|Paul and Barnabas in Antioch of Pisidia|
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
Holy God, thank you for giving me another morning! I am lucky to be alive on your beautiful planet, so full of marvelous things and the beautiful plants and animals and all the people you have created in your image. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, now and all day long, until I go to sleep, because I want to live with you every minute of this day. The time and opportunities I have right now will never return, so help me make the best of it, Lord. And let me remember this one thing: You know what you are doing, whether I can see it or not; so I will try to remember today that you are in charge, that you put me here for a reason and that, by your grace, things will turn out with your triumph and the Kingdom of Heaven, for all those who live by your grace. All praise to you forever, Amen.
Prayer of Confession and Pardon
Dear Heavenly Father, we lower our heads before you and we confess that we have too often forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we carry on our lives as if there was no God and we fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things we ask your forgiveness and we also ask for your strength. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may witness to You in our world. Remind us to be who You would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Hold us to You and build our relationship with You and with those You have given us on earth. Amen.
The First Reading is taken from 1 Samuel 21:1-15
David came to Nob to the priest Ahimelech. Ahimelech came trembling to meet David, and said to him, "Why are you alone, and no one with you?" David said to the priest Ahimelech, "The king has charged me with a matter, and said to me, 'No one must know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.' I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what have you at hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here." The priest answered David, "I have no ordinary bread at hand, only holy bread-- provided that the young men have kept themselves from women." David answered the priest, "Indeed women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition; the vessels of the young men are holy even when it is a common journey; how much more today will their vessels be holy?" So the priest gave him the holy bread; for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the LORD, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away. Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul's shepherds. David said to Ahimelech, "Is there no spear or sword here with you? I did not bring my sword or my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste." The priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you will take that, take it, for there is none here except that one." David said, "There is none like it; give it to me." David rose and fled that day from Saul; he went to King Achish of Gath. The servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, 'Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands'?" David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of King Achish of Gath. So he changed his behavior before them; he pretended to be mad when in their presence. He scratched marks on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle run down his beard. Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?"
The Second Reading is taken from Acts 13:13-25
Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem; but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message, saying, "Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, give it." So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak: "You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. For about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance for about four hundred fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, 'I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.' Of this man's posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his work, he said, 'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.'
The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 3:7-19
Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, "You are the Son of God!" But he sternly ordered them not to make him known. He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home;
Psalm 31 In te, Domine, speravi
1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Incline your ear to me; make haste to deliver me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength.
5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O LORD, O God of truth.
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols, and I put my trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; for you have seen my affliction; you know my distress.
8 You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; you have set my feet in an open place.
9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.
13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. I have said, "You are my God.
15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me."
17 LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; rather, let the wicked be put to shame; let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19 How great is your goodness, O LORD! which you have laid up for those who fear you; which you have done in the sight of all for those who put their trust in you.
20 You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD! for he has shown me the wonders of his love in a besieged city.
22 Yet I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes." Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.
23 Love the LORD, all you who worship him; the LORD protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.
Psalm 35 Judica, Domine
1 Fight those who fight me, O LORD; attack those who are attacking me.
2 Take up shield and armor and rise up to help me.
3 Draw the sword and bar the way against those who pursue me; say to my soul, "I am your salvation."
4 Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled; let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD drive them away.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
7 For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; without a cause they have dug a pit to take me alive.
8 Let ruin come upon them unawares; let them be caught in the net they hid; let them fall into the pit they dug.
9 Then I will be joyful in the LORD; I will glory in his victory.
10 My very bones will say, "LORD, who is like you? You deliver the poor from those who are too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them."
11 Malicious witnesses rise up against me; they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
12 They pay me evil in exchange for good; my soul is full of despair.
13 But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth and humbled myself by fasting.
14 I prayed with my whole heart, as one would for a friend or a brother; I behaved like one who mourns for his mother, bowed down and grieving.
15 But when I stumbled, they were glad and gathered together; they gathered against me; strangers whom I did not know tore me to pieces and would not stop.
16 They put me to the test and mocked me; they gnashed at me with their teeth.
17 O Lord, how long will you look on? rescue me from the roaring beasts, and my life from the young lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great congregation; I will praise you in the mighty throng.
19 Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, nor let those who hate me without a cause wink at each other.
20 For they do not plan for peace, but invent deceitful schemes against the quiet in the land.
21 They opened their mouths at me and said, "Aha! we saw it with our own eyes."
22 You saw it, O LORD; do not be silent; O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Awake, arise, to my cause! to my defense, my God and my Lord!
24 Give me justice, O LORD my God, according to your righteousness; do not let them triumph over me.
25 Do not let them say in their hearts, "Aha! just what we want!" Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up."
26 Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced; let those who boast against me be clothed with dismay and shame.
27 Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad; let them say always, "Great is the LORD, who desires the prosperity of his servant."
28 And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.
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, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A Prayer for those with Disabilities
Dear heavenly Father, my thoughts and prayers are with all who have lost the use of their body or mind, in some important way: those of us who cannot move, those who cannot walk, who cannot see or hear, whose minds are not clear: for all of us who have lost some function that others of us take for granted. And I count myself among them, for who among us will not face such tribulations as we grow older?
I pray that those of us so afflicted may know you, Lord Christ, and that your Holy Spirit may be strong in us, to give us comfort in the inconvenience, the frustration, and often the embarrassment we might suffer. Heal us, where it is your will, Lord; and for those of us who cannot be healed, let us know with complete confidence that we are truly whole. Bring to all of your children full comprehension of the freedom and joy that await us, after the short trial of this life is ended, and we all come to perfection together. 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.
You Can Always Come Home
by the Sharon Singers of the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute
by the Sharon Singers of the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ. 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.