Wednesday 22 September

Collect
O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers
   of your people who call upon you;
and grant that they may both perceive and know
   what things they ought to do,
and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them;
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 13.1–13
As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ Then Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’
 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?’ Then Jesus began to say to them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
 ‘As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Psalm 119.57–80
      You only are my portion, O Lord;
   I have promised to keep your words.
      I entreat you with all my heart,
   be merciful to me according to your promise.
      I have considered my ways
   and turned my feet back to your testimonies.
      I made haste and did not delay
   to keep your commandments.
      Though the cords of the wicked entangle me,
   I do not forget your law.
      At midnight I will rise to give you thanks,
   because of your righteous judgements.
      I am a companion of all those who fear you,
   those who keep your commandments.
      The earth, O Lord, is full of your faithful love;
   instruct me in your statutes.
      You have dealt graciously with your servant,
   according to your word, O Lord.
      O teach me true understanding and knowledge,
   for I have trusted in your commandments.
      Before I was afflicted I went astray,
   but now I keep your word.
      You are gracious and do good;
   O Lord, teach me your statutes.
      The proud have smeared me with lies,
   but I will keep your commandments with my whole heart.
      Their heart has become gross with fat,
   but my delight is in your law.
      It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
   that I may learn your statutes.
      The law of your mouth is dearer to me
   than a hoard of gold and silver.
      Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
   give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.
      Those who fear you will be glad when they see me,
   because I have hoped in your word.
      I know, O Lord, that your judgements are right,
   and that in very faithfulness you caused me to be troubled.
      Let your faithful love be my comfort,
   according to your promise to your servant.
      Let your tender mercies come to me, that I may live,
   for your law is my delight.
      Let the proud be put to shame, for they wrong me with lies;
   but I will meditate on your commandments.
      Let those who fear you turn to me,
   even those who know your testimonies.
      Let my heart be sound in your statutes,
   that I may not be put to shame.