Monday, 30 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Monday 30 April 2018

Easter Season 
Pandita Mary Ramabai, Translator of the Scriptures, 1922

Psalm 145
I will exalt you, O God my King, and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless you and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; his greatness is beyond all searching out.
One generation shall praise your works to another and declare your mighty acts.
They shall speak of the majesty of your glory, and I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
They shall speak of the might of your marvellous acts, and I will also tell of your greatness.
They shall pour forth the story of your abundant kindness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful, long-suffering and of great goodness.
The Lord is loving to everyone and his mercy is over all his creatures.
All your works praise you, O Lord, and your faithful servants bless you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your mighty power,
To make known to all peoples your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; your dominion endures throughout all ages.

The Lord is sure in all his words and faithful in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all those who are bowed down.
The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season.
You open wide your hand and fill all things living with plenty.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving in all his works.
The Lord is near to those who call upon him, to all who call upon him faithfully.
He fulfils the desire of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

The Lord watches over those who love him, but all the wicked shall he destroy.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Numbers 9.15-end;10.33-end
On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant; and from evening until morning it was over the tabernacle, having the appearance of fire. It was always so: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, then the Israelites would set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the Israelites would camp. At the command of the Lord the Israelites would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they would remain in camp. Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle for many days, the Israelites would keep the charge of the Lord, and would not set out. Sometimes the cloud would remain for a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they would remain in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they would set out. Sometimes the cloud would remain from evening until morning; and when the cloud lifted in the morning, they would set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they would set out. Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, resting upon it, the Israelites would remain in camp and would not set out; but when it lifted they would set out. At the command of the Lord they would camp, and at the command of the Lord they would set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.

So they set out from the mount of the Lord on three days’ journey with the ark of the covenant of the Lord going before them for three days’ journey, to seek out a resting-place for them, the cloud of the Lord being over them by day when they set out from the camp.

Whenever the ark set out, Moses would say,
‘Arise, O Lord, let your enemies be scattered, and your foes flee before you.’

And whenever it came to rest, he would say,
‘Return, O Lord of the ten thousand thousands of Israel.’

Luke 4.38-end
After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.

As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. Demons also came out of many, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.

At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.’ So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.

The Collect
Risen Christ, your wounds declare your love for the world and the wonder of your risen life: give us compassion and courage to risk ourselves for those we serve, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Saturday 28 April 2018

Easter Season
Peter Chanel, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841

Psalm 34
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
My soul shall glory in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Look upon him and be radiant and your faces shall not be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and the Lord heard me and saved me from all my troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is gracious; blessed is the one who trusts in him.
Fear the Lord, all you his holy ones, for those who fear him lack nothing.
Lions may lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good. R
Come, my children, and listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Who is there who delights in life and longs for days to enjoy good things?
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from lying words.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their cry.

The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry and the Lord hears them and delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and will save those who are crushed in spirit.
Many are the troubles of the righteous; from them all will the Lord deliver them.
He keeps all their bones, so that not one of them is broken.
But evil shall slay the wicked and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

The Lord ransoms the life of his servants and will condemn none who seek refuge in him.

Exodus 40.17-end
In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was set up. Moses set up the tabernacle; he laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars; and he spread the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent over it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He took the covenant and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark, and set the mercy-seat above the ark; and he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the curtain for screening, and screened the ark of the covenant; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the curtain, and set the bread in order on it before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting, opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle, and set up the lamps before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the curtain, and offered fragrant incense on it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He also put in place the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle. He set the altar of burnt-offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt-offering and the grain-offering as the Lord had commanded Moses. He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. When they went into the tent of meeting, and when they approached the altar, they washed; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He set up the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and put up the screen at the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.

Luke 4.31-37
He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, ‘What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!’ And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.

The Collect
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Friday, 27 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Friday 27 April 2018

Easter Season
Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894

Psalm 33
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, for it is good for the just to sing praises.
Praise the Lord with the lyre; on the ten-stringed harp sing his praise.
Sing for him a new song; play skilfully, with shouts of praise.
For the word of the Lord is true and all his works are sure.
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the loving-kindness of the Lord.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers up the waters of the sea as in a waterskin and lays up the deep in his treasury.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; stand in awe of him, all who dwell in the world.
For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to naught; he frustrates the designs of the peoples. But the counsel of the Lord shall endure for ever and the designs of his heart from generation to generation. Happy the nation whose God is the Lord and the people he has chosen for his own.

