Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3
Almighty God, I thank Thee for the job of this day. May I find gladness in all its toil and difficulty, its pleasure and success, and even in its failure and sorrow. I would look always away from myself, and behold the glory and the need of the world, that I may have the will and the strength to bring the gift of gladness to others; that with them I stand to bear the burden and heat of the day and offer Thee the praise of work well done. Amen
~ Bishop Charles Lewis Slattery, 1903
Confession and Forgiveness
Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being, whose face is hidden from us by our sins, and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts: cleanse us from all our offenses, and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires, that with reverent and humble hearts we may draw near to you, confessing our faults, confiding in your grace, and finding in you our refuge and strength; through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen
The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from 1 Samuel 7:2-17
From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD. Then Samuel said to all the house of Israel, "If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Astartes from among you. Direct your heart to the LORD, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines." So Israel put away the Baals and the Astartes, and they served the LORD only. Then Samuel said, "Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you." So they gathered at Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the LORD. They fasted that day, and said, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah. When the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it they were afraid of the Philistines. The people of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, and pray that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines." So Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD; Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him. As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel; but the LORD thundered with a mighty voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion; and they were routed before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as beyond Beth-car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. He went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all these places. Then he would come back to Ramah, for his home was there; he administered justice there to Israel, and built there an altar to the LORD.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Acts 6:1-15
Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word." What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God." They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. They set up false witnesses who said, "This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us." And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 22:14-23
When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!" Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this.
Psalm 101 Misericordiam et judicium
1 I will sing of mercy and justice; to you, O LORD, will I sing praises.
2 I will strive to follow a blameless course; oh, when will you come to me? I will walk with sincerity of heart within my house.
3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the doers of evil deeds; they shall not remain with me.
4 A crooked heart shall be far from me; I will not know evil.
5 Those who in secret slander their neighbors I will destroy; those who have a haughty look and a proud heart I cannot abide.
6 My eyes are upon the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me, and only those who lead a blameless life shall be my servants.
7 Those who act deceitfully shall not dwell in my house, and those who tell lies shall not continue in my sight.
8 I will soon destroy all the wicked in the land, that I may root out all evildoers from the city of the LORD.
Psalm 109 Deus, laudem
1 Hold not your tongue, O God of my praise; for the mouth of the wicked, the mouth of the deceitful, is opened against me.
2 They speak to me with a lying tongue; they encompass me with hateful words and fight against me without a cause.
3 Despite my love, they accuse me; but as for me, I pray for them.
4 They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love.
5 Set a wicked man against him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand.
6 When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his appeal be in vain.
7 Let his days be few, and let another take his office.
8 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife become a widow.
9 Let his children be waifs and beggars; let them be driven from the ruins of their homes.
10 Let the creditor seize everything he has; let strangers plunder his gains.
11 Let there be no one to show him kindness, and none to pity his fatherless children.
12 Let his descendants be destroyed, and his name be blotted out in the next generation.
13 Let the wickedness of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and his mother's sin not be blotted out;
14 Let their sin be always before the LORD; but let him root out their names from the earth;
15 Because he did not remember to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy and sought to kill the brokenhearted.
16 He loved cursing, let it come upon him; he took no delight in blessing, let it depart from him.
17 He put on cursing like a garment, let it soak into his body like water and into his bones like oil;
18 Let it be to him like the cloak which he wraps around himself, and like the belt that he wears continually.
19 Let this be the recompense from the LORD to my accusers, and to those who speak evil against me.
20 But you, O Lord my God, oh, deal with me according to your Name; for your tender mercy's sake, deliver me.
21 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
22 I have faded away like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like a locust.
23 My knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh is wasted and gaunt.
24 I have become a reproach to them; they see and shake their heads.
25 Help me, O LORD my God; save me for your mercy's sake.
26 Let them know that this is your hand, that you, O LORD, have done it.
27 They may curse, but you will bless; let those who rise up against me be put to shame, and your servant will rejoice.
28 Let my accusers be clothed with disgrace and wrap themselves in their shame as in a cloak.
29 I will give great thanks to the LORD with my mouth; in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
30 Because he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save his life from those who would condemn him.
Psalm 119:121-128 Ayin Feci judicium
121 I have done what is just and right; do not deliver me to my oppressors.
122 Be surety for your servant's good; let not the proud oppress me.
123 My eyes have failed from watching for your salvation and for your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your loving-kindness and teach me your statutes.
125 I am your servant; grant me understanding, that I may know your decrees.
126 It is time for you to act, O LORD, for they have broken your law.
127 Truly, I love your commandments more than gold and precious stones.
128 I hold all your commandments to be right for me; all paths of falsehood I abhor.
Psalm 119:129-136 Pe Mirabilia
129 Your decrees are wonderful; therefore I obey them with all my heart.
130 When your word goes forth it gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant; I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me in mercy, as you always do to those who love your Name.
133 Steady my footsteps in your word; let no iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Rescue me from those who oppress me, and I will keep your commandments.
135 Let your countenance shine upon your servant and teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.
Psalm 119:137-144 Sadhe Justus es, Domine
137 You are righteous, O LORD, and upright are your judgments.
138 You have issued your decrees with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
139 My indignation has consumed me, because my enemies forget your words.
140 Your word has been tested to the uttermost, and your servant holds it dear.
141 I am small and of little account, yet I do not forget your commandments.
142 Your justice is an everlasting justice and your law is the truth.
143 Trouble and distress have come upon me, yet your commandments are my delight.
144 The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting; grant me understanding, that I may live.
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
Prayer of the Day
O 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
A Prayer for Those with Harmful Obsessions
Heavenly Father, I remember today all the many people who damage or destroy their lives with one of the thousand obsessions that can plague the human mind: The alcoholic and addict; those with eating disorders; those with sexual compulsions; those who are driven to obsessive gambling; the superstitious; those who hoard obsessively and live in squalor; those whose only concern is their appearance, or wealth; or any of the myriad, baffling, and often bizarre behavioral disorders that may affect and burden the lives of your people.
Help me first to remember, when I am shocked by their behavior or critical of them, that they are your beautiful children whom you love. Give them the strength to seek help, guide them to people who can help them, and flood them with the power of your Holy Spirit, that they may control their disorders and find peace and contentment on this earth, and the eternal joy that awaits the faithful. I pray this in the name of Christ, who loved beyond all love and was always pleased to heal those who came to Him in faith. Amen
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
Gaither Vocal Band, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Swing Down Chariot [Live]
This rendition of the tuneful Swing Down
Chariot, with its locomotive rhythm, will
put some steam in your engine!
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. 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.