Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries.  It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep.  It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:   
God, come to my assistance
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


EXAMINATION OF
 CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.  


Pause for Reflection…

All:  (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:   
Lord, Have mercy.
All: 
Lord, have mercy.  
Reader:   
Christ, Have mercy.  
All: 
Christ, have mercy. 
Reader:   
Lord, Have mercy.
All: 
Lord, have mercy.  


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 51

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.
Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Look with favour on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Acts 20:1-6

Paul in Macedonia and Greece

When the trouble stopped, Paul sent for the followers to come to him. After he encouraged them and then told them good-bye, he left and went to the country of Macedonia. He said many things to strengthen the followers in the different places on his way through Macedonia. Then he went to Greece, where he stayed for three months. He was ready to sail for Syria, but some evil people were planning something against him. So Paul decided to go back through Macedonia to Syria. The men who went with him were Sopater son of Pyrrhus, from the city of Berea; Aristarchus and Secundus, from the city of Thessalonica; Gaius, from Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus, two men from Asia. These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. We sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Five days later we met them in Troas, where we stayed for seven days.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:   
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All: 
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:   
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All: 
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON 
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
    your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
   which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
    and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER 

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever,  Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end.  Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 129

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me.
    Let all Israel repeat this:
From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me,
    but they have never defeated me.
My back is covered with cuts,
    as if a farmer had ploughed long furrows.
But the Lord is good;
    he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.

May all who hate Jerusalem
    be turned back in shameful defeat.
May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop,
    turning yellow when only half grown,
ignored by the harvester,
    despised by the binder.
And may those who pass by
    refuse to give them this blessing:
“The Lord bless you;
    we bless you in the Lord’s name.”

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Deuteronomy 30:11-20

Choose Life or Death

This command I give you today is not too hard for you; it is not beyond what you can do. It is not up in heaven. You do not have to ask, “Who will go up to heaven and get it for us so we can obey it and keep it?” It is not on the other side of the sea. You do not have to ask, “Who will go across the sea and get it? Who will tell it to us so we can keep it?” No, the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

Look, today I offer you life and success, death and destruction. I command you today to love the Lord your God, to do what he wants you to do, and to keep his commands, his rules, and his laws. Then you will live and grow in number, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to take as your own.

But if you turn away from the Lord and do not obey him, if you are led to bow and serve other gods, I tell you today that you will surely be destroyed. And you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to enter and take as your own.

Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live. To choose life is to love the Lord your God, obey him, and stay close to him. He is your life, and he will let you live many years in the land, the land he promised to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus we thank you for the many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach towards the prize.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

 In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
    I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
    Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
    who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
    that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;
    yes, I am counting on him.
    I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
    more than sentries long for the dawn,
    yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
    for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
    His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
    from every kind of sin.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Now we will pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Mighty Lord, you call us at different times to work and to rest. May this weekend bring opportunities for service, for stillness, time for others and occasions for rest.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Prepare us to receive your Word, our voices to proclaim your gospel and our hands to serve our Lord.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For hands quick to obey, for minds clean and holy, for speech kind and truthful and for motives pure and godly.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

 Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you are the friend of sinner’s and elevate the lowly; you lift the weak and heal the broken. Keep me from thoughtlessly following the crowd when my Lord stooped to minister to those on the edges of society. May I find my mission in the margins.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For vigilance to the call of your Spirit, consideration to the needs of others and concern to the cry of the lost.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Bring wholeness to my family today. May they be blessed in the city, blessed in the field, and blessed wherever they go.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Bring salvation to my friends today. May their adversity be your opportunity and their deepest needs be met in the deepest love of Calvary.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we plead for your people, joining the prayers of the Church on earth with the prayers of the Church that is triumphant in glory. Bring everything to a finish and return for a bride that is spotless and pure!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For those who lead in worship and those who minister in prayer and advice. May they know genuine anointing and constant refreshing.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For our Pastors, Leaders, and those in authority. Give them the courage to speak boldly, strength to lead bravely and compassion to love tenderly.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For Followers who sit at a distance – open their hearts to the fullness of Christ. For Disciples who walk in your footsteps – may they be held by the power of God. For Pilgrims who stand before your throne – may they inspire by the testimony of their lives.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

