O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
your wounds declare your love for the world
and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father
All your works praise you, O Lord,
and your faithful servants bless you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your mighty power,
To make known to all peoples your mighty acts
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;
your dominion endures throughout all ages.
The Lord is sure in all his words
and faithful in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all those who are bowed down.
The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open wide your hand
and fill all things living with plenty.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and loving in all his works.
The Lord is near to those who call upon him,
to all who call upon him faithfully.
He fulfils the desire of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over those who love him,
but all the wicked shall he destroy.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
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 said to his disciples, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.’
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Today we are encouraged to give joyous and sincere thanks because Jesus does not give to us as the world gives. We are also encouraged to pause and consider why we value some people and possessions so highly.
From an early age we are taught to assess and prioritise. We develop an urgent and pressing need for money and material possessions. We rank our friends by assigning the title ‘best friend’ to some but not others. We even view parents and siblings in some sort of order of preference.
The way in which we consider (and ‘rank’) other people and the things we own, or aspire to own, largely depends on the fickle whim of the moment, or on the future advantage we think we may gain. Life in our modern world drives us down a path of materialism that fosters both avarice and separation from God, a path which leaves our hearts feeling both troubled and fearful.
Jesus says: I do not give to you as the world gives. We should find great comfort and consolation in these words. Jesus does not ‘rank’ us in any specific order. Instead Jesus simply loves us, as we considered yesterday, with an open and unconditional love. Jesus might not facilitate our wildly extravagant dreams but he does give us something that cannot be given by anyone else … Jesus gives us himself, totally and utterly. It is when we come to accept the generosity of that gift that we will come to know the true and profound peace that Jesus left with us following the triumph of his resurrection.
Let us pray that we might set aside our worldly greed for influence and possessions. Let us pray that we might learn to trust the gifts and the promises of Jesus who gave everything for our peace and joy in the presence of our loving God.
Let us give thanks that we are able to choose a better path through this life. Then, let us take our first steps along that path in order that we might arrive at the destination Jesus has prepared for us.
Prayers of intercession
For the peace which comes from above, let us pray to the Lord.
Keep the Church in peace, and draw all believers together into one unbroken love. Guided by the Holy Spirit, may her ministers proclaim the gospel by word and example.
Grant peace to the world, peace among nations and races, peace in the hearts of all people. Bless those who hold authority, and incline their wills to seek peace and to maintain it.
We pray that the Lord may be with us and make his home in our homes. Keep us in love and respect for all those who are near to us in family, work or friendship. Give to all in this community the blessing of peace and harmony.
Have mercy on all who suffer where peace is broken, on the victims of war and violence. Have mercy on those who experience domestic violence, and grant that love shall prevail and drive away anger.
We remember those who have passed through death from the troubles of this world. Receive them into the peace of eternal life, where their Lord has gone before.
May our prayers be heard through Christ who gives us his peace.
Prayer for the week
O Lord, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end:
you who were with us at our birth,
be with us through our life;
you who are with us through our life,
be with us at our death;
and because your mercy will not leave us then,
grant that we die not,
but rise to the life everlasting.
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.
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.
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