30th Ordinary Sunday: Ex 22:20-26; Ps 18:1-4, 46-49; 1 Thes 1:5-10; Mt 22:34-40 ~ love God, love people

+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening prayer:

Your love, O God, is boundless.

We who were strangers have been made Your children. We who were defenceless have been brought into Your household. Keep us mindful of Your deeds of mercy, that we may love You with our whole heart and love our neighbour as ourselves.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.


A Reading from the Old testament: Exodus 22:20-26 (NLT)

“Anyone who sacrifices to any god other than the lord must be destroyed.

“You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

“You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.

“If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as security for a loan, you must return it before sunset.”

A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 18:1-4, 46-49 (NLT)

I love you, lord ; you are my strength.

The lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

I called on the lord , who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.

The lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted!

He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he subdues the nations under me and rescues me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents.

For this, O lord , I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name.


A Reading from the Letters: I Thessalonians 1:5-10 (NLT)

And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece — throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.

And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven — Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.

A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 22:34-40 (NLT)


But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again.

One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”



Lord God, our Refuge and Strength – hear our prayers.

+ For all who follow Christ – that our love for one another may shine for all to see…. Lord, hear us.

+ For those parts of the world most battered by war and violence – that the Lord may grant them peace…. Lord, hear us.

+ For the weak and oppressed – that they may enjoy the protection of the strong and powerful…. Lord, hear us.

+ For those suffering because of the Ebola Virus, particularly in West Africa – that God may protect and save them…. Lord, hear us.

+ For refugees and asylum-seekers – that Christians may show them
love and care as unto the Lord…. Lord, hear us.

+ For the widowed and orphaned – that those who are troubled may experience comfort, compassion and justice…. Lord, hear us.

+ For the faithful who have departed this life – that our God of love and compassion may embrace them in peace…. Lord, hear us.

O God, You are our strength, our fortress, our saviour: hear our prayers offered in faith, through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: Psalm 9:1; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Matthew 22:35-38 ~ love God

Morning Prayer

In the the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

You will find the Lord your God, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Morning readings

Psalm 9:1 NLT:

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 

Kissing Mezuzah in JerusalemDeuteronomy 6:4-9 NLT:

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates….”

Matthew 22:35-38 NLT:

One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment….”


A mezzuzah (Hebrew for ‘doorpost’) is a cylinder of metal or wood put aslant on the right-hand doorppost of the house. Inside is a rolled fragment of parchment on which is a summary of the Deuteronomy command: ‘Remember God and love him with your all.’

Anyone going in or out is obliged to remember it and may stretch out their hand towards it, and kiss the hand. In such a house the whole course of life ought to be subject to the authority of God’s word.

A tale is told of a Gentile buying a house from a Jew, and noticing the mezzuah, asking its significance. ‘This is a mezzuzah,’ the Jew explained. ‘Inside the case you see is a scroll on which are written the most sacred and holy words of the Jewish law.’

When the transaction was completed, the purchaser of the house was interested to see if the mezzuzah would be taken with the outgoing family. But no, the mezzuzah stayed, and every day he saw it on his way in or out, until finally his curiosity would hold no longer. With a small screwdriver he removed the case, opened the tiny parchments with trembling fingers, and read:

‘HELP! I am being held prisoner in a mezzuzah factory.’

To spiritualize the story mecilessly – we too are prisoners, faced day to day with the question, ‘Do you seek HIM with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength?’

Amen. Make us Your captives, Lord, for only then can we be free.

Hear O Israel The LORD our God
The LORD is One [and His Name is One]
And you shall love the LORD your God
With all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your resources


Christ, as a light… illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield… overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.


May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Peanut Gallery: The Morning Prayer readings are from the Daily Office of the Northumbrian Community as available online here… and in the book form, Celtic Daily Prayer available on Amazon.com.

The website and prayer book are rich in prayer resources and I commend them to you. For our purpose here, I will limit my selections to the Morning Prayer resources.

Morning Reading: Luke 10.25-37 NLT – show mercy

Reading: Luke 10.25-37 NLT

One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

"Good Samaritan"He Qi (2001)
“Good Samaritan”
He Qi (2001)

Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus – Forgive me. I confess that I am more like the disinterested passers-bye than the good neighbor. Soften my hard heart… and open my eyes to the plight of those around me. And give me a willingness to respond with kindness and mercy. Make me more like you… so that I might honor you in all things. Amen.

Hymn: “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” – Frederick W. Faber (1862)

Souls of men, why do you scatter / like a crowd of frightened sheep? / Foolish hearts, why do you wander / from a love so true and deep?

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy / like the wideness of the sea, / and forgiveness in his justice / sealed for us on Calvary.

There is plentiful redemption / in the blood that has been shed: / there is joy for all the members / in the sorrows of the Head.

For the love of God is broader / than the measures of man’s mind; / and the heart of the Eternal / is most wonderfully kind.

But we make his love too narrow / by false limits of our own, / and we magnify his strictness / with a zeal he will not own.

If our love were but more simple / we should take him at his word; / and our lives would be illumined / by the goodness of our Lord.