The World

  • Today we pray for Switzerland, nestled in the middle of Europe and known for it’s outstanding natural beauty. Lord we thank you for your creation shown so wonderfully in this nation. May all those that live and visit there see and know your majesty.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Mighty God we lift up this nation to you and thank you for their way of peace in the world. Their neutrality in times of war has helped them to be a peacemaker. May they be blessed in this role as Jesus taught on the sermon on the mount.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • We thank you mighty God for the 66.5% of the population that have Christian faith. We pray that you would empower them to reach the 23.5% who have no religion at all, that they would see and know a personal relationship with our Saviour.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and your mercies never come to an end! We ask you Jesus, in your mercy, to heal those who are sick with the Coronavirus today!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

John 4:27-45

Just then his followers came back from town and were surprised to see him talking with a woman. But none of them asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

Then the woman left her water jar and went back to town. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did. Do you think he might be the Christ?” So the people left the town and went to see Jesus.

Meanwhile, his followers were begging him, “Teacher, eat something.”

But Jesus answered, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

So the followers asked themselves, “Did somebody already bring him food?”

Jesus said, “My food is to do what the One who sent me wants me to do and to finish his work. You have a saying, ‘Four more months till harvest.’ But I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields ready for harvest now. Already, the one who harvests is being paid and is gathering crops for eternal life. So the one who plants and the one who harvests celebrate at the same time. Here the saying is true, ‘One person plants, and another harvests.’ I sent you to harvest a crop that you did not work on. Others did the work, and you get to finish up their work.”

Many of the Samaritans in that town believed in Jesus because of what the woman said: “He told me everything I ever did.” When the Samaritans came to Jesus, they begged him to stay with them, so he stayed there two more days. And many more believed because of the things he said.

They said to the woman, “First we believed in Jesus because of what you said, but now we believe because we heard him ourselves. We know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Jesus Heals an Officer’s Son

Two days later, Jesus left and went to Galilee. (Jesus had said before that a prophet is not respected in his own country.) When Jesus arrived in Galilee, the people there welcomed him. They had seen all the things he did at the Passover Feast in Jerusalem, because they had been there, too.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Generosity.

Aware of those around me who suffer lack, I set aside a portion of my income to meet their need. This I do without fanfare, without need for reward and where possible in secret. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I also choose to commit myself to the principle of tithing; joyfully offering the first-fruits of my income as my contribution towards the ongoing life and outreach of my church family.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Generosity.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit,
Upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
Grant that your people may be fervent,
In the fellowship of your gospel,
That, always abiding in you,
They may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you.  Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes,
The love of God be embodied in your hands,
The wisdom of God be present in your words
And the knowledge of God be implanted in your heart,
That all might see, and seeing, may believe.  Amen.


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Friday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries.  It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep.  It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:   
God, come to my assistance
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


EXAMINATION OF
 CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.  


Pause for Reflection…

All:  (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:   
Lord, Have mercy.
All: 
Lord, have mercy.  
Reader:   
Christ, Have mercy.  
All: 
Christ, have mercy. 
Reader:   
Lord, Have mercy.
All: 
Lord, have mercy.  


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 134

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Oh, praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
you who serve at night in the house of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward the sanctuary,
and praise the Lord.

May the Lord, who made heaven and earth,
bless you from Jerusalem.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Acts 19:21-41

After these things, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, planning to go through the countries of Macedonia and Southern Greece and then on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have been to Jerusalem, I must also visit Rome.” Paul sent Timothy and Erastus, two of his helpers, ahead to Macedonia, but he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

Trouble in Ephesus

And during that time, there was some serious trouble in Ephesus about the Way of Jesus. A man named Demetrius, who worked with silver, made little silver models that looked like the temple of the goddess Artemis. Those who did this work made much money. Demetrius had a meeting with them and some others who did the same kind of work. He told them, “Men, you know that we make a lot of money from our business. But look at what this man Paul is doing. He has convinced and turned away many people in Ephesus and in almost all of Asia! He says the gods made by human hands are not real. There is a danger that our business will lose its good name, but there is also another danger: People will begin to think that the temple of the great goddess Artemis is not important. Her greatness will be destroyed, and Artemis is the goddess that everyone in Asia and the whole world worships.”

