18th Sunday after Pentecost
Reveal the narrowness of our blinded sight,
and make us aware of all who serve your purposes
so that together we will celebrate the glory of your reign;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
God, creator of the universe:
Fill us with your love for the whole of creation,
Awake in us the passion to work for your world
with passion and boldness
Lift us up on eagles’ wings, so that we may not be
overwhelmed by the task ahead.
In the power of the Holy Spirit who renews the face of
READING from Esther 7: 1-6, 9-10, 9: 20-22
1 And so the king and Haman went to eat with Esther
2 for a second time. Over the wine the king asked her again, “Now, Queen Esther, what do you want? Tell me and you shall have it. I’ll even give you half the empire.”
3 Queen Esther answered, “If it please Your Majesty to grant my humble request, my wish is that I may live and that my people may live.
4 My people and I have been sold for slaughter. If it were nothing more serious than being sold into slavery, I would have kept quiet and not bothered you about it; but we are about to be destroyed—exterminated!”
5 Then King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who dares to do such a thing? Where is this man?”
6 Esther answered, “Our enemy, our persecutor, is this evil man Haman!” Haman faced the king and queen with terror.
10 So Haman was hanged on the gallows that he had built for Mordecai. Then the king’s anger cooled down.
20 Mordecai had these events written down and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, throughout the Persian Empire,
21 telling them to observe the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar as holidays every year.
22 These were the days on which the Jews had rid themselves of their enemies; this was a month that had been turned from a time of grief and despair into a time of joy and happiness. They were told to observe these days with feasts and parties, giving gifts of food to one another and to the poor.
Reading from James 5: 13-20
19 My friends, if any of you wander away from the truth and another one brings you back again,
20 remember this: whoever turns a sinner back from the wrong way will save that sinner’s soul from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
THE GOSPEL according to Mark 9: 38-50
41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
PRAYER FOR COVID
Author of life, Saviour of the nations
COVID is humbling, your grace is sufficient.
The deaths, we mourn;
For the recoveries, we give thanks;
The compassionate care, we applaud;
For the vaccines, we are grateful;
For compliance, we plead;
For the common good, we pray;
In the healing name of Jesus. Amen
© Rodney Whiteman – 29/04/2021.
Go now and celebrate wherever God’s name is honoured.
When suffering comes, pray in faith.
In times of joy, sing songs of praise.
Persevere in prayer and action
to bring the fallen back to the truth.
And may God save you from all that would harm you;
May Christ Jesus heal you and raise you up;
and may the Holy Spirit anoint you
and give you peace with one another.
Go in peace with courage, to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.