Prayers at Mid-day for Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 (Proper 12, Trinity 2)


(Today we remember in the Church of England calendar, Etheldreda, abbess and monastic, d. 678.







O God, make speed to save us.


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.



The Lord is our refuge and our strength:  O come, let us worship.


Hebrew Scriptures

Numbers 16:20-35


20 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: 21Separate yourselves from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment. 22They fell on their faces, and said, ‘O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one person sin and you become angry with the whole congregation?’

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 24Say to the congregation: Get away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. 25So Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram; the elders of Israel followed him. 26He said to the congregation, ‘Turn away from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, or you will be swept away for all their sins.’ 27So they got away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrance of their tents, together with their wives, their children, and their little ones. 28And Moses said, ‘This is how you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works; it has not been of my own accord: 29If these people die a natural death, or if a natural fate comes on them, then the Lord has not sent me. 30But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up, with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.’

31 As soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground under them was split apart. 32The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households—everyone who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33So they with all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol; the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34All Israel around them fled at their outcry, for they said, ‘The earth will swallow us too!’ 35And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men offering the incense.



Psalm 97

1 The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;

   let the many coastlands be glad! 

2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;

   righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 

3 Fire goes before him,

   and consumes his adversaries on every side. 

4 His lightnings light up the world;

   the earth sees and trembles. 

5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

   before the Lord of all the earth. 


6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;

   and all the peoples behold his glory. 

7 All worshippers of images are put to shame,

   those who make their boast in worthless idols;

   all gods bow down before him. 

8 Zion hears and is glad,

   and the towns of Judah rejoice,

   because of your judgements, O God. 

9 For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;

   you are exalted far above all gods. 


10 The Lord loves those who hate evil;

   he guards the lives of his faithful;

   he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. 

11 Light dawns for the righteous,

   and joy for the upright in heart. 

12 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,

   and give thanks to his holy name!



Romans 4:1-12


What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ 4Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. 5But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. 6So also David speaks of the blessedness of those to whom God reckons righteousness irrespective of works: 

7 ‘Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven,

   and whose sins are covered; 

8 blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.’

Is this blessedness, then, pronounced only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? We say, ‘Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.’ 10How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, 12and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised.



Matthew 19:13-22


23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ 26But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.’

27 Then Peter said in reply, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?’ 28Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.



Commentary (Fr. Michael)


Today’s reading from Matthew immediately follows the encounter with the Rich Young Man who cannot bring himself to meet Jesus’ challenge to sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow.   Jesus’ ensuing commentary about the rich entering heaven being harder than a camel passing through a needle astonishes the disciples.  Their response — “Then who can be saved?” — which seems almost despairing, is curious, because they are certainly not rich.   It’s more likely that the disciples saw the young man’s wealth as a reward for his pious religious life.   Perhaps they think, if a fellow so evidently blessed can’t get into heaven, what hope do I have?


In response, Jesus speaks about a coming time, “the renewal of all things” (Mt 19:28).   We aren’t sure exactly what his means, but he suggests that in some time to come, God will completely rework and remake earthly things, in a manner suggested in the Beatitudes where the lowly will be raised up and the hungry fed (Mt 5:1-12).   In this time of renewal, even twelve lowly men, foamier fishermen and tax collectors, will be given thrones (Mt 19:28).


Today’s gospel reading challenges us to see that God’s plan of salvation is bigger and more generous than anything we could imagine.  Humans, who think transactionally, believe that heavenly rewards are based on merit, or commitment, or the extent to which we make sacrifices for God.   The disciples’ question, “who can be saved”, suggests a mentality of scarcity, where only a narrowly defined few will be chosen by God according to some lofty and unobtainable goal.   Quite the opposite is the case.   The God who will renew all things, including systems of wealth, privilege, and spiritual merit as humans can imagine them, has bigger plans than the disciples can possibly imagine.








When you hear Jesus speak of “the renewal of all things”, what do you imagine?  What does God’s renewal of all things look like to you?

What questions come to your mind about these passages?




Lord, I pray that the people of God in all the world may worship in spirit and in truth.

Lord hear my prayer.


Lord, I pray that the Church may discover again that unity which is your will.

Lord hear my prayer.


Lord, I pray that the nations of the earth may seek after the ways that make for peace.

Lord hear my prayer.


Lord, I pray that the whole of creation, groaning in travail, may be set free to enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Lord hear my prayer.


I pray that all who with Christ have entered the shadow of death may rest in peace and rise in glory, and I pray especially this morning for the souls of the thousands that have succumbed to Covid 19.

Lord hear my prayer.


I pray that you will protect medical and essential workers, inspire the efforts of researchers and scientists seeking treatments and a vaccine for Covid 19, and that you will heal the world you graciously gave us.




Collects of the Day (Proper 12, Trinity 2):


O God our defender, storms rage about us and cause us to be afraid.  Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us all from unbelief; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


Merciful God, who gave such grace to your servant Etheldreda that she served you with singleness of heart and loved you above all things: help us to forsake all that holds us back from following Christ and to grow into his likeliness from glory to glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy 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 thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Thanks be to God