Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near.
Glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as in the beginning, so now, and for ever. Amen.
A poem: A Song of Redemption
Christ is the image of the invisible God:
the first-born of all creation.
For in him all things were created:
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.
All things were created through him and for him:
he is before all things
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the Church:
he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead.
For it pleased God that in him
all fullness should dwell:
and through him all things be reconciled to himself.
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.
Genesis 23.1-4, 19, 24.1-8, 62-end
Sarah lived for one hundred and twenty-seven years; this was the length of Sarah’s life. And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. Abraham rose up from beside his dead, and said to the Hittites, ‘I am a stranger and an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying-place, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight.’
After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but will go to my country and to my kindred and get a wife for my son Isaac.’ The servant said to him, ‘Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?’ Abraham said to him, ‘See to it that you do not take my son back there. The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, “To your offspring I will give this land”, he will send his angel before you; you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.’
Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?’ The servant said, ‘It is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Alleluia. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious,
for his faithfulness endures for ever.
Who can express the mighty acts of the Lord
or show forth all his praise?
Blessed are those who observe what is right
and always do what is just.
Remember me, O Lord, in the favour you bear for your people;
visit me in the day of your salvation;
That I may see the prosperity of your chosen and rejoice in the gladness of your people,
and exult with your inheritance.
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’
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:
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to suffer death upon a cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
delivered us from the power of the enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin
that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his resurrection;
through the same 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 our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for their faith around the world. We remember before God those who have asked for our prayers, or who are in need of them.
A prayer for the day
Creator God, whose praise and power are proclaimed by the whole creation: receive our prayers, we pray, and renew us in your service; 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 God of peace equip us with everything good so that we may do his will; and may he work in us that which is pleasing in his sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
see Hebrews 13.20-21