Thursday 4 February

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Almighty God,
by whose grace alone we are accepted
   and called to your service:
strengthen us by your Holy Spirit
and make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

John 18.1–11
After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus replied, ‘I am he.’ Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he’, they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.’ This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken, ‘I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.’ Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’

Psalm 15
    Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?
   Who may rest upon your holy hill?
    Whoever leads an uncorrupt life
   and does the thing that is right;
    Who speaks the truth from the heart
   and bears no deceit on the tongue;
    Who does no evil to a friend
   and pours no scorn on a neighbour;
    In whose sight the wicked are not esteemed,
   but who honours those who fear the Lord.
    Whoever has sworn to a neighbour
   and never goes back on that word;
    Who does not lend money in hope of gain,
   nor takes a bribe against the innocent;
    Whoever does these things
   shall never fall.