26 December 2020
Praying at Christmas with USPG:
2, Saturday 26 December 2020
Throughout Advent and Christmas this year, I am using the Prayer Diary of the Anglican Mission Agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) for my morning reflections each day, and the Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar produced at Lichfield Cathedral for my prayers and reflections each evening.
I am one of the contributors to the current USPG Diary, Pray with the World Church, introducing the theme of peace and trust next week.
After a very busy Christmas Day, despite services cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and before this day starts, I am taking a little time this morning for my own personal prayer, reflection and Scripture reading.
The theme of the USPG Prayer Diary this week (20 to 26 December 2020) is ‘Christmas in the Holy Land.’ This week’s theme was introduced by the Very Revd Canon Richard Sewell, Dean of Saint George’s College, Jerusalem.
Saturday 26 December 2020 (Saint Stephen, Deacon and First Martyr):
Let us give thanks for the work the Diocese of Jerusalem is doing to aid victims of the explosion that happened in Beirut in August.
The Collect of the Day:
who gave the first martyr Stephen
grace to pray for those who stoned him:
Grant that in all our sufferings for the truth
we may learn to love even our enemies
and to seek forgiveness for those who desire our hurt,
looking up to heaven to him who was crucified for us,
Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Advocate,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The Post-Communion Prayer:
we thank you for these signs of mercy,
we praise you for feeding us at your table
and giving us joy in honouring Stephen,
first martyr of the new Israel;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Matthew 10: 17-22 (NRSVA):
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 18 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother”.’ 20 He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Yesterday’s morning reflection
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org