Preface of a Saint (1)
Creator God, whose hands hold the storehouses of the snow and the gates of the sea, and from whose Word springs forth all that is: We bless your holy Name for the intrepid witness of your missionary John Horden, who followed your call to serve the Cree and Inuit nations of the North. In all the places we travel, may we, like him, proclaim your Good News and draw all into communion with you through your Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you’; come with us, and we will treat you well; for the Lord has promised good to Israel.” But he said to him, “I will not go, but I will go back to my own land and to my kindred.” He said, “Do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. Moreover, if you go with us, whatever good the Lord does for us, the same we will do for you.”
So they set out from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey with the ark of the covenant of the Lord going before them three days’ journey, to seek out a resting place for them, the cloud of the Lord being over them by day when they set out from the camp.
Whenever the ark set out, Moses would say, “Arise, O Lord, let your enemies be scattered, and your foes flee before you.” And whenever it came to rest, he would say, “Return, O Lord of the ten thousand thousands of Israel.”
35 He changed deserts into pools of water *
and dry land into water-springs.
36 He settled the hungry there, *
and they founded a city to dwell in.
37 They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, *
and brought in a fruitful harvest.
38 He blessed them, so that they increased greatly; *
he did not let their herds decrease.
39 Yet when they were diminished and brought low, *
through stress of adversity and sorrow,
40 (He pours contempt on princes *
and makes them wander in trackless wastes)
41 He lifted up the poor out of misery *
and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The upright will see this and rejoice, *
but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
43 Whoever is wise will ponder these things, *
and consider well the mercies of the Lord.
Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
Return to The Lectionary Page