Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favour, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture Readings

Deuteronomy 30:15–20

See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Psalm 37:1–17

Exhortation to Patience and Trust

Of David.

Do not fret because of the wicked;
 do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass,
 and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
 so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
 and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
 trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light,
 and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
 do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
 over those who carry out evil devices.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
 Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off,
 but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
 though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land,
 and delight in abundant prosperity.

The wicked plot against the righteous,
 and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
 for he sees that their day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
 to bring down the poor and needy,
 to kill those who walk uprightly;
their sword shall enter their own heart,
 and their bows shall be broken.

Better is a little that the righteous person has
 than the abundance of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the Lordupholds the righteous.

Philippians 3:12–21

Pressing towards the Goal

Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.

Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

St. John 17:1–8

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.


“We are to be people willing to exchange anything and everything we have for the pearl of great price—the Kingdom of God.”
— excerpt from Road to Reality
—Metropolitan Yohan

Fasting

Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked regular pearl barley
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 ½ cups ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots, halved crosswise
  • 1 cup sliced celery (2 medium stalks)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper (½ medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large dark-orange sweet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn (from 1-lb bag)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen cut green beans (from 1-lb bag)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans (14 oz. each) vegetable broth
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

Directions

  1. In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, layer all ingredients except tomatoes; do not stir.
  2. Cover; cook on Low setting 6 to 8 hours.
  3. About 10 minutes before serving, stir tomatoes into soup. Cover; cook on Low setting 10 minutes longer or until tomatoes are thoroughly heated. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Giving

Walking from place to place, national workers lose countless hours in travel that could be spent bringing God’s love to people in remote villages.

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Source for Collects: The Collects are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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