The Lord looks down from heaven and beholds all the children of earth. From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze on all who dwell on the earth. He fashions all the hearts of them and understands all their works. No king is saved by the might of his host; no warrior delivered by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; for all its strength it cannot save.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear him, on those who wait in hope for his steadfast love, To deliver their soul from death and to feed them in time of famine.

Our soul waits longingly for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
Indeed, our heart rejoices in him; in his holy name have we put our trust.
Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, as we have set our hope on you.

Exodus 35.20-36.7
Then all the congregation of the Israelites withdrew from the presence of Moses. And they came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and brought the Lord’s offering to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the sacred vestments. So they came, both men and women; all who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earings and signet rings and pendants, all sorts of gold objects, everyone bringing an offering of gold to the Lord. And everyone who possessed blue or purple or crimson yarn or fine linen or goats’ hair or tanned rams’ skins or fine leather, brought them. Everyone who could make an offering of silver or bronze brought it as the Lord’s offering; and everyone who possessed acacia wood of any use in the work, brought it. All the skilful women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun in blue and purple and crimson yarns and fine linen; all the women whose hearts moved them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair. And the leaders brought onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and the breastpiece, and spices and oil for the light, and for the anointing-oil, and for the fragrant incense. All the Israelite men and women whose hearts made them willing to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done, brought it as a freewill-offering to the Lord.
Then Moses said to the Israelites: See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; he has filled him with divine spirit, with skill, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every kind of work done by an artisan or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of artisan or skilled designer.

Bezalel and Oholiab and everyone skilful to whom the Lord has given skill and understanding to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.

Moses then called Bezalel and Oholiab and everyone skilful to whom the Lord had given skill, everyone whose heart was stirred to come to do the work; and they received from Moses all the freewill-offerings that the Israelites had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill-offerings every morning, so that all the artisans who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task being performed, and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.’ So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’ So the people were restrained from bringing; for what they had already brought was more than enough to do all the work.

Luke 4.14-30
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
 He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
 to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’ He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “Doctor, cure yourself!” And you will say, “Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.” ’ And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’ When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

The Collect
Risen Christ, faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep: teach us to hear your voice and to follow your command, that all your people may be gathered into one flock, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Thursday, 26 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Thursday 26 April 2018

Easter Season

Psalm 118
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures for ever. Let Israel now proclaim, ‘His mercy endures for ever.’ Let the house of Aaron now proclaim, ‘His mercy endures for ever.’ Let those who fear the Lord proclaim, ‘His mercy endures for ever.’

In my constraint I called to the Lord; the Lord answered and set me free. The Lord is at my side; I will not fear; what can flesh do to me? With the Lord at my side as my saviour, I shall see the downfall of my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put any confidence in flesh. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put any confidence in princes.

All the nations encompassed me, but by the name of the Lord I drove them back. They hemmed me in, they hemmed me in on every side, but by the name of the Lord I drove them back. They swarmed about me like bees; they blazed like fire among thorns, but by the name of the Lord I drove them back. Surely, I was thrust to the brink, but the Lord came to my help.

The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. Joyful shouts of salvation sound from the tents of the righteous: ‘The right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds;  the right hand of the Lord raises up; the right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds.’

I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has punished me sorely, but he has not given me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Come, O Lord, and save us we pray. Come, Lord, send us now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God; he has given us light; link the pilgrims with cords right to the horns of the altar.

You are my God and I will thank you; you are my God and I will exalt you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures for ever.

Exodus 34.1-10, 27-end
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai and present yourself there to me, on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and do not let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; and do not let flocks or herds graze in front of that mountain.’ So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the former ones; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name, ‘The Lord.’ The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed,
‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.’

And Moses quickly bowed his head towards the earth, and worshipped. He said, ‘If now I have found favour in your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.’

He said: I hereby make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform marvels, such as have not been performed in all the earth or in any nation; and all the people among whom you live shall see the work of the Lord; for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.

