May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope.
Glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as in the beginning, so now, and for ever. Amen.
A poem: The Hymn to the Word
In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God,
And the Word was God:
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him:
and without him, was not anything made that was made.
In him was life:
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness:
and the darkness has not overcome it.
He was in the world:
and the world was made through him
yet the world knew him not.
He came to his own home:
and his own people received him not.
But to all who received him who believed on his name:
he has given power to become children of God;
Who were born not of blood
nor of the will of the flesh:
nor of the will of a man but of God.
And the Word became flesh:
and dwelt among us full of grace and truth;
We have beheld his glory:
glory as of the only Son from the Father.
And from his fullness have we all received:
and grace upon grace.
John 1.1-5, 10-14, 16
The opening prayer
By night and by day we worship the Lord; let us pray with one heart and mind.
We remember God’s presence and pause in silence.
Father of lights, receive the prayer and praise we offer you as our daily sacrifice; make us a light for all the world, delivered by your goodness from all the works of darkness; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
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.
1 Corinthians 1.17-25
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.
This week’s prayer:
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
until they find their rest in you:
teach us to offer ourselves to your service,
that here we may have your peace,
and in the world to come may see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We thank God for what we have and pray for what we need.
Today we pray for ourselves, that God would give us compassionate hearts for those who suffer poverty. In our local church, we ask God to grow in love and honour for older people, valuing their contribution to the life of our church. In our world, we pray for health professionals and those who act as carers to family and friends. We remember before God those who have asked for our prayers, or who are in need of them.
A prayer for the day
Holy Spirit, sanctifier, cleanse us from all hypocrisy, unite us to one another in the bonds of peace and love, and confirm us in holiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord be with us
now and forever.
Let us praise the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
May the Lord bless us and keep us; the Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious to us; the Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace. Amen.