Tuesday evening December 15

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Opening response

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Reveal among us the light of your presence
that we may behold your power and glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
creator of light and darkness,
to you be glory and praise forever.
As evening falls, you renew your promise
to reveal among us the light of your presence.
May your word be a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our path
that we may behold your coming among us.
Strengthen us in our stumbling weakness
and free our tongues to sing your praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Inspirer of the Ancient Seers

Charles Wesley
Inspirer of the ancient seers
Who wrote from thee the sacred page,
The same through all succeeding years;
To us, in our degenerate age,
The spirit of thy word impart,
And breathe the life into our heart.

While now thine oracles we read
With earnest prayer and strong desire,
O let thy Spirit from thee proceed,
Our souls to awaken and inspire,
Our weakness help, our darkness chase,
And guide us by the light of grace.

Whenever in error’s path we rove,
The living God through sin forsake,
Our conscience by thy word reprove,
Convince and bring the wanderers back,
Deep wounded by thy Spirit’s sword,
And then by Gilead’s balm restored.

The sacred lessons of thy grace,
Transmitted through thy word, repeat,
And train us up in all thy ways
To make us in thy will complete;
Fulfill thy love’s redeeming plan,
And bring us to a perfect man.

Thus furnished from thy treasury,
O may we always ready stand
To help the souls redeemed by thee,
In what their various states demand
To teach, convince, correct, reprove,
And build them up in holiest love!

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 50

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

From the rising of the sun to where it sets,
    God, the Lord God, speaks,
        calling out to the earth.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
    God shines brightly.
Our God is coming;
    he won’t keep quiet.
A devouring fire is before him;
    a storm rages all around him.
God calls out to the skies above
    and to the earth in order to judge his people:
“Bring my faithful to me,
    those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
The skies proclaim his righteousness
    because God himself is the judge. 
“Listen, my people, I will now speak;
    Israel, I will now testify against you.
    I am God—your God!
I’m not punishing you for your sacrifices
    or for your entirely burned offerings,
    which are always before me.
I won’t accept bulls from your house
    or goats from your corrals
    because every forest animal already belongs to me,
    as do the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every mountain bird;
    even the insects in the fields are mine.
Even if I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you
    because the whole world and everything in it already belong to me.
Do I eat bulls’ meat?
    Do I drink goats’ blood?
Offer God a sacrifice of thanksgiving!
    Fulfill the promises you made to the Most High!
Cry out to me whenever you are in trouble;
    I will deliver you, then you will honor me.”
But to the wicked God says,
“Why do you talk about my laws?
    Why do you even mention my covenant?
You hate discipline, and
    you toss my words behind your back.
You make friends with thieves whenever you see one;
    you spend your time with adulterers.
You set your mouth free to do evil,
    then harness your tongue to tell lies.
You sit around, talking about your own siblings;
    you find fault with the children of your very own mother.
You’ve done these things and I’ve kept quiet.
    You thought I was just like you!
        But now I’m punishing you;
        I’m laying it all out, right in front of your face.
So consider this carefully, all you who forget God,
    or I’ll rip you to pieces with no one to deliver you:
The one who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving is the one who honors me.
    And it is to the one who charts the correct path that I will show divine 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.

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Psalm prayer

Mighty God,
dwelling in unapproachable light,
forgive our vain attempts to appease you,
and show us your full salvation
in Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

Psalm 54

God is my helper; my Lord sustains my life.

God! Save me by your name;
    defend me by your might!
God! Hear my prayer;
    listen to the words of my mouth!
The proud have come up against me;
    violent people want me dead.
    They pay no attention to God.
But look here: God is my helper;
    my Lord sustains my life.
He will bring disaster on my opponents.
    By your faithfulness, God, destroy them!
I will sacrifice to you freely;
    I will give thanks to your name, Lord,
        because it’s so good,
        and because God has delivered me
        from every distress.
    My eyes have seen my enemies’ defeat.

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.

God is my helper; my Lord sustains my life.

Psalm prayer

Living God,
reach through the violence of the proud
and the despair of the weak
to create in Jesus Christ
a people free to praise your holy name,
now and forever.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 50

The Lord says:
Where’s your mother’s divorce decree,
    with which I sent her away?
Or to which lender did I sell you?
    On account of your sins you were sold;
    on account of your transgressions
    your mother was sent away.
Why did I come and find no one?
    Why did I call when no one answered?
Is my hand too small to redeem you?
    Don’t I have enough power to save?
With my rebuke I dry up the sea
    and make the rivers into wilderness.
Their fish stink from lack of water;
    they die of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with darkness
    and cover them with funeral clothing.

The Lord God gave me an educated tongue
    to know how to respond to the weary
    with a word that will awaken them in the morning.
    God awakens my ear in the morning to listen,
    as educated people do.
The Lord God opened my ear;
    I didn’t rebel; I didn’t turn my back.
Instead, I gave my body to attackers,
    and my cheeks to beard pluckers.
I didn’t hide my face
    from insults and spitting.
The Lord God will help me;
    therefore, I haven’t been insulted.
Therefore, I set my face like flint,
    and knew I wouldn’t be ashamed.
The one who will declare me innocent is near.
    Who will argue with me?
Let’s stand up together.
    Who will bring judgment against me?
    Let him approach me.
Look! The Lord God will help me.
    Who will condemn me?
Look, they will wear out like clothing;
    the moth will eat them.

Who among you fears the Lord?
    Who listens to the voice of his servant,
    who walks in darkness
    and has no light?
They will trust in the Lord’s name,
    and rely upon their God.
Look! All of you are kindling fire,
    igniting torches.
    Walk by the light of your fire,
    by the torches you have ignited.
    This is what will happen to you by my hand:
    you will lie down in grief.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Brothers and sisters, we ask you to respect those who are working with you, leading you, and instructing you. Think of them highly with love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are disorderly. Comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. Make sure no one repays a wrong with a wrong, but always pursue the good for each other and everyone else. Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t suppress the Spirit. Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages, but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good. Avoid every kind of evil. Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming. The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.

Brothers and sisters, pray for us. Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. By the Lord’s authority, I order all of you to have this letter read aloud to all the brothers and sisters. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

Lord Jesus, you are the one who is to come, the one whom we await with longing hearts.

With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy, 
just as he promised to our ancestors, 
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.

Luke 1:46-55

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 Jesus, you are the one who is to come, the one whom we await with longing hearts.

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.


Thanksgiving and intercession

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.
Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs


God of grace,
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Awaiting his coming in glory,
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 the Lord, when he comes,
find us watching and waiting.