The Lord said to Moses: Write these words; in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel. He was there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. Afterwards all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off, until he came out; and when he came out, and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining; and Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Luke 4.1-13
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.” ’

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you,to protect you”,
and
“On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’

Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

The Collect
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Wednesday 25 April 2018

Easter Season 
Mark the Evangelist

Psalm 37.23-41
When your steps are guided by the Lord and you delight in his way, Though you stumble, you shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds you fast by the hand.
I have been young and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging their bread. All the day long they are generous in lending, and their children also shall be blest.

Depart from evil and do good and you shall abide for ever. For the Lord loves the thing that is right and will not forsake his faithful ones. The unjust shall be destroyed for ever, and the offspring of the wicked shall be rooted out. The righteous shall possess the land and dwell in it for ever.

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and their tongue speaks the thing that is right. The law of their God is in their heart and their footsteps shall not slide. The wicked spy on the righteous and seek occasion to slay them. The Lord will not leave them in their hand, nor let them be condemned when they are judged.

Wait upon the Lord and keep his way; he will raise you up to possess the land, and when the wicked are uprooted, you shall see it. I myself have seen the wicked in great power and flourishing like a tree in full leaf. I went by and lo, they were gone; I sought them, but they could nowhere be found. Keep innocence and heed the thing that is right, for that will bring you peace at the last.

But the sinners shall perish together, and the posterity of the wicked shall be rooted out. The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord shall stand by them and deliver them; he shall deliver them from the wicked and shall save them, because they have put their trust in him.

Psalm 148
Alleluia.
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels; praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you stars of light.
Praise him, heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord; for he commanded and they were created.
He made them fast for ever and ever; he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and mist, tempestuous wind, fulfilling his word;
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and birds on the wing;
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and women, old and young together; let them praise the name of the Lord.
For his name only is exalted, his splendour above earth and heaven.
He has raised up the horn of his people and praise for all his faithful servants, the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
Alleluia.

Isaiah 62.6-10
Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent.
You who remind the Lord, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth. The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have laboured; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts.

Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples.
The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

Acts 12.25 - 13.13
Then after completing their mission Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem and brought with them John, whose other name was Mark.

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.’ Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem;

The Collect
God, who enlightened your holy Church through the inspired witness of your evangelist Saint Mark: grant that we, being firmly grounded in the truth of the gospel, may be faithful to its teaching both in word and deed; 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, 24 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Tuesday 24 April 2018

Easter Season 
Mellitus, Bishop of London, first Bishop at St Paul’s, 624
The Seven Martyrs of the Melanesian Brotherhood, Solomon Islands, 2003

Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You mark out my journeys and my resting place and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but you, O Lord, know it altogether. You encompass me behind and before and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go then from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand shall lead me, your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me and the light around me turn to night,’
Even darkness is no darkness with you; the night is as clear as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike.

For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished; already in your book were all my members written,
As day by day they were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.

How deep are your counsels to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
If I count them, they are more in number than the sand, and at the end, I am still in your presence.

O that you would slay the wicked, O God, that the bloodthirsty might depart from me!
They speak against you with wicked intent; your enemies take up your name for evil.
Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?
Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?
I hate them with a perfect hatred; they have become my own enemies also.

Search me out, O God, and know my heart; try me and examine my thoughts.
See if there is any way of wickedness in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

Exodus 32.15-34
Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain, carrying the two tablets of the covenant in his hands, tablets that were written on both sides, written on the front and on the back. The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets. When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, ‘There is a noise of war in the camp.’  But he said, ‘It is not the sound made by victors, or the sound made by losers; it is the sound of revellers that I hear.’

As soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets from his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf that they had made, burned it with fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on the water, and made the Israelites drink it.

Moses said to Aaron, ‘What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?’ And Aaron said, ‘Do not let the anger of my lord burn hot; you know the people, that they are bent on evil. They said to me, “Make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So I said to them, “Whoever has gold, take it off ”; so they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!’

When Moses saw that the people were running wild (for Aaron had let them run wild, to the derision of their enemies), then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me!’ And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. He said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Put your sword on your side, each of you! Go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbour.” ’ The sons of Levi did as Moses commanded, and about three thousand of the people fell on that day. Moses said, ‘Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of a son or a brother, and so have brought a blessing on yourselves this day.’

