|Wheat Field with Lark, Vincent van Gogh c. 1887|
Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Ezekiel 3:4-17
He said to me: Mortal, go to the house of Israel and speak my very words to them. For you are not sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel-- not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. See, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your forehead hard against their foreheads. Like the hardest stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not fear them or be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. He said to me: Mortal, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart and hear with your ears; then go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them. Say to them, "Thus says the Lord GOD" whether they hear or refuse to hear. Then the spirit lifted me up, and as the glory of the LORD rose from its place, I heard behind me the sound of loud rumbling; it was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, that sounded like a loud rumbling. The spirit lifted me up and bore me away; I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the LORD being strong upon me. I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who lived by the river Chebar. And I sat there among them, stunned, for seven days. At the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me: Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Hebrews 5:7-14
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become dull in understanding. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 9:37-50
On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not." Jesus answered, "You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here." While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, "Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands." But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying. An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest." John answered, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you."
Psalm 87 Fundamenta ejus
1 On the holy mountain stands the city he has founded; the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
2 Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of our God.
3 I count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me; behold Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia: in Zion were they born.
4 Of Zion it shall be said, "Everyone was born in her, and the Most High himself shall sustain her."
5 The LORD will record as he enrolls the peoples, "These also were born there."
6 The singers and the dancers will say, "All my fresh springs are in you."
Psalm 90 Domine, refugium
1 Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or the land and the earth were born, from age to age you are God.
3 You turn us back to the dust and say, "Go back, O child of earth."
4 For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past and like a watch in the night.
5 You sweep us away like a dream; we fade away suddenly like the grass.
6 In the morning it is green and flourishes; in the evening it is dried up and withered.
7 For we consume away in your displeasure; we are afraid because of your wrathful indignation.
8 Our iniquities you have set before you, and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9 When you are angry, all our days are gone; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The span of our life is seventy years, perhaps in strength even eighty; yet the sum of them is but labor and sorrow, for they pass away quickly and we are gone.
11 Who regards the power of your wrath? who rightly fears your indignation?
12 So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
13 Return, O LORD; how long will you tarry? be gracious to your servants.
14 Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
15 Make us glad by the measure of the days that you afflicted us and the years in which we suffered adversity.
16 Show your servants your works and your splendor to their children.
17 May the graciousness of the LORD our God be upon us; prosper the work of our hands; prosper our handiwork.
Psalm 136 Confitemini
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his mercy endures for ever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his mercy endures for ever.
4 Who only does great wonders, for his mercy endures for ever;
5 Who by wisdom made the heavens, for his mercy endures for ever;
6 Who spread out the earth upon the waters, for his mercy endures for ever;
7 Who created great lights, for his mercy endures for ever;
8 The sun to rule the day, for his mercy endures for ever;
9 The moon and the stars to govern the night, for his mercy endures for ever.
10 Who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his mercy endures for ever;
11 And brought out Israel from among them, for his mercy endures for ever;
12 With a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm, for his mercy endures for ever;
13 Who divided the Red Sea in two, for his mercy endures for ever;
14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it, for his mercy endures for ever;
15 But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea, for his mercy endures for ever;
16 Who led his people through the wilderness, for his mercy endures for ever.
17 Who struck down great kings, for his mercy endures for ever;
18 And slew mighty kings, for his mercy endures for ever;
19 Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his mercy endures for ever;
20 And Og, the king of Bashan, for his mercy endures for ever;
21 And gave away their lands for an inheritance, for his mercy endures for ever;
22 An inheritance for Israel his servant, for his mercy endures for ever.
23 Who remembered us in our low estate, for his mercy endures for ever;
24 And delivered us from our enemies, for his mercy endures for ever;
25 Who gives food to all creatures, for his mercy endures for ever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his mercy endures for ever.
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
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen
A Prayer For God's Help
Lord God, Enlighten what is dark in me,
Strengthen what is weak in me,
Mend what is broken in me,
Bind what is bruised in me,
Heal what is sick in me,
Revive whatever peace and love that has died in me.
Restore me, Father God, as you would have me,
That I may better serve you
And show your Glory to all the world.
In the name of Christ, I pray,
A Prayer to Remove Hardness in My Heart
Precious Lord God, I am deeply distressed at my failure to know you as fully as I want to. I do things that I do not want to do and I think things that I regret. Sometimes I feel like a phony Christian, for there is a hard place in my heart that urges me to live, not in your Spirit, but in the world. Please, God, I beg of you, in your mighty power, melt the hardness of my heart. Of my own free will, I ask you into the deepest crevice of my being, that I may be filled with your love and holiness. I depend on your without any backup plan, Lord; for you and only you have the power to change me. 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.