Prayers at Mid-day for Thursday, 23 July, 2020 (Proper 16, Trinity 6)


Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess (d 1373)



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

Joshua 9.3-21 (The Ploy of Gibeon)



Psalm 50


1 The mighty one, God the Lord,

   speaks and summons the earth

   from the rising of the sun to its setting. 

2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,

   God shines forth. 


3 Our God comes and does not keep silence,

   before him is a devouring fire,

   and a mighty tempest all around him. 

4 He calls to the heavens above

   and to the earth, that he may judge his people: 

5 ‘Gather to me my faithful ones,

   who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!’ 

6 The heavens declare his righteousness,

   for God himself is judge.



7 ‘Hear, O my people, and I will speak,

   O Israel, I will testify against you.

   I am God, your God. 

8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;

   your burnt-offerings are continually before me. 

9 I will not accept a bull from your house,

   or goats from your folds. 

10 For every wild animal of the forest is mine,

   the cattle on a thousand hills. 

11 I know all the birds of the air,

   and all that moves in the field is mine. 


12 ‘If I were hungry, I would not tell you,

   for the world and all that is in it is mine. 

13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls,

   or drink the blood of goats? 

14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

   and pay your vows to the Most High. 

15 Call on me in the day of trouble;

   I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.’ 


16 But to the wicked God says:

   ‘What right have you to recite my statutes,

   or take my covenant on your lips? 

17 For you hate discipline,

   and you cast my words behind you. 

18 You make friends with a thief when you see one,

   and you keep company with adulterers. 


19 ‘You give your mouth free rein for evil,

   and your tongue frames deceit. 

20 You sit and speak against your kin;

   you slander your own mother’s child. 

21 These things you have done and I have been silent;

   you thought that I was one just like yourself.

But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you. 


22 ‘Mark this, then, you who forget God,

   or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver. 

23 Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honour me;

   to those who go the right way

   I will show the salvation of God.’





Romans 15.1-13



We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us must please our neighbour for the good purpose of building up the neighbour. 3For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’ 4For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

‘Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,

   and sing praises to your name’; 

10and again he says,

‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people’; 

11and again,

‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,

   and let all the peoples praise him’; 

12and again Isaiah says,

‘The root of Jesse shall come,

   the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;

in him the Gentiles shall hope.’ 

13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 




Matthew 26.69-75


69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’ 70But he denied it before all of them, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ 71When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ 72Again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’ 73After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.’ 74Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know the man!’ At that moment the cock crowed. 75Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: ‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.



Commentary (Father Michael)


As he concludes his long and intricate letter to the Romans, Paul begins to conclude his great theme about how God has reimagined race, gender, and class in one new people, the body of Christ.    Here he reminds Jewish followers of Jesus that the gentiles, non-Jews, are taking their places in this new people, just as the Hebrew prophets such as Isaiah foretold.   The coming together of this new people out of such disparate elements will require much more than mere forbearance.  It will require active and generous love.


Recently I received an email from Fresh Expressions, an evangelical group working on renewing the mainline churches in Canada.  One of the leaders profiled in the email mentioned that Romans 15.7 was her favourite verse: “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”  It’s a brilliant choice, I think.


We talk a lot about being welcoming churches, as we should.   The language of welcoming always needs to be theologically underpinned by verses such as Romans 15.7, in the sense that God’s gracious welcoming of us into the Body of Christ obligates us to be as gracious as we can possibly be to others in imitation of Christ, even if that is a poor, human, imitation.  The church, then, is God’s new creation, where we along with other believers are welcomed and brought in by the Holy Spirit, and in that gracious community we show something of the glory of God.



Can you remember a time when you felt God welcoming you into the church as the body of believers?  Who needs to be welcomed into your church?  What other questions come to mind in today’s passages?




Let us pray in faith to God our Father, to his Son Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, saying, “Lord, hear and have mercy.”


For the Church of the living God throughout the world, let us ask the riches of his grace.  Today we pray in the Anglican Communion Cycle of Prayer for the clergy and people of the Diocese of Northwest Texas (The Episcopal Church) and their bishop, The Rt Revd Scott Mayer, the clergy and people of the Diocese Benin (Nigeria) and their bishop, The Rt Revd Peter Imasuen , and the clergy and people of the Diocese of Bermuda (Bermuda) and their bishop, the The Rt Revd Nicholas Dill 


Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all who proclaim he word of truth, especially all who struggle to communicate the gospel within the isolation and restrictions of the pandemic, 

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all who have consecrated their lives to the kingdom of God, and for all struggling to follow the way of Christ, let us all the gifts of the Spirit.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For Elizabeth our Queen, for Justin our Prime Minister, and for all who govern the nations, that they may strive for justice and peace, let us ask the strength of God.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For scholars and research workers, particularly for those working on treatments and a vaccine for Covid 19, and for all whose work seeks to benefit humanity, let us ask the light of the Lord.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


We pray to be forgiven our sins and set free from all hardship, distress, want, war, and injustice.

Lord, hear and have mercy.


For all who have passed from this life in faith and obedience,  and for all who have perished from Covid 19 and from diseases that went untreated because hospitals were overwhelmed, let us ask the peace of Christ.

Lord, hear and have mercy.



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.





Almighty God, your Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence.  Give us pure hearts and constant wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.   Amen.