Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

July 2, 2023

Rejoice in the Lord! Sing to him a new song!
For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
God loves righteousness and justice.
The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy Name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
—from Ps. 33

God of the ages, we gather in prayer for our country. Bless all those in authority, and bless the people: rule our hearts and encourage our endeavors for good. Help us to seek service before privilege, public prosperity before private gain, and the honor of your Name before the popularity of our own. Grant us liberty, peace, and joy; and bind us in service to you, to one another, and to the world you have created; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Common Order, Church of Scotland (alt.)

God of nations, you have given us a good land for our heritage; inspire in the people of our country a love of peace and a zeal for justice, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your will.
    [A brief silence is kept.]
God of nations, help us to reflect and share the goodness that surrounds us. Give us the strength and courage to win justice for poor and rich alike, and bring trust and friendship to the diversity of peoples that live here.
    [A brief silence is kept.]
God of all the earth, you have given us the heritage of this good and fertile land; grant that we may so respect and use it that future generations will thank us for our stewardship of the earth; through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, God forevermore. Amen.
A New Zealand Prayer Book (alt.)

Jesus once promised that people would come from the east and west, from the north and south, and eat in the kingdom of God. Whenever we gather around his table, we know that that promise has been fulfilled. So no matter who you are, where you come from, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome at the table: Come.
—See Luke 11:29

We thank you, Eternal God, for all your gifts. We thank you that you have given us a place of beauty for our earthly sojourn. And we, your pilgrim people, join hands with your children near and far as we answer your invitation to this heavenly feast. Help us to remember Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, that when we eat the bread and drink from the cup, his body and his blood may become part of who we are, give us strength for the journey ahead, and bring us fully into your kingdom. This we pray in his precious Name. Amen.

Lord, now dismiss your servant in peace according to your word, for my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all people: A light to shine on the Gentiles, and to be the glory of your people Israel. Amen.
—Luke 2:29-32