|Feeding the Four Thousand|
Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite." Isaiah 57:15
Almighty God, who is the Father of lights and who has promised by your dear Son that all who do your will shall know your doctrine: Give me grace today, so to live that by obedience I may increase in faith and in the understanding of your Holy Word. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Confession and Forgiveness
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.
~ From the PCUSA Book of Common Worship
The First Reading is taken from 2 Samuel 5:22-6:11
Once again the Philistines came up, and were spread out in the valley of Rephaim. When David inquired of the LORD, he said, "You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come upon them opposite the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then be on the alert; for then the LORD has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines." David did just as the LORD had commanded him; and he struck down the Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer. David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim. They carried the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart with the ark of God; and Ahio went in front of the ark. David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the LORD with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen shook it. The anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him there because he reached out his hand to the ark; and he died there beside the ark of God. David was angry because the LORD had burst forth with an outburst upon Uzzah; so that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day. David was afraid of the LORD that day; he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come into my care?" So David was unwilling to take the ark of the LORD into his care in the city of David; instead David took it to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months; and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
The Second Reading is taken from Acts 17:16-34
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities." (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means." Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new. Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, "Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, 'To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him-- though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For 'In him we live and move and have our being' as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we too are his offspring.' Since we are God's offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, "We will hear you again about this." At that point Paul left them. But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 8:1-10
[Feeding the Four Thousand] In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, "I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way-- and some of them have come from a great distance." His disciples replied, "How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?" He asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven." Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
Psalm 75 Confitebimur tibi
1 We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks, calling upon your Name and declaring all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will appoint a time, says God; I will judge with equity.
3 Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking, I will make its pillars fast.
4 I will say to the boasters, 'Boast no more, ' and to the wicked, 'Do not toss your horns;
5 Do not toss your horns so high, nor speak with a proud neck.'"
6 For judgment is neither from the east nor from the west, nor yet from the wilderness or the mountains.
7 It is God who judges; he puts down one and lifts up another.
8 For in the LORD'S hand there is a cup, full of spiced and foaming wine, which he pours out, and all the wicked of the earth shall drink and drain the dregs.
9 But I will rejoice for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 He shall break off all the horns of the wicked; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
Psalm 76 Notus in Judæa
1 In Judah is God known; his Name is great in Israel.
2 At Salem is his tabernacle, and his dwelling is in Zion.
3 There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of battle.
4 How glorious you are! more splendid than the everlasting mountains!
5 The strong of heart have been despoiled; they sink into sleep; none of the warriors can lift a hand.
6 At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and rider lie stunned.
7 What terror you inspire! who can stand before you when you are angry?
8 From heaven you pronounced judgment; the earth was afraid and was still;
9 When God rose up to judgment and to save all the oppressed of the earth.
10 Truly, wrathful Edom will give you thanks, and the remnant of Hamath will keep your feasts.
11 Make a vow to the LORD your God and keep it; let all around him bring gifts to him who is worthy to be feared.
12 He breaks the spirit of princes, and strikes terror in the kings of the earth.
Psalm 23 Dominus regit me
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
3 He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.
4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Psalm 27 Dominus illuminatio
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh, it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army should encamp against me, yet my heart shall not be afraid;
4 And though war should rise up against me, yet will I put my trust in him.
5 One thing have I asked of the LORD; one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life;
6 To behold the fair beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
7 For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe in his shelter; he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling and set me high upon a rock.
8 Even now he lifts up my head above my enemies round about me.
9 Therefore I will offer in his dwelling an oblation with sounds of great gladness; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
10 Hearken to my voice, O LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me.
11 You speak in my heart and say, "Seek my face." Your face, LORD, will I seek.
12 Hide not your face from me, nor turn away your servant in displeasure.
13 You have been my helper; cast me not away; do not forsake me, O God of my salvation.
14 Though my father and my mother forsake me, the LORD will sustain me.
15 Show me your way, O LORD; lead me on a level path, because of my enemies.
16 Deliver me not into the hand of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me, and also those who speak malice.
17 What if I had not believed that I should see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
18 O tarry and await the LORD'S pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the LORD.
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
Grant me, I pray, your divine helping grace; endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering and to you, my only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort; trusting your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when you know it is for the best, you will deliver me from my troubles, and turn my distress into comfort, and I will rejoice in your mercy, and exalt and praise your Holy Name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Prayer for All Who Have Injured Me
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering — our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this, and when they come to judgment, let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness. Amen.
~ Prayer found by a Russian soldier on May 17, 1945, in Ravensbruck concentration camp, on the body of a child.
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.
Nearer, Still Nearer
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
May it please you, my good Lord, that there may come a day when I can repay a little of my great debt to you. O Jesus, strengthen my soul, you who are good above all good; and since you have inclined my soul in this way, show me how I may act for you, whatever it may cost, O Lord. Here is my life, my honor and my will; I have given them all to you and they are yours: use me to do whatever you want. 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.