whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of all:
govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,
and bring the families of the nations,
divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to his just and gentle rule;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
God has taken his stand in the council of heaven;
in the midst of the gods he gives judgement:
‘How long will you judge unjustly
and show such favour to the wicked?
‘You were to judge the weak and the orphan;
defend the right of the humble and needy;
‘Rescue the weak and the poor;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
‘They have no knowledge or wisdom;
they walk on still in darkness:
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
‘Therefore I say that though you are gods
and all of you children of the Most High,
‘Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals
and fall like one of their princes.’
Arise, O God and judge the earth,
for it is you that shall take all nations for your possession.