Tuesday morning September 20

Wednesday morning
Monday morning


Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God, creator of all,
to you be glory and praise forever.
You founded the earth in the beginning
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
In the fullness of time you made us in your image,
and in these last days you have spoken to us
in your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
As we rejoice in the gift of your presence among us
let the light of your love always shine in our hearts,
your Spirit ever renew our lives
and your praises ever be on our lips.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Where Shall My Wondering Soul Begin?

Charles Wesley
Where shall my wondering soul begin?
How shall I all to heaven aspire?
A slave redeemed from death and sin,
A brand plucked from eternal fire,
How shall I equal triumphs raise,
And sing my great Deliverer’s praise!

O how shall I the goodness tell,
Father, which thou to me hast showed,
That I, a child of wrath, and hell,
Should now be called a child of God!
Should know, should feel my sins forgiven,
Blest with this antepast of heaven!

And shall I slight my Father’s love,
Or basely fear his gifts to own?
Unmindful of his favors prove?
Shall I the hallowed cross to shun
Refuse his righteousness to impart
By hiding it within my heart?

No—though the ancient dragon rage
And call forth all his hosts to war,
Though earth’s self-righteous sons engage;
Them, and their god alike I dare:
Jesus the sinner’s friend proclaim,
Jesus, to sinners still the same.

Outcasts of men, to you I call,
Harlots and publicans, and thieves!
He spreads his arms to embrace you all;
Sinners alone his grace receives:
No need of him the righteous have,
He came the lost to seek and save!

Come all ye Magdalens in lust,
Ye ruffians fell in murders old;
Repent, and live: despair and trust!
Jesus for you to death was sold;
Though hell protest, and earth repine,
He died for crimes like yours—and mine.

Come O my guilty brethren come,
Groaning beneath your load of sin!
His bleeding heart shall make you room,
His open side shall take you in.
He calls you now, invites you home—
Come, O my guilty brethren, come!

For you the purple current flowed
In pardons from his wounded side:
Languished for you the eternal God,
For you the Prince of Glory died.
Believe; and all your guilt is forgiven,
Only believe—and yours is heaven.

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 73

I have taken my refuge in you, my Lord God.

Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those who are pure of heart.
But me? My feet had almost stumbled;
    my steps had nearly slipped
    because I envied the arrogant;
    I observed how the wicked are well off:
They suffer no pain;
    their bodies are fit and strong.
They are never in trouble;
    they aren’t weighed down like other people.
That’s why they wear arrogance like a necklace,
    why violence covers them like clothes.
Their eyes bulge out from eating so well;
    their hearts overflow with delusions.
They scoff and talk so cruel;
    from their privileged positions
    they plan oppression.
Their mouths dare to speak against heaven!
    Their tongues roam the earth!
That’s why people keep going back to them,
    keep approving what they say.
And what they say is this: “How could God possibly know!
    Does the Most High know anything at all!”
Look at these wicked ones,
    always relaxed, piling up the wealth!
Meanwhile, I’ve kept my heart pure for no good reason;
I’ve washed my hands to stay innocent for nothing.
I’m weighed down all day long.
    I’m punished every morning.
If I said, “I will talk about all this,”
    I would have been unfaithful to your children.
But when I tried to understand these things,
    it just seemed like hard work
    until I entered God’s sanctuary
        and understood what would happen to the wicked.
You will definitely put them on a slippery path;
    you will make them fall into ruin!
How quickly they are devastated,
    utterly destroyed by terrors!
As quickly as a dream departs from someone waking up, my Lord,
    when you are stirred up, you make them disappear.
When my heart was bitter,
    when I was all cut up inside,
I was stupid and ignorant.
    I acted like nothing but an animal toward you.
But I was still always with you!
    You held my strong hand!
You have guided me with your advice;
    later you will receive me with glory.
Do I have anyone else in heaven?
    There’s nothing on earth I desire except you.
My body and my heart fail,
    but God is my heart’s rock and my share forever.
Look! Those far from you die;
    you annihilate all those who are unfaithful to you.
But me? It’s good for me to be near God.
    I have taken my refuge in you, my Lord God,
        so I can talk all about your works!

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 have taken my refuge in you, my Lord God.

Psalm prayer

Holy God,
may we find wisdom in your presence
and set our hope not on uncertain riches
but on the love that holds us to the end;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
1 Kings 22:1-28

For three years there was no war between Aram and the Israelites. In the third year, Judah’s King Jehoshaphat visited Israel’s king. Israel’s king said to his servants, “You know, don’t you, that Ramoth-gilead is ours? But we aren’t doing anything to take it back from the king of Aram.” He said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me into battle at Ramoth-gilead?”

Jehoshaphat said to Israel’s king, “I am with you, and my troops and my horses are united with yours. But,” Jehoshaphat said to Israel’s king, “first let’s see what the Lord has to say.”

