17th February 2019 Sixth Sunday after Epiphany Holy Innocents

Sentence for the day

O Lord our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Your glory above the heavens is sung by the mouths of babes and infants.

Psalm 8.1–2

Collect for the Day

Heavenly Father, whose children suffered at cruel hands, though they had done no wrong: give us grace neither to act cruelly nor to stand indifferently by, but to defend the weak from the tyranny of the strong; in the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for us, yet is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Readings

A reading from the Prophet Jeremiah 31:15-20

15This is what the Lord says: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’ 16This is what the Lord says: ‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,’ declares the Lord. ‘They will return from the land of the enemy. 17So there is hope for your descendants,’ declares the Lord. ‘Your children will return to their own land. 18‘I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: “You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God. 19After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.” 20Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,’ declares the Lord.

****** Psalm 124 (Page 361) ******

A reading from the first letter of John 1:5 – 2.2

5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.2 1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

The Gospel of St Matthew, Chapter 2: 13-18.

13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’ 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’ 16When Herod realised that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18‘A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’