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
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen
The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Ezekiel 43:1-12
Then he brought me to the gate, the gate facing east. And there, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east; the sound was like the sound of mighty waters; and the earth shone with his glory. The vision I saw was like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like the vision that I had seen by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. As the glory of the LORD entered the temple by the gate facing east, the spirit lifted me up, and brought me into the inner court; and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me out of the temple. He said to me: Mortal, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet, where I will reside among the people of Israel forever. The house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their whoring, and by the corpses of their kings at their death. When they placed their threshold by my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them, they were defiling my holy name by their abominations that they committed; therefore I have consumed them in my anger. Now let them put away their idolatry and the corpses of their kings far from me, and I will reside among them forever. As for you, mortal, describe the temple to the house of Israel, and let them measure the pattern; and let them be ashamed of their iniquities. When they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the plan of the temple, its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, and its whole form-- all its ordinances and its entire plan and all its laws; and write it down in their sight, so that they may observe and follow the entire plan and all its ordinances. This is the law of the temple: the whole territory on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy. This is the law of the temple.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Hebrews 9:1-14
Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence; this is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a tent called the Holy of Holies. In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot speak now in detail. Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the first tent to carry out their ritual duties; but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year, and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing. This is a symbol of the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various baptisms, regulations for the body imposed until the time comes to set things right. But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 11:14-23
Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons." Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?-- for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Psalm 107:33-43 Posuit flumina
33 The LORD changed rivers into deserts, and water-springs into thirsty ground,
34 A fruitful land into salt flats, because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
35 He changed deserts into pools of water and dry land into water-springs.
36 He settled the hungry there, and they founded a city to dwell in.
37 They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, and brought in a fruitful harvest.
38 He blessed them, so that they increased greatly; he did not let their herds decrease.
39 Yet when they were diminished and brought low, through stress of adversity and sorrow,
40 (He pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes)
41 He lifted up the poor out of misery and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The upright will see this and rejoice, but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
43 Whoever is wise will ponder these things, and consider well the mercies of the LORD.
Psalm 108 Paratum cor meum
1 My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and make melody.
2 Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I myself will waken the dawn.
3 I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4 For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
6 So that those who are dear to you may be delivered, save with your right hand and answer me.
7 God spoke from his holy place and said, "I will exult and parcel out Shechem; I will divide the valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my scepter.
9 Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it, and over Philistia will I shout in triumph."
10 Who will lead me into the strong city? who will bring me into Edom?
11 Have you not cast us off, O God? you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
12 Grant us your help against the enemy, for vain is the help of man.
13 With God we will do valiant deeds, and he shall tread our enemies under foot.
Psalm 33 Exultate, justi
1 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; it is good for the just to sing praises.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp; play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
3 Sing for him a new song; sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
4 For the word of the LORD is right, and all his works are sure.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the loving-kindness of the LORD fills the whole earth.
6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7 He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin and stores up the depths of the sea.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to pass; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11 But the LORD'S will stands fast for ever, and the designs of his heart from age to age.
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
13 The LORD looks down from heaven, and beholds all the people in the world.
14 From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze on all who dwell on the earth.
15 He fashions all the hearts of them and understands all their works.
16 There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army; a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; for all its strength it cannot save.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, on those who wait upon his love,
19 To pluck their lives from death, and to feed them in time of famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
21 Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, for in his holy Name we put our trust.
22 Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, as we have put our trust in 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, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayer to Follow God's Will Today
O God, the author of all good, I come to You for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without You I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Your power.
Hold me up O God and I shall be safe. Preserve my understanding from subtlety of error, my affections from love of idols, my character from stain of vice, my profession from every form of evil. May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Your blessing, and in which I cannot invite Your inspection. Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments.
Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food suitable for me, lest I be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or be poor, and steal, and take Your name in vain. May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Your will. Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it, to improve my talents, to redeem my time, to walk in wisdom toward those without, and in kindness to those within, to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians. And to You, O God, be the glory. Amen (by Chas. Haddon Spurgeon)
A Prayer for Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE and the BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA
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.