Saturday 7 August

Almighty God,
who sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
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.

Mark 2.13–22
Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
 And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax-collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’
 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The wedding-guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.
 ‘No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.’

Psalm 68
    Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered;
   let those that hate him flee before him.
    As the smoke vanishes, so may they vanish away;
   as wax melts at the fire,
      so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
    But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
   let them make merry with gladness.
    Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
      exalt him who rides on the clouds.
   The Lord is his name; rejoice before him.
    Father of the fatherless, defender of widows,
   God in his holy habitation!
    God gives the solitary a home
      and brings forth prisoners to songs of welcome,
   but the rebellious inhabit a burning desert.
    O God, when you went forth before your people,
   when you marched through the wilderness,
    The earth shook and the heavens dropped down rain,
      at the presence of God, the Lord of Sinai,
   at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
    You sent down a gracious rain, O God;
   you refreshed your inheritance when it was weary.
      Your people came to dwell there;
   in your goodness, O God, you provide for the poor.
      The Lord gave the word;
      great was the company of women who bore the tidings:
   ‘Kings and their armies they flee, they flee!’
      and women at home are dividing the spoil.
      Though you stayed among the sheepfolds,
   see now a dove’s wings covered with silver
      and its feathers with green gold.
      When the Almighty scattered the kings,
   it was like snowflakes falling on Zalmon.
      You mighty mountain, great mountain of Bashan!
   You towering mountain, great mountain of Bashan!
      Why look with envy, you towering mountains,
      at the mount which God has desired for his dwelling,
   the place where the Lord will dwell for ever?
      The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
      even thousands upon thousands;
   the Lord is among them, the Lord of Sinai in holy power.
      You have gone up on high and led captivity captive;
   you have received tribute,
      even from those who rebelled,
      that you may reign as Lord and God.
      Blessed be the Lord who bears our burdens day by day,
   for God is our salvation.
      God is for us the God of our salvation;
   God is the Lord who can deliver from death.
      God will smite the head of his enemies,
   the hairy scalp of those who walk in wickedness.
      The Lord has said, ‘From the heights of Bashan,
   from the depths of the sea will I bring them back,
      ‘Till you dip your foot in blood
   and the tongue of your dogs has a taste of your enemies.’
      We see your solemn processions, O God,
   your processions into the sanctuary, my God and my King.
      The singers go before, the musicians follow after,
   in the midst of maidens playing on timbrels.
      In your companies, bless your God;
   bless the Lord, you that are of the fount of Israel.
      At the head there is Benjamin, least of the tribes,
      the princes of Judah in joyful company,
   the princes of Zebulun and Naphtali.
      Send forth your strength, O God;
   establish, O God, what you have wrought in us.
      For your temple’s sake in Jerusalem
   kings shall bring their gifts to you.
      Drive back with your word the wild beast of the reeds,
   the herd of the bull-like, the brutish hordes.
      Trample down those who lust after silver;
   scatter the peoples that delight in war.
      Vessels of bronze shall be brought from Egypt;
   Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God.
      Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
   make music in praise of the Lord;
      He rides on the ancient heaven of heavens
   and sends forth his voice, a mighty voice.
      Ascribe power to God, whose splendour is over Israel,
   whose power is above the clouds.
      How terrible is God in his holy sanctuary,
   the God of Israel, who gives power and strength to his people!
      Blessed be God.