The collect and readings - as well as the Bishop's sermon, video and other resources - for the Third Sunday Before Lent, also known as Septuagesima, meaning 70 days before Easter (28 January A.D. 2018).
O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (ESV)
My soul cleaveth to the dust; / O quicken thou me, according to thy word.
I have acknowledged my ways, and thou heardest me: / O teach me thy statutes.
Make me to understand the way of thy precepts; / and so shall I meditate upon thy wondrous works.
My soul melteth away for very heaviness: / comfort thou me according unto thy word.
Take from me the way of lying, / and graciously grant me thy law.
I have chosen the way of truth, / and thy judgements have I laid before me.
I cleave unto thy testimonies: / O LORD, confound me not.
I will run the way of thy commandments, / when thou hast set my heart at liberty.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.” (ESV)
Artwork: Pier Francesco Foschi, The Payment of the Workers in the Lord’s Vineyard, 17th century. Oil on poplar, Private collection.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.