God our saviour,
look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace
won for us by your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Truly, God is loving to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone;
my steps had well-nigh slipped.
For I was envious of the proud;
I saw the wicked in such prosperity;
For they suffer no pains
and their bodies are sleek and sound;
They come to no misfortune like other folk;
nor are they plagued as others are;
Therefore pride is their necklace
and violence wraps them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from within;
the conceits of their hearts overflow.
They scoff, and speak only of evil;
they talk of oppression from on high.
They set their mouth against the heavens,
and their tongue ranges round the earth;
And so the people turn to them
and find in them no fault.
They say, ‘How should God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?’
Behold, these are the wicked;
ever at ease, they increase their wealth.
Is it in vain that I cleansed my heart
and washed my hands in innocence?
All day long have I been stricken
and chastened every morning.
If I had said, ‘I will speak as they do,’
I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
Then thought I to understand this,
but it was too hard for me,
Until I entered the sanctuary of God
and understood the end of the wicked:
How you set them in slippery places;
you cast them down to destruction.
How suddenly do they come to destruction,
perish and come to a fearful end!
As with a dream when one awakes,
so, Lord, when you arise you will despise their image.
When my heart became embittered
and I was pierced to the quick,
I was but foolish and ignorant;
I was like a brute beast in your presence.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing upon earth that I desire
in comparison with you.
Though my flesh and my heart fail me,
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Truly, those who forsake you will perish;
you will put to silence the faithless who betray you.
But it is good for me to draw near to God;
in the Lord God have I made my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.