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Brench & Chaiphakdi Productions

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8

B&C P is a collaborative project between Fr. Matthew Brench and Ms. Parady Chaiphakdi to harness the renaissance of classical Anglicanism taking place at the grassroots level across the world, especially online, and make such writings and wisdom accessible to the faithful, particularly in South East Asia.

Our premier work will be The Anglican Life of Prayer, which is a modernisation of the 1662 Prayer Book’s Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer. It will contain further excerpts from the 1662 BCP and a glossed edition of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, and is particularly prepared for the Anglican churches in South East Asia.

On this site, Brench and Chaiphakdi also provide periodic insights and encouragements for the use of the daily prayers and the Scripture lessons that accompany them.

Saint Thomas the Apostle

As Christians, there are situations where doubt creeps in and there is some guilt that comes with it for doubting God. But Scripture shows us that God is patient and gracious in bearing with doubts and He transforms doubt into faith. Let us therefore take heart in remembering St Thomas where God patiently worked through his doubt and strengthened his faith in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Collects

Classic 1662 CollectB&C P’s modernisation
Almighty and everliving God, who for the more confirmation of the faith didst suffer thy holy Apostle Thomas to be doubtful in thy Son’s resurrection; Grant us so perfectly, and without all doubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus Christ, that our faith in thy sight may never be reproved. Hear us, O Lord, through the same Jesus Christ, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.Almighty and everliving God, who patiently bore with your holy Apostle Thomas’ doubt in your Son’s resurrection in order to further confirm his faith: Grant us so perfectly and without all doubt to believe in your Son Jesus Christ, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight. Hear us, O Lord, through the same Jesus Christ, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

The Epistle

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (ESV)

The Gospel

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 20:24-31 (ESV)

Saint Andrew’s Day

We now commemorate the first saint for the year! It is fitting for an apostle who was the very first one called by our Lord, Jesus Christ.

For today, the collects/prayers will stack up where we have the collect for St Andrew’s Day and the collect for the First Sunday in Advent:

Classic 1662 CollectB&C P’s modernisation
Almighty God, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay; Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy Word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfil the holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Almighty God, you gave such grace to your holy Apostle Saint Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay [and brought his brother with him]: Give us, who are called by your holy Word, grace to give ourselves up obediently to fulfil your holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.
*NOTE: The phrase in brackets has been added from a modern version for theological clarity.
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

The Epistle Reading

…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
    and their words to the ends of the world.”

But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
    with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

“I have been found by those who did not seek me;
    I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

Romans 10:9-21 (ESV)

The Gospel Reading

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Matthew 4:18-22 (ESV)

The First Sunday in Advent

We are now in the season of Advent which is also the liturgical new year. Throughout Advent, we prepare ourselves for Jesus’ first and second arrival by repenting of our sins. This is reflected in the collect for the season:

Classic 1662 CollectB&C P’s modernisation
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.
Collect for First Sunday in Advent

Epistle Reading

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Romans 13:8-14 (ESV)

Gospel Reading

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

Matthew 21:1-13 (ESV)

Additional link

If you would like a short reflection to accompany the collect and readings, click here.

Reflection: The Twentieth Sunday After Trinity and All Saints’ Day Collects

Enid M. Chadwick’s All Saints

It so happens that this year is where All Saints’ Day falls in the week of the Twentieth Sunday After Trinity which allowed me to read both collects together:

1662 BCPB&C P’s modernisation
Collect for the Twentieth Sunday After Trinity
O ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, of thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech thee, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that though wouldest have done; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Almighty and most merciful God, in your bountiful goodness keep us, we pray, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in mind and body, may cheerfully accomplish those things which are according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.
Collect for All Saints’ Day
O ALMIGHTY God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.O Almighty God, who has knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical Body of your Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow your blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those indescribable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

After reading them, I noticed that both collects have a common theme which is preservation of the elect or saints in different ways in preparation for Advent.

The Collect for the Twentieth Sunday After Trinity

This collect for the week emphasises the present moment for the benefit in the future by beseeching God to preserve us “from all things that may hurt us” through his grace. The hurt mentioned in the prayer may refer to “stumbling” in Jude 1:24. It is not just from bodily harm that we need to be protected, but in particular spiritual harm which can jeopardise the important things – God’s glory, our relationship with Him and mars our witness to Him in the world.

The purpose of this protection is in the second part of the collect, “that we, being ready both in body and soul [mind and body], may cheerfully accomplish those things which are according to your will”. The preparation in body and soul or mind and body to do the good works which God has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10) is just like training and equipping oneself like a soldier in Ephesians 6:10-20. It also shows that God’s grace is shown in tangible, physical ways to help us to do His will and endure evil.

