O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
God of glory,
the end of our searching,
help us to lay aside
all that prevents us from seeking your kingdom,
and to give all that we have
to gain the pearl beyond all price,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Psalm 33.12-15, 20-22
Happy the nation whose God is the Lord
and the people he has chosen for his own.
The Lord looks down from heaven
and beholds all the children of earth.
From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze
on all who dwell on the earth.
He fashions all the hearts of them
and understands all their works.
Our soul waits longingly for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
Indeed, our heart rejoices in him;
in his holy name have we put our trust.
Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us,
as we have set our hope on you.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.
Jesus told his disciples this parable: ‘A man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
‘After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, “Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
‘And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
‘Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.”
‘But his master replied, “You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”’
This is the word of the Lord.
Let us pray that the gifts of God may be rightly used.
Bless the Church with generosity and care for all. Give grace to your people so to use all that has been entrusted to them that they may bring new hope to many and show forth the glory of God.
Bring to a world where dealing is often hard and competitive the spirit of compassion, so that those who gain much may share more generously. Give wisdom to the rich to know that all wealth is the gift of God.
Help us to value more gratefully the gifts we have been given, to develop and to use them for the good of others. Guide with wisdom those who are responsible for the finances of this community.
Have mercy on the poor who have nothing they can develop to ease their burden, and guide them to ways where they may find relief. Raise up from despair those who know they have not fulfilled what they might have done, and open to them again the way they have lost.
We give thanks for those who have completed their task in this world and have entered into the joy of their Master. May they rest in the peace promised to his faithful servants.
We pray as the servants of Christ from whom all good things come.
God of glory,
touch our lips with the fire of your Spirit,
that we with all creation
may rejoice to sing your praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
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.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.