|On the Road to Damascus|
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
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
Almighty God, since thou delayst with so much forbearance the punishments which we have deserved and daily draw on ourselves, grant that we may not indulge ourselves but carefully consider how often and in how many different ways we have provoked thy wrath against us. May we learn humbly to present ourselves to thee for pardon, and with true repentance implore thy mercy. With all our heart we desire to submit ourselves to thee, whether thou chastisest us, or according to thine infinite goodness, forgivest us. Let our condition be ever blessed, not by flattering ourselves in our apathy, but by finding thee to be our kind and bountiful Father, reconciled to us in thine only-begotten Son. Amen
The First Reading is taken from 1 Samuel 13:19-14:15
Now there was no smith to be found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, "The Hebrews must not make swords or spears for themselves" so all the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen their plowshare, mattocks, axes, or sickles; The charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and one-third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. So on the day of the battle neither sword nor spear was to be found in the possession of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and his son Jonathan had them. Now a garrison of the Philistines had gone out to the pass of Michmash. One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, "Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side." But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree that is at Migron; the troops that were with him were about six hundred men, along with Ahijah son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, son of Phinehas son of Eli, the priest of the LORD in Shiloh, carrying an ephod. Now the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. In the pass, by which Jonathan tried to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on one side and a rocky crag on the other; the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. One crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba. Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will act for us; for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few." His armor-bearer said to him, "Do all that your mind inclines to. I am with you; as your mind is, so is mine." Then Jonathan said, "Now we will cross over to those men and will show ourselves to them. If they say to us, 'Wait until we come to you,' then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. But if they say, 'Come up to us,' then we will go up; for the LORD has given them into our hand. That will be the sign for us." So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines; and the Philistines said, "Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves." The men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer, saying, "Come up to us, and we will show you something." Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, "Come up after me; for the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel." Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer following after him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer, coming after him, killed them. In that first slaughter Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed about twenty men within an area about half a furrow long in an acre of land. There was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people; the garrison and even the raiders trembled; the earth quaked; and it became a very great panic.
The Second Reading is taken from Acts 9:1-9
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 23:26-31
As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us' and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
Psalm 140 Eripe me, Domine
1 Deliver me, O LORD, from evildoers; protect me from the violent,
2 Who devise evil in their hearts and stir up strife all day long.
3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adder's poison is under their lips.
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who are determined to trip me up.
5 The proud have hidden a snare for me and stretched out a net of cords; they have set traps for me along the path.
6 I have said to the LORD, "You are my God; listen, O LORD, to my supplication.
7 O Lord GOD, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the desires of the wicked, O LORD, nor let their evil plans prosper.
9 Let not those who surround me lift up their heads; let the evil of their lips overwhelm them.
10 Let hot burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the mire, never to rise up again."
11 A slanderer shall not be established on the earth, and evil shall hunt down the lawless.
12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the poor and render justice to the needy.
13 Surely, the righteous will give thanks to your Name, and the upright shall continue in your sight.
Psalm 142 Voce mea ad Dominum
1 I cry to the LORD with my voice; to the LORD I make loud supplication.
2 I pour out my complaint before him and tell him all my trouble.
3 When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path; in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
4 I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me; I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for me.
5 I cry out to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
6 Listen to my cry for help, for I have been brought very low; save me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
7 Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your Name; when you have dealt bountifully with me, the righteous will gather around me.
Psalm 141 Domine, clamavi
1 O LORD, I call to you; come to me quickly; hear my voice when I cry to you.
2 Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch before my mouth, O LORD, and guard the door of my lips; let not my heart incline to any evil thing.
4 Let me not be occupied in wickedness with evildoers, nor eat of their choice foods.
5 Let the righteous smite me in friendly rebuke; let not the oil of the unrighteous anoint my head; for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.
6 Let their rulers be overthrown in stony places, that they may know my words are true.
7 As when a plowman turns over the earth in furrows, let their bones be scattered at the mouth of the grave.
8 But my eyes are turned to you, Lord GOD; in you I take refuge; do not strip me of my life.
9 Protect me from the snare which they have laid for me and from the traps of the evildoers.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I myself escape.
Psalm 143 Domine, exaudi
1 LORD, hear my prayer, and in your faithfulness heed my supplications; answer me in your righteousness.
2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
3 For my enemy has sought my life; he has crushed me to the ground; he has made me live in dark places like those who are long dead.
4 My spirit faints within me; my heart within me is desolate.
5 I remember the time past; I muse upon all your deeds; I consider the works of your hands.
6 I spread out my hands to you; my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.
7 O LORD, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me; do not hide your face from me or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
8 Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for I put my trust in you; show me the road that I must walk, for I lift up my soul to you.
9 Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD, for I flee to you for refuge.
10 Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God; let your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
11 Revive me, O LORD, for your Name's sake; for your righteousness' sake, bring me out of trouble.
12 Of your goodness, destroy my enemies and bring all my foes to naught, for truly I am your servant.
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
Heavenly Lord, I pray that this day, you will continue to bless me, that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak. Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those that are lost and can’t find their way. I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood. I pray for those who don’t know you intimately. I pray that others will find your strength, so that they can love and help one another. I pray for those who don’t believe, that they may find you.
And when this world closes in on me, let me remember the example of my Lord and Savior: to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. Remind me, nudge me, let me remember to find you when I’m feel like I'm pushed beyond my limits. In Christ's name, I come to you, Amen.
A Prayer for Trustfulness
O Most loving Father, who wills us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you, who cares for us; Preserve me from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from me the light of that love which is immortal, and which you manifested unto us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 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
Pacific Chorale sings Rachmaninov Vespers: Rejoice, O Virgin
Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
Holy Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with Thee.
the Lord is with Thee.
Blessed art Thou among women
And blessed is the fruit of Thy womb;
And blessed is the fruit of Thy womb;
For Thou hast given birth
to the Savior of our souls.
to the Savior of our souls.
Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Oh God Almighty, send me Your light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. And may Your mighty hand protect me, and all my brothers and sisters who have joined me in prayer this day, blessing our homes and our lives. 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.