Wednesday morning March 2

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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.


Arise, My Soul, Arise

Charles Wesley
Arise, my soul arise,
Thy Savior’s sacrifice!
All the names that love could find,
All the forms that love could take,
Jesus in himself hath joined,
Thee, my soul, his own to make.

Prophet, to me reveal
Thy Father’s perfect will;
Never mortal spake like thee,
Human Prophet, like divine;
Loud and strong their voices be,
Small, and still, and inward thine!

On thee, my Priest, I call;
Thy blood atoned for all:
Still the Lamb as slain appears,
Still thou standest before the throne,
Ever offering up my prayers,
These presenting with thine own.

Jesus, thou art my King,
From thee my strength I bring;
Shadowed by thy mighty hand,
Savior, who shall pluck me thence?
Faith supports; by faith I stand,
Strong in thy omnipotence.

Hail! everlasting Lord,
Divine, incarnate Word!
Thee let all my powers confess;
Thee my latest breath proclaim;
Help, ye angel choirs to bless,
Shout the loved Emmanuel’s name!

Confession of sin

When we cry out to the Lord in our distress,
he will save us from our desperate circumstances.

God will bring us out of darkness
and out of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

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

May the Father forgive us
by the death of his Son
and strengthen us
to live in the power of the Spirit
all our days.

Let us thank the Lord for his faithful love,
and his wondrous works for all people.

Let us offer thanksgiving sacrifices
and declare what God has done in songs of joy.

cf Psalm 107

The Word of God

Psalm 38

Come quickly and help me, my Lord, my salvation!

Please, Lord, don’t punish me when you are mad;
    don’t discipline me when you are furious.
Your arrows have pierced me;
    your fist has come down hard on me.
There’s nothing in my body that isn’t broken
        because of your rage;
    there’s no health in my bones
        because of my sin.
My wrongdoings are stacked higher than my head;
    they are a weight that’s way too heavy for me.
My wounds reek; they are all infected
    because of my stupidity.
I am hunched over, completely down;
    I wander around all day long, sad.
My insides are burning up;
    there’s nothing in my body that isn’t broken.
I’m worn out, completely crushed;
    I groan because of my miserable heart.

Everything I long for is laid out before you, my Lord;
    my sighs aren’t hidden from you.
My heart pounds; my strength abandons me.
    Even the light of my eyes is gone.
My loved ones and friends keep their distance
        from me in my sickness;
    those who were near me now stay far away.
Those who want me dead lay traps;
    those who want me harmed utter threats,
        muttering lies all day long.
But I’m like someone who is deaf,
    who can’t hear;
    like someone who can’t speak,
    whose mouth won’t open.
I’ve become like a person
    who doesn’t hear what is being said,
    whose mouth has no good comeback.
But I wait for you, Lord!
    You will answer, my Lord, my God!
Because I prayed:
    “Don’t let them celebrate over me
    or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips,”
because I’m very close to falling,
    and my pain is always with me.
Yes, I confess my wrongdoing;
    I’m worried about my sin.
But my mortal enemies are so strong;
    those who hate me for no reason seem countless.
Those who give, repay good with evil;
    they oppose me for pursuing good.

Don’t leave me all alone, Lord!
    Please, my God, don’t be far from me!
Come quickly and help me,
    my Lord, my salvation!

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.

Come quickly and help me, my Lord, my salvation!

Psalm prayer

Almighty Lord and Savior,
behold with pity the wounds of your people;
do not forsake us, sinful as we are,
but for the sake of the passion of your
Beloved One, Jesus,
come quickly to our aid, 
for his mercy’s sake.

Old Testament reading
Genesis 49:1-32

Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the coming days.

Assemble yourselves and listen, sons of Jacob;
        listen to Israel your father.
Reuben, you are my oldest son,
    my strength and my first contender,
    superior in status and superior in might.
As wild as the waters, you won’t endure,
    for you went up to your father’s bed,
    you went up and violated my couch.
Simeon and Levi are brothers,
        weapons of violence their stock in trade.
May I myself never enter their council.
May my honor never be linked to their group;
        for when they were angry, they killed men,
        and whenever they wished, they maimed oxen.
Cursed be their anger; it is violent,
        their rage; it is relentless.
I’ll divide them up within Jacob
        and disperse them within Israel.
Judah, you are the one your brothers will honor;
        your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
        your father’s sons will bow down to you.
Judah is a lion’s cub;
        from the prey, my son, you rise up.
He lies down and crouches like a lion;
        like a lioness—who dares disturb him?
The scepter won’t depart from Judah,
        nor the ruler’s staff from among his banners.
Gifts will be brought to him;
        people will obey him.
He ties his male donkey to the vine,
        the colt of his female donkey to the vine’s branches.
He washes his clothes in wine,
        his garments in the blood of grapes.
His eyes are darker than wine,
        and his teeth whiter than milk.
Zebulun will live at the seashore;
        he’ll live at the harbor of ships,
        his border will be at Sidon.
Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
        bedding down beside the village hearths.
He saw that a resting place was good
        and that the land was pleasant.
He lowered his shoulder to haul loads
        and joined the work gangs.
Dan will settle disputes for his people,
        as one of Israel’s tribes.
Dan will be a snake on the road,
        a serpent on the path,
biting a horse’s heels,
        so its rider falls backward.
I long for your victory, Lord.
Gad will be attacked by attackers,
        but he’ll attack their back.
Asher grows fine foods,
        and he will supply the king’s delicacies.
Naphtali is a wild doe
        that gives birth to beautiful fawns.
Joseph is a young bull,
        a young bull by a spring,
        who strides with oxen.
They attacked him fiercely and fired arrows;
        the archers attacked him furiously.
But his bow stayed strong,
        and his forearms were nimble,
            by the hands of the strong one of Jacob,
            by the name of the shepherd, the rock of Israel,
                by God, your father, who supports you,
            by the Almighty who blesses you
                with blessings from the skies above
                and blessings from the deep sea below,
                blessings from breasts and womb.
The blessings of your father exceed
            the blessings of the eternal mountains,
            the wealth of the everlasting hills.
        May they all rest on Joseph’s head,
            on the forehead of the one set apart from his brothers.
Benjamin is a wolf who hunts:
        in the morning he devours the prey;
        in the evening he divides the plunder.”
These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them by giving each man his own particular blessing.

Jacob ordered them, “I am soon to join my people. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave that’s in the field of Ephron the Hittite; in the cave that’s in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in the land of Canaan that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial property. That is where Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and where Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and where I buried Leah. It is the field and the cave in it that belonged to the Hittites.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Hebrews 6:13-20

When God gave Abraham his promise, he swore by himself since he couldn’t swear by anyone greater. He said, I will certainly bless you and multiply your descendants. So Abraham obtained the promise by showing patience. People pledge by something greater than themselves. A solemn pledge guarantees what they say and shuts down any argument. When God wanted to further demonstrate to the heirs of the promise that his purpose doesn’t change, he guaranteed it with a solemn pledge. So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie. He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us. This hope, which is a safe and secure anchor for our whole being, enters the sanctuary behind the curtain. That’s where Jesus went in advance and entered for us, since he became a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

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


In faith we pray
We pray to you, our God.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

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 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.