On the next day Moses said to the people, ‘You have sinned a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.’ So Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Alas, this people has sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, blot me out of the book that you have written.’ But the Lord said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; see, my angel shall go in front of you. Nevertheless, when the day comes for punishment, I will punish them for their sin.’

Luke 3.1-14
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ’

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’

And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’

The Collect
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Monday, 23 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Monday 23 April 2018

Easter Season
George, Martyr, Patron of England, c.304

Psalm 5
Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my lamentation. Hearken to the voice of my crying, my King and my God, for to you I make my prayer. In the morning, Lord, you will hear my voice; early in the morning I make my appeal to you, and look up. For you are the God who takes no pleasure in wickedness; no evil can dwell with you. The boastful cannot stand in your sight; you hate all those that work wickedness. You destroy those who speak lies; the bloodthirsty and deceitful the Lord will abhor. But as for me, through the greatness of your mercy, I will come into your house; I will bow down towards your holy temple in awe of you.

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness, because of my enemies; make your way straight before my face. For there is no truth in their mouth, in their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulchre,
and they flatter with their tongue.

Punish them, O God; let them fall through their own devices. Because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them sing out their joy for ever. You will shelter them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous; and with your favour you will defend them as with a shield.

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.

Joshua 1.1-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, ‘My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’

Ephesians 6.10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

The Collect
God of hosts,
who so kindled the flame of love in the heart of your servant George that he bore witness to the risen Lord by his life and by his death: give us the same faith and power of love that we who rejoice in his triumphs may come to share with him the fullness of the resurrection; 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.


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Saturday 21 April 2018

Easter Season 

Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher of the Faith, 1109

Psalm 110
The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’

May the Lord stretch forth the sceptre of your power; rule from Zion in the midst of your enemies.
‘Noble are you on this day of your birth; on the holy mountain, from the womb of the dawn the dew of your new birth is upon you.’

The Lord has sworn and will not retract: ‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’

The king at your right hand, O Lord, shall smite down kings in the day of his wrath. In all his majesty, he shall judge among the nations, smiting heads over all the wide earth. He shall drink from the brook beside the way; therefore shall he lift high his head.


Psalm 111
Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the faithful and in the congregation.

The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all who delight in them.
His work is full of majesty and honour and his righteousness endures for ever.
He appointed a memorial for his marvellous deeds; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
He gave food to those who feared him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He showed his people the power of his works in giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of his hands are truth and justice; all his commandments are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever; they are done in truth and equity.
He sent redemption to his people; he commanded his covenant for ever; holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have those who live by it; his praise endures for ever.

Exodus 29.1-9
Now this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them, so that they may serve me as priests. Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil. You shall make them of choice wheat flour. You shall put them in one basket and bring them in the basket, and bring the bull and the two rams. You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and wash them with water. Then you shall take the vestments, and put on Aaron the tunic and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastpiece, and gird him with the decorated band of the ephod; and you shall set the turban on his head, and put the holy diadem on the turban. You shall take the anointing-oil, and pour it on his head and anoint him. Then you shall bring his sons, and put tunics on them, and you shall gird them with sashes and tie head-dresses on them; and the priesthood shall be theirs by a perpetual ordinance. You shall then ordain Aaron and his sons.

Luke 2.21-40
After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 
‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 
‘for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 
‘a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

The Collect
Eternal God,who gave great gifts to your servant Anselm as a pastor and teacher: grant that we, like him, may desire you with our whole heart and, so desiring, may seek you and, seeking, may find you; 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.


Friday, 20 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Friday 20 April 2018

Easter Season

Psalm 107
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious, for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say this, those he redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

Some went astray in desert wastes and found no path to a city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty, their soul was fainting within them.
So they cried to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress.
He set their feet on the right way till they came to a city to dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and the wonders he does for his children.
For he satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good.

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound fast in misery and iron,
For they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.
So he bowed down their heart with heaviness; they stumbled and there was none to help them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and out of the shadow of death, and broke their bonds asunder.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and the wonders he does for his children.
For he has broken the doors of bronze and breaks the bars of iron in pieces.

