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The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Prayer Intentions

The prayers of the church are offered especially:

  • for the needs of the world;
  • for our parish family in this time of discernment, planning, and holy conversation;
  • for God's good creation;
  • for all those who suffer from violence and war;
  • for Elizabeth our Queen and all set in authority under her; for Justin, the Prime Minister of Canada; Doug, the Premier of Ontario; Fred, the mayor of Hamilton; for all in civil authority and for all citizens that we might work for the common good;
  • for this nation and for its newly elected parliament;
  • for all for whom we have been asked to pray: especially for Lil, Marilyn, Barb, Bob, Melissa, Margaret, and Duncan, that God will bring them heal­ing and wholeness.
  • for those who are dying and all those who have departed from this life and are at rest.

In our cycles of prayer:

  • In the Worldwide Anglican Communion: Pray for the Church of Ceylon. 
  • In our Niagara Diocese: St. Stephen, Hornby, the Reverend Clarke, Rector; and the people of that parish.
  • In our partner Diocese of Cuba: The parish of Santa Maria de la Gracia in Cespedes; the Rev’d Rody Perez Risco, minister-in-charge and the people of that parish.
  • For other faith communities in our neighbourhood: especially, St Joseph Roman Catholic Parish, Fr. Jim Link, C.R., Pastor; and the people of that parish.
  • For one another, especially (in our parish cycle of prayer): Luke Lima; Susan & Jacob Little; Katy-Scarlett MacGillivray; Leigh Macklin; Amanda McInnis; pray also for our youth, our parish Youth Ministry and for all Youth Ministry Volunteers.

Prayer requests to be included on the following Sunday can can be submitted here by the Thursday morning before.

Readings

First Reading: Joel 2:23-32

The prophet interprets the event of a plague of locusts as a sign of God’s judgment. Today’s reading points beyond the judgment to a day when prosperity will return, when God’s spirit will be poured out on the people, and when everyone who calls on the Lord’s name will be saved.

23O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God;

 for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
  he has poured down for you abundant rain,
  the early and the later rain, as before.
24The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
  the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25I will repay you for the years
  that the swarming locust has eaten,
 the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
  my great army, which I sent against you.

26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
  and praise the name of the Lord your God,
  who has dealt wondrously with you.
 And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
  and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
 And my people shall never again be put to shame.

28Then afterward
  I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
 your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
  your old men shall dream dreams,
  and your young men shall see visions.
29Even on the male and female slaves,
  in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

 30I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 32Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

The conclusion of this letter to a young minister offers a final perspective on life from one who is now facing death. Though others have let him down, Paul is sure of his faith in the Lord, who has stood by him and lent him strength.

6As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

 16At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel: Luke 18:9-14

The coming reign of God will involve unexpected reversals of fortune with judgment rooted in mercy. Jesus tells a parable in which the one who humbles himself is exalted and the one who exalts his own righteousness is humbled.

9[Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Prayers of Intercession

The prayers are prepared locally for each occasion. The following examples may be adapted or used as appropriate.

Knowing the one in whom we trust, and with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us, we offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all in need.

A brief silence.

Hope of the world, come to us and be in the midst of your church. Forgive our iniquity and set us free. Set our hope on you, that our mission will indeed be yours. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The whole creation sings out in joy. You care that the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest. Give us that same love for the world you share with us and all creatures. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Happy are those whose strength is in you. Set the hearts of world leaders upon your justice, so that all people live in peace and wholeness. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Our souls long for you. Stand by us and encourage us. Give your mercy, healing, and justice to those who are sick and suffering (especially), that in our longing we will know your rescue and salvation. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Faithful Reformer, you make all things new. Reform your church so that our life together bears witness to your unmerited love for all. Free us from sin and write the law of love on our hearts. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

How lovely is your dwelling place now and forever. We remember with thanksgiving your saints at rest in your eternal peace (especially). By their witness, strengthen us for the living of these days. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Trusting and delighting in you, we commend all our lives into your loving hands. We offer these prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen.