DINNER (Vespers)

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Grace

Dear God,
thank you for all that is good,
for our creation and for our humanity,
for the gifts of life and of one another,
for your love which is unbounded and eternal.
for the food before us,
the family and friends beside us
and the love between us.
Amen.

New Testament Reading - Witness in life or death

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12And I want you to know this, dear brothers: Everything that has happened to me here has been a great boost in getting out the Good News concerning Christ. 13For everyone around here, including all the soldiers over at the barracks, knows that I am in chains simply because I am a Christian. 14And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here seem to have lost their fear of chains! Somehow my patience has encouraged them, and they have become more and more bold in telling others about Christ.

15 Some, of course, are preaching the Good News because they are jealous of the way God has used me. They want reputations as fearless preachers! But others have purer motives, 16-17preaching because they love me, for they know that the Lord has brought me here to use me to defend the Truth. And some preach to make me jealous, thinking that their success will add to my sorrows here in jail! 18But whatever their motive for doing it, the fact remains that the Good News about Christ is being preached, and I am glad.

19I am going to keep on being glad, for I know that as you pray for me, and as the Holy Spirit helps me, this is all going to turn out for my good. 20For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die.

. . . . . Philippians 1:12-20

Collect

Eternal Spirit, living God,
in whom we live and move and have our being,
all that we are, have been, and shall be is known to you,
to the very secret of our hearts
and all that rises to trouble us.
Living flame burn into us,
cleansing wind, blow through us,
fountain of water, well up within us,
that we may love and praise in deed and in truth.
Amen.