Monday morning January 4

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
You laid the foundation of the earth
and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, sovereign God,
creator of heaven and earth,
to you be praise and glory forever.
As your living Word, eternal in heaven,
assumed the frailty of our mortal flesh,
may the light of your love be born in us
to fill our hearts with joy as we sing:
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


See the Lord, Thy Keeper, Stand

Charles Wesley
See the Lord, thy keeper, stand,
Omnipotently near;
Lo! He holds thee by the hand,
And banishes thy fear;
Shadows with his wings thy head;
Guards from all impending harms;
Round thee and beneath are spread
The everlasting arms.

God shall bless thy going out,
Shall bless thy coming in;
Kindly compass thee about,
And guard from every sin.
Lean upon thy Father’s breast;
He thy quiet spirit keeps;
Rest in Him, securely rest;
Thy Guardian never sleeps.

O, my soul, unceasing pray,
And in thy God confide!
He our faltering steps shall stay,
Nor suffer us to slide:
He is still our sure defense,
We his ceaseless care shall prove,
Kept by watchful providence
And ever-waking love.

Confession of sin

Come, Holy Spirit of God,
and search our hearts with the light of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, 
and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, 
with all your being, with all your mind, 
and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’
No other commandment is greater than these.
All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

After a period of reflection

Come, let us return to the Lord and say:

Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgment;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Hosea 6

May almighty God,
who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,
bring us his pardon and peace, now and forever.

The Word of God

Psalm 89:1-37

Truly the Lord is our shield.

I will sing of the Lord’s loyal love forever.
    I will proclaim your faithfulness
    with my own mouth
    from one generation to the next.
That’s why I say,
    “Your loyal love is rightly built—forever!
    You establish your faithfulness in heaven.”
You said, “I made a covenant with my chosen one;
    I promised my servant David:
    ‘I will establish your offspring forever;
    I will build up your throne from one generation to the next.’”

Heaven thanks you for your wondrous acts, Lord—
    for your faithfulness too—
    in the assembly of the holy ones.
Is there any in the sky who could compare to the Lord?
    Who among the gods is equal to the Lord?
God is respected in the council of the holy ones;
    God is awesome and revered more than all those around him.
Who is like you, Lord God of heavenly forces?
    Mighty Lord, your faithfulness surrounds you!
You rule over the surging sea:
    When its waves rise up,
    it’s you who makes them still.
It’s you who crushed Rahab like a dead body;
    you scattered your enemies with your strong arm.
Heaven is yours! The earth too!
    The world and all that fills it—
    you made all of it! North and south—you created them!
    The mountains Tabor and Hermon
    shout praises to your name.
You have a powerful arm;
    your hand is strong;
    your strong hand is raised high!
Your throne is built on righteousness and justice;
    loyal love and faithfulness stand in front of you.

The people who know the celebratory shout are truly happy!
    They walk in the light of your presence, Lord!
They rejoice in your name all day long
    and are uplifted by your righteousness
    because you are the splendor of their strength.
By your favor you make us strong
    because our shield is the Lord’s own;
    our king belongs to the holy one of Israel!

Once you spoke in a vision
    to your faithful servants:
I placed a crown on a strong man.
    I raised up someone specially chosen from the people.
I discovered my servant David.
    I anointed him with my holy oil.
My hand will sustain him—
    yes, my arm will strengthen him!
No enemy will oppress him;
    no wicked person will make him suffer.
I will crush all his foes in front of him.
    I will strike down all those who hate him.
My faithfulness and my loyal love will be with him.
    He will be strengthened by my name.
I will set his hand on the sea.
    I will set his strong hand on the rivers.
He will cry out to me:
    “You are my father,
    my God, the rock of my salvation.”
Yes, I’ll make him the one born first—
    I’ll make him the high king of all earth’s kings.
I will always guard my loyal love toward him.
    My covenant with him will last forever.
I will establish his dynasty for all time.
    His throne will last as long as heaven does.
But if his children ever abandon my Instruction,
    stop following my rules—
        if they treat my statutes like dirt,
        stop keeping my commandments—
    then I will punish their sin with a stick,
        and I will punish their wrongdoing with a severe beating.
But even then I won’t withdraw my loyal love from him.
    I won’t betray my faithfulness.
    I won’t break my covenant.
    I won’t renege on what crossed my lips.
By my own holiness I’ve sworn one thing:
    I will not lie to David.
    His dynasty will last forever.
    His throne will be like the sun, always before me.
    It will be securely established forever;
    like the moon, a faithful witness in the sky. 

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.

Truly the Lord is our shield.

Psalm prayer

As we sing of your love, O Lord,
anoint us with the Spirit’s seal,
that we may praise your faithfulness
and proclaim your truth from age to age;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Ruth 3

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shouldn’t I seek security for you, so that things might go well for you? Now isn’t Boaz, whose young women you were with, our relative? Tonight he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor. You should bathe, put on some perfume, wear nice clothes, and then go down to the threshing floor. Don’t make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, notice the place where he is lying. Then go, uncover his feet, and lie down. And he will tell you what to do.”

Ruth replied to her, “I’ll do everything you are telling me.”

So she went down to the threshing floor, and she did everything just as her mother-in-law had ordered.

Boaz ate and drank, and he was in a good mood. He went over to lie down by the edge of the grain pile. Then she quietly approached, uncovered his legs, and lay down. During the middle of the night, the man shuddered and turned over—and there was a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked.

She replied, “I’m Ruth your servant. Spread out your robe over your servant, because you are a redeemer.”

He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter! You have acted even more faithfully than you did at first. You haven’t gone after rich or poor young men. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I’ll do for you everything you are asking. Indeed, my people—all who are at the gate—know that you are a woman of worth. Now, although it’s certainly true that I’m a redeemer, there’s a redeemer who is a closer relative than I am. Stay the night. And in the morning, if he’ll redeem you—good, let him redeem. But if he doesn’t want to redeem you, then—as the Lord lives—I myself will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”

So she lay at his feet until morning. Then she got up before one person could recognize another, for he had said, “No one should know that the woman came to the threshing floor.” He said, “Bring the cloak that you have on and hold it out.” She held it out, and he measured out six measures of barley and placed it upon her. Then she went into town.

She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How are you, my daughter?”

So Ruth told her everything the man had done for her. She said, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said to me, ‘Don’t go away empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’”

“Sit tight, my daughter,” Naomi replied, “until you know how it turns out. The man won’t rest until he resolves the matter today.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Colossians 3:12-4:1

Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, submit to your husbands in a way that is appropriate in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and don’t be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, because this pleases the Lord. Parents, don’t provoke your children in a way that ends up discouraging them.

Slaves, obey your masters on earth in everything. Don’t just obey like people pleasers when they are watching. Instead, obey with the single motivation of fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people. You know that you will receive an inheritance as a reward. You serve the Lord Christ. But evildoers will receive their reward for their evil actions. There is no discrimination.

Masters, be just and fair to your slaves, knowing that you yourselves have a master in heaven.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

To us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, and all the heavenly hosts now sing, Glory to God in the highest.

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.

To us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, and all the heavenly hosts now sing, Glory to God in the highest.

Brief silence.

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


Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
in the birth of your Son
you have poured on us the new light of your incarnate Word,
and shown us the fullness of your love:
help us to walk in his light and dwell in his love
that we may know the fullness of his joy;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
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 God, who has called us out of darkness
into his marvelous light,
bless us and fill us with peace.