|... have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation (Acts 13:47)|
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
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
~ The Book of Common Worship, 1946
The First Reading is taken from 1 Samuel 24:1-22
When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, "David is in the wilderness of En-gedi." Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to look for David and his men in the direction of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheepfolds beside the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. The men of David said to him, "Here is the day of which the LORD said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.'" Then David went and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul's cloak. Afterward David was stricken to the heart because he had cut off a corner of Saul's cloak. He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD's anointed, to raise my hand against him; for he is the LORD's anointed." So David scolded his men severely and did not permit them to attack Saul. Then Saul got up and left the cave, and went on his way. Afterwards David also rose up and went out of the cave and called after Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance. David said to Saul, "Why do you listen to the words of those who say, 'David seeks to do you harm'? This very day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you into my hand in the cave; and some urged me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, 'I will not raise my hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed.' See, my father, see the corner of your cloak in my hand; for by the fact that I cut off the corner of your cloak, and did not kill you, you may know for certain that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you are hunting me to take my life. May the LORD judge between me and you! May the LORD avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. As the ancient proverb says, 'Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness' but my hand shall not be against you. Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A single flea? May the LORD therefore be judge, and give sentence between me and you. May he see to it, and plead my cause, and vindicate me against you." When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, "Is this your voice, my son David?" Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, "You are more righteous than I; for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. Today you have explained how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the LORD put me into your hands. For who has ever found an enemy, and sent the enemy safely away? So may the LORD reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. Now I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. Swear to me therefore by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not wipe out my name from my father's house." So David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home; but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
The Second Reading is taken from Acts 13:44-52
The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, 'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region. But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region. So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 4:1-20
Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: "Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold." And he said, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!" When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that 'they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.'" And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."
Psalm 41 Beatus qui intelligit
1 Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.
2 The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive, so that they may be happy in the land; he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and ministers to them in their illness.
4 I said, "LORD, be merciful to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you."
5 My enemies are saying wicked things about me: "When will he die, and his name perish?"
6 Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; their heart collects false rumors; they go outside and spread them.
7 All my enemies whisper together about me and devise evil against me.
8 A deadly thing, they say, has fastened on him; he has taken to his bed and will never get up again.
9 Even my best friend, whom I trusted, who broke bread with me, has lifted up his heel and turned against me.
10 But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, and I shall repay them.
11 By this I know you are pleased with me, that my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 In my integrity you hold me fast, and shall set me before your face for ever.
13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, from age to age. Amen. Amen.
Psalm 52 Quid gloriaris?
1 You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness against the godly all day long?
2 You plot ruin; your tongue is like a sharpened razor, O worker of deception.
3 You love evil more than good and lying more than speaking the truth.
4 You love all words that hurt, O you deceitful tongue.
5 Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling, and root you out of the land of the living!
6 The righteous shall see and tremble, and they shall laugh at him, saying,
7 This is the one who did not take God for a refuge, but trusted in great wealth and relied upon wickedness.
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9 I will give you thanks for what you have done and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence of the godly.
Psalm 44 Deus, auribus
1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our forefathers have told us, the deeds you did in their days, in the days of old.
2 How with your hand you drove the peoples out and planted our forefathers in the land; how you destroyed nations and made your people flourish.
3 For they did not take the land by their sword, nor did their arm win the victory for them; but your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance, because you favored them.
4 You are my King and my God; you command victories for Jacob.
5 Through you we pushed back our adversaries; through your Name we trampled on those who rose up against us.
6 For I do not rely on my bow, and my sword does not give me the victory.
7 Surely, you gave us victory over our adversaries and put those who hate us to shame.
8 Every day we gloried in God, and we will praise your Name for ever.
9 Nevertheless, you have rejected and humbled us and do not go forth with our armies.
10 You have made us fall back before our adversary, and our enemies have plundered us.
11 You have made us like sheep to be eaten and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You are selling your people for a trifle and are making no profit on the sale of them.
13 You have made us the scorn of our neighbors, a mockery and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughing-stock among the peoples.
15 My humiliation is daily before me, and shame has covered my face;
16 Because of the taunts of the mockers and blasphemers, because of the enemy and avenger.
17 All this has come upon us; yet we have not forgotten you, nor have we betrayed your covenant.
18 Our heart never turned back, nor did our footsteps stray from your path;
19 Though you thrust us down into a place of misery, and covered us over with deep darkness.
20 If we have forgotten the Name of our God, or stretched out our hands to some strange god,
21 Will not God find it out? for he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Indeed, for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Awake, O Lord! why are you sleeping? Arise! do not reject us for ever.
24 Why have you hidden your face and forgotten our affliction and oppression?
25 We sink down into the dust; our body cleaves to the ground.
26 Rise up, and help us, and save us, for the sake of your steadfast love.
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
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous;
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not heed the wounds,
To toil and not seek for rest,
To labor and not to seek reward,
Save that of knowing that I do your will.
~ adapted from a prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola (Catholic), 1540
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
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. Amen.
This catchy calypso song, based on Psalm
137, was a popular hit around 1980.
137, was a popular hit around 1980.
By the Rivers of Babylon
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
And now, as a little child, let me abide in you all this day, oh Christ, so that when you appear I may have confidence and not shrink from you in shame at your coming. For I know that you are righteous, and I am sure that I will be made righteous only by my life in you. 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.