Please accept this “general thanksgiving” from our Prayer Book. Individuals and communities should consider using it every day, not just once a year. I recommend it to you for your daily use — in all situations and circumstances.
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking. Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness, we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Third Sunday after Pentecost
Below are the lessons for this weekend. Please also pray for the collect.
Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Exaudiat te Dominus
1 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, *the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;
2 Send you help from his holy place *and strengthen you out of Zion;
3 Remember all your offerings *and accept your burnt sacrifice;
4 Grant you your heart’s desire *and prosper all your plans.
5 We will shout for joy at your victory and triumph in the Name of our God; *may the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now I know that the Lord gives victory to his anointed; *he will answer him out of his holy heaven, with the victorious strength of his right hand.
7 Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, *but we will call upon the Name of the Lord our God.
8 They collapse and fall down, *but we will arise and stand upright.
9 O Lord, give victory to the king *and answer us when we call.
2 Corinthians 5:6-10,[11-13],14-17
We are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
[Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.] For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.