Sunday 7 March

Collect
Almighty God,
whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain,
and entered not into glory before he was crucified:
mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,
may find it none other than the way of life and peace;
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.

1 Corinthians 1.18–25
 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
   and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Psalm 19
    The heavens are telling the glory of God
   and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
    One day pours out its song to another
   and one night unfolds knowledge to another.
    They have neither speech nor language
   and their voices are not heard,
    Yet their sound has gone out into all lands
   and their words to the ends of the world.
    In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun,
   that comes forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber
      and rejoices as a champion to run his course.
    It goes forth from the end of the heavens
      and runs to the very end again,
   and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
    The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
   the testimony of the Lord is sure
      and gives wisdom to the simple.
    The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart;
   the commandment of the Lord is pure
      and gives light to the eyes.
    The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever;
   the judgements of the Lord are true
      and righteous altogether.
      More to be desired are they than gold,
      more than much fine gold,
   sweeter also than honey,
      dripping from the honeycomb.
      By them also is your servant taught
   and in keeping them there is great reward.
      Who can tell how often they offend?
   O cleanse me from my secret faults!
      Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins
      lest they get dominion over me;
   so shall I be undefiled,
      and innocent of great offence.
      Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
      be acceptable in your sight,
   O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

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