Saturday 27 March

Collect
Gracious Father,
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 25.1–14
The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah (that was the first year of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon), which the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah to this day, the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened. And though the Lord persistently sent you all his servants the prophets, you have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear when they said, ‘Turn now, everyone of you, from your evil way and wicked doings, and you will remain upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your ancestors from of old and for ever; do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, and do not provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.’ Yet you did not listen to me, says the Lord, and so you have provoked me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, I am going to send for all the tribes of the north, says the Lord, even for King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these nations around; I will utterly destroy them, and make them an object of horror and of hissing, and an everlasting disgrace.And I will banish from them the sound of mirth and the sound of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, says the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste. I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall make slaves of them also; and I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.

Psalm 23
    The Lord is my shepherd;
   therefore can I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures
   and leads me beside still waters.
    He shall refresh my soul
   and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
    Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil;
   for you are with me;
      your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
    You spread a table before me
      in the presence of those who trouble me;
   you have anointed my head with oil
      and my cup shall be full.
    Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me
      all the days of my life,
   and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.