Saturday morning February 20

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love,
according to your judgment give us life.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In the darkness of our sin,
your light breaks forth like the dawn
and your healing springs up for deliverance.
As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help,
sustain us with your bountiful Spirit
and open our lips to sing your praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


O thou whom we adore

Charles Wesley
O thou whom we adore!
To bless our earth again,
Assume thine own almighty power,
And over the nations reign.

The world’s desire and hope,
All power to thee is given;
Now set the last great empire up,
Eternal Lord of heaven!

A gracious Savior, thou,
Wilt all thy creatures bless;
And every knee to thee shall bow,
And every tongue confess.

According to thy word;
Now be thy grace revealed;
And with the knowledge of the Lord,
Let all the earth be filled.

Confession of sin

Let us admit to God the sin which always confronts us.

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

Almighty God,
patient and of great goodness:
I confess to you,
I confess with my whole heart
my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments,
my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking;
the hurts I have done to others,
and the good I have left undone.
O God, forgive me, for I have sinned against you;
and raise me to newness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

May the God of love and power
forgive us and free us from our sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,
and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 59

I will sing of your strength!

Oh, my God, deliver me from my enemies;
    put me out of reach from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from evildoers;
    save me from the bloodthirsty.
Look at how they lie in ambush for my life!
    Powerful people are attacking me, Lord—
        but not because of any error or sin of mine.
    They run and take their stand—
        but not because of any fault of mine.
Get up when I cry out to you!
    Look at what’s happening!
You are the Lord God of heavenly forces,
    the God of Israel!
Wake up and punish all the nations!
    Grant no mercy to any wicked traitor! 
They come back every evening,
    growling like dogs,
    prowling around the city.
See what they belch out with their mouths:
    swords are between their lips!
        Who can listen to them?
But you, Lord, laugh at them.
    You mock all the nations.
I keep looking for you, my strength,
    because God is my stronghold.
My loving God will come to meet me.
    God will allow me to look down on my enemies.
Don’t kill them, or my people might forget;
    instead, by your power
    shake them up and bring them down,
        you who are our shield and my Lord.
For the sin of their mouths,
    the words that they speak,
    let them be captured in their pride.
For the curses and lies they repeat,
        finish them off in anger;
        finish them off until they are gone!
Then let it be known to the ends of the earth
    that God rules over Jacob. 
They come back every evening,
    growling like dogs,
    prowling around the city.
They roam about for food,
    and if they don’t get their fill,
    they stay all night.
But me? I will sing of your strength!
    In the morning I will shout out loud
    about your faithful love
        because you have been my stronghold,
        my shelter when I was distraught.
I will sing praises to you, my strength,
    because God is my stronghold,
    my loving God.

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.

I will sing of your strength!

Psalm prayer

Strong and merciful God,
stand with the oppressed
against the triumph of evil
and the complacency of your people,
and establish in Jesus Christ
your new order of generosity and joy,
for he is alive and reigns now and forever.

Psalm 63

My lips praise you because your faithful love is better than life itself!

God! My God! It’s you—
    I search for you!
    My whole being thirsts for you!
    My body desires you
        in a dry and tired land,
        no water anywhere.
Yes, I’ve seen you in the sanctuary;
    I’ve seen your power and glory.
My lips praise you
    because your faithful love
    is better than life itself!
So I will bless you as long as I’m alive;
    I will lift up my hands in your name.
I’m fully satisfied—
    as with a rich dinner.
My mouth speaks praise with joy on my lips—
    whenever I ponder you on my bed,
    whenever I meditate on you
        in the middle of the night—
    because you’ve been a help to me and I shout for joy in the protection of your wings.
My whole being clings to you;
    your strong hand upholds me.
But what about those people who want to destroy me?
    Let them go into the bowels of the earth!
    Let their blood flow by the sword!
    Let them be food for wild jackals!
But the king should rejoice in God;
    everyone who swears by God should give praise
        when the mouths of liars are shut for good.

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.

My lips praise you because your faithful love is better than life itself!

Psalm prayer

To you we come, radiant Lord,
the goal of all our desiring,
beyond all earthly beauty;
gentle protector, strong deliverer,
in the night you are our confidence;
from first light be our joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Genesis 43:1-15

The famine was severe in the land, and when they had eaten all the grain that they brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”

Judah said to him, “The man was absolutely serious when he said, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’ If you agree to send our brother with us, then we will go down and buy you food. But if you don’t agree to send him, then we can’t go down because the man said to us, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’”

Israel said, “Why have you caused me such pain by telling the man you had another brother?”

They said, “The man asked us pointedly about our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ So we told him just what we’ve said. How were we to know he’d say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”

Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the young man with me. Let’s get ready to leave so that we can stay alive and not die—we, you, and our children. I will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible. If I don’t bring him back to you and place him here in front of you, it will be my fault forever. If we hadn’t waited so long, we would’ve returned twice by now.”

Their father Israel said to them, “If it has to be, then do this. Take in your bags some of the land’s choice produce, and bring it down to the man as a gift: a little medicinal resin, a little honey, gum, resin, pistachios, and almonds. Take twice as much silver with you, and take back the silver returned in the top of your sacks. It might have been a mistake. And take your brother, get ready, and go back to the man. May God Almighty make the man compassionate toward you so that he may send back our other brother and Benjamin with you. But me, if I’m left childless, then I’m left childless.”

So the men took this gift. They took twice as much silver with them, together with Benjamin. They left, traveled down to Egypt, and received an audience with Joseph.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Galatians 6

Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness. Watch out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted too. Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are important when they aren’t, they’re fooling themselves. Each person should test their own work and be happy with doing a good job and not compare themselves with others. Each person will have to carry their own load.

Those who are taught the word should share all good things with their teacher. Make no mistake, God is not mocked. A person will harvest what they plant. Those who plant only for their own benefit will harvest devastation from their selfishness, but those who plant for the benefit of the Spirit will harvest eternal life from the Spirit. Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith.

Look at the large letters I’m making with my own handwriting! Whoever wants to look good by human standards will try to get you to be circumcised, but only so they won’t be harassed for the cross of Christ. Those who are circumcised don’t observe the Law themselves, but they want you to be circumcised, so they can boast about your physical body.

But as for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except for the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through him, and I have been crucified to the world. Being circumcised or not being circumcised doesn’t mean anything. What matters is a new creation. May peace and mercy be on whoever follows this rule and on God’s Israel.

From now on, no one should bother me because I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

Brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.

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.

Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.

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


Loving God, we look to you.
Receive our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:
give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;
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

Trusting in the compassion 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 God our Redeemer show us compassion and love.