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Livestream Service – 23rd August (Text File only)




Evening Prayer
for the 11th Sunday after Trinity

Gathering Prayer
Come, Lord Jesus,
you too were tired when day was done;
you met your friends at evening time.
All Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus,
you too enjoyed when nights drew on;
You told your tales at close of day.
All Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus,
you kindled faith when lamps were low;
you opened scriptures, broke the bread,
and shed your light as darkness fell.
All Come, Lord Jesus, meet us here.

Let us remember who we are
before the holiness of God.

Silence for reflection
Let us pray:
All Holy God,
we have failed to live in full
the generosity of your grace,
the costliness of your love
and the liberation of your free spirit.
Forgive us, and lead us into life.

Assurance of Pardon
Nothing can separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
In faith,
lay down the burden of this day
and enter the night in peace.
All Amen

Just when we think nothing new could be found in us,
all things known, all things gone as far as they can go:
All You are born again within us,
God of new beginnings.
Just as we think nothing can ever change,
all things established, embedded in old powers:
All The transforming flow of your life is there among us,
God of new ways of being.
Just when the deathly cycles drag us down into nothingness,
all things despairing, all things destroying:
All You rise in vivid life beyond our weak survivals,
God of new victories over death.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 95
1 O come, let us sing to the Lord; • let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving • and be glad in him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is a great God • and a great king above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth • and the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it, • and his hands have moulded the dry land.
6 Come, let us worship and bow down • and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For he is our God; • we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
8 O that today you would listen to his voice: • ‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, on that day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 ‘When your forebears tested me, and put me to the proof, • though they had seen my works.
10 ‘Forty years long I detested that generation and said, • “This people are wayward in their hearts; they do not know my ways.”
11 ‘So I swore in my wrath, • “They shall not enter into my rest.” ’

Reading: Acts 17.15-end
15Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and after receiving instructions to have Silas and Timothy join him as soon as possible, they left him.
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the market-place* every day with those who happened to be there. 18Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, ‘What does this babbler want to say?’ Others said, ‘He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.’ (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 19So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, ‘May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.’ 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor* he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God* and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are his offspring.” 29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’
32 When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.’ 33At that point Paul left them. 34But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

As the rain hides the stars,
as the autumn mist hides the hills,
happenings of my lot
hide the shining of Thy face from me.
Yet, if I may hold Thy hand
in the darkness,
it is enough;
since I know that,
though I may stumble in my going,
thou dost not fall.
Alistair Maclean

There will be a pause between each bidding for your own reflection.

Let us say a prayer for those who need to be remembered tonight:
Those who have made the news headlines today
because of what they have done or said …
Those who have been brought to our attention
through a meeting or conversation …
Those who are in hospital, in care,
or in a place which is strange to them …
Those in whose family, marriage or close relationship,
there is stress or break-up …
Those who are waiting for a birth or a death,
or news which will affect their lives …
Those who need to forget
the God they do not believe in
and meet the God who believes in them …
Those whose pain or potential
we should not forget to share with God tonight …
Lord, we believe that you hear our prayer
and will be faithful to your promise to answer us.
Come Holy Spirit, in your renewing power.
Move in our hearts
with the fire of your love.
Spread the warmth of your healing
and the flame of your transforming life.
All Come, Holy Spirit,
in your renewing power.
In the name of Christ.

A short silence will be kept
O God our Father,
by whose mercy and might the world turns safely into darkness
and returns again into light:
we give into your hands our unfinished tasks,
our unresolved problems,
and our unfulfilled hopes,
knowing that only that which you bless will prosper.
To your great love and protection
we commit each other
and all your people,
knowing that you alone are our sure defender,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Go into the night in peace,
and may the God of eternity stretch out the heavens above you,
the God of each earthly moment be closer than breath
and the Spirit cover you with warm bright wings.