Thursday 19 August

God of glory,
the end of our searching,
help us to lay aside
all that prevents us from seeking your kingdom,
and to give all that we have
to gain the pearl beyond all price,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Mark 6.1–13
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Psalm 92
    It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord
   and to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
    To tell of your love early in the morning
   and of your faithfulness in the night-time,
    Upon the ten-stringed instrument, upon the harp,
   and to the melody of the lyre.
    For you, Lord, have made me glad by your acts,
   and I sing aloud at the works of your hands.
    O Lord, how glorious are your works!
   Your thoughts are very deep.
    The senseless do not know,
   nor do fools understand,
    That though the wicked sprout like grass
   and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
    It is only to be destroyed for ever;
   but you, O Lord, shall be exalted for evermore.
    For lo, your enemies, O Lord,
      lo, your enemies shall perish,
   and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
      But my horn you have exalted
      like the horns of wild oxen;
   I am anointed with fresh oil.
      My eyes will look down on my foes;
   my ears shall hear the ruin of the evildoers
      who rise up against me.
      The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
   and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
      Such as are planted in the house of the Lord
   shall flourish in the courts of our God.
      They shall still bear fruit in old age;
   they shall be vigorous and in full leaf;
      That they may show that the Lord is true;
   he is my rock,
      and there is no unrighteousness in him.