John Eliot: Missionary among the Algonquin, 1690

Thursday, May 21, 2015Saturday, May 21, 2016Monday, May 21, 2018
The Collect: 

Great Creator, source of mercy, we thank you for the imagination and conviction of your evangelist, John Eliot, who brought both literacy and the Bible to the Algonquin people, and reshaped their communities into fellowships of Christ to serve you and give you praise; and we pray that we may so desire to share your Good News with others that we labor for mutual understanding and trust; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Reading: 
Sirach 1:1-11

1All wisdom is from the Lord,
   and with him it remains for ever.
2 The sand of the sea, the drops of rain,
   and the days of eternity—who can count them?
3 The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth,
   the abyss, and wisdom*—who can search them out?
4 Wisdom was created before all other things,
   and prudent understanding from eternity.*
6 The root of wisdom—to whom has it been revealed?
   Her subtleties—who knows them?*
8 There is but one who is wise, greatly to be feared,
   seated upon his throne—the Lord.
9 It is he who created her;
   he saw her and took her measure;
   he poured her out upon all his works,
10 upon all the living according to his gift;
   he lavished her upon those who love him.*

11 The fear of the Lord is glory and exultation,
   and gladness and a crown of rejoicing.

Psalm: 
Psalm 68:33-36

33 O rider in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
   listen, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Ascribe power to God,
   whose majesty is over Israel;
   and whose power is in the skies.
35 Awesome is God in his* sanctuary,
   the God of Israel;
   he gives power and strength to his people.

Epistle: 
Romans 15:13-21

13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

14 I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters,* that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15Nevertheless, on some points I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast of my work for God. 18For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished* through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, 19by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God,* so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news* of Christ. 20Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news,* not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, 21but as it is written,
‘Those who have never been told of him shall see,
   and those who have never heard of him shall understand.’

Gospel: 
Mark 4:1-20

1 Again he began to teach beside the lake. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the lake on the land. 2He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’ 9And he said, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’

10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret* of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12in order that
“they may indeed look, but not perceive,
   and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” ’

13 And he said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.* 18And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’