So Israel’s king gathered about four hundred prophets, and he asked them, “Should I go to war with Ramoth-gilead or not?”

“Attack!” the prophets answered. “The Lord will hand it over to the king.”

But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there any other prophet of the Lord whom we could ask?”

“There is one other man who could ask the Lord for us,” Israel’s king told Jehoshaphat, “but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, only bad. His name is Micaiah, Imlah’s son.”

“The king shouldn’t speak like that!” Jehoshaphat said.

So Israel’s king called an officer and ordered, “Bring Micaiah, Imlah’s son, right away.”

Now Israel’s king and Judah’s King Jehoshaphat were sitting on their thrones, dressed in their royal robes at the threshing floor beside the entrance to the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying in front of them. Zedekiah, Chenaanah’s son, made iron horns for himself and said, “This is what the Lord says: With these horns you will gore the Arameans until there’s nothing left of them!”

All the other prophets agreed: “Attack Ramoth-gilead and win! The Lord will hand it over to the king!”

Meanwhile, the messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Listen, the prophets all agree that the king will succeed. You should say the same thing they say and prophesy success.”

But Micaiah answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what the Lord tells me to say.”

When Micaiah arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war with Ramoth-gilead or not?”

“Attack and win!” Micaiah answered. “The Lord will hand it over to the king!”

But the king said, “How many times must I demand that you tell me the truth when you speak in the name of the Lord?”

Then Micaiah replied, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd! And then the Lord said: They have no master. Let them return safely to their own homes.”

Then Israel’s king said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you? He never prophesies anything good about me, only bad.”

Then Micaiah said, “Listen now to the Lord’s word: I saw the Lord enthroned with all the heavenly forces stationed beside him, at his right and at his left. The Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab so that he attacks Ramoth-gilead and dies there?’ There were many suggestions until one particular spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I’ll persuade him.’ ‘How?’ the Lord asked. ‘I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets,’ he said. The Lord agreed, ‘You will succeed in persuading him! Go ahead!’ So now, since the Lord has placed a lying spirit in the mouths of every one of these prophets of yours, it is the Lord who has pronounced disaster against you!”

Zedekiah, Chenaanah’s son, approached Micaiah and slapped him on the cheek. “Just how did the Lord’s spirit leave me to speak to you?” he asked.

Micaiah answered, “You will find out on the day you try to hide in an inner room.”

“Arrest him,” ordered Israel’s king, “and turn him over to Amon the city official and to Joash the king’s son. Tell them, ‘The king says: Put this man in prison and feed him minimum rations of bread and water until I return safely.’”

“If you ever return safely,” Micaiah replied, “then the Lord wasn’t speaking through me.” Then he added, “Pay attention, every last one of you!”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 22:22-23:11

The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they shouted, “Away with this man! He’s not fit to live!” As they were screaming, throwing off their garments, and flinging dust into the air, the commander directed that Paul be taken into the military headquarters. He ordered that Paul be questioned under the whip so that he could find out why they were shouting at him like this.

As they were stretching him out and tying him down with straps, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Can you legally whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t been found guilty in court?”

When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. He asked, “What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen!”

The commander went to Paul and demanded, “Tell me! Are you a Roman citizen?”

He said, “Yes.”

The commander replied, “It cost me a lot of money to buy my citizenship.”

Paul said, “I’m a citizen by birth.” At once those who were about to examine him stepped away. The commander was alarmed when he realized he had bound a Roman citizen.

The commander still wanted to know the truth about why Paul was being accused by the Jews. Therefore, the next day he ordered the chief priests and the entire Jerusalem Council to assemble. Then he took Paul out of prison and had him stand before them.

Paul stared at the council and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with an altogether clear conscience right up to this very day.” The high priest Ananias ordered those standing beside Paul to strike him in the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is about to strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit and judge me according to the Law, yet disobey the Law by ordering that I be struck.”

Those standing near him asked, “You dare to insult God’s high priest?”

Paul replied, “Brothers, I wasn’t aware that he was the high priest. It is written, You will not speak evil about a ruler of your people.”

Knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, Paul exclaimed in the council, “Brothers, I’m a Pharisee and a descendant of Pharisees. I am on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead!”

These words aroused a dispute between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. This is because Sadducees say that there’s no resurrection, angel, or spirit, but Pharisees affirm them all. Council members were shouting loudly. Some Pharisees who were legal experts stood up and insisted forcefully, “We find nothing wrong with this man! What if a spirit or angel has spoken to him?” The dispute became so heated that the commander feared they might tear Paul to pieces. He ordered soldiers to go down and remove him by force from their midst. Then they took him back to the military headquarters.

The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Be encouraged! Just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so too you must testify in Rome.”

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Lord, you have raised up a mighty savior for us in your servant David’s house.

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.

Lord, you have raised up a mighty savior for us in your servant David’s house.

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

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you 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

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.


The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil, and keep us in eternal life.