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
Confession of Sin
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
O God, who hast ordained that whatever is to be desired should be sought by labour, and who by they blessing bringest honest labour to good effect, look with mercy upon my studies and endeavours. Grant me, O Lord, to design only what is lawful and right; and afford me calmness of mind and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do thy will in this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
~ Samuel Johnson, 1764
A reading from 2 Kings 1:2-17
Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay injured; so he sent messengers, telling them, "Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury." But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Get up, go to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?' Now therefore thus says the LORD, 'You shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.'" So Elijah went. The messengers returned to the king, who said to them, "Why have you returned?" They answered him, "There came a man to meet us, who said to us, 'Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him: Thus says the LORD: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but shall surely die.'" He said to them, "What sort of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?" They answered him, "A hairy man, with a leather belt around his waist." He said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite." Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, "O man of God, the king says, 'Come down.'" But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. He went up and said to him, "O man of God, this is the king's order: Come down quickly!" But Elijah answered them, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. So the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and entreated him, "O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. Look, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight." Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So he set out and went down with him to the king, and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron,-- is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?-- therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die." So he died according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. His brother, Jehoram succeeded him as king in the second year of King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son.
A reading from 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-- all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
A reading from Matthew 5:11-16
"Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Psalm 69 Salvum me fac
1 Save me, O God, for the waters have risen up to my neck.
2 I am sinking in deep mire, and there is no firm ground for my feet.
3 I have come into deep waters, and the torrent washes over me.
4 I have grown weary with my crying; my throat is inflamed; my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
5 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. Must I then give back what I never stole?
6 O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you.
7 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.
8 Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach, and shame has covered my face.
9 I have become a stranger to my own kindred, an alien to my mother's children.
10 Zeal for your house has eaten me up; the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
11 I humbled myself with fasting, but that was turned to my reproach.
12 I put on sack-cloth also, and became a byword among them.
13 Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, and the drunkards make songs about me.
14 But as for me, this is my prayer to you, at the time you have set, O LORD:
15 In your great mercy, O God, answer me with your unfailing help.
16 Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
17 Let not the torrent of waters wash over me, neither let the deep swallow me up; do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
18 Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; in your great compassion, turn to me."
19 Hide not your face from your servant; be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
20 Draw near to me and redeem me; because of my enemies deliver me.
21 You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; my adversaries are all in your sight."
22 Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I could find no one.
23 They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
24 Let the table before them be a trap and their sacred feasts a snare.
25 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and give them continual trembling in their loins.
26 Pour out your indignation upon them, and let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.
27 Let their camp be desolate, and let there be none to dwell in their tents.
28 For they persecute him whom you have stricken and add to the pain of those whom you have pierced.
29 Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, and let them not receive your vindication.
30 Let them be wiped out of the book of the living and not be written among the righteous.
31 As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
32 I will praise the Name of God in song; I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
33 This will please the LORD more than an offering of oxen, more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
34 The afflicted shall see and be glad; you who seek God, your heart shall live.
35 For the LORD listens to the needy, and his prisoners he does not despise.
36 Let the heavens and the earth praise him, the seas and all that moves in them;
37 For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; they shall live there and have it in possession.
38 The children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his Name will dwell therein.
Psalm 73 Quam bonus Israel!
1 Truly, God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; I had almost tripped and fallen;
3 Because I envied the proud and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
4 For they suffer no pain, and their bodies are sleek and sound;
5 In the misfortunes of others they have no share; they are not afflicted as others are;
6 Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
7 Their iniquity comes from gross minds, and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
8 They scoff and speak maliciously; out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their evil speech runs through the world.
10 And so the people turn to them and find in them no fault.
11 They say, "How should God know? is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12 So then, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase their wealth.
13 In vain have I kept my heart clean, and washed my hands in innocence.
14 I have been afflicted all day long, and punished every morning.
15 Had I gone on speaking this way, I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 When I tried to understand these things, it was too hard for me;
17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God and discerned the end of the wicked.
18 Surely, you set them in slippery places; you cast them down in ruin.
19 Oh, how suddenly do they come to destruction, come to an end, and perish from terror!
20 Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord, when you arise you will make their image vanish.
21 When my mind became embittered, I was sorely wounded in my heart.
22 I was stupid and had no understanding; I was like a brute beast in your presence.
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me by your counsel, and afterwards receive me with glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
26 Though my flesh and my heart should waste away, God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
27 Truly, those who forsake you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful.
28 But it is good for me to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.
29 I will speak of all your works in the gates of the city of Zion.
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
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace, I have tried to read your Bible and find your Word and your will for me, and to study it. But I think so many thoughts about it, and then I start to think I know something, and then I see another church or hear a pastor or read something, and I think, “that person is wrong”. Or the pastor of my church or a Bible teacher will tell me one thing, and then somebody else will tell me something completely different.
Please, dear God, help me and every person who confesses Christ as his Lord and Savior, not think that they know everything and get into arguments with each other. Let us always remember that it is not other Christians who are our enemies, just because they think something different, or baptize people differently, or have different ideas about sacraments or church leadership or whatever foolish doctrine we might fight about. Let us always remember that there was one Christ, one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and one church. Heal any and all divisions between Christians, Holy God.
And let me be part of the solution and not part of the problem, I pray. Let me put first your command, that we bear with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Let me not be made angry or self-righteous by doctrine, but remember always who our true enemy is and direct my efforts to the defeat of atheism and the death that comes from living in the flesh. In the name of Christ, hear my prayer, Amen.
A Collect 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. 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.
Here I Am, Lord/The Lord of Sea and Sky
National Youth Choir of Scotland
National Youth Choir of Scotland
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make me faithful to your Word that I may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
~ 2 Corinthians 13:14
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.