Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to
pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the
abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is
afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask,
except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
FIRST READING: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the
house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that
is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water
under the earth.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for
the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour
and do all your work.
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land
that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your
neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that
belongs to your neighbor.
When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the
trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and
stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen;
but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do
not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him
upon you so that you do not sin.”
Reader: The Word of the Lord People: Thanks be to God
1 The heavens declare the glory of God, *
and the firmament shows his handiwork.
2 One day tells its tale to another, *
and one night imparts knowledge to another.
3 Although they have no words or language, *
and their voices are not heard,
4 Their sound has gone out into all lands, *
and their message to the ends of the world.
5 In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun; *
it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;
it rejoices like a champion to run its course.
6 It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens
and runs about to the end of it again; *
nothing is hidden from its burning heat.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect
and revives the soul; *
the testimony of the LORD is sure
and gives wisdom to the innocent.
8 The statutes of the LORD are just
and rejoice the heart; *
the commandment of the LORD is clear
and gives light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean
and endures forever; *
the judgments of the LORD are true
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
more than much fine gold, *
sweeter far than honey,
than honey in the comb.
11 By them also is your servant enlightened, *
and in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can tell how often he offends? *
cleanse me from my secret faults.
13 Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;
let them not get dominion over me; *
then shall I be whole and sound,
and innocent of a great offense.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my
heart be acceptable in your sight, *
O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.
SECOND READING: Philippians 3:4b-14
If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more:
circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the
tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;
as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,
Yet whatever gains I had; these I have come to regard as loss because of
Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the
surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have
suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that
I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of
my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in
Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know
Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his
sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow, I may attain
the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal;
but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his
own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this
one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what
lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call
of God in Christ Jesus.
Reader: The Word of the Lord People: Thanks be to God
GOSPEL HYMN: Spirit of God
Spirit of God, un-seen as the wind, gentle as is the dove:
teach us the truth and help us believe, show us the Saviour’s love!
- You spoke to us long, long a-go, gave us the written word;
we read it still, needing its truth, through it God’s voice is heard
- With-out your help we fail our Lord, we can-not live his way;
we need your power, we need your strength, following Christ each
GOSPEL: Matthew 21:33-46
Jesus said, “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a
vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a
watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When
the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his
produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and
stoned another. Again, he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they
treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They
will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to
themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’
So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now
when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease
the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest
time. “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this
was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?
Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one
who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone
on whom it falls. “When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his
parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They
wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because
they regarded him as a prophet.
Reader: The Gospel of the Lord. People: Praise to you, Lord Christ