Reading and Prayer – March 17

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.  We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes.  And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Prayer

Loving Creator, we honour you,

and we honour all that you have made.

Renew your world

in the image of your love.

Give us what we need for today,

and a hunger to see justice done!

Strengthen us for what lies ahead;

heal us from the hurts of the past;

give us courage to follow your call.

For your love is the only power,

the only home, the only honour we need,

in this world and in the world made whole.

In the prayer Jesus taught us, we are reminded to ask for forgiveness.

And so, Father, once again we come to you, 

All too aware of our faults, our failings, our self-serving actions, 

Our reluctance to speak out for and assist the hurting, 

And our eagerness to provide comfort for ourselves. 

We have sinned, and we are sorry for our sins. 

And for those sins for which we are not sorry, 

but in which we persist, 

We pray you would help us see that they are harmful to us, 

to our relationship with others, and to our relationship to you. 

Forgive us our sins, we pray. 

In the prayer Jesus taught us, we are reminded also to forgive others the wrongs they have done to us, and to seek forgiveness for the wrongs we have done them.

Clear our hearts, we pray, of resentments, of grudges, of the memories of past hurts. Help us to move forward unburdened by past pains; as we forgive others, may we ourselves come to know the full power and freedom of forgiveness. 

And so, Father, forgive us our sins, we pray, even as we forgive others for the wrongs done to us. 

Help us, with your help, to restore our relationships with all people, we pray. 

Hear our silent prayers, O Lord…

Assurance of Pardon – Isaiah 12

“I thank you, Lord.

   Your anger turned away and you comforted me.

God is indeed my salvation;

    I will trust and won’t be afraid.

The Lord, is my strength and my shield;

    he has become my salvation.”

“Thank the Lord; call on God’s name;

    proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples;

    declare that God’s name is exalted.

5 Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things;

    proclaim this throughout all the earth.”

6 Shout and sing for joy, O Zion,

    because the holy one of Israel is great among you.