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 14:27-15:3
For the worship of idols not to be named is the beginning and cause and end of every evil. For their worshipers either rave in exultation, or prophesy lies, or live unrighteously, or readily commit perjury; for because they trust in lifeless idols they swear wicked oaths and expect to suffer no harm. But just penalties will overtake them on two counts: because they thought wrongly about God in devoting themselves to idols, and because in deceit they swore unrighteously through contempt for holiness. For it is not the power of the things by which people swear, but the just penalty for those who sin, that always pursues the transgression of the unrighteous. But you, our God, are kind and true, patient, and ruling all things in mercy. For even if we sin we are yours, knowing your power; but we will not sin, because we know that you acknowledge us as yours. For to know you is complete righteousness, and to know your power is the root of immortality.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 14:1-12
Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God. We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 8:26-39
Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me"-- for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion" for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss. Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.
Psalm 70 Deus, in adjutorium
1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me.
2 Let those who seek my life be ashamed and altogether dismayed; let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and be disgraced.
3 Let those who say to me "Aha!" and gloat over me turn back, because they are ashamed.
4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation say for ever, "Great is the LORD!"
5 But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me speedily, O God.
6 You are my helper and my deliverer; O LORD, do not tarry.
Psalm 71 In te, Domine, speravi
1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be ashamed.
2 In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; you are my crag and my stronghold.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
5 For you are my hope, O LORD God, my confidence since I was young.
6 I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother's womb you have been my strength; my praise shall be always of you.
7 I have become a portent to many; but you are my refuge and my strength.
8 Let my mouth be full of your praise and your glory all the day long.
9 Do not cast me off in my old age; forsake me not when my strength fails.
10 For my enemies are talking against me, and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.
11 They say, "God has forsaken him; go after him and seize him; because there is none who will save."
12 O God, be not far from me; come quickly to help me, O my God.
13 Let those who set themselves against me be put to shame and be disgraced; let those who seek to do me evil be covered with scorn and reproach.
14 But I shall always wait in patience, and shall praise you more and more.
15 My mouth shall recount your mighty acts and saving deeds all day long; though I cannot know the number of them.
16 I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord GOD; I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
17 O God, you have taught me since I was young, and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
18 And now that I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, till I make known your strength to this generation and your power to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; you have done great things; who is like you, O God?
20 You have showed me great troubles and adversities, but you will restore my life and bring me up again from the deep places of the earth.
21 You strengthen me more and more; you enfold and comfort me,
22 Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
24 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long, for they are ashamed and disgraced who sought to do me harm.
Psalm 74 Ut quid, Deus?
1 O God, why have you utterly cast us off? why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago, the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance, and Mount Zion where you dwell.
3 Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries roared in your holy place; they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5 They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees; they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.
6 They set fire to your holy place; they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name and razed it to the ground.
7 They said to themselves, "Let us destroy them altogether." They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.
8 There are no signs for us to see; there is no prophet left; there is not one among us who knows how long.
9 How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
10 Why do you draw back your hand? why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
11 Yet God is my King from ancient times, victorious in the midst of the earth.
12 You divided the sea by your might and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
13 You crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
14 You split open spring and torrent; you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15 Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun.
16 You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
17 Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed, how a foolish people despised your Name.
18 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; never forget the lives of your poor.
19 Look upon your covenant; the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
20 Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed; let the poor and needy praise your Name.
21 Arise, O God, maintain your cause; remember how fools revile you all day long.
22 Forget not the clamor of your adversaries, the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.
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
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 Guidance
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
A Prayer for Mission
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.