|Athanasius at the Council of Nicea|
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
Give me strength to live another day;
Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties;
Let me not lose faith in other people;
Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness;
Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them;
Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity;
Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things;
Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth;
Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness;
and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls;
in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen
The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Daniel 4:28-37
All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king said, "Is this not magnificent Babylon, which I have built as a royal capital by my mighty power and for my glorious majesty?" While the words were still in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven: "O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: The kingdom has departed from you! You shall be driven away from human society, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you have learned that the Most High has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals and gives it to whom he will." Immediately the sentence was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven away from human society, ate grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers and his nails became like birds' claws. When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me. I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored the one who lives forever. For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does what he wills with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can stay his hand or say to him, "What are you doing?" At that time my reason returned to me; and my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom. My counselors and my lords sought me out, I was re-established over my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are truth, and his ways are justice; and he is able to bring low those who walk in pride.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 1 John 4:7-21
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 4:31-37
He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, "Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, "What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!" And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.
Psalm 26 Judica me, Domine
1 Give judgment for me, O LORD, for I have lived with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.
2 Test me, O LORD, and try me; examine my heart and my mind.
3 For your love is before my eyes; I have walked faithfully with you.
4 I have not sat with the worthless, nor do I consort with the deceitful.
5 I have hated the company of evildoers; I will not sit down with the wicked.
6 I will wash my hands in innocence, O LORD, that I may go in procession round your altar,
7 Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving and recounting all your wonderful deeds.
8 LORD, I love the house in which you dwell and the place where your glory abides.
9 Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with those who thirst for blood,
10 Whose hands are full of evil plots, and their right hand full of bribes.
11 As for me, I will live with integrity; redeem me, O LORD, and have pity on me.
12 My foot stands on level ground; in the full assembly I will bless the LORD.
Psalm 28 Ad te, Domine
1 O LORD, I call to you; my Rock, do not be deaf to my cry; lest, if you do not hear me, I become like those who go down to the Pit.
2 Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you, when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.
3 Do not snatch me away with the wicked or with the evildoers, who speak peaceably with their neighbors, while strife is in their hearts.
4 Repay them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their actions.
5 According to the work of their hands repay them, and give them their just deserts.
6 They have no understanding of the LORD'S doings, nor of the works of his hands; therefore he will break them down and not build them up.
7 Blessed is the LORD! for he has heard the voice of my prayer.
8 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I have been helped;
9 Therefore my heart dances for joy, and in my song will I praise him.
10 The LORD is the strength of his people, a safe refuge for his anointed.
11 Save your people and bless your inheritance; shepherd them and carry them for ever.
Psalm 36 Dixit injustus
1 There is a voice of rebellion deep in the heart of the wicked; there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 He flatters himself in his own eyes that his hateful sin will not be found out.
3 The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has left off acting wisely and doing good.
4 He thinks up wickedness upon his bed and has set himself in no good way; he does not abhor that which is evil.
5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, and your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the strong mountains, your justice like the great deep; you save both man and beast, O LORD.
7 How priceless is your love, O God! your people take refuge under the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast upon the abundance of your house; you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the well of life, and in your light we see light.
10 Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you, and your favor to those who are true of heart.
11 Let not the foot of the proud come near me, nor the hand of the wicked push me aside.
12 See how they are fallen, those who work wickedness! they are cast down and shall not be able to rise.
Psalm 39 Dixi, Custodiam
1 I said, "I will keep watch upon my ways, so that I do not offend with my tongue.
2 I will put a muzzle on my mouth while the wicked are in my presence."
3 So I held my tongue and said nothing; I refrained from rash words; but my pain became unbearable.
4 My heart was hot within me; while I pondered, the fire burst into flame; I spoke out with my tongue:
5 LORD, let me know my end and the number of my days, so that I may know how short my life is.
6 You have given me a mere handful of days, and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight; truly, even those who stand erect are but a puff of wind.
7 We walk about like a shadow, and in vain we are in turmoil; we heap up riches and cannot tell who will gather them.
8 And now, what is my hope? O Lord, my hope is in you.
9 Deliver me from all my transgressions and do not make me the taunt of the fool.
10 I fell silent and did not open my mouth, for surely it was you that did it.
11 Take your affliction from me; I am worn down by the blows of your hand.
12 With rebukes for sin you punish us; like a moth you eat away all that is dear to us; truly, everyone is but a puff of wind.
13 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears.
14 For I am but a sojourner with you, a wayfarer, as all my forebears were.
15 Turn your gaze from me, that I may be glad again, before I go my way and am no more.
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen
Prayer of the Day
Uphold your Church, O God of truth, as you upheld your servant Athanasius, to maintain and proclaim boldly the catholic faith against all opposition, trusting solely in the grace of your eternal Word, who took upon himself our humanity that we might share his divinity; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
A Prayer for Peace
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of 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
Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia!
Thanks be to God! Alleluia!
Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen
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.