God our redeemer,
you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his continual presence in us he may raise us
to eternal joy;
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 Peter 5
Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for
‘God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.’
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, I have written this short letter to encourage you, and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. Your sister church in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Your word is a lantern to my feet
and a light upon my path.
I have sworn and will fulfil it,
to keep your righteous judgements.
I am troubled above measure;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept the freewill offering of my mouth, O Lord,
and teach me your judgements.
My soul is ever in my hand,
yet I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your commandments.
Your testimonies have I claimed as my heritage for ever;
for they are the very joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart to fulfil your statutes:
always, even to the end.
I hate those who are double-minded,
but your law do I love.
You are my hiding place and my shield
and my hope is in your word.
Away from me, you wicked!
I will keep the commandments of my God.
Sustain me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be disappointed in my hope.
Hold me up and I shall be saved,
and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.
You set at nought those who depart from your statutes,
for their deceiving is in vain.
You consider all the wicked as dross;
therefore I love your testimonies.
My flesh trembles for fear of you
and I am afraid of your judgements.
I have done what is just and right;
O give me not over to my oppressors.
Stand surety for your servant’s good;
let not the proud oppress me.
My eyes fail with watching for your salvation
and for your righteous promise.
O deal with your servant according to your faithful love
and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; O grant me understanding,
that I may know your testimonies.
It is time for you to act, O Lord,
for they frustrate your law.
Therefore I love your commandments
above gold, even much fine gold.
Therefore I direct my steps by all your precepts,
and all false ways I utterly abhor.