Tuesday morning March 15

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
Let your ways be known upon earth,
your saving power among the nations.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory forever.
As a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief
your only Son was lifted up
that he might draw the whole world to himself.
May we walk this day in the way of the cross
and always be ready to share its weight,
declaring your love for all the world.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Father, I Dare Believe

Charles Wesley
Father, I dare believe
Thee merciful and true:
Thou wilt my guilty soul forgive,
My fallen soul renew.
Come then for Jesus’ sake,
And bid my heart be clean;
An end of all my troubles make,
An end of all my sin.

I will, through grace, I will,
I do, return to thee;
Take, empty it, O Lord, and fill
My heart with purity!
For power I feebly pray:
Thy kingdom now restore,
Today, while it is called today,
And I shall sin no more.

I cannot wash my heart,
But by believing thee,
And waiting for thy blood to impart
The spotless purity:
While at thy cross I lie,
Jesus, thy grace bestow,
Now thy all-cleansing blood apply,
And I am white as snow.

Confession of sin

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin
or repay us according to our wrongdoing.
Because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God,
Holy and strong,
Holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.

Let my whole being bless the Lord.
Let everything inside me bless his holy name.

Let my whole being bless the Lord,
and never forget all his good deeds.

The Word of God

Psalm 35

Establish justice for me according to your righteousness, Lord, my God.

Lord, argue with those who argue with me;
    fight with those who fight against me!
Grab a shield and armor;
    stand up and help me!
Use your spear and ax
    against those who are out to get me!
    Say to me: “I’m your salvation!”
Let those who want me dead
    be humiliated and put to shame.
Let those who intend to hurt me
    be thoroughly frustrated and disgraced.
Let them be like dust on the wind—
    and let the Lord’s messenger be the one who does the blowing!
Let their path be dark and slippery—
    and let the Lord’s messenger be the one who does the chasing!
Because they hid their net for me for no reason,
    they dug a pit for me for no reason.
Let disaster come to them when they don’t suspect it.
    Let the net they hid catch them instead!
    Let them fall into it—to their disaster!

But I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will celebrate his salvation.
All my bones will say, “Lord, who could compare to you?
    You rescue the weak from those who overpower them;
        you rescue the weak and the needy from those who plunder them.”

Violent witnesses stand up.
    They question me about things I know nothing about.
They pay me back evil for good,
    leaving me stricken with grief.
But when they were sick, I wore clothes for grieving,
    and I kept a strict fast.
When my prayer came back unanswered,
I would wander around like I was grieving a friend or a brother.
    I was weighed down, sad, like I was a mother in mourning.
But when I stumbled, they celebrated and gathered together—
    they gathered together against me!
    Strangers I didn’t know tore me to pieces and wouldn’t quit.
They ridiculed me over and over again,
    like godless people would do,
    grinding their teeth at me.

How long, my Lord, will you watch this happen?
    Rescue me from their attacks;
    rescue my precious life from these predatory lions!
Then I will thank you in the great assembly;
    I will praise you in a huge crowd of people.
Don’t let those who are my enemies
    without cause celebrate over me;
    don’t let those who hate me for no reason
        wink at my demise.
They don’t speak the truth;
    instead, they plot false accusations
    against innocent people in the land.
They speak out against me,
    saying, “Yes! Oh, yes! We’ve seen it with our own eyes!”

But you’ve seen it too, Lord.
    Don’t keep quiet about it.
    Please don’t be far from me, my Lord.
Wake up! Get up and do justice for me;
    argue my case, my Lord and my God!
Establish justice for me
    according to your righteousness, Lord, my God.
Don’t let them celebrate over me.
    Don’t let them say to themselves,
    Yes! Exactly what we wanted!
    Don’t let them say, “We ate him up!”
Let all those who celebrate my misfortune be disgraced and put to shame!
Let those who exalt themselves over me
        be dressed up in shame and dishonor!
But let those who want things to be set right for me
        shout for joy and celebrate!
    Let them constantly say, “The Lord is great—
        God wants his servant to be at peace.”
Then my tongue will talk
        all about your righteousness;
    it will talk
        about your praise all day long.

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.

Establish justice for me according to your righteousness, Lord, my God.

Psalm prayer

Free us, righteous God, from all oppression,
and bring justice to the nations,
that all the world may know you
as King of kings and Lord of lords,
now and forever.

Psalm 123

Have mercy on us, Lord!

I raise my eyes to you—
    you who rule heaven.
Just as the eyes of servants attend to their masters’ hand,
    just as the eyes of a female servant attends to her mistress’ hand—
    that’s how our eyes attend to the Lord our God
    until he has mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Lord! Have mercy
    because we’ve had more than enough shame.
We’ve had more than enough mockery from the self-confident,
    more than enough shame from the proud.

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.

Have mercy on us, Lord!

Psalm prayer

Sovereign God, enthroned in the heavens,
look upon us with your eyes of mercy,
as we look on you with humility and love,
and fill our souls with your peace
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Exodus 8:20-32

The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes out to the water. Say to him, This is what the Lord says: Let my people go so that they can worship me. If you refuse to let my people go, I’ll send swarms of insects on you, your officials, your people, and your houses. All Egyptian houses will be filled with swarms of insects and also the ground that they cover. But on that day I’ll set apart the land of Goshen, where my people live. No swarms of insects will come there so you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land. I’ll put a barrier between my people and your people. This sign will happen tomorrow.” The Lord did this. Great swarms of insects came into the houses of Pharaoh and his officials and into the whole land of Egypt. The land was ruined by the insects.

Then Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, offer sacrifices to your God within the land.”

Moses replied, “It wouldn’t be right to do that, because the sacrifices that we offer to the Lord our God will offend Egyptians. If we openly offer sacrifices that offend Egyptians, won’t they stone us to death? We need to go for a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God as he has ordered us.”

So Pharaoh said, “I’ll let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the desert, provided you don’t go too far away and you pray for me.”

Moses said, “I’ll leave you now, and I’ll pray to the Lord. Tomorrow the swarms of insects will leave Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Just don’t let Pharaoh lie to us again and not let the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”

So Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. The Lord did as Moses asked and removed the swarms of insects from Pharaoh, from his officials, and from his people. Not one insect remained. But Pharaoh was stubborn once again, and he wouldn’t let the people go.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Hebrews 11:32-12:2

What more can I say? I would run out of time if I told you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. Through faith they conquered kingdoms, brought about justice, realized promises, shut the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped from the edge of the sword, found strength in weakness, were mighty in war, and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured and refused to be released so they could gain a better resurrection.

But others experienced public shame by being taunted and whipped; they were even put in chains and in prison. They were stoned to death, they were cut in two, and they died by being murdered with swords. They went around wearing the skins of sheep and goats, needy, oppressed, and mistreated. The world didn’t deserve them. They wandered around in deserts, mountains, caves, and holes in the ground.

All these people didn’t receive what was promised, though they were given approval for their faith. God provided something better for us so they wouldn’t be made perfect without us.

So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter. He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God’s throne.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved.

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.

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved.

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, hear your people
and answer our prayers.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
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

Standing at the foot of the cross,
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 bore our sins on the cross,
set us free to serve him with joy.