Sunday Prayers & Readings

Epiphany 3

The Collect

God of all mercy,
your Son proclaimed good news to the poor,
release to the captives,
and freedom to the oppressed:
anoint us with your Holy Spirit
and set all your people free
to praise you in Christ our Lord.

The Old Testament

Genesis 14:17-20

17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. 19He blessed him and said,
‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
   maker of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
   who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’
And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything.

The Response

Psalm 62:6-14

Nonne Deo?

6 For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
truly, my hope is in him.

7 He alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.

8 In God is my safety and my honor; *
God is my strong rock and my refuge.

9 Put your trust in him always, O people, *
pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.

10 Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath, *
even those of low estate cannot be trusted.

11 On the scales they are lighter than a breath, *
all of them together.

12 Put no trust in extortion;
in robbery take no empty pride; *
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.

13 God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, *
that power belongs to God.

14 Steadfast love is yours, O Lord, *
for you repay everyone according to his deeds.

The Epistle

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

The Gospel

Mark 1:14-20

After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

The Intercession

God who calls us anew each day,
we pray that, as a church,
you will give us ears to hear
and hearts to respond in love and trust.
Give us grace to work together
in response to your love.
Forgive our divisions
and help us to follow only you,
our God and Saviour.

God of creation
the world you created
speaks to us in distress.
Forgive our persistent inability to listen.
Give us grace to repent
of our destructive habits
and the will to live differently
for the good of all.

Your son, Jesus brought healing and love
wherever he travelled.
During this time of pandemic,
we pray for staff at Blackburn hospital:
doctors, nurses, chaplains, cleaners, porters, administrators.
We thank you for the work they do
at great personal cost.
We pray that there will soon be time
for respite and rest,
healing and comfort.

We pray for those who are sick
and those who are dying.
Into this place of distress
breathe your healing, we pray.
In these dark days
speak your words of comfort and hope
and give us grace to hear.

Heavenly Father,
you call us always anew.
Help us never to be deaf to your voice.
Give each the courage to know the task
to which you appoint us
Make us willing workers
in your kingdom.
Give us glad hearts
and willing hands.


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