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Last Updated - 16 November, 2018

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Texts from the New International Version (NIV) Bible



Today’s Readings: Ezra 4 and John 17:13-19
Service Theme:

What seems like a helpful offer was rejected - the pool who had settle din the land before the return of the exiles had indeed begun to worship God but did so alongside all their other gods. This is not according to God’s commands and therefore the help was rejected. Now there is opposition - God’s work often brings opposition.
Opposition that flatters (1-3) subtle seemingly on the same wavelength as us but not so.
Opposition that hates (4-5) - some people hate Christianity and say strong things about it - some may have been hurt by people who call themselves Christian, but we read 1 John 3:13 "Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.”
Opposition that Persists, vv 6-23 - and is temporarily successful. No more work is done for 15 years.
Jesus talks of opposition to the disciples



Collects and Readings

18th November 2018 - 2nd Sunday before Lent

Collects and Readings

CollectLent

Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son was revealed
to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God
and heirs of eternal life:
grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear
in power and great glory
we may be made like him
in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

or

Heavenly Lord,
you long for the world’s salvation:
stir us from apathy,
restrain us from excess
and revive in us new hope
that all creation will one day
be healed in Jesus Christ our Lord.

LentEzra 4

When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, "Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.” But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, "You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.” Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes, they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. And in the days of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language. Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows: Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associates – the judges, officials and administrators over the people from Persia, Uruk and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa, and the other people whom the great and honourable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates. (This is a copy of the letter they sent him.) To King Artaxerxes, From your servants in Trans-Euphrates: The king should know that the people who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations. Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer. Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonoured, we are sending this message to inform the king, so that a search may be made in the archives of your predecessors. In these records you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place with a long history of sedition. That is why this city was destroyed. We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates. The king sent this reply: To Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary and the rest of their associates living in Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates: Greetings. The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence. I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition. Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them. Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order. Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests? As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates, they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop. Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

LentGospel - John 17:13-19

"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

LentPost Communion

Gracious Lord,
in this holy sacrament
you give substance to our hope:
bring us at the last
to that fullness of life
for which we long;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Readings for next week – 25th November 2018
Sunday Next Before Advent

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