Saturday 13 February

Collect
Almighty God,
give us reverence for all creation
and respect for every person,
that we may mirror your likeness
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Ecclesiastes 11.9–12.14
Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgement.
 Banish anxiety from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return with the rain; on the day when the guards of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the women who grind cease working because they are few, and those who look through the windows see dimly; when the doors on the street are shut, and the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low; when one is afraid of heights, and terrors are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails; because all must go to their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the streets; before the silver cord is snapped, and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher; all is vanity.
 Besides being wise, the Teacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. The Teacher sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly.
 The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd.Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Psalm 42
    As the deer longs for the water brooks,
   so longs my soul for you, O God.
    My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God;
   when shall I come before the presence of God?
    My tears have been my bread day and night,
   while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is now your God?’
    Now when I think on these things, I pour out my soul:
   how I went with the multitude
      and led the procession to the house of God,
    With the voice of praise and thanksgiving,
   among those who kept holy day.
    Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul,
   and why are you so disquieted within me?
    O put your trust in God;
   for I will yet give him thanks,
      who is the help of my countenance, and my God.
    My soul is heavy within me;
   therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,
      and from Hermon and the hill of Mizar.
    Deep calls to deep in the thunder of your waterfalls;
   all your breakers and waves have gone over me.
      The Lord will grant his loving-kindness in the daytime;
   through the night his song will be with me,
      a prayer to the God of my life.
      I say to God my rock,
      ‘Why have you forgotten me,
   and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresses me?’
      As they crush my bones, my enemies mock me;
   while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is now your God?’
      Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul,
   and why are you so disquieted within me?
      O put your trust in God;
   for I will yet give him thanks,
      who is the help of my countenance, and my God.