Wednesday 28 July

Collect
Almighty Lord and everlasting God,
we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern
   both our hearts and bodies
in the ways of your laws
   and the works of your commandments;
that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

James 3
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.
How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

Psalm 34
    I will bless the Lord at all times;
   his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
    My soul shall glory in the Lord;
   let the humble hear and be glad.
    O magnify the Lord with me;
   let us exalt his name together.
    I sought the Lord and he answered me
   and delivered me from all my fears.
    Look upon him and be radiant
   and your faces shall not be ashamed.
    This poor soul cried, and the Lord heard me
   and saved me from all my troubles.
    The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him
   and delivers them.
    O taste and see that the Lord is gracious;
   blessed is the one who trusts in him.
    Fear the Lord, all you his holy ones,
   for those who fear him lack nothing.
      Lions may lack and suffer hunger,
   but those who seek the Lord
      lack nothing that is good.
      Come, my children, and listen to me;
   I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
      Who is there who delights in life
   and longs for days to enjoy good things?
      Keep your tongue from evil
   and your lips from lying words.
      Turn from evil and do good;
   seek peace and pursue it.
      The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous
   and his ears are open to their cry.
      The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
   to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
      The righteous cry and the Lord hears them
   and delivers them out of all their troubles.
      The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
   and will save those who are crushed in spirit.
      Many are the troubles of the righteous;
   from them all will the Lord deliver them.
      He keeps all their bones,
   so that not one of them is broken.
      But evil shall slay the wicked
   and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
      The Lord ransoms the life of his servants
   and will condemn none who seek refuge in him.