Wednesday 1 September

Almighty God,
who called your Church to bear witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Mark 8.27–9.1
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’
 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ And he said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.’

Psalm 119.153-176
        O consider my affliction and deliver me,
   for I do not forget your law.
        Plead my cause and redeem me;
   according to your promise, give me life.
        Salvation is far from the wicked,
   for they do not seek your statutes.
        Great is your compassion, O Lord;
   give me life, according to your judgements.
        Many there are that persecute and oppress me,
   yet do I not swerve from your testimonies.
        It grieves me when I see the treacherous,
   for they do not keep your word.
        Consider, O Lord, how I love your commandments;
   give me life according to your loving-kindness.
        The sum of your word is truth,
   and all your righteous judgements endure for evermore.
        Princes have persecuted me without a cause,
   but my heart stands in awe of your word.
        I am as glad of your word
   as one who finds great spoils.
        As for lies, I hate and abhor them,
   but your law do I love.
        Seven times a day do I praise you,
   because of your righteous judgements.
        Great peace have they who love your law;
   nothing shall make them stumble.
        Lord, I have looked for your salvation
   and I have fulfilled your commandments.
        My soul has kept your testimonies
   and greatly have I loved them.
        I have kept your commandments and testimonies,
   for all my ways are before you.
        Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
   give me understanding, according to your word.
        Let my supplication come before you;
   deliver me, according to your promise.
        My lips shall pour forth your praise,
   when you have taught me your statutes.
        My tongue shall sing of your word,
   for all your commandments are righteous.
        Let your hand reach out to help me,
   for I have chosen your commandments.
        I have longed for your salvation, O Lord,
   and your law is my delight.
        Let my soul live and it shall praise you,
   and let your judgements be my help.
        I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost;
   O seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.