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send down upon your Church
the riches of your Spirit,
and kindle in all who minister the gospel
your countless gifts of grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2 Corinthians 1.15–2.4
Since I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a double favour;I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to ordinary human standards, ready to say ‘Yes, yes’ and ‘No, no’ at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been ‘Yes and No.’ For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not ‘Yes and No’; but in him it is always ‘Yes.’ For in him every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes.’ For this reason it is through him that we say the ‘Amen’, to the glory of God. But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us, by putting his seal on us and giving us his Spirit in our hearts as a first instalment.
But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth. I do not mean to imply that we lord it over your faith; rather, we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand firm in the faith. So I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice; for I am confident about all of you, that my joy would be the joy of all of you. For I wrote to you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits;
Who forgives all your sins
and heals all your infirmities;
Who redeems your life from the Pit
and crowns you with faithful love and compassion;
Who satisfies you with good things,
so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.
The Lord executes righteousness
and judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made his ways known to Moses
and his works to the children of Israel.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us,
neither will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his mercy upon those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he set our sins from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so is the Lord merciful towards those who fear him.
For he knows of what we are made;
he remembers that we are but dust.
Our days are but as grass;
we flourish as a flower of the field;
For as soon as the wind goes over it, it is gone,
and its place shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord is from of old
and endures for ever on those who fear him,
and his righteousness on children’s children;
On those who keep his covenant
and remember his commandments to do them.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom has dominion over all.
Bless the Lord, you angels of his,
you mighty ones who do his bidding
and hearken to the voice of his word.
Bless the Lord, all you his hosts,
you ministers of his who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of his,
in all places of his dominion;
bless the Lord, O my soul.