Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687
Hear my prayer, O God; hide not yourself from my petition.
Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaining.
I am alarmed at the voice of the enemy and at the clamour of the wicked;
For they would bring down evil upon me and are set against me in fury.
My heart is disquieted within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and a horrible dread has overwhelmed me.
And I said: ‘O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest.
‘Then would I flee far away and make my lodging in the wilderness.
‘I would make haste to escape from the stormy wind and tempest.’
Confuse their tongues, O Lord, and divide them, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go about on her walls; mischief and trouble are in her midst.
Wickedness walks in her streets; oppression and guile never leave her squares.
For it was not an open enemy that reviled me, for then I could have borne it;
Nor was it my adversary that puffed himself up against me, for then I would have hid myself from him.
But it was even you, one like myself, my companion and my own familiar friend.
We took sweet counsel together and walked with the multitude in the house of God.
Let death come suddenly upon them; let them go down alive to the Pit;
for wickedness inhabits their dwellings, their very hearts.
As for me, I will call upon God and the Lord will deliver me.
In the evening and morning and at noonday I will pray and make my supplication, and he shall hear my voice.
He shall redeem my soul in peace from the battle waged against me, for many have come upon me.
God, who is enthroned of old, will hear and bring them down; they will not repent, for they have no fear of God.
My companion stretched out his hands against his friend and has broken his covenant;
His speech was softer than butter, though war was in his heart;
his words were smoother than oil, yet are they naked swords.
Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you, and will not let the righteous fall for ever.
But those that are bloodthirsty and deceitful, O God, you will bring down to the pit of destruction.
They shall not live out half their days, but my trust shall be in you, O Lord.
If the Lord himself had not been on our side, now may Israel say;
If the Lord had not been on our side, when enemies rose up against us;
Then would they have swallowed us alive when their anger burned against us;
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us and the torrent gone over our soul;
over our soul would have swept the raging waters.
But blessed be the Lord who has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowler;
the snare is broken and we are delivered.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who has made heaven and earth.
Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan;
cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers are crushed.
I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not listen.’
This has been your way from your youth, for you have not obeyed my voice.
The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity;
then you will be ashamed and dismayed because of all your wickedness.
O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars,
how you will groan when pangs come upon you,
pain as of a woman in labour!
As I live, says the Lord, even if King Coniah son of Jehoiakim of Judah were the signet ring on my right hand, even from there I would tear you off and give you into the hands of those who seek your life, into the hands of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and into the hands of the Chaldeans. I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. But they shall not return to the land to which they long to return.
Is this man Coniah a despised broken pot, a vessel no one wants?
Why are he and his offspring hurled out and cast away in a land that they do not know?
O land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord!
Thus says the Lord:
Record this man as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days;
for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David, and ruling again in Judah.
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.
Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt’, but ‘As the Lord lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.’ Then they shall live in their own land.
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said,
‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)
‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
who called your servant Cuthbert from following the flock to follow your Son and to be a shepherd of your people:
in your mercy, grant that we, following his example,
may bring those who are lost home to your fold;
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.