When the others heard this, they became very angry and shouted, “Artemis, the goddess of Ephesus, is great!” The whole city became confused. The people grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, who were from Macedonia and were traveling with Paul, and ran to the theatre. Paul wanted to go in and talk to the crowd, but the followers did not let him. Also, some leaders of Asia who were friends of Paul sent him a message, begging him not to go into the theatre. Some people were shouting one thing, and some were shouting another. The meeting was completely confused; most of them did not know why they had come together. They put a man named Alexander in front of the people, and some of them told him what to do. Alexander waved his hand so he could explain things to the people. But when they saw that Alexander was a Jew, they all shouted the same thing for two hours: “Great is Artemis of Ephesus!”

Then the city clerk made the crowd be quiet. He said, “People of Ephesus, everyone knows that Ephesus is the city that keeps the temple of the great goddess Artemis and her holy stone that fell from heaven. Since no one can say this is not true, you should be quiet. Stop and think before you do anything. You brought these men here, but they have not said anything evil against our goddess or stolen anything from her temple. If Demetrius and those who work with him have a charge against anyone they should go to the courts and judges where they can argue with each other. If there is something else you want to talk about, it can be decided at the regular town meeting of the people. I say this because some people might see this trouble today and say that we are rioting. We could not explain this, because there is no real reason for this meeting.” After the city clerk said these things, he told the people to go home.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:   
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All: 
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:   
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All: 
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON 
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
    your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
   which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
    and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER 

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever,  Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end.  Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Friday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 127

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds a house,
    the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
    guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard
    from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
    for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
    are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
    He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Deuteronomy 30:1-10

The Israelites Will Return

When all these blessings and curses I have described happen to you, and the Lord your God has sent you away to other nations, think about these things. Then you and your children will return to the Lord your God, and you will obey him with your whole being in everything I am commanding you today. Then the Lord your God will give you back your freedom. He will feel sorry for you, and he will bring you back again from the nations where he scattered you. He may send you to the ends of the earth, but he will gather you and bring you back from there, back to the land that belonged to your ancestors. It will be yours. He will give you success, and there will be more of you than there were of your ancestors. The Lord your God will prepare you and your descendants to love him with your whole being so that you will live. The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, who hate you and are cruel to you. And you will again obey the Lord, keeping all his commands that I give you today. The Lord your God will make you successful in everything you do. You will have many children, your cattle will have many calves, and your fields will produce good crops, because the Lord will again be happy with you, just as he was with your ancestors. But you must obey the Lord your God by keeping all his commands and rules that are written in this Book of the Teachings. You must return to the Lord your God with your whole being.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Mighty God, as we come to the end of our week,
Grant your blessings over all we love and your increase upon all we do,
We ask this in Jesus name.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Friday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 128

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    all who follow his ways!
You will enjoy the fruit of your labour.
    How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,
    flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees
    as they sit around your table.
That is the Lord’s blessing
    for those who fear him.

May the Lord continually bless you from Zion.
    May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.
    May Israel have peace!

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Now we will pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Mighty Lord forgive us the coldness of our hearts and the rebellion that so often lurks under the surface. Erase the remnant of our old selves and let the power of Jesus Christ reign in our hearts. Renew us in your image, O God, and transform us by your Word.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • May holiness and true faith reside within us. Give us new hearts to replace the old and a new song with which to praise God!
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • May love and compassion replace sin and selfishness and may what we sing and confess be the reality in our daily lives.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to build a Christ-centred family. May our home be full of peace, beauty, colour, simplicity, and love. May the essence of Christ saturate every heart.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • May we bring encouragement, comfort, wisdom, and joy to our friends. May they experience our acceptance, loyalty, and faithfulness every day.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • For those weighed down with crushing burdens, difficult circumstances, and depressing situations. Bring hope and release, O God.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • Reveal to us how we may show genuine concern for those who do not believe, through caring words and loving deeds.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to live worthy of the call you have made on our lives. Send us into the world as pioneers! Command us to the heights as mountaineers! Give us the spirit that refuses the easy road, the soft choice, and the comfortable life when the cry is heard, “Who will go for us?”
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • For hearts passionate for missions, souls forged in the furnace of adversity, hands trained in the fury of battle and bodies toughened for the use of the Master.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • For missionaries, evangelists and those who take your word to the nations of the world. Protect, keep, empower, and inspire!
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…

