Reading and Prayer – Sunday, March 7

Matthew 5:17-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Prayer

This is the day that you have made, Lord.

Help us to rejoice in it and be glad!

Remind us of the privileges we enjoy as your people:

to come to you in these moments,

to confess our sins; to receive forgiveness and give it,

to pray and sing and listen,

to renew our fainting spirits, to rest in all your promises.

Open our eyes to see you, Lord.

Open our ears to hear your Word.

Visit us through your Holy Spirit,

and help us to celebrate our faith. 

Our Lord Jesus said: “‘You shall love the Lord your God 

with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

This is the greatest and first commandment.

And a second is like it:

‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

Realizing that we have fallen short of even these two commandments, 

Failing to be the source of active love in our homes, 

Workplaces and communities, 

We now confess our sins to you, our God,

trusting Christ as our Saviour and Lord.

Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you 

in thought, word, and deed,

by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength.

We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

In your mercy forgive what we have been,

help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be,

so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways,

to the glory of your holy name.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord, 

who hears the silent and sincere confessions of our hearts…

Assurance of Pardon

Hear the good news! Who is in a position to condemn?

Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, 

Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us.

Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation.

The old life has gone; a new life has begun.

Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace. 

Thanks be to God.