Margery Kempe, Mystic, c.1440
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried in the fire; he is a shield to all who trust in him. For who is God but the Lord, and who is the rock except our God?
It is God who girds me about with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like hinds’ feet so that I tread surely on the heights. He teaches my hands to fight and my arms to bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation; your right hand upholds me and your grace has made me great.
You enlarge my strides beneath me, yet my feet do not slide. I will pursue my enemies and overtake them, nor turn again until I have destroyed them. I will smite them down so they cannot rise; they shall fall beneath my feet.
You have girded me with strength for the battle; you will cast down my enemies under me;
You will make my foes turn their backs upon me and I shall destroy them that hate me. They will cry out, but there shall be none to help them; they will cry to the Lord, but he will not answer. I shall beat them as small as the dust on the wind; I will cast them out as the mire in the streets.
You will deliver me from the strife of the peoples; you will make me the head of the nations.
A people I have not known shall serve me as soon as they hear me, they shall obey me; strangers will humble themselves before me. The foreign peoples will lose heart and come trembling out of their strongholds.
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock! Praised be the God of my salvation,
Even the God who vindicates me and subdues the peoples under me!
You that deliver me from my enemies, you will set me up above my foes; from the violent you will deliver me;
Therefore will I give you thanks, O Lord, among the nations and sing praises to your name,
To the one who gives great victory to his king and shows faithful love to his anointed, to David and his seed for ever.
O praise God in his holiness;
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the trumpet;
praise him upon the harp and lyre.
Praise him with timbrel and dances;
praise him upon the strings and pipe.
Praise him with ringing cymbals;
praise him upon the clashing cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
On that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. Whoever is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, once the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgement and by a spirit of burning. Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over its places of assembly a cloud by day and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night. Indeed, over all the glory there will be a canopy. It will serve as a pavilion, a shade by day from the heat, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.
Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watch-tower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!
Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned.’
From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’
Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Almighty and eternal God,
you have kindled the flame of love in the hearts of the saints:
grant to us the same faith and power of love,
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs,
we may be sustained by their example and fellowship;
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.