Great is the Lord and highly to be praised, in the city of our God.
His holy mountain is fair and lifted high,
the joy of all the earth.
On Mount Zion, the divine dwelling place,
stands the city of the great king.
In her palaces God has shown himself to be a sure refuge.
For behold, the kings of the earth assembled and swept forward together.
They saw, and were dumbfounded;
dismayed, they fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there;
they writhed like a woman in labour,
as when the east wind shatters the ships of Tarshish.
As we had heard, so have we seen
in the city of the Lord of hosts, the city of our God:
God has established her for ever.
We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God,
in the midst of your temple.
As with your name, O God,
so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
your right hand is full of justice.
Let Mount Zion rejoice and the daughters of Judah be glad,
because of your judgements, O Lord.
Walk about Zion and go round about her;
count all her towers;
consider well her bulwarks; pass through her citadels,
That you may tell those who come after that such is our God for ever and ever.
It is he that shall be our guide for evermore.
Why do you glory in evil, you tyrant,
while the goodness of God endures continually?
You plot destruction, you deceiver;
your tongue is like a sharpened razor.
You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than the word of truth.
You love all words that hurt,
O you deceitful tongue.
Therefore God shall utterly bring you down;
he shall take you and pluck you out of your tent
and root you out of the land of the living.
The righteous shall see this and tremble;
they shall laugh you to scorn, and say:
‘This is the one who did not take God for a refuge,
but trusted in great riches and relied upon wickedness.’
But I am like a spreading olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.
I will always give thanks to you for what you have done;
I will hope in your name,
for your faithful ones delight in it.
Ezekiel 37. 15-end
The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the Israelites associated with it’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with it’; and join them together into one stick, so that they may become one in your hand. And when your people say to you, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’ say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am about to take the stick of Joseph (which is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with it; and I will put the stick of Judah upon it, and make them one stick, in order that they may be one in my hand. When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms. They shall never again defile themselves with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. I will save them from all the apostasies into which they have fallen, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your ancestors lived; they and their children and their children’s children shall live there for ever; and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them for evermore. My dwelling-place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations shall know that I the Lord sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is among them for evermore.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
God our deliverer,
who sent your Son Jesus Christ
to set your people free from the slavery of sin:
grant that, as your servants William Wilberforce, Olaudah Equiano and Thomas Clarkson
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.