Thursday morning November 26

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Opening response

Lord, open my lips
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
All your faithful ones bless you
They make known the glory of your kingdom.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
ruler and judge of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In the darkness of this age that is passing away
may the light of your presence which the saints enjoy
surround our steps as we journey on.
May we reflect your glory this day
and so be made ready to see your face
in the heavenly city where night shall be no more.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


All Thanks to the Lamb, Who Gives Us to Meet

Charles Wesley
All thanks to the Lamb, who gives us to meet!
His love we proclaim, his praises repeat;
We own him our Jesus, continually near
To pardon and bless us and perfect us here.

In him we have peace, in him we have power,
Preserved by his grace throughout the dark hour,
In all our temptation he keeps us to prove
His utmost salvation, his fullness of love.

Through pride and desire unhurt we have gone,
Through water and fire in him we went on;
The world and the devil through him we overcame,
Our Savior from evil, forever the same.

When we would have spurned his mercy and grace,
To Egypt returned, and fled from his face,
He hindered our flying (his goodness to show),
And stopped us by crying, “Will ye also go?”

O what shall we do our Savior to love?
To make us anew, come, Lord, from above.
The fruit of thy passion, thy holiness give,
Give us the salvation of all that believe.

Pronounce the glad word, and bid us be free!
Ah! Hast thou not, Lord, a blessing for me?
The peace thou hast given this moment impart,
And open thy heaven of love in my heart.

Come, Jesus, and loose the stammerer’s tongue,
And teach even us the spiritual song;
Let us without ceasing give thanks for thy grace,
And glory, and blessing, and honor, and praise.

Confession of sin

O King enthroned on high,
filling the earth with your glory:
holy is your name,
Lord God almighty.

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

In our sinfulness we cry to you
to take our guilt away,
and to cleanse our lips to speak your word,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw us to himself,
and cleanse us from all our sins
that we may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 125

Glorious things are spoken of you, Zion, city of our God.

The people who trust in the Lord
    are like Mount Zion:
    never shaken, lasting forever.
Mountains surround Jerusalem.
    That’s how the Lord surrounds his people
    from now until forever from now!
The wicked rod won’t remain
in the land given to the righteous
    so that they don’t use their hands to do anything wrong.
Lord, do good to people who are good,
    to people whose hearts are right.
But as for those people who turn to their own twisted ways—
    may the Lord march them off with other evildoers!
Peace be on Israel!

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Glorious things are spoken of you, Zion, city of our God.

Psalm prayer

God of power,
you are strong to save
and you never fail those who trust in you;
keep us under your protection
and spread abroad your reign of peace
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 126

Yes, the Lord has done great things for us.

When the Lord changed Zion’s circumstances for the better,
    it was like we had been dreaming.
Our mouths were suddenly filled with laughter;
    our tongues were filled with joyful shouts.
It was even said, at that time, among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them!”
Yes, the Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are overjoyed.
Lord, change our circumstances for the better,
    like dry streams in the desert waste!
Let those who plant with tears
    reap the harvest with joyful shouts.
Let those who go out,
    crying and carrying their seed,
    come home with joyful shouts,
    carrying bales of grain!

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Yes, the Lord has done great things for us.

Psalm prayer

Lord, as you send rain and flowers
even to the wilderness,
renew us by your Holy Spirit,
help us to sow good seed in time of adversity
and to live to rejoice in your good harvest of all creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 127

The Lord will protect you on your journeys — whether going or coming.

Unless it is the Lord who builds the house,
    the builders’ work is pointless.
Unless it is the Lord who protects the city,
    the guard on duty is pointless.
It is pointless that you get up early and stay up late,
    eating the bread of hard labor
    because God gives sleep to those he loves.
No doubt about it: children are a gift from the Lord;
    the fruit of the womb is a divine reward.
The children born when one is young
    are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
The person who fills a quiver full with them is truly happy!
    They won’t be ashamed when arguing with their enemies in the gate.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

The Lord will protect you on your journeys — whether going or coming.

