Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 31 March (Passiontide)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 31 March (Passiontide), including a reflection on John 10.31-42


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Let your ways be known on earth,
your saving power among the nations.

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief
your only Son was lifted up
that he might draw the whole world to himself.
May we walk this day in the way of the cross
and always be ready to share its weight,
declaring your love for all the world.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

John 10.31-42

The Jews took up stones again to stone Jesus. He replied, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.’ Jesus answered, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods”? If those to whom the word of God came were called “gods” – and the scripture cannot be annulled – can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, “I am God’s Son”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands. 

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, ‘John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.’ And many believed in him there. 


The Jews took up stones again to stone Jesus.

How often do you find yourself getting angry when you hear an item on a news broadcast, or when you hear some snippet of local gossip? Is your anger generated by a sense of having been let down, or simply because you do not agree with what has been said? Do you express your anger in words and actions, or do you bottle it up and stomp around in a bad temper for a while?

In today’s reading we encounter the Jews, once again, taking up stones to throw at Jesus. They did not wish to harm him because of the wonderful things he was doing, but because they saw his words and actions as being blasphemous. That is, they viewed Jesus’ words and actions as being irreverent and impious, rather than a model of how God and humanity should interact.

As the reading progresses we hear Jesus putting forward a reasoned argument against the attitude of the Jews, an argument that reveals the human-centric attitude of those who would attack Jesus. Just as we feel the anger rising in us when the news or the gossip flies in the face of our self-reliant certainty, so the Jews felt justified in seeking to expunge Jesus from their midst because his mission led him to stand out from the crowd, to turn his back on the norms of the religious community and to stand firm in his conviction that a relationship with his heavenly Father was not, and is not, dependent on ‘toeing the party’ line. Of course, we do have to be careful at this point. The Jews were convinced that they were right and that Jesus was in the wrong. We also live in a world that is founded upon such self-assurance. Too often our anger at the words and actions of others is not founded upon the teachings of Christ, but upon our absolute certainty that we are right.

The challenge in today’s reading revolves, once again, around our response to the call to live in humility. The humility that will bring us into a closer relationship with God will never see us raising our arms to throw stones at others. The life we are called to live is one of prayerful love for our fellow human beings. The humility that should underpin our daily lives should be rooted in our acceptance that God knows best!

Let us pray that we might be given the strength to love as Christ loves us. Let us pray that we might not be eaten up with righteous indignation, but rather that we might be driven with a spirit of acceptance and forgiveness. Let us pray that we might be given the wisdom to know when we are in the wrong, and that God really does know better than us.


With faith and love and in union with Christ,
let us offer our prayer before the throne of grace.

Have mercy on your people,
for whom your Son laid down his life:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations,
and have pity on those torn apart by division:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Strengthen all who are persecuted for your name’s sake,
and deliver them from evil:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Look in mercy upon all who suffer,
and hear those who cry out in pain and desolation:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Bring comfort to the dying,
and gladden their hearts with the vision of your glory:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Give rest to the departed
and bring them, with your saints, to glory everlasting:
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Let us commend the world, for which Christ died,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Gracious Father,
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Standing at the foot of the cross,
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.

Christ crucified draw us to himself,
to find in him a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.