TAKE HEART

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Opening Prayer

O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; grant us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-BCP

TEXT

John 16:25-33 NIV

“Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

“You believe at last!” Jesus answered. “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

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Lord, help us to be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving one another, as God, for your sake, has forgiven us. As the first martyr prayed to you for his murderers, O Lord, so we fall before you and pray; forgive all who hate and maltreat us and let not one of them perish because of us, but be saved by your grace, O God, the all-bountiful.

— Eastern Orthodox Church, 5th century

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