1:5-8 The Baptizer

And all the Judean region came out to him,
and all the Jerusalemites,
and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River,
confessing their sins. 

And John was wearing camel hair and a belt of leather around his waist,
eating locusts and wild honey. 

And he proclaimed:
‘The one stronger than me is coming after me.
I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his sandals. 
I have baptised you with water, he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

God be in head and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes and in my looking;
God be in my mouth and in my speaking;
God be in my heart and in my thinking;
God be at my end and at my departing.

Mark 1:1- 4 The Beginning

Gospel of Mark Carpet Page The British Library [Cotton MS Nero D IV]

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ [Son of God].

As it stands written in Isaiah, the prophet:
Behold I send my messenger before your face, 
who will prepare your way. (Mal 3:1, Ex 23:20)

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 
‘Prepare the way of the Lord.
Make straight his paths.’ (Isa 40:3)

John appeared in the wilderness,
baptising,
and preaching a baptism of repentance
for the forgiveness of sins. 

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;
Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;
Eternal Power, be our support;
Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance:
That we may seek your face
with all our heart and mind and soul and strength. Amen.


Alcuin

3 John 9-15

I wrote something to the church,
but Diotrephes, 
who loves to be first among them, 
does not accept us.

because of this,
if I come,
I will call attention to the works
which he does with these evil words,
bad mouthing us,

And not content with that,
he not only does not accept the brothers and sisters
But also he stops those who wish to,
and throws them out of the church.

Beloved, do not copy bad deeds but good ones.
The one who does what is good is from God. 
The one who does what is bad has not seen God.

Demetrius has been testified to by all
and by Truth itself.
And we testify also,
and you know that our testimony is true.

I have many things to write to you,
but I do not wish to (communicate) through ink and pen.

I hope to see you straight away and we will speak face to face.

Peace to you.
The friends greet you.
Greet the friends by name. 

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

3 John 1-8

The Elder
to Gaius, the beloved, whom I love in the truth. 

Beloved,
I pray that all will go well for you, and you will be in good health,
as it is well with your soul. 

For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth,
as you walk in the truth. 

I have no greater joy than this,
that I hear that my children are walking in the truth. 

Beloved, you act faithfully  in whatever you do for the brothers and sisters  –
for these ‘strangers’.
They have borne witness to your love before the church
– they who you will do well to help on their way, worthy of God. 

For they went out on behalf of the Name accepting nothing from the pagans.
So we ought  to support such people, so that we might be fellow-workers in the truth.

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art –
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

2 John 9-13

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not stay in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who stays in the teaching, they have both the Father and the Son. 

If someone comes to you all and does not bear this teaching, do not receive them into the house and do not say ‘Greetings’ to them. The one who says ‘Greetings’ to them shares their work with evil ones. 

Having many things to write to you – but  I do not wish [to communicate]  through paper and ink, I hope to be with you and speak to you face to face, so that our joy might be complete. The children of your elect sister greet you.

Lord, you have given me so much,
I ask for one more thing –
a grateful heart.

George Herbert

2 John 5-9

And now I am asking you, Lady, 

(not as one writing to you a new commandment
but one which we have had from the beginning,)

that we love one another .

(And this is love,
that we walk according to his commandments.)

This is the commandment, 
as you have heard from the beginning,
that you should walk in it.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in the flesh.
This one is the deceiver  and the antichrist. 

Watch yourselves,
lest you lose what we have worked for,
rather than receive a full reward.

Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me
Be thou a smooth path below me
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me
Today – tonight -forever
Amen.

St Columba

2 John 1-4

The elder to the elect lady, and her children,
whom I love in the truth,
and not only me but also all those who have known the truth ,
because of the truth that dwells in us and will be with us forever. 

Grace, mercy, peace  will be with you, from God the Father,
and Jesus Christ the son of the Father, in truth and love. 

I have rejoiced greatly
because I have found some of your children walking in the truth,
-as we have received the commandment from God.

Teach us, good Lord,
to serve thee as thou deservest;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do thy will,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

St Ignatius

1 John 5:18-21

We know that everyone who is born from God does not sin. 
   But the ones born from God,
he keeps them
and the evil one does not touch them. 

We know that we are from God
and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

We know that the Son of God has come
and gives to us understanding
so that we might know him who is true,
and we are in him who is true,
in his Son, Jesus Christ,

This one is the true God and eternal life. 

Little children guard yourselves from idols.

Teach us, good Lord,
to serve thee as thou deservest;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do thy will,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

St Ignatius

1 John 5 16-17

If someone sees their brother or sister committing a sin that does not result in death, they will ask
      and he will give life to them.

                      to those sinning not to death.

(There is a sin to death, I am not saying that they should ask about that.
All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin which is not to death)

Grant, Lord,
that we may hold to you without parting,
worship you without wearying,
serve you without failing;
faithfully seek you,
happily find you,
and forever possess you,
the only God,blessed now and for ever.
Amen

St Anselm

1 John 5:13-15 Boldness to pray

I have written these things
– to you all so that you may know that you have eternal life, 
– to those who believe in the name of the Son of God. 

And this is the confidence which we have with him,
        because whenever we ask according to his will, he hears us. 

And if we know that he hears us whatever we ask,
we know that we have the requests we have requested from him.

Thank you, dear Jesus,
for all you have given me,
for all you have taken away from me,
for all you have left me.

Thomas More (c.1478-1535)