The World

  • High King of Heaven, we intercede for the peoples of the earth and pray today for the people of Eswatani (formerly Swaziland). A small nation in desperate need of intercession and economic breakthrough. We specifically pray for King Mswati III and his Monarchy as he rules this land, give him Godly wisdom to make right and just decisions and the love of Christ to have compassion on those within his rule.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • Lord have mercy on those held captive by disease and HIV/AIDS. Pour your healing over every person suffering and bring release and hope! We also pray for a generation of orphans who have lost their parents through this devastating illness. May they rise up and lead their country to full authentic faith in Christ Jesus.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • Almighty God we pray for those suffering under economic and political problems and struggling to find employment and a purpose in life. Jehovah Jireh would you provide for every need and open doors for employment, Jehovah Rapha would you heal every sickness, Jehovah Nissi would you wage war against the enemy seeking to kill, steal and destroy.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • We lift up your body of believers in this land, that they will not live in compromise but stand firm against the occult practices and immorality taking platform in this nation. Equip them with the truth of your word and love.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • God, you promised to your people in the wilderness that you would be their healer (Exo. 15:26) if they would listen to you and follow your commandments! Forgive us as we have gone our own way, help us follow your voice as you bring healing in our lives.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…


THE LORD’S
 PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

John 4:1-26

Jesus and a Samaritan Woman

The Pharisees heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more followers than John, although Jesus himself did not baptize people, but his followers did. Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard about him, so he left Judea and went back to Galilee. But on the way he had to go through the country of Samaria.

In Samaria Jesus came to the town called Sychar, which is near the field Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus was tired from his long trip, so he sat down beside the well. It was about twelve o’clock noon. When a Samaritan woman came to the well to get some water, Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” (This happened while Jesus’ followers were in town buying some food.)

The woman said, “I am surprised that you ask me for a drink, since you are a Jewish man and I am a Samaritan woman.” (Jewish people are not friends with Samaritans.)

Jesus said, “If you only knew the free gift of God and who it is that is asking you for water, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

The woman said, “Sir, where will you get this living water? The well is very deep, and you have nothing to get water with. Are you greater than Jacob, our father, who gave us this well and drank from it himself along with his sons and flocks?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so I will never be thirsty again and will not have to come back here to get more water.”

Jesus told her, “Go get your husband and come back here.”

The woman answered, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You are right to say you have no husband. Really you have had five husbands, and the man you live with now is not your husband. You told the truth.”

The woman said, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that Jerusalem is the place where people must worship.”

Jesus said, “Believe me, woman. The time is coming when neither in Jerusalem nor on this mountain will you actually worship the Father. You Samaritans worship something you don’t understand. We understand what we worship, because salvation comes from the Jews. The time is coming when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, and that time is here already. You see, the Father too is actively seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The woman said, “I know that the Messiah is coming.” (Messiah is the One called Christ.) “When the Messiah comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus said, “I am he—I, the one talking to you.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Simple Living.

Mindful of the deeply damaging nature of modern materialistic culture, I choose to live a simple life that reflects the teachings of Jesus. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I shall live within my means, shun any sort of debt and free myself from the compulsion to posses what I cannot afford or do not need.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Simple Living.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Father God, who spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
And has in these days spoken to us by your Son,
Fill us with your Spirit,
That we may speak your Word,
Perform your will,
And fulfill the greater works that you promised,
Through Jesus Christ.  Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the embrace of the Father,
Be the comfort you desire.
The name of the Son,
Be the one on whom you rely.
The presence of the Spirit,
Be with you every hour.
The Three in One,
Be the focus of all your life.  Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries.  It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep.  It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:   
God, come to my assistance
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


EXAMINATION OF
 CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.  


Pause for Reflection…

All:  (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:   
Lord, Have mercy.
All: 
Lord, have mercy.  
Reader:   
Christ, Have mercy.  
All: 
Christ, have mercy. 
Reader:   
Lord, Have mercy.
All: 
Lord, have mercy.  


