Wednesday evening January 20

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Opening response

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your glory is proclaimed in all the world.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise forever.
You gave your Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the anointing of the Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
As you call us into your marvelous light,
may our lives bear witness to your truth
and our lips never cease to proclaim your praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


The Universal King

Charles Wesley
The universal King
Let all the world proclaim;
Let every creature sing
His attributes and name!
Him Three in One and One in Three,
Extol to all eternity.

In his great name alone
All excellencies meet,
Who sits upon the throne,
And shall forever sit;
Him Three in One and One in Three,
Extol to all eternity.

Glory to God belongs;
Glory to God be given,
Above the noblest songs
Of all in earth or heaven!
Him Three in One and One in Three,
Extol to all eternity.

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 97

You, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

The Lord rules! Let the earth rejoice!
    Let all the islands celebrate!
Clouds and thick darkness surround God.
    His throne is built on righteousness and justice.
Fire proceeds before him,
    burning up his enemies on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees it and trembles!
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of the whole world!
Heaven has proclaimed God’s righteousness,
    and all nations have seen his glory.
All those who worship images,
    those who are proud of idols,
    are put to shame.
    All gods bow down to the Lord!
Zion has heard and celebrates,
    the towns of Judah rejoice,
    because of your acts of justice, Lord,
    because you, Lord, are the Most High
        over all the earth,
    because you are so superior to all other gods.
Those of you who love the Lord, hate evil!
    God guards the lives of his faithful ones,
    delivering them from the power of the wicked.
Light is planted like seed for the righteous person;
    joy too for those whose heart is right.
Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones!
    Give thanks to his holy name!

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.

You, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm prayer

Most high and holy God,
enthroned in fire and light,
burn away the dross of our lives
and kindle in us the fire of your love,
that our lives may reveal the light and life
we find in your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 98

The Lord has made his salvation widely known.
Sing to the Lord a new song
    because he has done wonderful things!
His own strong hand and his own holy arm
    have won the victory!
The Lord has made his salvation widely known;
    he has revealed his righteousness
    in the eyes of all the nations.
God has remembered his loyal love
    and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
    every corner of the earth has seen our God’s salvation.
Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
    Be happy!
    Rejoice out loud!
    Sing your praises!
Sing your praises to the Lord with the lyre—
    with the lyre and the sound of music.
With trumpets and a horn blast,
    shout triumphantly before the Lord, the king!
Let the sea and everything in it roar;
    the world and all its inhabitants too.
Let all the rivers clap their hands;
    let the mountains rejoice out loud altogether before the Lord
    because he is coming to establish justice on the earth!
He will establish justice in the world rightly;
    he will establish justice among all people fairly. 

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 Lord has made his salvation widely known.

Psalm prayer

Lord God, just and true,
you make your salvation known in the sight of the nations;
tune the song of our hearts to the music of creation
as you come among us to judge the earth;
through our Savior Jesus Christ.

Old Testament reading
Amos 8

This is what the Lord God showed me: a basket of summer fruit. He said, “Amos, what do you see?”

I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”

Then the Lord said to me,

    “The end has come upon my people Israel;
        I will never again forgive them.
    On that day, the people will wail the temple songs,”
        says the Lord God;
    “there will be many corpses,
    thrown about everywhere.

    Hear this, you who trample on the needy and destroy
        the poor of the land,
    “When will the new moon
        be over so that we may sell grain,
        and the Sabbath
        so that we may offer wheat for sale,
        make the ephah smaller, enlarge the shekel,
        and deceive with false balances,
        in order to buy the needy for silver
        and the helpless for sandals,
        and sell garbage as grain?”

    The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
        Surely I will never forget what they have done.
    Will not the land tremble on this account,
        and all who live in it mourn,
    as it rises and overflows like the Nile,
        and then falls again, like the River of Egypt?

    On that day, says the Lord God,
        I will make the sun go down at noon,
        and I will darken the earth in broad daylight.
I will turn your feasts into sad affairs
        and all your singing into a funeral song;
    I will make people wear mourning clothes
        and shave their heads;
    I will make it like the loss of an only child,
        and the end of it like a bitter day.
The days are surely coming, says the Lord God,
        when I will send hunger and thirst on the land;
    neither a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for water,
        but of hearing the Lord ’s words.
They will wander from sea to sea,
        and from north to east;
    they will roam all around, seeking the Lord’s word,
        but they won’t find it.
On that day the beautiful young women and the young men
        will faint with thirst.
Those who swear by the guilt of Samaria,
        and say, “As your god lives, Dan,”
    and, “As the way of Beer-sheba lives”—
        even they will fall and never rise again.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
1 Corinthians 7:1-24

Now, about what you wrote: “It’s good for a man not to have sex with a woman.” Each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband because of sexual immorality. The husband should meet his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should do the same for her husband. The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Don’t refuse to meet each other’s needs unless you both agree for a short period of time to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come back together again so that Satan might not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I’m saying this to give you permission; it’s not a command. I wish all people were like me, but each has a particular gift from God: one has this gift, and another has that one.

I’m telling those who are single and widows that it’s good for them to stay single like me. But if they can’t control themselves, they should get married, because it’s better to marry than to burn with passion. I’m passing on the Lord’s command to those who are married: A wife shouldn’t leave her husband, but if she does leave him, then she should stay single or be reconciled to her husband. And a man shouldn’t divorce his wife.

I’m telling everyone else (the Lord didn’t say this specifically): If a believer has a wife who doesn’t believe, and she agrees to live with him, then he shouldn’t divorce her. If a woman has a husband who doesn’t believe and he agrees to live with her, then she shouldn’t divorce him. The husband who doesn’t believe belongs to God because of his wife, and the wife who doesn’t believe belongs to God because of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be contaminated by the world, but now they are spiritually set apart. But if a spouse who doesn’t believe chooses to leave, then let them leave. The brother or sister isn’t tied down in these circumstances. God has called you to peace. How do you know as a wife if you will save your husband? Or how do you know as a husband if you will save your wife?

Nevertheless, each person should live the kind of life that the Lord assigned when he called each one. This is what I teach in all the churches. If someone was circumcised when called, he shouldn’t try to reverse it. If someone wasn’t circumcised when he was called, he shouldn’t be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing; not being circumcised is nothing. What matters is keeping God’s commandments. Each person should stay in the situation they were in when they were called. If you were a slave when you were called, don’t let it bother you. But if you are actually able to be free, take advantage of the opportunity. Anyone who was a slave when they were called by the Lord has the status of being the Lord’s free person. In the same way, anyone who was a free person when they were called is Christ’s slave. You were bought and paid for. Don’t become slaves of people. So then, brothers and sisters, each of you should stay with God in the situation you were in when you were called.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

Here is my servant, the one I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; the anointed one on whom my Spirit rests.

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.

Here is my servant, the one I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; the anointed one on whom my Spirit rests.

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

Almighty God,
in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
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

Believing the promises 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 Christ, who sends us to the nations,
give us the power of his Spirit.