Some were foolish and took a rebellious way, and were plagued because of their wrongdoing.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food and drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them, and saved them from destruction.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them offer him sacrifices of thanksgiving and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.

Those who go down to the sea in ships and ply their trade in great waters,
These have seen the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.
For at his word the stormy wind arose and lifted up the waves of the sea.
They were carried up to the heavens and down again to the deep; their soul melted away in their peril.
They reeled and staggered like a drunkard and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.
He made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were calmed.
Then were they glad because they were at rest, and he brought them to the haven they desired.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

The Lord turns rivers into wilderness and water springs into thirsty ground;
A fruitful land he makes a salty waste, because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
He makes the wilderness a pool of water and water springs out of a thirsty land.
There he settles the hungry and they build a city to dwell in.
They sow fields and plant vineyards and bring in a fruitful harvest.
He blesses them, so that they multiply greatly; he does not let their herds of cattle decrease.
He pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes.
They are diminished and brought low, through stress of misfortune and sorrow, but he raises the poor from their misery and multiplies their families like flocks of sheep.

The upright will see this and rejoice, but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
Whoever is wise will ponder these things and consider the loving-kindness of the Lord.

Exodus 28.1-4a, 29-38
Then bring near to you your brother Aaron, and his sons with him, from among the Israelites, to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. You shall make sacred vestments for the glorious adornment of your brother Aaron. And you shall speak to all who have ability, whom I have endowed with skill, that they make Aaron’s vestments to consecrate him for my priesthood. These are the vestments that they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a chequered tunic, a turban, and a sash. So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgement on his heart when he goes into the holy place, for a continual remembrance before the Lord. In the breastpiece of judgement you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord; thus Aaron shall bear the judgement of the Israelites on his heart before the Lord continually.

You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. It shall have an opening for the head in the middle of it, with a woven binding round the opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it may not be torn. On its lower hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, all round the lower hem, with bells of gold between them all round—a golden bell and a pomegranate alternating all round the lower hem of the robe. Aaron shall wear it when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the holy place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he may not die.

You shall make a rosette of pure gold, and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ You shall fasten it on the turban with a blue cord; it shall be on the front of the turban. It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall take on himself any guilt incurred in the holy offering that the Israelites consecrate as their sacred donations; it shall always be on his forehead, in order that they may find favour before the Lord.

Luke 2.1-20
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The Collect
Risen Christ, you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope: strengthen us to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Thursday 19 April 2018

Easter Season 
Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012 

Psalm 136
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious, for his mercy endures for ever.
Give thanks to the God of gods, for his mercy endures for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who alone does great wonders, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who by wisdom made the heavens, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who laid out the earth upon the waters, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who made the great lights, for his mercy endures for ever;
The sun to rule the day, for his mercy endures for ever;
The moon and the stars to govern the night, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, for his mercy endures for ever;
And brought out Israel from among them, for his mercy endures for ever;
With a mighty hand and outstretched arm, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who divided the Red Sea in two, for his mercy endures for ever;
And made Israel to pass through the midst of it, for his mercy endures for ever;
But Pharaoh and his host he overthrew in the Red Sea, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who led his people through the wilderness, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who smote great kings, for his mercy endures for ever;
And slew mighty kings, for his mercy endures for ever;
Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his mercy endures for ever;
And Og, the king of Bashan, for his mercy endures for ever;
And gave away their land for a heritage, for his mercy endures for ever;
A heritage for Israel his servant, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who remembered us when we were in trouble, for his mercy endures for ever;
And delivered us from our enemies, for his mercy endures for ever;
Who gives food to all creatures, for his mercy endures for ever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his mercy endures for ever.

Exodus 25.1-22
The Lord said to Moses: Tell the Israelites to take for me an offering; from all whose hearts prompt them to give you shall receive the offering for me. This is the offering that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine linen, goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, fine leather, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing-oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and for the breastpiece. And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them. In accordance with all that I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.

They shall make an ark of acacia wood; it shall be two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside you shall overlay it, and you shall make a moulding of gold upon it all round. You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on one side of it, and two rings on the other side. You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, by which to carry the ark. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. You shall put into the ark the covenant that I shall give you.

