I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting. I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways. I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall. I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
Confession and Forgiveness
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.
The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from 1 Samuel 5:1-12
When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod; then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and placed it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off upon the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not step on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day. The hand of the LORD was heavy upon the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and struck them with tumors, both in Ashdod and in its territory. And when the inhabitants of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, "The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us; for his hand is heavy on us and on our god Dagon." So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, "What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?" The inhabitants of Gath replied, "Let the ark of God be moved on to us." So they moved the ark of the God of Israel to Gath. But after they had brought it to Gath, the hand of the LORD was against the city, causing a very great panic; he struck the inhabitants of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them. So they sent the ark of the God of Israel to Ekron. But when the ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, "Why have they brought around to us the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people?" They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, "Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people." For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city. The hand of God was very heavy there; those who did not die were stricken with tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Acts 5:12-26
Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured. Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, "Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life." When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching. When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the temple police went there, they did not find them in the prison; so they returned and reported, "We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside." Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering what might be going on. Then someone arrived and announced, "Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!" Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 21:29-36
Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Psalm 89:1-18 Misericordias Domini
1 Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 'I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? who is like the LORD among the gods?
7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible to all those round about him.
8 Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea and still the surging of its waves.
10 You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
12 You have made the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; love and truth go before your face.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout! they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
16 They rejoice daily in your Name; they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength, and by your favor our might is exalted.
18 Truly, the LORD is our ruler; The Holy One of Israel is our King.
Psalm 89:19-52 Tunc locutus es
19 You spoke once in vision and said to your faithful people: "I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.
21 My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong.
22 No enemy shall deceive him, nor any wicked man bring him down.
23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my Name.
25 I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River.
26 He will say to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.'
27 I will make him my firstborn and higher than the kings of the earth.
28 I will keep my love for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29 I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of heaven."
30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my judgments;
31 If they break my statutes and do not keep my commandments;
32 I will punish their transgressions with a rod and their iniquities with the lash;
33 But I will not take my love from him, nor let my faithfulness prove false.
34 I will not break my covenant, nor change what has gone out of my lips.
35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness: 'I will not lie to David.
36 His line shall endure for ever and his throne as the sun before me;
37 It shall stand fast for evermore like the moon, the abiding witness in the sky.'"
38 But you have cast off and rejected your anointed; you have become enraged at him.
39 You have broken your covenant with your servant, defiled his crown, and hurled it to the ground.
40 You have breached all his walls and laid his strongholds in ruins.
41 All who pass by despoil him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes and made all his enemies rejoice.
43 You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not sustained him in battle.
44 You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth and have covered him with shame.
46 How long will you hide yourself, O LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? how long will your anger burn like fire?
47 Remember, LORD, how short life is, how frail you have made all flesh.
48 Who can live and not see death? who can save himself from the power of the grave?
49 Where, Lord, are your loving-kindnesses of old, which you promised David in your faithfulness?
50 Remember, Lord, how your servant is mocked, how I carry in my bosom the taunts of many peoples,
51 The taunts your enemies have hurled, O LORD, which they hurled at the heels of your anointed.
52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore! Amen, I say, Amen.
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.
Prayer of the Day
O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
A Prayer in Darkness of the Mind
This much, O heaven — if I should brood or rave,
Pity me not; but let the world be fed,
Yea, in my madness if I strike me dead,
Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave.
If I dare snarl between this sun and sod,
Whimper and clamour; give me grace to own,
In sun and rain and fruit in season shown, The shining silence of the mercy of God.
Thank God the stars are set beyond my power,
If I must travail in a night of wrath,
Thank God my tears will never vex a moth,
Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower.
Men say the sun was darkened: yet I had
Thought it beat brightly, even on Calvary:
And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree
Heard all the crickets singing, and was glad.
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.
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
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.