|Maerten de Vos - St Paul Bitten by a Viper on the Island of Malta|
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.
~ John 4:23
God, let your Holy Spirit be powerful to direct my thinking today, so that it be empty of self pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking and fear. Inspire my thinking, decisions and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God, show me what I need to do to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow man. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen
Confession of Sin
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
The First Reading is taken from 1 Kings 5:1-6:1, 6:7-7
[Preparations and Materials for the Temple] Now King Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father; for Hiram had always been a friend to David. Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, "You know that my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. So I intend to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD said to my father David, 'Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.' Therefore command that cedars from the Lebanon be cut for me. My servants will join your servants, and I will give you whatever wages you set for your servants; for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians." When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly, and said, "Blessed be the LORD today, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people." Hiram sent word to Solomon, "I have heard the message that you have sent to me; I will fulfill all your needs in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. My servants shall bring it down to the sea from the Lebanon; I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will have them broken up there for you to take away. And you shall meet my needs by providing food for my household." So Hiram supplied Solomon's every need for timber of cedar and cypress. Solomon in turn gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty cors of fine oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. So the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and the two of them made a treaty. King Solomon conscripted forced labor out of all Israel; the levy numbered thirty thousand men. He sent them to the Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts; they would be a month in the Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. Solomon also had seventy thousand laborers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hill country, besides Solomon's three thousand three hundred supervisors who were over the work, having charge of the people who did the work. At the king's command, they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. So Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the Gebalites did the stonecutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.
[Solomon Builds the Temple] In the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD. The house was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron was heard in the temple while it was being built.
The Second Reading is taken from Acts 28:1-16
[Paul on the Island of Malta] After we had reached safety, we then learned that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us unusual kindness. Since it had begun to rain and was cold, they kindled a fire and welcomed all of us around it. Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood and was putting it on the fire, when a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "This man must be a murderer; though he has escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live." He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were expecting him to swell up or drop dead, but after they had waited a long time and saw that nothing unusual had happened to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god. Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It so happened that the father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and cured him by praying and putting his hands on him. After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They bestowed many honors on us, and when we were about to sail, they put on board all the provisions we needed.
[Paul Arrives at Rome] Three months later we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers as its figurehead. We put in at Syracuse and stayed there for three days; then we weighed anchor and came to Rhegium. After one day there a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. There we found believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. The believers from there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 14:27-42
And Jesus said to them, "You will all become deserters; for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." Peter said to him, "Even though all become deserters, I will not." Jesus said to him, "Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." But he said vehemently, "Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you." And all of them said the same.
[Jesus Prays in Gethsemane] They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake." And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want." He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand."
Psalm 16 Conserva me, Domine
1 Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; I have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, my good above all other."
2 All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble among the people.
3 But those who run after other gods shall have their troubles multiplied.
4 Their libations of blood I will not offer, nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
5 O LORD, you are my portion and my cup; it is you who uphold my lot.
6 My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
7 I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night.
8 I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
9 My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope.
10 For you will not abandon me to the grave, nor let your holy one see the Pit.
11 You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 17 Exaudi, Domine
1 Hear my plea of innocence, O LORD; give heed to my cry; listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.
2 Let my vindication come forth from your presence; let your eyes be fixed on justice.
3 Weigh my heart, summon me by night, melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
4 I give no offense with my mouth as others do; I have heeded the words of your lips.
5 My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law; in your paths my feet shall not stumble.
6 I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me and hear my words.
7 Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand from those who rise up against them.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings,
9 From the wicked who assault me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.
10 They have closed their heart to pity, and their mouth speaks proud things.
11 They press me hard, now they surround me, watching how they may cast me to the ground,
12 Like a lion, greedy for its prey, and like a young lion lurking in secret places.
13 Arise, O LORD; confront them and bring them down; deliver me from the wicked by your sword.
14 Deliver me, O LORD, by your hand from those whose portion in life is this world;
15 Whose bellies you fill with your treasure, who are well supplied with children and leave their wealth to their little ones.
16 But at my vindication I shall see your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.
Psalm 22 Deus, Deus meu
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?
2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer; by night as well, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4 Our forefathers put their trust in you; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 They cried out to you and were delivered; they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
6 But as for me, I am a worm and no man, scorned by all and despised by the people.
7 All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
8 He trusted in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, if he delights in him.
9 Yet you are he who took me out of the womb, and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.
10 I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born; you were my God when I was still in my mother's womb.
11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.
12 Many young bulls encircle me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
13 They open wide their jaws at me, like a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart within my breast is melting wax.
15 My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
16 Packs of dogs close me in, and gangs of evildoers circle around me; they pierce my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.
17 They stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.
18 Be not far away, O LORD; you are my strength; hasten to help me.
19 Save me from the sword, my life from the power of the dog.
20 Save me from the lion's mouth, my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
21 I will declare your Name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
22 Praise the LORD, you that fear him; stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob's line, give glory.
23 For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; but when they cry to him he hears them.
24 My praise is of him in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.
25 The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the LORD shall praise him: "May your heart live for ever!"
26 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations bow before him.
27 For kingship belongs to the LORD; he rules over the nations.
28 To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust fall before him.
29 My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him; they shall be known as the LORD'S for ever.
30 They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn the saving deeds that he has done.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Prayer of the Day
Oh Heavenly Father, who has promised to send us a Spirit to lead us, if we but listen and hear his presence in the bustle of life, I pray for your direction and guidance in becoming a disciple of your word. Teach me to spread your truth, to anyone I might see who might be able to hear it. Let me always reach out and show your love to the world through my every action. I pray, Holy Spirit, show me your path in this wayward world. Mold me by the model of your Son, and let me every day approach nearer to his perfect service. Let me, too, be a fisher of men. Show me how; teach me to help guide others to you, both in my words and in my deeds. In the name of Christ, I pray, Amen.
A Collect for Fridays
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for Mission
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.
Pentatonix Sings A Spine Chilling Cover Of ‘Hallelujah’
And It’s Going Viral
And It’s Going Viral
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
~ 2 Corinthians 13:14
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.