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armour and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honour them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Acts 19:11-20

The Sons of Sceva

God used Paul to do some very special miracles. Some people took handkerchiefs and clothes that Paul had used and put them on the sick. When they did this, the sick were healed and evil spirits left them.

But some people also were traveling around and making evil spirits go out of people. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to force the evil spirits out. They would say, “By the same Jesus that Paul talks about, I order you to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this.

But one time an evil spirit said to them, “I know Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them. Because he was so much stronger than all of them, they ran away from the house naked and hurt. All the people in Ephesus—Jews and Greeks—learned about this and were filled with fear and gave great honour to the Lord Jesus. Many of the believers began to confess openly and tell all the evil things they had done. Some of them who had used magic brought their magic books and burned them before everyone. Those books were worth about fifty thousand silver coins.

So in a powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:   
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All: 
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:   
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All: 
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON 
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
    your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
   which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
    and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER 

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever,  Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end.  Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 125

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion;
    they will not be defeated but will endure forever.
Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem,
    so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever.
The wicked will not rule the land of the godly,
    for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong.
Lord, do good to those who are good,
    whose hearts are in tune with you.
But banish those who turn to crooked ways, O Lord.
    Take them away with those who do evil.

May Israel have peace!

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP 
(Optional)

All:  
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Deuteronomy 29:16-29

You know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries when we came here. You saw their hateful idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold. Make sure no man, woman, family group, or tribe among you leaves the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. They would be to you like a plant that grows bitter, poisonous fruit.

These are the kind of people who hear these curses but bless themselves, thinking, “We will be safe even though we continue doing what we want to do.” Those people may destroy all of your land, both wet and dry. The Lord will not forgive them. His anger will be like a burning fire against those people, and all the curses written in this book will come on them. The Lord will destroy any memory of them on the earth. He will separate them from all the tribes of Israel for punishment. All the curses of the Agreement that are written in this Book of the Teachings will happen to them.

Your children who will come after you, as well as foreigners from faraway lands, will see the disasters that come to this land and the diseases the Lord will send on it. They will say, “The land is nothing but burning cinders and salt. Nothing is planted, nothing grows, and nothing blooms. It is like Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed because he was very angry.” All the other nations will ask, “Why has the Lord done this to the land? Why is he so angry?”

And the answer will be, “It is because the people broke the Agreement of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. They went and served other gods and bowed down to gods they did not even know. The Lord did not allow that, so he became very angry at the land and brought all the curses on it that are written in this book. Since the Lord became angry and furious with them, he took them out of their land and put them in another land where they are today.”

There are some things the Lord our God has kept secret, but there are some things he has let us know. These things belong to us and our children forever so that we will do everything in these teachings.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 126

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
    it was like a dream!
We were filled with laughter,
    and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
    “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
    What joy!

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    as streams renew the desert.
Those who plant in tears
    will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
    but they sing as they return with the harvest.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Now we will pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • King of all, fill us today with knowledge of your will with spiritual wisdom and understanding. We want to live a life worthy of you, and to please you in every way. We pray that today we may produce results in every good work, that our heart may be strengthened with all power and courage to do your will.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Jireh for understanding in dealing with our finances, provision for every need and an abundance for every good work.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Rophé for insight in dealing with our flesh, healing for every sickness and strength for every endeavour.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Shalom for wisdom in dealing with the stress of life, calm in every storm and peace in every step.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, we pray for those we know who do not know you. Give us opportunities to witness to them, grace to speak into their lives and words to bring them into your light.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those we have hurt with thoughtless comments, those we have injured through false words and those we have wounded through selfish actions.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those whose families are fracturing, whose homes are breaking and whose children are suffering. Restore and renew the Covenant, O God!
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church that she will be enriched with spiritual wisdom and discovery in knowing Christ; that her heart will be enlightened, that she will know the hope that is ours, the treasure of your heritage in the saints and your matchless power towards believers.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your people be established and grounded in love; fully able to understand the width, length, height and depth of the love of Christ, which exceeds all knowledge.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your people be filled with the complete measure of the fullness of God. Dwell in your people and take ownership of every part!
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

 

