who on the day of Pentecost
sent your Holy Spirit to the apostles
with the wind from heaven and in tongues of flame,
filling them with joy and boldness to preach the gospel:
by the power of the same Spirit
strengthen us to witness to your truth
and to draw everyone to the fire of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 4.9–15
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, as though sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to mortals. We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honour, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless, and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things, to this very day.
I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you might have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Indeed, in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
From Psalm 145
I will exalt you, O God my King,
and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless you
and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and highly to be praised;
his greatness is beyond all searching out.
One generation shall praise your works to another
and declare your mighty acts.
They shall speak of the majesty of your glory,
and I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
They shall speak of the might of your marvellous acts,
and I will also tell of your greatness.
They shall pour forth the story of your abundant kindness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.