Psalm prayer

Lord, you are ever watchful
and bless us with your gifts;
as you provide for all our needs,
so help us to build only what pleases you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 128

How great is your goodness, O Lord.

Everyone who honors the Lord,
        who walks in God’s ways, is truly happy!
You will definitely enjoy what you’ve worked hard for—
    you’ll be happy; and things will go well for you.
In your house, your wife will be like a vine full of fruit.
    All around your table, your children will be like olive trees, freshly planted.
That’s how it goes for anyone who honors the Lord:
    they will be blessed!
May the Lord bless you from Zion.
    May you experience Jerusalem’s goodness your whole life long.
    And may you see your grandchildren.
Peace be on Israel!

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

How great is your goodness, O Lord.

Psalm prayer

O Christ, our true vine,
may we your branches
be ever fruitful in your service
and share your love and peace with all your children,
in the power of the Spirit and to the glory of the Father.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 21:1-12

An oracle about the wilderness near the sea.

Like whirlwinds sweeping through the arid southern plain,
    it comes from the desert, from a fearsome land.
A harsh vision was proclaimed to me:
    The betrayer betrays, and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, Elam! Lay siege, Media!
    Put an end to all her groaning.
Therefore, I’m shaken to my core in anguish.
    Pains have seized me like the pains of a woman in labor.
I’m too bent over to hear,
    too dismayed to see.
My heart pounds; convulsions overpower me.
    He has turned my evening of pleasure into dread—
    setting the table, spreading the cloth, eating, drinking.
“Arise, captains!
    Polish the shields.”

The Lord said this to me:
    “Go, post a lookout to report what he sees.
When he sees chariots, pairs of horsemen,
    donkey riders, camel riders,
    he should listen carefully,
        carefully, very carefully.”

Then the seer called out:
“Upon a watchtower, Lord,
        I’m standing all day;
    and upon my observation post
        I’m stationed throughout the night.
Here they come:
    charioteers, pairs of horsemen!”
One spoke up and said,
    “Fallen, fallen is Babylon,
        and all the images of her gods
        are shattered on the ground!”
Oh, my downtrodden people, threshed on my threshing floor,
    what I heard from the Lord of heavenly forces,
    the God of Israel, I reported to you.

An oracle about Dumah.

Someone is calling to me from Seir:
    “Guard, how long is the night?
    Guard, how long is the night?”
The guard said,
    “Morning has come, but it is still night.
    If you must inquire, inquire;
        come back again.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 10:34-11:1

“Don’t think that I’ve come to bring peace to the earth. I haven’t come to bring peace but a sword. I’ve come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. People’s enemies are members of their own households.

“Those who love father or mother more than me aren’t worthy of me. Those who love son or daughter more than me aren’t worthy of me. Those who don’t pick up their crosses and follow me aren’t worthy of me. Those who find their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives because of me will find them.

“Those who receive you are also receiving me, and those who receive me are receiving the one who sent me. Those who receive a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Those who receive a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. I assure you that everybody who gives even a cup of cold water to these little ones because they are my disciples will certainly be rewarded.”

When Jesus finished teaching his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

God, you will guide us with your counsel, 
and afterward receive us with glory.

Bless the Lord God of Israel
because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house,
just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
He has brought salvation from our enemies
and from the power of all those who hate us.
He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and remembered his holy covenant,
the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted that we would be rescued
from the power of our enemies
so that we could serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes,
for as long as we live.
You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion,
the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
to give light to those who are sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

God, you will guide us with your counsel, 
and afterward receive us with glory.

The Apostle’s Creed

Let us unite in this historic confession of the Christian faith: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


Intercession and thanksgiving

Prayers are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life


Father, by your Spirit
Bring in your kingdom.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Eternal Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven
that he might rule over all things as Lord and King:
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
as our Savior taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


May Christ, who has opened the kingdom of heaven,
bring us to reign with him in glory.