Wednesday evening December 9

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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.


Open, Lord, My Inward Ear

Charles Wesley
Open, Lord, my inward ear,
and bid my heart rejoice;
Bid my quiet spirit hear
The comfort of thy voice;
Never in the whirlwind found,
or where earthquake rocks the place,
Still and silent is the sound,
The whisper of thy grace.

Show me, as my soul can bear,
the depth of inbred sin;
All my unbelief declare
the pride that lurks within:
Take me, whom Thyself hast bought,
and bring into captivity
Every high aspiring thought
that would not stoop to Thee.

Lord, my time is in thy hand,
my soul to thee convert;
Thou canst make me understand,
though I am slow of heart;
Thine in whom I live and move,
Thine, Lord, the work, the praise is thine!
Thou art wisdom, power and love,
and all thou art is mine.

From the world of sin and noise
And hurry I withdraw;
For the small and inward voice
I wait with humble awe:
Silent am I now and still,
Dare not in thy presence move;
To my waiting soul reveal
The secret of thy love.

Confession of sin

Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
call him while he is yet near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways
and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.

cf Isaiah 55

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

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have committed evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your faithful love.
Wash us completely clean of our guilt; purify us from our sin.
Put a new, faithful spirit deep inside us,
and return the joy of your salvation to us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Psalm 51

May the Father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins,
and restore us in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bless the Lord,
because he has listened to our request for mercy.
Therefore our hearts will rejoice
and we will thank him with our song.

cf Psalm 28:7,9

The Word of God

Psalm 10

Lord, you have not abandoned any who seek you.

Why do you stand so far away, Lord,
    hiding yourself in troubling times?
Meanwhile, the wicked are proudly
    in hot pursuit of those who suffer.
Let them get caught
    in the very same schemes they’ve thought up!
The wicked brag about their body’s cravings;
    the greedy reject the Lord, cursing.
At the peak of their wrath,
    the wicked don’t seek God:
    There’s no God—
    that’s what they are always thinking.
Their ways are always twisted.
        Your rules are too lofty for them.
    They snort at all their foes.
    They think to themselves,
        We’ll never stumble.
        We’ll never encounter any resistance.
Their mouths are filled
        with curses, dishonesty, violence.
    Under their tongues lie
        troublemaking and wrongdoing.
They wait in a place perfect for ambush;
    from their hiding places
    they kill innocent people;
    their eyes spot those who are helpless.
They lie in ambush
    in secret places,
    like a lion in its lair.
They lie in ambush
    so they can seize those who suffer!
They seize the poor, all right,
    dragging them off in their nets.
Their helpless victims are crushed;
    they collapse, falling prey to the strength of the wicked.
The wicked think to themselves:
    God has forgotten.
    God has hidden his face.
    God never sees anything!
Get up, Lord!
    Get your fist ready, God!
    Don’t forget the ones who suffer!
Why do the wicked reject God?
    Why do they think to themselves
        that you won’t find out?
But you do see!
    You do see troublemaking and grief,
    and you do something about it!
The helpless leave it all to you.
    You are the orphan’s helper.
Break the arms of those
    who are wicked and evil.
Seek out their wickedness
    until there’s no more to find.
The Lord rules forever and always!
    The nations will vanish from his land.
Lord, you listen to the desires of those who suffer.
    You steady their hearts;
you listen closely to them,
    to establish justice
        for the orphan and the oppressed,
    so that people of the land
        will never again be terrified.

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 not abandoned any who seek you.

Psalm prayer

When wickedness triumphs
and the poor are betrayed,
come to your kingdom, strong and holy God,
destroy the masks of evil
and reign in our broken hearts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 14

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.

Fools say in their hearts, There is no God.
    They are corrupt and do evil things;
    not one of them does anything good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humans
    to see if anyone is wise,
    to see if anyone seeks God,
        but all of them have turned bad.
        Everyone is corrupt.
        No one does good—
        not even one person!
Are they dumb, all these evildoers,
    devouring my people
    like they are eating bread
        but never calling on the Lord?
Count on it: they will be in utter panic
    because God is with the righteous generation.
You evildoers may humiliate
    the plans of those who suffer,
        but the Lord is their refuge.
Let Israel’s salvation come out of Zion!
        When the Lord 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; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.

Psalm prayer

God of heaven,
look with mercy on all who are consumed
by ignorance and greed,
and let the children of earth know
that you are God forever.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 47

Go down and sit in the dust,
    virgin Daughter Babylon!
Sit on the ground without a throne,
    Daughter Chaldea,
    because they will no longer call you tender and pampered.
Take the millstones and grind flour!
Remove your veil, strip off your robe,
    expose your thighs, wade through the rivers!
Your nakedness will be exposed,
    and your disgrace will be seen.
I will take vengeance;
    no one will intervene.
Our redeemer has spoken;
    the Lord of heavenly forces is his name,
    the holy one of Israel.
Sit silent and go into darkness, Daughter Chaldea,
    because they will no longer call you Queen of Kingdoms.
I was enraged with my people;
    I made my inheritance impure
    and put them under your power.
You took no pity on them.
    You made your yoke heavy even on the elderly.
    You said, “I’m forever; I’m the eternal mistress.”
    You didn’t stop and think;
    you didn’t consider the outcome.
So listen to this,
luxuriant one who sits secure,
    who says in her heart,
    I’m utterly unique;
    I’ll never sit as a widow;
    I’ll never know childlessness:
Both of these will happen to you at once, on a single day:
    childlessness and widowhood
    will envelop you in full measure,
    despite your many sorceries,
    despite your very powerful spells.
You felt secure in your evil;
    you said, “No one sees me.”
Your wisdom and knowledge spun you around.
    You thought to yourself, I and no one else.
Now evil will come against you,
    something you won’t anticipate.
A curse will fall upon you,
    something you won’t be able to dispel.
Destruction will come upon you suddenly,
    something you won’t foresee.
Continue with your enchantments,
    and with your many spells,
    which you have practiced since childhood.
Maybe you will be able to succeed.
    Maybe you will inspire terror.
You are weary from all your consultations;
    let the astrologers stand up and save you,
    those who gaze at the stars,
    and predict what will happen to you at each new moon.
They are just like stubble;
    the fire burns them.
They won’t save themselves from the powerful flames.
    This is no warming ember or fire to sit beside.
Those with whom you have wearied yourself are like this,
    those with whom you were in business from your youth:
    each has wandered off on their own way;
    none will save you.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
1 Thessalonians 2:13-20

We also thank God constantly for this: when you accepted God’s word that you heard from us, you welcomed it for what it truly is. Instead of accepting it as a human message, you accepted it as God’s message, and it continues to work in you who are believers. Brothers and sisters, you became imitators of the churches of God in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus. This was because you also suffered the same things from your own people as they did from the Jews. They killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out. They don’t please God, and they are hostile to the entire human race when they try to stop us from speaking to the Gentiles so they can be saved. Their sins are constantly pushing the limit. God’s wrath has caught up with them in the end.

Brothers and sisters, we were separated from you for a while physically but not in our hearts. We made every effort in our desire to see you again face-to-face. We wanted to come to you—I, Paul, tried over and over again—and Satan stopped us. What is our hope, joy, or crown that we can brag about in front of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Isn’t it all of you? You are our glory and joy!

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


Father, hear our prayer,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succor us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory, 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.