Friday 12 March

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Eternal God,
give us insight
to discern your will for us,
to give up what harms us,
and to seek the perfection we are promised
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 15.10-21
 Woe is me, my mother, that you ever bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. The Lord said: Surely I have intervened in your life for good, surely I have imposed enemies on you in a time of trouble and in a time of distress.Can iron and bronze break iron from the north?
 Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn for ever.
 O Lord, you know;
   remember me and visit me,
   and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance do not take me away;
   know that on your account I suffer insult.
 Your words were found, and I ate them,
   and your words became to me a joy
   and the delight of my heart;
for I am called by your name,
   O Lord, God of hosts.
 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers,
   nor did I rejoice;
under the weight of your hand I sat alone,
   for you had filled me with indignation.
 Why is my pain unceasing,
   my wound incurable,
   refusing to be healed?
Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook,
   like waters that fail.
 Therefore, thus says the Lord:
If you turn back, I will take you back,
   and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
   you shall serve as my mouth.
It is they who will turn to you,
   not you who will turn to them.
 And I will make you to this people
   a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
   but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
   to save you and deliver you,
says the Lord.
 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
   and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

Psalm 139
    O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
   you know my sitting down and my rising up;
      you discern my thoughts from afar.
    You mark out my journeys and my resting place
   and are acquainted with all my ways.
    For there is not a word on my tongue,
   but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
    You encompass me behind and before
   and lay your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   so high that I cannot attain it.
    Where can I go then from your spirit?
   Or where can I flee from your presence?
    If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
   if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
    If I take the wings of the morning
   and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    Even there your hand shall lead me,
   your right hand hold me fast.
      If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me
   and the light around me turn to night,’
      Even darkness is no darkness with you;
      the night is as clear as the day;
   darkness and light to you are both alike.
      For you yourself created my inmost parts;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
      I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.
      My frame was not hidden from you,
   when I was made in secret
      and woven in the depths of the earth.
      Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished;
   already in your book were all my members written,
      As day by day they were fashioned
   when as yet there was none of them.
      How deep are your counsels to me, O God!
   How great is the sum of them!
      If I count them, they are more in number than the sand,
   and at the end, I am still in your presence.
      O that you would slay the wicked, O God,
   that the bloodthirsty might depart from me!
      They speak against you with wicked intent;
   your enemies take up your name for evil.
      Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?
   Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?
      I hate them with a perfect hatred;
   they have become my own enemies also.
      Search me out, O God, and know my heart;
   try me and examine my thoughts.
      See if there is any way of wickedness in me
   and lead me in the way everlasting.