Thursday morning December 10

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
Reveal among us the light of your presence
that we may behold your power and glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


He Wills That I Should Holy Be

Charles Wesley
He wills that I should holy be;
That holiness I long to feel;
That full divine conformity,
To all my Savior’s righteous will.

See, Lord, the travail of thy soul,
Accomplished in the change of mine,
And plunge me, every whit made whole,
In all the depths of love divine.

On thee, O God, my soul is stayed,
And waits to prove thine utmost will;
The promise, by thy mercy made,
Thou canst, thou wilt in me fulfill.

Thy loving Spirit, Christ, alone
Can lead me forth and make free;
Burst every bond through which I groan
And set my heart at liberty.

No more I stagger at thy power,
Or doubt thy truth, which cannot move:
Hasten the long expected hour,
And bless me with thy perfect love.

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 53

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

Fools say in their hearts, There’s no God.
    They are corrupt and do horrible deeds;
        not one of them does anything good.
God looks down from heaven on humans
    to see if anyone is wise,
    to see if anyone seeks God.
But all have turned away.
    Everyone is corrupt.
    No one does good—
    not even one person!
Are they dumb—these evildoers—
        devouring my people like they are eating bread
        but never calling on God?
There, where there was nothing to fear,
    they will be in utter panic
    because God will scatter the bones
        of those who attacked you.
You will put them to shame
    because God has rejected them.
Let Israel’s salvation come out of Zion!
    When God 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

Without you, God, nothing is real,
all things are open to corruption
and we are deadened by deceit;
do not abandon us to our folly,
but give us hearts that seek you
and, at the last, joy in your heavenly city;
through Jesus Christ 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.

Psalm 60

Restore us again, O God our Savior.

God, you have rejected us—
        shattered us.
    You’ve been so angry.
        Now restore us!
You’ve made the ground quake,
        splitting it open.
    Now repair its cracks
        because it’s shaking apart!
You’ve made your people suffer hardship;
    you’ve given us wine and we stagger.
Give a flag to those who honor you,
    so they can rally around it,
    safe from attack. 
Save us by your power and answer us
    so that the people you love might be rescued.
God has spoken in his sanctuary:
    “I will celebrate as I divide up Shechem
        and portion out the Succoth Valley.
    Gilead is mine;
    Manasseh is mine;
    Ephraim is my helmet;
    Judah is my scepter.
    But Moab is my washbowl;
    I’ll throw my shoe at Edom.
    I shout in triumph over Philistia!
    I wish someone would bring me to a fortified city!
    I wish someone would lead me to Edom!”
But you have rejected us, God, haven’t you?
    God, you no longer accompany our armies.
Give us help against the enemy;
    human help is worthless.
With God we will triumph;
    he’s the one who will trample our adversaries.

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.

Restore us again, O God our Savior.

Psalm prayer

Risen Christ,
you claim your own among the nations;
mend what is broken in us, loving Savior;
do not forsake us when we fail,
but in your service grant us daring and love;
for your name’s sake.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 32

See here: A king rules to promote righteousness;
    rulers govern to promote justice,
    each like a shelter from the wind
    and a refuge from a storm,
    like streams of water in a wasteland,
    like the shade of a massive cliff in a worn-out land.
Then the eyes of those who can see will no longer be blind,
    the ears of those who can hear will listen,
    the minds of the rash will know and comprehend,
    and the tongues of those who stammer will speak fluently and plainly.
Then a fool will no longer be called honorable,
    nor a villain considered respectable.
Fools speak folly;
    their minds devise wickedness,
    acting irreverently,
    speaking falsely of the Lord,
    leaving the hungry empty,
    and depriving the thirsty of drink.
As for the villain, his villainies are evil.
    He plans schemes to destroy the poor with lying words,
    even when the needy speak justly.
But an honorable person plans honorable things
    and stands up for what is honorable.

Women of leisure, stand up! Hear my voice!
    Carefree daughters, listen to my word!
In a little over a year,
    the carefree will shudder,
    because the grape harvest will fail;
    the vintage won’t arrive.
Tremble, all of you who are at ease;
    shudder, all of you who are secure!
Strip yourselves, bare your skin,
    and tie mourning clothes around your waist,
    beating your breasts for the pleasant fields,
    for the fruitful vine,
    for my people’s soil
    growing barbs and thorns,
    for all the joyous houses
    in the jubilant town.
The palace will be deserted,
    the crowded city abandoned.
Stronghold and watchtower
    will become empty fields forever,
    suited for the pleasure of wild donkeys,
    and a pasture for flocks—
    until a spirit from on high
    is poured out on us,
    and the desert turns into farmland, and the farmland is considered a forest.
Then justice will reside in wild lands,
    and righteousness will abide in farmlands.
The fruit of righteousness will be peace,
    and the outcome of righteousness,
    calm and security forever.
Then my people will live in a peaceful dwelling,
    in secure homes, in carefree resting places.
Even if the forest falls
        and the humbled city is laid low,
    those who sow beside any stream will be happy,
    sending out ox and donkey to graze.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 15:21-28

From there, Jesus went to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” But he didn’t respond to her at all.

His disciples came and urged him, “Send her away; she keeps shouting out after us.”

Jesus replied, “I’ve been sent only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.”

But she knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me.”

He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.”

She said, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.”

Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.” And right then her daughter was healed.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.

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.

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.

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


Father, by your Spirit
Bring in your kingdom.

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.