Thursday morning November 5

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Opening response

Lord, open my lips
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
All your faithful ones bless you
They speak of the glory of your kingdom.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
ruler and judge of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In the darkness of this age that is passing away
may the light of your presence which the saints enjoy
surround our steps as we journey on.
May we reflect your glory this day
and so be made ready to see your face
in the heavenly city where night shall be no more.
Blessed be God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Lo, God Is Here!

Ger­hard Ter­stee­gen
Translated by John Wesley

Lo, God is here! let us adore,
And own how dreadful is this place!
Let all within us feel his power,
And silent bow before his face.

Lo, God is here! Whom day and night
United choirs of angels sing;
To him, enthroned above all height,
The hosts of heaven their praises bring.

Being of beings, may our praise
Thy courts with grateful fragrance fill!
Still may we stand before thy face,
Still hear and do thy sovereign will.

As flowers their opening leaves display,
And glad drink in the solar fire,
So may we catch thine every ray,
And thus thy influence inspire.

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 11

The Lord’s throne is in heaven.

I have taken refuge in the Lord.
    So how can you say to me,
    “Flee to the hills like a bird
        because the wicked
        have already bent their bows;
        they’ve already strung their arrows;
        they are ready to secretly shoot
        those whose heart is right”?
When the very bottom of things falls out,
    what can a righteous person possibly accomplish?
But the Lord is in his holy temple.
    The Lord! His throne is in heaven.
His eyes see—
    his vision examines all of humanity.
The Lord examines
    both the righteous and the wicked;
    his very being hates anyone who loves violence.
God will rain fiery coals and sulfur on the wicked;
    their cups will be filled
    with nothing but a scorching hot wind
    because the Lord is righteous!
    He loves righteous deeds.
    Those whose heart is right will see God’s face.

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’s throne is in heaven.

Psalm prayer

God of heaven,
when the foundations are shaken
and there is no escape,
test us, but not to destruction,
look on the face of your anointed
and heal us in Jesus Christ your Son.

Psalm 15

Through the greatness of your mercy, 
I will come into your house.

Who can live in your tent, Lord?
    Who can dwell on your holy mountain?
The person who
    lives free of blame,
    does what is right,
        and speaks the truth sincerely;
    who does no damage with their talk,
    does no harm to a friend,
    doesn’t insult a neighbor;
    someone who despises
        those who act wickedly,
        but who honors those
        who honor the Lord;
    someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts;
    someone who doesn’t lend money with interest,
    who won’t accept a bribe against any innocent person.
Whoever does these things will never stumble.

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.

Through the greatness of your mercy, 
I will come into your house.

Psalm prayer

Lord, lead us to our heavenly home
by single steps of self-restraint
and deeds of righteousness;
through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 148

Praise the name of the Lord.

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from heaven!
    Praise God on the heights!
Praise God, all of you who are his messengers!
    Praise God, all of you who comprise his heavenly forces!
Sun and moon, praise God!
    All of you bright stars, praise God!
You highest heaven, praise God!
    Do the same, you waters that are above the sky!
Let all of these praise the Lord’s name
    because God gave the command and they were created!
God set them in place always and forever.
    God made a law that will not be broken.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you sea monsters and all you ocean depths!
Do the same, fire and hail, snow and smoke,
    stormy wind that does what God says!
Do the same, you mountains, every single hill,
    fruit trees, and every single cedar!
Do the same, you animals—wild or tame—
    you creatures that creep along and you birds that fly!
Do the same, you kings of the earth and every single person,
    you princes and every single ruler on earth!
Do the same, you young men—young women too!—
    you who are old together with you who are young!
Let all of these praise the Lord’s name
    because only God’s name is high over all.
    Only God’s majesty is over earth and heaven.
God raised the strength of his people,
    the praise of all his faithful ones—
        that’s the Israelites,
        the people who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!

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.

Praise the name of the Lord.

Psalm prayer

Glorious God,
your whole creation sings your marvelous work;
may heaven’s praise so echo in our hearts
that we may be good stewards of the earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 2:12-22

The Lord of heavenly forces has planned a day:
    against all that is prideful and haughty;
    against all that is lofty, and it will be laid low;
    against all the cedars of Lebanon, high and lofty;
    against all the oaks of Bashan;
    against all the high mountains;
    against all the lofty hills;
    against every tall tower;
    against every fortified wall;
    against all the ships of Tarshish;
    against all the wonderful boats.
People’s pride will be brought down
    and human arrogance humiliated.
The Lord alone will be exalted on that day;
    the idols will completely pass away.
Go into caves in the rocks
    and holes in the dust
        before the terror of the Lord
        and the splendor of God’s majesty,
        when he arises to terrify the earth.
On that day, people will toss
        to the rodents and to the bats
    their idols of silver and idols of gold,
        which they made for themselves to worship.
They will hide in fissures of rocks and in crevices of cliffs
    before the terror of the Lord
    and the splendor of God’s majesty
    when he arises to terrify the earth.
Quit admiring the human race,
    who breathe through their nostrils.
    Why should they be admired?

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 3

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:

The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
        “Prepare the way for the Lord;
        make his paths straight.”
John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.

People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.”

At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River so that John would baptize him. John tried to stop him and said, “I need to be baptized by you, yet you come to me?”

Jesus answered, “Allow me to be baptized now. This is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.”

So John agreed to baptize Jesus. When Jesus was baptized, he immediately came up out of the water. Heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.”

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

God, you will guide us with your counsel, 
and afterwards receive us with glory.

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.

God, you will guide us with your counsel, 
and afterwards receive us with glory.

The Apostle’s Creed

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

Almighty and eternal God,
you have kindled the flame of love
in the hearts of the saints:
grant to us the same faith and power of love,
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs,
we may be sustained by their example and fellowship;
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

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
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 has opened the kingdom of heaven,
bring us to reign with him in glory.