The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.
~ John 4:23
Good morning, dear Father; thank you for this day,
Help me to follow you in every way.
Let me speak as you speak, and do as you do;
Let me help others, as you help them, too.
Help me to be honest, don't let me play games,
Help me to grow, yet still stay the same.
Help me not to be selfish, to give of my heart, my mind and my labor;
Give all - not just part.
Help me to love others, my family, my friends,
Bless all of my foes, help me make amends.
Help me be kind, Father, where I am needed, let
Me give warm attention, and see all needs are met.
Help keep me busy, to strive for the best,
Help me not to be lazy, but find needed rest.
Let me come to you, Father, throughout the day,
Often to thank you, often to pray.
Confession and Forgiveness
O Holy One, we call to you and name you as eternal, ever-present, and boundless in love. Yet there are times, O God, when we fail to recognize you in the dailyness of our lives. Sometimes shame clenches tightly around our hearts, and we hide our true feelings. Sometimes fear makes us small, and we miss the chance to speak from our strength. Sometimes doubt invades our hopefulness, and we degrade our own wisdom.
Holy God, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset, remind us again of your holy presence hovering near us and in us. Free us from shame and self-doubt. Help us to see you in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, and to speak from our wisdom.
The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from 1 Samuel 9:1-14
There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. He had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders above everyone else. Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, had strayed. So Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the boys with you; go and look for the donkeys." He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of Benjamin, but they did not find them. When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the boy who was with him, "Let us turn back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and worry about us." But he said to him, "There is a man of God in this town; he is a man held in honor. Whatever he says always comes true. Let us go there now; perhaps he will tell us about the journey on which we have set out." Then Saul replied to the boy, "But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What have we?" The boy answered Saul again, "Here, I have with me a quarter shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God, to tell us our way." (Formerly in Israel, anyone who went to inquire of God would say, "Come, let us go to the seer" for the one who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.) Saul said to the boy, "Good; come, let us go." So they went to the town where the man of God was. As they went up the hill to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and said to them, "Is the seer here?" They answered, "Yes, there he is just ahead of you. Hurry; he has come just now to the town, because the people have a sacrifice today at the shrine. As soon as you enter the town, you will find him, before he goes up to the shrine to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those eat who are invited. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately." So they went up to the town. As they were entering the town, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the shrine.
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Acts 7:17-29
"But as the time drew near for the fulfillment of the promise that God had made to Abraham, our people in Egypt increased and multiplied until another king who had not known Joseph ruled over Egypt. He dealt craftily with our race and forced our ancestors to abandon their infants so that they would die. At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful before God. For three months he was brought up in his father's house; and when he was abandoned, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. So Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his words and deeds. "When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his relatives, the Israelites. When he saw one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that his kinsfolk would understand that God through him was rescuing them, but they did not understand. The next day he came to some of them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, 'Men, you are brothers; why do you wrong each other?' But the man who was wronging his neighbor pushed Moses aside, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?' When he heard this, Moses fled and became a resident alien in the land of Midian. There he became the father of two sons.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 22:31-38
"Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." And he said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!" Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me." He said to them, "When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "No, not a thing." He said to them, "But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, 'And he was counted among the lawless' and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled." They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." He replied, "It is enough."
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.
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 for Fridays
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
Saint Paul Cathedral Choir: Psalm 121
This pretty anthem, sung by the Cathedral of St. Paul Choir, is based on Psalm 121
This pretty anthem, sung by the Cathedral of St. Paul Choir, is based on Psalm 121
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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.