30 January
Charles, King and Martyr, 1649


Ecclesiasticus 2.12-17

Woe to timid hearts and to slack hands,
   and to the sinner who walks a double path!

Woe to the fainthearted who have no trust!
   Therefore they will have no shelter.

Woe to you who have lost your nerve!
   What will you do when the Lord's reckoning comes?

Those who fear the Lrd do not disobey his words,
   and those who love him keep his ways.

Those who fear the Lord seek to please him,
   and those who love him are filled with his law.

Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts,
   and humble themselves before him.

Let us fall into the hands of the Lord,
   but not into the hands of mortals;

for equal to his majesty is his mercy,
   and equal to his name are his works.    

1 Timothy 6.12-16

Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.    [NRSV]

Psalm 31.1-5

In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;*
   deliver me in your righteousness.

Incline your ear to me;*
   make haste to deliver me.

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold;*
   for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.

Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me,*
   for you are my tower of strength.

Into your hands I commend my spirit,*
   for you have redeemed me,
   O LORD, O God of truth.    

Matthew 16.24-26

Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?"    [NRSV]
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