Then you shall make a mercy-seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its width. You shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them of hammered work, at the two ends of the mercy-seat. Make one cherub at one end, and one cherub at the other; of one piece with the mercy-seat you shall make the cherubim at its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy-seat with their wings. They shall face each other; the faces of the cherubim shall be turned towards the mercy-seat. You shall put the mercy-seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the covenant that I shall give you. There I will meet you, and from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the covenant, I will deliver to you all my commands for the Israelites.

Luke 1.57-end
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, ‘No; he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘None of your relatives has this name.’ Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, ‘What then will this child become?’ For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them.
‘He has raised up a mighty saviour for us in the house of his servant David,
‘as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
‘that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
‘Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
‘and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
‘to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
‘might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
‘And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
‘for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
‘to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.
‘By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,
‘to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’

The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.

The Collect
Merciful God, who raised up your servant Alphege to be a pastor of your people and gave him grace to suffer for justice and true religion: grant that we who celebrate his martyrdom may know the power of the risen Christ in our hearts and share his peace in lives offered to your service; 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.


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Wednesday 18 April 2018

Easter Season

Psalm 105
O give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises, and tell of all his marvellous works.
Rejoice in the praise of his holy name; let the hearts of them rejoice who seek the Lord.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face continually.
Remember the marvels he has done, his wonders and the judgements of his mouth,
O seed of Abraham his servant,O children of Jacob his chosen.

He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth.
He has always been mindful of his covenant, the promise that he made for a thousand generations: The covenant he made with Abraham, the oath that he swore to Isaac, which he established as a statute for Jacob, an everlasting covenant for Israel, saying, ‘To you will I give the land of Canaan to be the portion of your inheritance.’

When they were but few in number, of little account, and sojourners in the land, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, He suffered no one to do them wrong and rebuked even kings for their sake, saying, ‘Touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm.’

Then he called down famine over the land and broke every staff of bread.
But he had sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
They shackled his feet with fetters; his neck was ringed with iron.
Until all he foretold came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.
The king sent and released him; the ruler of peoples set him free.
He appointed him lord of his household and ruler of all he possessed,to instruct his princes as he willed and to teach his counsellors wisdom.

Then Israel came into Egypt; Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
And the Lord made his people exceedingly fruitful; he made them too many for their adversaries,
Whose heart he turned, so that they hated his people and dealt craftily with his servants.
Then sent he Moses his servant and Aaron whom he had chosen.
He showed his signs through their word and his wonders in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness and it grew dark; yet they did not heed his words.
He turned their waters into blood and slew all their fish.
Their land swarmed with frogs, even in their kings’ chambers.
He spoke the word, and there came clouds of flies, swarms of gnats within all their borders.
He gave them hailstones for rain and flames of lightning in their land.
He blasted their vines and their fig trees and shattered trees across their country.
He spoke the word, and the grasshoppers came and young locusts without number;
They ate every plant in their land and devoured the fruit of their soil.
He smote all the firstborn in their land, the first fruits of all their strength.
Then he brought them out with silver and gold; there was not one among their tribes that stumbled.
Egypt was glad at their departing, for a dread of them had fallen upon them.
He spread out a cloud for a covering and a fire to light up the night.
They asked and he brought them quails; he satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out and ran in the dry places like a river.
For he remembered his holy word and Abraham, his servant.
So he brought forth his people with joy, his chosen ones with singing.
He gave them the lands of the nations and they took possession of the fruit of their toil, that they might keep his statutes and faithfully observe his laws.
Alleluia.

Exodus 24
Then he said to Moses, ‘Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship at a distance. Moses alone shall come near the Lord; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.’

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, ‘All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt-offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.’ Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, ‘See the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.’
Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. God did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; also they beheld God, and they ate and drank.

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.’ So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, ‘Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.’

Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

Luke 1.39-56
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’

And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
‘for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
‘Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
‘for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
‘His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
‘He has shown strength with his arm;
‘he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
‘He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
‘he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
‘He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
‘according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home.

The Collect
Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; 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, 17 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Tuesday 17 April 2018

Easter Season

Psalm 98
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things. His own right hand and his holy arm have won for him the victory.

