O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
guide and sustain us,
that we may find our journey’s end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Give the king your judgements, O God,
and your righteousness to the son of a king.
Then shall he judge your people righteously
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains bring forth peace,
and the little hills righteousness for the people.
May he defend the poor among the people,
deliver the children of the needy and crush the oppressor.
May he live as long as the sun and moon endure,
from one generation to another.
May he come down like rain upon the mown grass,
like the showers that water the earth.
In his time shall righteousness flourish,
and abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.
May his dominion extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
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.
As Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.’ But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’ When they had found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.
Last year’s reflection on this reading is available here: https://corbyglenchurches.uk/reflection-for-5-january-2021/
Prayers of intercession
Let us pray to God, the bountiful Giver, for the needs of the Church and of all people.
We give thanks for the grace that always exceeds what we can hope or ask. As we are fed by word and sacrament, make us strong in your service.
Feed the spiritual hunger of the world where many are lost in desert places, far from their true home. Come to those who know you only partially and bring them into the perfect light.
Show us the way to relieve the needs that lie close to us. Take our small offerings and make them great in your service.
May the compassion of Christ still prevail to heal the sick and feed the hungry, through the divine love that never fails.
Grant refreshment, light and peace to those who no longer need the bread of this world. Receive them into their eternal home.
Strengthened by our spiritual food, we pray with confidence in the generous love of Christ.
Prayer for the week
who by the light of a star
led wise men to Jesus:
by the light of your Word
lead us and all nations to him,
the Saviour of the world;
that together we may bring him our best gifts,
and pay homage to him as our King.
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.
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in his justice
which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than up in heaven;
there is no place where earth’s failings
have such kindly judgement given.
If our love were but more simple,
we should take him at his word;
and our lives would be all gladness
in the joy of Christ our Lord.
Frederick William Faber (1814–1863)