Thursday evening January 7

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Opening response

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your glory is proclaimed in all the world.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise forever.
You gave your Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the anointing of the Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
As you call us into your marvelous light,
may our lives bear witness to your truth
and our lips never cease to proclaim your praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Gracious Redeemer, Shake This Slumber

Charles Wesley
Gracious Redeemer, shake
This slumber from my soul!
Say to me now, "Awake, awake!
And Christ shall make thee whole."
Lay to thy mighty hand!
Alarm me in this hour,
And make me fully understand
The thunder of thy power.

Give me on thee to call,
Always to watch and pray,
Lest I into temptation fall,
And cast my shield away;
For each assault prepared
And ready may I be,
Forever standing on my guard,
And looking up to thee.

O do thou always warn
My soul of evil near!
When to the right or left I turn,
Thy voice still let me hear;
"Come back! this is the way,
Come back, and walk herein!"
O may I hearken and obey,
And shun the paths of sin!

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 118

The Lord is for me—I won’t be afraid. What can anyone do to me?

Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
    because his faithful love lasts forever.
Let Israel say it:
    “God’s faithful love lasts forever!”
Let the house of Aaron say it:
    “God’s faithful love lasts forever!”
Let those who honor the Lord say it:
    “God’s faithful love lasts forever!”
In tight circumstances, I cried out to the Lord.
    The Lord answered me with wide-open spaces.
The Lord is for me—I won’t be afraid.
    What can anyone do to me?
The Lord is for me—as my helper.
    I look in victory on those who hate me.
It’s far better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust any human.
It’s far better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust any human leader.
All the nations surrounded me,
    but I cut them down in the Lord’s name.
Yes, they surrounded me on every single side,
    but I cut them down in the Lord’s name.
They surrounded me like bees,
    but they were extinguished like burning thorns.
    I cut them down in the Lord’s name!
I was pushed so hard I nearly died,
    but the Lord helped me.
The Lord was my strength and protection;
    he was my saving help!
The sounds of joyful songs and deliverance
    are heard in the tents of the righteous:
    “The Lord’s strong hand is victorious!
    The Lord’s strong hand is ready to strike!
        The Lord’s strong hand is victorious!”
I won’t die—no, I will live
    and declare what the Lord has done.
Yes, the Lord definitely disciplined me,
    but he didn’t hand me over to death.
Open the gates of righteousness for me
    so I can come in and give thanks to the Lord!
This is the Lord’s gate;
    those who are righteous enter through it.
I thank you because you answered me,
    because you were my saving help.
The stone rejected by the builders
    is now the main foundation stone!
This has happened because of the Lord;
    it is astounding in our sight!
This is the day the Lord acted;
    we will rejoice and celebrate in it!
Lord, please save us!
    Lord, please let us succeed!
The one who enters in the Lord’s name is blessed;
    we bless all of you from the Lord’s house.
The Lord is God!
    He has shined a light on us!
So lead the festival offering with ropes
    all the way to the horns of the altar.[d]
You are my God—I will give thanks to you!
    You are my God—I will lift you up high!
Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
    because his faithful love lasts forever.

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 is for me—I won’t be afraid. What can anyone do to me?

Psalm prayer

Saving God,
open the gates of righteousness,
that your pilgrim people may enter
and be built into a living temple
on the cornerstone of our salvation,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 63:7-19

I will recount the Lord’s faithful acts;
    I will sing the Lord’s praises,
    because of all the Lord did for us,
    for God’s great favor toward the house of Israel.
    God treated them compassionately
    and with deep affection.
God said, “Truly, they are my people,
    children who won’t do what is wrong.”
    God became their savior.
During all their distress, God also was distressed,
    so a messenger who served him saved them.
In love and mercy God redeemed them,
    lifting and carrying them throughout earlier times.
But they rebelled,
    and made God’s holy spirit terribly sad,
    so that he turned into their enemy—
    he fought against them!
Then they remembered earlier times,
    when he rescued his people.
Where was the one who drew them up from the sea,
    the shepherd of the flock?
Where was the one who put within them his holy spirit;
    the one who guided Moses’ strong hand
    with his glorious arm;
    who split the water for them
    to create an enduring reputation for himself,
    and who guided them through the depths?
    Like a horse in the desert, they didn’t stumble.
Like cattle descending to the valley,
    the Lord’s spirit brought them to rest.
In this way you led your people
    and made for yourself a glorious reputation.
Look down from heaven and see,
    from your holy and glorious perch.
Where are your energy and your might,
    your concern and your pity?
    Don’t hold back!
You are surely our father,
    even though Abraham doesn’t know us,
    and Israel doesn’t recognize us.
You, Lord, are our father;
    your reputation since long ago is that of our redeemer.
Why do you lead us astray, Lord,
    from your ways?
Why do you harden our heart
    so we don’t fear you?
Return for the sake of your servants
    the tribes that are your heritage!
Why did the wicked bring down your holy place?
    Why did our enemies trample your sanctuary?
For too long we have been like those you don’t rule,
    like those not known by your name.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
1 John 3

See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children, and that is what we are! Because the world didn’t recognize him, it doesn’t recognize us.

Dear friends, now we are God’s children, and it hasn’t yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure. Every person who practices sin commits an act of rebellion, and sin is rebellion. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and there is no sin in him. Every person who remains in relationship to him does not sin. Any person who sins has not seen him or known him.

Little children, make sure no one deceives you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, in the same way that Jesus is righteous. The person who practices sin belongs to the devil, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. God’s Son appeared for this purpose: to destroy the works of the devil. Those born from God don’t practice sin because God’s DNA remains in them. They can’t sin because they are born from God. This is how God’s children and the devil’s children are apparent: everyone who doesn’t practice righteousness is not from God, including the person who doesn’t love a brother or sister. This is the message that you heard from the beginning: love each other. Don’t behave like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he kill him? He killed him because his own works were evil, but the works of his brother were righteous.

Don’t be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have transferred from death to life, because we love the brothers and sisters. The person who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know love: Jesus laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. But if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care—how can the love of God remain in him?

Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts in God’s presence. Even if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things. Dear friends, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have confidence in relationship to God. We receive whatever we ask from him because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love each other as he commanded us. The person who keeps his commandments remains in God and God remains in him; and this is how we know that he remains in us, because of the Spirit that he has given to us.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

Here is my servant, the one I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; the anointed one on whom my Spirit rests.

With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy, 
just as he promised to our ancestors, 
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.

Luke 1:46-55

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.

Here is my servant, the one I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; the anointed one on whom my Spirit rests.

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.


Thanksgiving and intercession

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.
Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs


Father, by your Spirit
Bring in your kingdom.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

O God,
who by the leading of a star
manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
mercifully grant that we,
who know you now by faith,
may at last behold your glory face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.       

The Lord’s Prayer

Believing the promises of God,
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 sends us to the nations,
give us the power of his Spirit.