The Lord has made known his salvation; his deliverance has he openly shown in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness towards the house of Israel, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Sound praises to the Lord, all the earth; break into singing and make music.
Make music to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the voice of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn sound praises before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea thunder and all that fills it, the world and all that dwell upon it.
Let the rivers clap their hands and let the hills ring out together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.

In righteousness shall he judge the world and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 99
The Lord is king: let the peoples tremble; he is enthroned above the cherubim: let the earth shake.
The Lord is great in Zion and high above all peoples.
Let them praise your name, which is great and awesome; the Lord our God is holy.

Mighty king, who loves justice,you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the Lord our God; bow down before his footstool, for he is holy.

Moses and Aaron among his priests and Samuel among those who call upon his name, they called upon the Lord and he answered them.
He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud; they kept his testimonies and the law that he gave them.
You answered them, O Lord our God; you were a God who forgave them and pardoned them for their offences.

Exalt the Lord our Godand worship him upon his holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy.

Psalm 100
O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth; serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song. Know that the Lord is God; it is he that has made us and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is gracious; his steadfast love is everlasting, and his faithfulness endures from generation to generation.

Exodus 20.1-21
Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.’ Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.


Luke 1.26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

The Collect
Risen Christ, you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope: strengthen us to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Monday, 16 April 2018

Morning Prayer - Monday 16th April 2018

Easter Season
Isabella Gilmore, Deaconess, 1923

Psalm 96
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord and bless his name; tell out his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations and his wonders among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is more to be feared than all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are but idols; it is the Lord who made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him; power and splendour are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples; ascribe to the Lord honour and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name; bring offerings and come into his courts.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth tremble before him.
Tell it out among the nations that the Lord is king.
He has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.

Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad; let the sea thunder and all that is in it;
Let the fields be joyful and all that is in them; let all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the Lord.
For he comes, he comes to judge the earth; with righteousness he will judge the world and the peoples with his truth.

Psalm 97
The Lord is king: let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him and burns up his enemies on every side.
His lightnings lit up the world; the earth saw it and trembled.
The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declared his righteousness and all the peoples have seen his glory.
Confounded be all who worship carved images and delight in mere idols.
Bow down before him, all you gods.

Zion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced, because of your judgements, O Lord.
For you, Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
The Lord loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his faithful and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Light has sprung up for the righteous and joy for the true of heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name.

Exodus 19
At the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai. They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.’

So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered as one: ‘Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.’
When Moses had told the words of the people to the Lord, the Lord said to Moses: ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, “Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death. No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows; whether animal or human being, they shall not live.” When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.’ So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes. And he said to the people, ‘Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman.’

On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently. As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder. When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down and warn the people not to break through to the Lord to look; otherwise many of them will perish. Even the priests who approach the Lord must consecrate themselves or the Lord will break out against them.’ Moses said to the Lord, ‘The people are not permitted to come up to Mount Sinai; for you yourself warned us, saying, “Set limits around the mountain and keep it holy.” ’ The Lord said to him, ‘Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you; but do not let either the priests or the people break through to come up to the Lord; otherwise he will break out against them.’ So Moses went down to the people and told them.

Luke 1.1-25
Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense-offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.’ The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.’

Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, ‘This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.’

The Collect
Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; 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.


Saturday, 14 April 2018

As diplomacy fails in Syria

Father God, your voice challenges us:
“How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?"

And you call us to:
"Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."

Help us to look to Jesus, the Christ in all our thoughts and deeds, that those who serve in our armed forces might take up their cross and deny themselves for the sake of Your kingdom and the peace of the world.

May they meet danger with courage and act with discipline and integrity to work for justice and peace and be an influence and force for good in this broken world.

Strengthen and protect all who this day find themselves engaged in combat,

Be with those who wait at home for the safe return of loved ones; guide our nation to always act with Justice, mercy and humility a forethought.

Bind up the fearful and grant us your peace. Amen.


I am reminded of the Kieffer prayer (prayed by the Free French as they approached the D-Day beaches) - a great prayer to add to our daily prayer I reckon:

"Lord, I shall be very busy today.
 I may forget about You, 
 But do not forget me."