Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Psalm 150, 1 Samuel 17:19-32, and Acts 5:17-26
St. Luke writes about how the Apostles, despite being thrown into jail and threatened with death, go right back to preaching in the temple. They are not concerned about what the authorities think, but about being obedient to Christ. They are not worried about their own health and safety, but about the salvation of others. They didn’t refuse to preach on the grounds that they didn’t like certain people. They preached to everyone.
We tend to only focus on the people or groups of people whom we like. “They aren’t like us; they’re not welcome here.” We become so selfish that we end up denying Christ. The sad part is that often we don’t even recognize that we’re crucifying him again.
Ask God to show you how to reach out to your community. How might your gifts and graces be used to reach those who need Jesus? How might your heart need to be resurrected? You may find the following prayer helpful:
Almighty Father, who gave your only Son to die for our sins and to rise for our justification: Give us grace to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, so that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.