If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1
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 Wisdom 10:1-21
Wisdom protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created; she delivered him from his transgression, and gave him strength to rule all things. But when an unrighteous man departed from her in his anger, he perished because in rage he killed his brother. When the earth was flooded because of him, wisdom again saved it, steering the righteous man by a paltry piece of wood. Wisdom also, when the nations in wicked agreement had been put to confusion, recognized the righteous man and preserved him blameless before God, and kept him strong in the face of his compassion for his child. Wisdom rescued a righteous man when the ungodly were perishing; he escaped the fire that descended on the Five Cities. Evidence of their wickedness still remains: a continually smoking wasteland, plants bearing fruit that does not ripen, and a pillar of salt standing as a monument to an unbelieving soul. For because they passed wisdom by, they not only were hindered from recognizing the good, but also left for humankind a reminder of their folly, so that their failures could never go unnoticed. Wisdom rescued from troubles those who served her. When a righteous man fled from his brother's wrath, she guided him on straight paths; she showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of holy things; she prospered him in his labors, and increased the fruit of his toil. When his oppressors were covetous, she stood by him and made him rich. She protected him from his enemies, and kept him safe from those who lay in wait for him; in his arduous contest she gave him the victory, so that he might learn that godliness is more powerful than anything else. When a righteous man was sold, wisdom did not desert him, but delivered him from sin. She descended with him into the dungeon, and when he was in prison she did not leave him, until she brought him the scepter of a kingdom and authority over his masters. Those who accused him she showed to be false, and she gave him everlasting honor. A holy people and blameless race wisdom delivered from a nation of oppressors. She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, and withstood dread kings with wonders and signs. She gave to holy people the reward of their labors; she guided them along a marvelous way, and became a shelter to them by day, and a starry flame through the night. She brought them over the Red Sea, and led them through deep waters; but she drowned their enemies, and cast them up from the depth of the sea. Therefore the righteous plundered the ungodly; they sang hymns, O Lord, to your holy name, and praised with one accord your defending hand; for wisdom opened the mouths of those who were mute, and made the tongues of infants speak clearly.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 12:1-21
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-- what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 8:1-15
Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources. When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold." As he said this, he called out, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!" Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that 'looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.' "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.
Psalm 61 Exaudi, Deus
1 Hear my cry, O God, and listen to my prayer.
2 I call upon you from the ends of the earth with heaviness in my heart; set me upon the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
4 I will dwell in your house for ever; I will take refuge under the cover of your wings.
5 For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have granted me the heritage of those who fear your Name.
6 Add length of days to the king's life; let his years extend over many generations.
7 Let him sit enthroned before God for ever; bid love and faithfulness watch over him.
8 So will I always sing the praise of your Name, and day by day I will fulfill my vows.
Psalm 62 Nonne Deo?
1 For God alone my soul in silence waits; from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will you assail me to crush me, all of you together, as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?
4 They seek only to bring me down from my place of honor; lies are their chief delight.
5 They bless with their lips, but in their hearts they curse.
6 For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him.
7 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
8 In God is my safety and my honor; God is my strong rock and my refuge.
9 Put your trust in him always, O people, pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
10 Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath, even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
11 On the scales they are lighter than a breath, all of them together.
12 Put no trust in extortion; in robbery take no empty pride; though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
13 God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, that power belongs to God.
14 Steadfast love is yours, O Lord, for you repay everyone according to his deeds.
Psalm 68 Exsurgat Deus
1 Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him.
2 Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3 But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; let them also be merry and joyful.
4 Sing to God, sing praises to his Name; exalt him who rides upon the heavens; YAHWEH is his Name, rejoice before him!
5 Father of orphans, defender of widows, God in his holy habitation!
6 God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; but the rebels shall live in dry places.
7 O God, when you went forth before your people, when you marched through the wilderness,
8 The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain, at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9 You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; you refreshed the land when it was weary.
10 Your people found their home in it; in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.
11 The Lord gave the word; great was the company of women who bore the tidings:
12 Kings with their armies are fleeing away; the women at home are dividing the spoils.
13 Though you lingered among the sheepfolds, you shall be like a dove whose wings are covered with silver, whose feathers are like green gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered kings, it was like snow falling in Zalmon.
15 O mighty mountain, O hill of Bashan! O rugged mountain, O hill of Bashan!
16 Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountain, at the hill which God chose for his resting place? truly, the LORD will dwell there for ever.
17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands; the Lord comes in holiness from Sinai.
18 You have gone up on high and led captivity captive; you have received gifts even from your enemies, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
19 Blessed be the Lord day by day, the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens.
20 He is our God, the God of our salvation; God is the LORD, by whom we escape death.
21 God shall crush the heads of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of those who go on still in their wickedness.
22 The Lord has said, "I will bring them back from Bashan; I will bring them back from the depths of the sea;
23 That your foot may be dipped in blood, the tongues of your dogs in the blood of your enemies."
24 They see your procession, O God, your procession into the sanctuary, my God and my King.
25 The singers go before, musicians follow after, in the midst of maidens playing upon the hand-drums.
26 Bless God in the congregation; bless the LORD, you that are of the fountain of Israel.
27 There is Benjamin, least of the tribes, at the head; the princes of Judah in a company; and the princes of Zebulon and Naphtali.
28 Send forth your strength, O God; establish, O God, what you have wrought for us.
29 Kings shall bring gifts to you, for your temple's sake at Jerusalem.
30 Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, and the peoples, a herd of wild bulls with its calves.
31 Trample down those who lust after silver; scatter the peoples that delight in war.
32 Let tribute be brought out of Egypt; let Ethiopia stretch out her hands to God.
33 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord.
34 He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice.
35 Ascribe power to God; his majesty is over Israel; his strength is in the skies.
36 How wonderful is God in his holy places! the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people! Blessed be God!
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
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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
Alleluia! Christ has risen
Christ has risen indeed. 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.