The Birth of John the Baptist
Holy One, make speed to save us: O God, come quickly to help us.
Glory to God, Source of all being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.
FROM Psalm 131, Domine, non est
O Lord, I am not proud; * I have no haughty looks.
I do not occupy myself with great matters, *
or with things that are too hard for me.
But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother’s breast; *
my soul is quieted within me.
O Israel, wait upon the Lord, * from this time forth for evermore.
READING: Malachi 4:1–6
See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.”
Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!
‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,
“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.”
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’
For those times when our faith has seized up through fear,
and we have neglected the gifts of the Spirit: Lord, have mercy upon us.
For those times when our hope has slumped towards despair,
and we have neglected the gifts of the Spirit: Christ, have mercy upon us.
For those times when our love has been drained by apathy,
and we have neglected the gifts of the Spirit. Lord, have mercy upon us.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the time of trial, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
by whose providence John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and filled with the Holy Spirit to prepare the way
of your Son, our Saviour:
give us, we pray, the light of spiritual joy;
and guide the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.
THURSDAYS: O God, ignite our lips with that same passion burning in your heart of love, that we might be the hands that reach and the lips that speak, the Angelos alive with your life, messengers of divine empowerment. Amen.
Lord God almighty, come and dispel the darkness from our hearts, that in the radiance of your brightness we may know you, the only unfading light, glorious in all eternity. Amen.
The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing: through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Compiled with Materials from: SEC Daily Prayer; Jim Cotter, Lectionary Resources; Taizé A prayer for each day; GS2016 Pointed Liturgical Psalter 2016 04 08; Chris Thorpe, Touching the Sacred.