Thursday morning March 10

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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.


Depth of Mercy! Can there Be 

Charles Wesley
Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me? 
Can my God his wrath forbear, 
Me, the chief of sinners, spare? 

I have long withstood his grace, 
Long provoked him to his face, 
Would not hearken to his calls, 
Grieved him by a thousand falls. 

Kindled his relentings are:
Me he now delights to spare; 
Cries, "How shall I give thee up?" 
Lets the lifted thunder drop. 

There for me the Savior stands, 
Shows his wounds and spreads his hands. 
God is Love; I know, I feel; 
Jesus weeps, and loves me still. 

Confession of sin

O King enthroned on high,
filling the earth with your glory:
holy is your name,
Lord God almighty.

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

In our sinfulness we cry to you
to take our guilt away,
and to cleanse our lips to speak your word,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw us to himself,
and cleanse us from all our sins
that we may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 53

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

Fools say in their hearts, There’s no God.
    They are corrupt and do horrible deeds;
        not one of them does anything good.
God looks down from heaven on humans
    to see if anyone is wise,
    to see if anyone seeks God.
But all have turned away.
    Everyone is corrupt.
    No one does good—
    not even one person!
Are they dumb—these evildoers—
        devouring my people like they are eating bread
        but never calling on God?
There, where there was nothing to fear,
    they will be in utter panic
    because God will scatter the bones
        of those who attacked you.
You will put them to shame
    because God has rejected them.
Let Israel’s salvation come out of Zion!
    When God changes
    his people’s circumstances for the better,
        Jacob will rejoice;
        Israel will celebrate!

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 beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

Psalm prayer

Without you, O God, nothing is real,
all things are open to corruption
and we are deadened by deceit;
do not abandon us to our folly,
but give us hearts that seek you
and, at the last, joy in your heavenly city;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 86

All the nations that you’ve made will come and bow down before you, Lord.

Lord, listen closely to me and answer me,
    because I am poor and in need.
Guard my life because I am faithful.
    Save your servant who trusts in you—you! My God!
Have mercy on me, Lord,
    because I cry out to you all day long.
Make your servant’s life happy again
    because, my Lord, I offer my life to you,
    because, my Lord, you are good and forgiving,
    full of faithful love for all those who cry out to you.
Listen closely to my prayer, Lord;
    pay close attention to the sound of my requests for mercy.
Whenever I am in trouble, I cry out to you,
    because you will answer me.
My Lord! There is no one like you among the gods!
    There is nothing that can compare to your works!
All the nations that you’ve made will come
        and bow down before you, Lord;
    they will glorify your name,
    because you are awesome
    and a wonder-worker.
        You are God. Just you.
Teach me your way, Lord,
        so that I can walk in your truth.
    Make my heart focused
        only on honoring your name.
I give thanks to you, my Lord, my God,
    with all my heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever,
    because your faithful love toward me is awesome
    and because you’ve rescued my life
        from the lowest part of hell.
The arrogant rise up against me, God.
    A gang of violent people want me dead.
    They don’t give a thought for you.
But you, my Lord,
    are a God of compassion and mercy;
    you are very patient and full of faithful love.
Come back to me! Have mercy on me!
    Give your servant your strength;
    save this child of your servant!
Show me a sign of your goodness
    so that those who hate me will see it and be put to shame—
        show a sign that you, Lord,
        have helped me and comforted me.

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.

All the nations that you’ve made will come and bow down before you, Lord.

Psalm prayer

God of mercy,
who in your great love
drew your Son from the depths of the Pit,
bring your people from death to life,
that we may rejoice in your compassion
and praise you now and forever.

Old Testament reading
Exodus 4:27-6:1

The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the desert to meet Moses.” So he went, and Aaron met him at God’s mountain and greeted him with a kiss. Moses told Aaron what the Lord had said about his mission and all the signs that the Lord had told him to do. Then Moses and Aaron called together all the Israelite elders. Aaron told them everything that the Lord had told to Moses, and he performed the signs in front of the people. The people believed. When they heard that the Lord had paid attention to the Israelites and had seen their oppression, they bowed down and worshipped.

Afterward, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, Israel’s God, says: ‘Let my people go so that they can hold a festival for me in the desert.’”

But Pharaoh said, “Who is this Lord whom I’m supposed to obey by letting Israel go? I don’t know this Lord, and I certainly won’t let Israel go.”

Then they said, “The Hebrews’ God has appeared to us. Let us go on a three-day journey into the desert so we can offer sacrifices to the Lord our God. Otherwise, the Lord will give us a deadly disease or violence.”

The king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you making the people slack off from their work? Do the hard work yourselves!” Pharaoh continued, “The land’s people are now numerous. Yet you want them to stop their hard work?”

On the very same day Pharaoh commanded the people’s slave masters and supervisors, “Don’t supply the people with the straw they need to make bricks like you did before. Let them go out and gather the straw for themselves. But still make sure that they produce the same number of bricks as they made before. Don’t reduce the number! They are weak and lazy, and that’s why they cry, ‘Let’s go and offer sacrifices to our God.’ Make the men’s work so hard that it’s all they can do, and they can’t focus on these empty lies.”

So the people’s slave masters and supervisors came out and spoke to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says, ‘I’m not giving you straw anymore. Go and get the straw on your own, wherever you can find it. But your work won’t be reduced at all.’” So the people spread out all through the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. The slave masters drove them hard and said, “Make sure you make the same daily quota as when you had the straw.” The Israelite supervisors, whom Pharaoh’s slave masters had set over them, were also beaten and asked, “Why didn’t you produce the same number of bricks yesterday and today as you did before?”

Then the Israelite supervisors came and pleaded to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is supplied to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look at how your servants are being beaten! Your own people are to blame!”

Pharaoh replied, “You are lazy bums, nothing but lazy bums. That’s why you say, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to the Lord.’ Go and get back to work! No straw will be given to you, but you still need to make the same number of bricks.”

The Israelite supervisors saw how impossible their situation was when they were commanded, “Don’t reduce your daily quota of bricks.” When they left Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them. The supervisors said to them, “Let the Lord see and judge what you’ve done! You’ve made us stink in the opinion of Pharaoh and his servants. You’ve given them a reason to kill us.”

Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “My Lord, why have you abused this people? Why did you send me for this? Ever since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has abused this people. And you’ve done absolutely nothing to rescue your people.”

The Lord replied to Moses, “Now you will see what I’ll do to Pharaoh. In fact, he’ll be so eager to let them go that he’ll drive them out of his land by force.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Hebrews 10:19-25

Brothers and sisters, we have confidence that we can enter the holy of holies by means of Jesus’ blood, through a new and living way that he opened up for us through the curtain, which is his body, and we have a great high priest over God’s house.

Therefore, let’s draw near with a genuine heart with the certainty that our faith gives us, since our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies are washed with pure water.

Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable.

And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds. Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.

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


Father, by your Spirit
Bring in your kingdom.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Merciful Lord,
absolve your people from their offenses,
that through your bountiful goodness
we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins
which by our frailty we have committed;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for Jesus Christ's sake, our blessed Lord and Savior,
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.