The World

  • God of the Nations we stand in the gap and pray for the world.  Today we pray for Suriname. This small South American nation has become a home to many different ethnicities and cultures all seeking to find unity. Father we pray that you would make them one, and give stability to the government. May this land be one of strong faith, love and a place of acceptance to the stranger.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray for those who live below the poverty line and are separated from the rest of society due to lack of income or their ethnic background.  May they come to know our mighty Saviour who places value on the lowly and raises up the downtrodden. We pray you would provide for their daily needs and cause them to be blessed to be a blessing.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • Set your Church ablaze with the fire of your Holy Spirit that she may be a bride spotless and pure ready for your return. Burn up nominal Christianity and Spiritualism with your refiners fire we pray.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to the God of the harvest for the Javanese peoples who are yet to be reached with the gospel, would you send your labourers to bring the message of your death and resurrection, pointing them to the cross where your love was poured out for many.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • Father, we pray for wisdom for decision makers at this time – leaders, doctors, scientists and politicians. Holy Spirit bring wisdom.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

 


THE LORD’S
 PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

John 3:22-36

Jesus and John the Baptist

After this, Jesus and his followers went into the area of Judea, where he stayed with his followers and baptized people. John was also baptizing in Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were going there to be baptized. (This was before John was put into prison.)

Some of John’s followers had an argument with a Jew about religious washing. So they came to John and said, “Teacher, remember the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you spoke about so much? He is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

John answered, “A man can get only what God gives him. You yourselves heard me say, ‘I am not the Christ, but I am the one sent to prepare the way for him.’ The bride belongs only to the bridegroom. But the friend who helps the bridegroom stands by and listens to him. He is thrilled that he gets to hear the bridegroom’s voice. In the same way, I am really happy. He must become greater, and I must become less important.

The One Who Comes from Heaven

“The One who comes from above is greater than all. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and talks about things on the earth. But the One who comes from heaven is greater than all. He tells what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts what he says. Whoever accepts what he says has proven that God is true. The One whom God sent speaks the words of God, because God gives him the Spirit fully. The Father loves the Son and has given him power over everything. Those who believe in the Son have eternal life, but those who do not obey the Son will never have life. God’s anger stays on them.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Humility: The Principle of Loving Speech.

Conscious that an unguarded tongue may set a whole forest on fire, I determine to avoid boastful language and idle gossip, remaining silent unless by speaking I may increase the wellbeing and happiness of others. As a follower of the Way of Humility, I will seek to discipline my mouth so that only that which is kind, true and necessary will proceed from it.

All:
This is The Way of Humility: The Principle of Loving Speech.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven,
And became poor for our sake.
When we prosper save us from pride,
When we are needy save us from despair,
That we may trust in you alone,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the love of the Father,
The tenderness of the Son,
And the presence of the Spirit,
Gladden your heart,
And bring peace to your soul,
This day and all days.  Amen.


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Week 24 of Ordinary Time

Wednesday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries.  It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep.  It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:   
God, come to my assistance
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


EXAMINATION OF
 CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.  


Pause for Reflection…

All:  (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:   
Lord, Have mercy.
All: 
Lord, have mercy.  
Reader:   
Christ, Have mercy.  
All: 
Christ, have mercy. 
Reader:   
Lord, Have mercy.
All: 
Lord, have mercy.  


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 31:1-5

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honour of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Acts 19:1-10

Paul in Ephesus

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul was visiting some places on the way to Ephesus. There he found some followers and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They said, “We have never even heard of a Holy Spirit.”

So he asked, “What kind of baptism did you have?”

They said, “It was the baptism that John taught.”

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of changed hearts and lives. He told people to believe in the one who would come after him, and that one is Jesus.”

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Paul laid his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them. They began speaking different languages and prophesying. There were about twelve people in this group.

Paul went into the synagogue and spoke out boldly for three months. He talked with the people and persuaded them to accept the things he said about the kingdom of God. But some of them became stubborn. They refused to believe and said evil things about the Way of Jesus before all the people. So Paul left them, and taking the followers with him, he went to the school of a man named Tyrannus. There Paul talked with people every day for two years. Because of his work, every Jew and Greek in Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Reader:      

The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:   
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All: 
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:   
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All: 
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON 
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
    your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
   which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
    and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER 

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever,  Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end.  Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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