Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people, and strengthen us by your Holy Spirit to perfectly love you and to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP 394
John 8:21-30 NIV
Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”
This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”
“Who are you?” they asked.
“Just what I have been claiming all along,” Jesus replied. “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.
Woe to the men whom Jesus leaves,
Who force their Saviour to depart!
Up to their own desires He gives,
Their own obduracy of heart:
They seek Him then, but seek too late,
Who long refused His love to feel,
They sink beneath His judgments’ weight,
They sink with all their sins to hell.
Thou didst foretell the fearful doom
Of that self-reprobated race,
That we in this our day may come
And humbly seek, and find Thy grace:
Entering into Thy love’s design,
We give Thee Lord, our broken heart:
Us to Thyself so closely join
That neither life nor death may part.
— Charles Wesley