FIRST READING Genesis 17.1–7, 15–16


A reading from the book of Genesis.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old,

the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him,

‘I am God Almighty;walk before me,

and be blameless.

And I will make my covenant between me and you,

and will make you exceedingly numerous.’

Then Abram fell on his face;

and God said to him,

‘As for me, this is my covenant with you:

You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations.

No longer shall your name be Abram,

but your name shall be Abraham;

for I have made you the ancestor

of a multitude of nations.

I will make you exceedingly fruitful;

and I will make nations of you,

and kings shall come from you.

I will establish my covenant between me and you,

and your offspring after you throughout their generations,

for an everlasting covenant,

to be God to you and to your offspring after you.’

God said to Abraham,

‘As for Sarai your wife,

you shall not call her Sarai,

but Sarah shall be her name.

I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her.

I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations;

kings of peoples shall come from her.’


PSALM Psalm 22.22–30


R All the ends of the earth shall turn to you, O Lord.

22 Praise the Lord, you that fear him;

stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel;

all you of Jacob’s line, give glory.

23 For he does not despise nor abhor

the poor in their poverty;

neither does he hide his face from them;

but when they cry to him he hears them. R

24 My praise is of him in the great assembly;

I will perform my vows

in the presence of those who worship him.

25 The poor shall eat and be satisfied,

and those who seek the Lord shall praise him:

‘May your heart live for ever!’ R

26 All the ends of the earth

shall remember and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

shall bow before him.

27 For kingship belongs to the Lord;

he rules over the nations. R

28 To him alone all who sleep in the earth

bow down in worship;

all who go down to the dust fall before him.

29 My soul shall live for him;

my descendants shall serve him;

they shall be known as the Lord’s for ever.

30 They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn

the saving deeds that he has done. R


SECOND READING Romans 4.13–25

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans.

The promise that he would inherit the world

did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law

but through the righteousness of faith.

If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs,

faith is null and the promise is void.

For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law,

neither is there violation.

For this reason it depends on faith,

in order that the promise may rest on grace

and be guaranteed to all his descendants,

not only to the adherents of the law

but also to those who share the faith of Abraham

(for he is the father of all of us,

as it is written,

‘I have made you the father of many nations’) –

Abraham believed in the presence of the God

who gives life to the dead

and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

Hoping against hope,

he believed that he would become

‘the father of many nations,’

according to what was said,

‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’

He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body,

which was already as good as dead

(for he was about a hundred years old),

or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God,

but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,

being fully convinced that God was able to do

what he had promised.

Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’

Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him,’

were written not for his sake alone,

but for ours also.

It will be reckoned to us who believe in him

who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

who was handed over to death for our trespasses

and was raised for our justification.


Mark 8.31–38

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

Jesus began to teach his disciples

that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering,

and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,

and be killed, and after three days rise again.

He said all this quite openly.

And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But turning and looking at his disciples,

he rebuked Peter and said,

‘Get behind me, Satan!

For you are setting your mind not on divine things

but on human things.’

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them,

‘If any want to become my followers,

let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

For those who want to save their life will lose it,

and those who lose their life for my sake,

and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

For what will it profit them

to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?

Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?

Those who are ashamed of me and of my words

in this adulterous and sinful generation,

of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed

when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’


FIRST READING Exodus 20.1–17

A reading from the book of Exodus.

Then God spoke all these words:

I am the LORD your God,

who brought you out of the land of Egypt,

out of the house of slavery;

you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol,

whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above,

or that is on the earth beneath,

or that is in the water under the earth.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them;

for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,

punishing children for the iniquity of parents,

to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,

but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation

of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God,

for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.

Six days you shall labour and do all your work.

But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God;

you shall not do any work –

you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave,

your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea,

and all that is in them,

but rested the seventh day;

therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honour your father and your mother,

so that your days may be long in the land

that the LORD your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house;

you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife,

or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey,

or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

PSALM Psalm 19

R You, Lord, have the words of eternal life.


R The statutes of the Lord are just

and rejoice the heart.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the firmament shows his handiwork.

2 One day tells its tale to another,

and one night imparts knowledge to another.

3 Although they have no words or language,

and their voices are not heard,

4 Their sound has gone out into all lands,

and their message to the ends of the world. R

5 In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun;

it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;

it rejoices like a champion to run its course.

6 It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens

and runs about to the end of it again;

nothing is hidden from its burning heat. R

7 The law of the Lord is perfect

and revives the soul;

the testimony of the Lord is sure

and gives wisdom to the innocent.

8 The statutes of the Lord are just

and rejoice the heart;

the commandment of the Lord is clear

and gives light to the eyes. R

9 The fear of the Lord is clean

and endures for ever;

the judgements of the Lord are true

and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold,

more than much fine gold,

sweeter far than honey,

than honey in the comb. R

11 By them also is your servant enlightened,

and in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can tell how often he offends?

Cleanse me from my secret faults.

13 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 offence. R

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable in your sight,

O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. R


SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 1.18–25

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

The message about the cross

is foolishness to those who are perishing,

but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

For it is written,

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’

Where is the one who is wise?

Where is the scribe?

Where is the debater of this age?

Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

For since, in the wisdom of God,

the world did not know God through wisdom,

God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation,

to save those who believe.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom,

but we proclaim Christ crucified,

a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks,

Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom,

and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.


GOSPEL John 2.13–22

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

The Passover of the Jews was near,and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves,

and the money-changers seated at their tables.

Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle.

He also poured out the coins of the money-changers

and overturned their tables.

He told those who were selling the doves,

‘Take these things out of here!

Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’

His disciples remembered that it was written,

‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’

The Jews then said to him,

‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’

Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple,

and in three days I will raise it up.’

They then said,

‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,

and will you raise it up in three days?’

But he was speaking of the temple of his body.

After he was raised from the dead,

his disciples remembered that he had said this;

and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.