous judgements endure for evermore.
Princes have persecuted me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of your word.
I am as glad of your word as one who finds great spoils.
As for lies, I hate and abhor them, but your law do I love.
Seven times a day do I praise you, because of your righteous judgements.
Great peace have they who love your law; nothing shall make them stumble.

Lord, I have looked for your salvation and I have fulfilled your commandments.
My soul has kept your testimonies and greatly have I loved them.
I have kept your commandments and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.
Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding, according to your word. Let my supplication come before you; deliver me, according to your promise.

My lips shall pour forth your praise, when you have taught me your statutes. My tongue shall sing of your word, for all your commandments are righteous. Let your hand reach out to help me, for I have chosen your commandments. I have longed for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.

Let my soul live and it shall praise you, and let your judgements be my help.

I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; O seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

1 Samuel 7
And the people of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord, and brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. They consecrated his son, Eleazar, to have charge of the ark of the Lord.

From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.
Then Samuel said to all the house of Israel, ‘If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Astartes from among you. Direct your heart to the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.’ So Israel put away the Baals and the Astartes, and they served the Lord only.

Then Samuel said, ‘Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.’ So they gathered at Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord. They fasted that day, and said, ‘We have sinned against the Lord.’ And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.

When the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it they were afraid of the Philistines. The people of Israel said to Samuel, ‘Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, and pray that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.’ So Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it as a whole burnt-offering to the Lord; Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. As Samuel was offering up the burnt-offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel; but the Lord thundered with a mighty voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion; and they were routed before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as beyond Beth-car.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’ So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.

Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. He went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all these places. Then he would come back to Ramah, for his home was there; he administered justice there to Israel, and built there an altar to the Lord.

Luke 21.20-28
‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it; for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfilment of all that is written. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’

The Collect
God our deliverer,
who sent your Son Jesus Christ to set your people free from the slavery of sin:
grant that, as your servant William Wilberforce toiled against the sin of slavery,
so we may bring compassion to all and work for the freedom of all 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. Amen.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Give it up

This is Anam Caras' rendition of  'Hand it Over'

Billed as the anthem for for those suffering from middle-aged angst it points us in the right direction: Hand it over - give it the Lord'

You know that's the only way :-)

Got five minutes? Then please pray

Here are just four of the things that need our prayer - if you have five minutes to spare - please read and pray (and discuss these issues with others) - Thank You:


Iraq and Syria
In Iraq those who oppose the ISIS forces, or are from different sects within Islam or different faiths, are being put to the sword or fleeing for their lives.
Churches are desecrated and bear the writing shown below - proclaiming that they are now the property of the state.
In Syria, in the northern province of Raqa, ISIS militants have killed at least 85 soldiers - more than 50 being summarily executed (which is murder and a war crime) - UN spokesman says:
'Some of the executed troops were beheaded, and their bodies and severed heads put on display in Raqa city.'
This is as much of a humanitarian tragedy as the Israel conflict - and yet is now generally unreported - please pray that people will understand what is going on and will call upon their governments to act.
'Property of the Islamic State' - on the wall of a former Christian Church

Israel
It is right to pray for the peace of Jerusalem - and for that of the Palestinian territory.
To pray that those who fire rockets into Israel would stop and choose a path of dialogue and peace.
To pray that the nation of Israel would remember that the law calls on them to act with proportionality and to avoid retaliation that endangers those who under the law have protected status.
It is right to pray that the US, rather than vote 'No' and turn its eyes away from the humanitarian tragedy that is this conflict makes a stand for that which is right, moral and courageous.
That those nations who fuel this conflict through arms, political means and self-interest seek instead justice, mercy and peace.

Why can't we be friends?

