Sentence: ‘Is not my word like fire,’ says the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’ Jeremiah 23:29
Collect: Everliving God, increase in us your gift of faith, that, forsaking sin and all that hinders us, we may run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A reading from Isaiah 5:1-7
1I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: my loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. 2He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. 3‘Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? 5Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.’ 7The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.
****** Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19 (page 307) ******
A reading from Hebrews 11:29 – 12:2
29By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched round them for seven days. 31By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. 32And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37They were put to death by stoning; they were sawn in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated – 38the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. 12 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Gospel according to St Luke, Chapter 12:49-59.
49‘I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’ 54He said to the crowd: ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, “It’s going to rain,” and it does. 55And when the south wind blows, you say, “It’s going to be hot,” and it is. 56Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? 57‘Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.’