The Collect for All Saints’ Day

The collect for today links the past with the present and future. The elect in the collect refers to believers in Christ or saints, chosen before the foundation of the world, transcending place and time (Ephesians 1:3-5, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3). Then, the prayer focuses on the present time, to us, asking God to help us emulate the saints with us in the present time and those who have gone before us in holiness and godliness. The chief end of which is for all the saints to see God’s promise of hope to be realised when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ returns to rule (Ephesians 1:17-23).

Saint Luke the Evangelist

Today, we remember one of the authors of the Gospel. In the collect, his job as a physician is mentioned in reference to Colossians 4:14 and is tied in with his calling as an evangelist.

The readings highlight the work of an evangelist, the challenges they face and their hope in the Lord.

Collect

1662 Book of Common PrayerB&C P’s modernisation
Almighty God, who calledst Luke the Physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, to be an Evangelist, and Physician of the soul; May it please thee, that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. AmenAlmighty God, you called Luke the Physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, to be an Evangelist and Physician of the soul: Grant that, by the wholesome medicine of the doctrine he taught, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Epistle Reading

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.

2 Timothy 4:5-15 (ESV)

Gospel Reading

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages.

Luke 10:1-7a (ESV)

Saint Michael and all Angels

In the list of Minor Festivals or Saints’ Days, 29th September is a day where angels are honoured.

Collect

Traditional 1662 CollectB&C P’s Modernisation
O EVERLASTING God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant, that as thy holy Angels alway do thee service in heaven, so by thy appointment they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Epistle reading

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

Revelation 12:7-12 (ESV)

Gospel reading

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 18:1-10 (ESV)

For a short reflection, click on this link.

Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

The Collect

1662 CollectB&C P’s rendering
O Almighty and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word; Grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church, to love that Word which he believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Almighty and everlasting God, you gave your Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach your Word: Grant, we beseech you, that your Church may love what he believed and both to preach and receive what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The collect for the day from the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and B&C P’s rendering of it in modern English

The Epistle

Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Acts 5:12-16 (ESV)

The Gospel

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:24-30 (ESV)

If you would like to find out more about St. Bartholomew and his example, head over to this blog post by Fr. Brench.

The Anglican Burial of the Dead

Recently, the Klang Valley Bible Conference (KVBC) held a conference entitled “Dying Well” by Dr. Peter Jensen. In light of the conference, here is a modernised English snippet of the “Burial of the Dead” of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer because it teaches how Anglicans view death:

BURIAL OF THE DEAD

Anthem and Prayers at the Grave

MAN that is born of a woman has but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He grows up, and is cut down like a flower; he flees like a shadow, and never continues in one place.

In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for aid but of you, O Lord, who for our sins are justly displeased?

Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

You know, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not your merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, most worthy judge eternal, suffer us not at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from you.

Then, while the earth shall be cast upon the Body by some standing by, the Priest shall say,

FORASMUCH as it has pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile [corruptible] body that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby Christ is able to subdue all things to himself.

Then shall be said or sung,

I HEARD a voice from heaven, saying unto me, “Write!  From henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.  Even so,” saith the Spirit, “for they rest from their labours.”

Prayer of Thanks and Hope for All Christians Living and Departed

ALMIGHTY God, with whom do live the spirits of those who die in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity: We give you hearty thanks because it has pleased you to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world.  We beseech you that it may please you, of your gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of your elect and to hasten [the coming of] your kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of your holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in your eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

B&C Productions

The full Order for the Burial of the Dead according to 1662 BCP can be found here.

This is a blog post that explains the last prayer in the snippet.

For those who are looking for a practical and Biblical way to comfort those who mourn, please go to this blog post and also download the “Prayers for a Vigil” from the 2019 Book of Common Prayer for reference.

Saint Barnabas the Apostle

In thanks to God for St Barnabas, here is the collect for the day for us to pray together followed by the relevant Epistle and Gospel readings.

1662 versionB&C P’s version
O LORD God Almighty, who didst endue thy holy Apostle Barnabas with singular gifts of the Holy Ghost; Leave us not, we beseech thee, destitute of thy manifold gifts, nor yet of grace to use them alway to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.O Lord God Almighty, who endued your holy Apostle Barnabas with particular gifts of the Holy Spirit [giving generously of his life and substance]: we beseech you, do not leave us destitute of your manifold gifts, neither of grace to use them always to your honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

NOTE: The phrase in brackets has been added from a modern version for theological clarity.
The collect for the day from the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and B&C P’s rendition of it in modern English

The Epistle reading:

The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 11:22-30 (ESV)

The Gospel reading:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

John 15:12-16 (ESV)