Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for Jesus’ sake will find it. Matthew 10.39
Gracious God, we who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death: we pray that, as you raised him from death, so by the power of the Holy Spirit we may live the new life to your glory, knowing ourselves to be dead in sin but alive for you in Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A reading from the book of Esther . Esther 5
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, opposite the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to the palace. 2 As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won his favor and he held out to her the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter.
3 The king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” 4 Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to a banquet that I have prepared for the king.” 5 Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther desires.” So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6 While they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” 7 Then Esther said, “This is my petition and request: 8 If I have won the king’s favour, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet that I will prepare for them, and then I will do as the king has said.” 9 Haman went out that day happy and in good spirits. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, and observed that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was infuriated with Mordecai; 10 nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home. Then he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh, 11 and Haman recounted to them the splendour of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which the king had honoured him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and the ministers of the king. 12 Haman added, “Even Queen Esther let no one but myself come with the king to the banquet that she prepared. Tomorrow also I am invited by her, together with the king. 13 Yet all this does me no good so long as I see the Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” 14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged on it; then go with the king to the banquet in good spirits.” This advice pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.
Hear the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
1 Incline your ear to me, O God, and answer me: for I am poor and in misery.
2 Preserve my life, for I am faithful: my God, save your servant who trusts in you.
3 Be merciful to me, O Lord: for I call to you all the day long.
4 O make glad the soul of your servant: for I put my hope in you, O Lord.
5 For you, Lord, are good and forgiving: of great and continuing kindness to all who call upon you.
6 Hear my prayer, O Lord: and give heed to the voice of my supplication.
7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you: for you will surely answer.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord: nor are there any deeds like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you: O Lord, they shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do marvellous things: and you alone are God.
16 Turn to me and be merciful give your strength to your servant: and save the child of your handmaid.
17 Show me some token of your goodness: that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed because you Lord are my helper and my comforter.
A reading from the letter to the Romans. 6. 1-11
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Hear the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew, chapter 10, beginning at verse 24.
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! 26 So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. 34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
For the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.