13. For a Church Convention

Almighty and everlasting Father, you have given the Holy Spirit to abide with us for ever: Bless, we pray, with his grace and presence, the bishops and other clergy and the laity here (or now, or soon to be) assembled in your Name, that your Church, being preserved in true faith and godly discipline, may fulfill all the mind of him who loved it and gave himself for it, your Son Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

First Lesson: Isaiah 55:1-13
"Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
  and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
  Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
  Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    hear me, that your soul may live.
  I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.
  See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,
    because of the LORD your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor."

Seek the LORD while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
  Let the wicked forsake his way
    and the evil man his thoughts.

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 4:1-10
Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Psalm: 19:7-14

  1. The law of the LORD is perfect and revives the soul; *
          the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent.
  2. The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart; *
          the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light to the eyes.
  3. The fear of the LORD is clean and endures for ever; *
          the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
  4. More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, *
          sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.
  5. By them also is your servant enlightened, *
          and in keeping them there is great reward.
  6. Who can tell how often he offends? *
          cleanse me from my secret faults.
  7. Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;
          let them not get dominion over me; *
          then shall I be whole and sound,
          and innocent of a great offense.
  8. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my
          heart be acceptable in your sight, *
          O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.

John 15:1-11
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

Collect & Psalm from the Book of Common Prayer
Other excerpts from the New International Bible

Various Occasions