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26  February                                                                         First Day of Lent

Collect of the Day

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:
give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

First Reading

Genesis 2.15-17; 3.1-7

15The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’  1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ 2The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”’ 4But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; 5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

 

Psalm   Psalm 32

Refrain: Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord.

1                 Happy the one whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered.  Happy the one to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, and in whose spirit there is no guile.  For I held my tongue; my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long.  Your hand was heavy upon me day and night; my moisture was dried up like the drought in summer.  Then I acknowledged my sin to you and my iniquity I did not hide.  I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sin.  Therefore let all the faithful make their prayers to you in time of trouble; in the great water flood, it shall not reach them.  You are a place for me to hide in; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance. ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye.  ‘Be not like horse and mule which have no understanding; whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, or else they will not stay near you.’ Great tribulations remain for the wicked,
but mercy embraces those who trust in the Lord.  Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord; shout for joy, all who are true of heart. 

Refrain: Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord.  Give us honest hearts, O God, and send your kindly Spirit to help us confess our sins and bring us the peace of your forgiveness; in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Second Reading

Romans 5.12-19

12Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned – 13sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. 14Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.

15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. 16And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.  18Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so the act of righteousness of one leads to justification and life for all. 19For just as by the one person’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

 

Gospel   Matthew 4.1-11

1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ 4But he answered, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone,                    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’  5Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’  7Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’  8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour; 9and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ 10Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”’ 11Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

 

Post Communion Prayer

Lord God, you have renewed us with the living bread from heaven;
by it you nourish our faith, increase our hope, and strengthen our love: teach us always to hunger for him who is the true and living bread, and enable us to live by every word that proceeds from out of your mouth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):  Genesis 2.15-17; 3.1-7 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA.  Matthew 4.1-11 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA.  Romans 5.12-19 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA.  Post Communion (1st of Lent) ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000.  Psalm 32 ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000.  Collect (1st of Lent) ©  The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

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