Ukraine
Please pray for those who sift through the wreckage: For their protection and their sanity as the engage with such a scene of loss and devastation.
Pray for the relative and friends of those who were lost and for their protection and support as they come to terms and live life without loved ones.
Please pray for the political situation and for peace and commonsense to come to the fore.
Please pray for those who seek power everywhere that they would understand the results of their actions and, even if they will not repent, step back.
The greed of men is paid out with the lives of the innocents
Education
Please pray for the education of our children in this country of ours as Academies fail to deliver, reforms of the student loan system look likely to increase the fees Universities can charge and schools are seeing more and more teachers leave, or crumple, because of the pressures on them
Pray that education is seen as means of delivering a well-rounded and fulfilled population - it's about living to our potential, not maximising our earning (isn't it?)

Money and Education: when did it become such big business?

Morning Prayer - July 29

Mary, Martha and Lazarus, Companions of our Lord

Psalm 132
Lord, remember for David    all the hardships he endured; How he swore an oath to the Lord and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
‘I will not come within the shelter of my house, nor climb up into my bed;
‘I will not allow my eyes to sleep, nor let my eyelids slumber,
‘Until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.’
Now, we heard of the ark in Ephrathah and found it in the fields of Ja-ar. Let us enter his dwelling place and fall low before his footstool.

Arise, O Lord, into your resting place, you and the ark of your strength. Let your priests be clothed with righteousness and your faithful ones sing with joy. For your servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of your anointed.

The Lord has sworn an oath to David, a promise from which he will not shrink:
‘Of the fruit of your body shall I set upon your throne.
‘If your children keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them,  their children also shall sit upon your throne for evermore.’ For the Lord has chosen Zion for himself; he has desired her for his habitation:
‘This shall be my resting place for ever; here will I dwell, for I have longed for her.
‘I will abundantly bless her provision; her poor will I satisfy with bread.
‘I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful ones shall rejoice and sing.
‘There will I make a horn to spring up for David; I will keep a lantern burning for my anointed.
‘As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame; but on him shall his crown be bright.’

Psalm 133
Behold how good and pleasant it is to dwell together in unity.
It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, Even on Aaron’s beard, running down upon the collar of his clothing.
It is like the dew of Hermon running down upon the hills of Zion. For there the Lord has promised his blessing: even life for evermore.

1 Samuel 6.1-16
The ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines for seven months. Then the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said,
‘What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us what we should send with it to its place.’

They said, ‘If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt-offering. Then you will be healed and will be ransomed; will not his hand then turn from you?’
And they said, ‘What is the guilt-offering that we should return to him?’
They answered, ‘Five gold tumours and five gold mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines; for the same plague was upon all of you and upon your lords. So you must make images of your tumours and images of your mice that ravage the land, and give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps he will lighten his hand on you and your gods and your land. Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had made fools of them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? Now then, get ready a new cart and two milch-cows that have never borne a yoke, and yoke the cows to the cart, but take their calves home, away from them. Take the ark of the Lord and place it on the cart, and put in a box at its side the figures of gold, which you are returning to him as a guilt-offering. Then send it off, and let it go on its way. And watch; if it goes up on the way to its own land, to Beth-shemesh, then it is he who has done us this great harm; but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance.’

The men did so; they took two milch-cows and yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. They put the ark of the Lord on the cart, and the box with the gold mice and the images of their tumours. The cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh along one highway, lowing as they went; they turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh.

Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. When they looked up and saw the ark, they went with rejoicing to meet it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh, and stopped there. A large stone was there; so they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt-offering to the Lord. The Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box that was beside it, in which were the gold objects, and set them upon the large stone. Then the people of Beth-shemesh offered burnt-offerings and presented sacrifices on that day to the Lord. When the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron.

Luke 21.5-19
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said,
‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’
They asked him,
‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’
And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.

‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’
Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.

‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defence in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.

The Collect
God our Father,
whose Son enjoyed the love of his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, in learning, argument and hospitality:
may we so rejoice in your love that the world may come to know the depths of your wisdom,
the wonder of your compassion, and your power to bring life out of death;
through the merits of Jesus Christ, our friend and brother,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.