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
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me. Amen (Martin Luther)
The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Ezekiel 34:17-31
As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken. I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild animals from the land, so that they may live in the wild and sleep in the woods securely. I will make them and the region around my hill a blessing; and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. The trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase. They shall be secure on their soil; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and save them from the hands of those who enslaved them. They shall no more be plunder for the nations, nor shall the animals of the land devour them; they shall live in safety, and no one shall make them afraid. I will provide for them a splendid vegetation so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the insults of the nations. They shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD. You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Hebrews 8:1-13
Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent, was warned, "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain." But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one. God finds fault with them when he says: "The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach one another or say to each other, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." In speaking of "a new covenant," he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 10:38-42
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."
Psalm 102 Domine, exaudi
1 LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come before you; hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
2 Incline your ear to me; when I call, make haste to answer me,
3 For my days drift away like smoke, and my bones are hot as burning coals.
4 My heart is smitten like grass and withered, so that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the voice of my groaning I am but skin and bones.
6 I have become like a vulture in the wilderness, like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake and groan; I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
8 My enemies revile me all day long, and those who scoff at me have taken an oath against me.
9 For I have eaten ashes for bread and mingled my drink with weeping.
10 Because of your indignation and wrath you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
11 My days pass away like a shadow, and I wither like the grass.
12 But you, O LORD, endure for ever, and your Name from age to age.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to have mercy upon her; indeed, the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants love her very rubble, and are moved to pity even for her dust.
15 The nations shall fear your Name, O LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For the LORD will build up Zion, and his glory will appear.
17 He will look with favor on the prayer of the homeless; he will not despise their plea.
18 Let this be written for a future generation, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD.
19 For the LORD looked down from his holy place on high; from the heavens he beheld the earth;
20 That he might hear the groan of the captive and set free those condemned to die;
21 That they may declare in Zion the Name of the LORD, and his praise in Jerusalem;
22 When the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms also, to serve the LORD.
23 He has brought down my strength before my time; he has shortened the number of my days;
24 And I said, "O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days; your years endure throughout all generations.
25 In the beginning, O LORD, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands;
26 They shall perish, but you will endure; they all shall wear out like a garment; as clothing you will change them, and they shall be changed;
27 But you are always the same, and your years will never end.
28 The children of your servants shall continue, and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight."
Psalm 107:1-32 Confitemini Domino
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, and his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let all those whom the LORD has redeemed proclaim that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.
3 He gathered them out of the lands; from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes; they found no way to a city where they might dwell.
5 They were hungry and thirsty; their spirits languished within them.
6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He put their feet on a straight path to go to a city where they might dwell.
8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
10 Some sat in darkness and deep gloom, bound fast in misery and iron;
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.
12 So he humbled their spirits with hard labor; they stumbled, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
14 He led them out of darkness and deep gloom and broke their bonds asunder.
15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
16 For he shatters the doors of bronze and breaks in two the iron bars.
17 Some were fools and took to rebellious ways; they were afflicted because of their sins.
18 They abhorred all manner of food and drew near to death's door.
19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
20 He sent forth his word and healed them and saved them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
22 Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.
23 Some went down to the sea in ships and plied their trade in deep waters;
24 They beheld the works of the LORD and his wonders in the deep.
25 Then he spoke, and a stormy wind arose, which tossed high the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and fell back to the depths; their hearts melted because of their peril.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits' end.
28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper and quieted the waves of the sea.
30 Then were they glad because of the calm, and he brought them to the harbor they were bound for.
31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
32 Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.
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
O Heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open my eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, I may learn to serve you with gladness, faithfully managing your bounty; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
A Prayer for the Guidance During the Day
Oh my God, you know my weakness and failings, and that without your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others'. Grant me, therefore, the help of your grace, according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the tasks you will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and let me set my hand to these tasks with the vigor and joy of one with whom you abide. And if I should face trials, suffering or failure, I pray that your hand will lift me up, and I may be refreshed. In the name of Christ, I pray, 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
I Heard Him Come
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
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.