Thursday morning January 21

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
Your light springs up for the righteous
and all the peoples have seen your glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
king of the nations,
to you be praise and glory forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.
As the Sun of Righteousness dawns in our hearts
anoint our lips with the seal of your Spirit
that we may witness to your gospel
and sing your praise in all the earth.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


When Christ Doth in My Heart Appear

Charles Wesley
When Christ dost in my heart appear,
And love erects its throne,
I then enjoy salvation here,
And heaven on earth begun.

When God is mine, and I am his,
Of paradise possessed,
I taste unutterable bliss,
And everlasting rest.

The bliss of those that fully dwell,
Fully in thee believe,
‘Tis more than angel tongues can tell,
Or angel minds conceive.

Thou only knowest who did obtain,
And die to make it known:
The great salvation now explain,
And perfect us in one.

May I, may all who humbly wait,
The glorious joy receive —
Joy above all conception great,
Worthy of God to give.

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 76

God is known in Judah;
    his name is great in Israel.
His dwelling place became Salem;
    his habitation was Zion.
It was there that he broke the fiery shafts of the bow,
    the shield, the sword—even the battle itself!
You are ablaze with light,
    mightier than the mountains that give food.
The bravehearted lie plundered.
    They sank into deep lethargy.
    All the strong troops
    couldn’t even lift their hands!
At your rebuke, Jacob’s God,
    both chariot and horse were stopped dead-still.
You! You are awesome!
    Who can stand before you when you are angry?
You have announced judgment from heaven.
    The earth grew afraid and fell silent
    when God rose up to establish justice,
    when God rose up to save all of the earth’s poor.
Even human rage will turn to your praise
    when you dress yourself
    with whatever remains of your wrath.
Make promises to the Lord your God and keep them!
    Let all around him bring gifts to the awesome one.
He breaks the spirit of princes.
    He is terrifying to all the kings of the earth.

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.

Psalm prayer

Majestic and gracious God,
more awesome than the agents of war,
more powerful than the wrath of nations,
restrain the violence of the peoples
and draw the despised of the earth
into the joyful life of your kingdom,
where you live and reign forever and ever.

Psalm 148

O 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.

O praise the name of the Lord.

Psalm prayer

O 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
Genesis 8:1-14

God spoke to Noah, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you all the animals of every kind—birds, livestock, everything crawling on the ground—so that they may populate the earth, be fertile, and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out of the ark with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives. All the animals, all the livestock, all the birds, and everything crawling on the ground, came out of the ark by their families.

Noah built an altar to the Lord. He took some of the clean large animals and some of the clean birds, and placed entirely burned offerings on the altar. The Lord smelled the pleasing scent, and the Lord thought to himself, I will not curse the fertile land anymore because of human beings since the ideas of the human mind are evil from their youth. I will never again destroy every living thing as I have done.

As long as the earth exists,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and hot,
summer and autumn,
day and night
will not cease.

God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the earth. All of the animals on the earth will fear you and dread you—all the birds in the skies, everything crawling on the ground, and all of the sea’s fish. They are in your power. Everything that lives and moves will be your food. Just as I gave you the green grasses, I now give you everything. However, you must not eat meat with its life, its blood, in it.

I will surely demand your blood for a human life,
        from every living thing I will demand it.
From humans, from a man for his brother,
        I will demand something for a human life.
Whoever sheds human blood,
        by a human his blood will be shed;
for in the divine image
        God made human beings.

As for you, be fertile and multiply. Populate the earth and multiply in it.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 25:1-13

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten young bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Now five of them were wise, and the other five were foolish. The foolish ones took their lamps but didn’t bring oil for them. But the wise ones took their lamps and also brought containers of oil.

“When the groom was late in coming, they all became drowsy and went to sleep. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Look, the groom! Come out to meet him.’

“Then all those bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. But the foolish bridesmaids said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps have gone out.’

“But the wise bridesmaids replied, ‘No, because if we share with you, there won’t be enough for our lamps and yours. We have a better idea. You go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were gone to buy oil, the groom came. Those who were ready went with him into the wedding. Then the door was shut.

“Later the other bridesmaids came and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us.’

“But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

“Therefore, keep alert, because you don’t know the day or the hour.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

This is the Christ, the Chosen of God, the one who will bring healing to the nations.

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.

This is the Christ, the Chosen of God, the one who will bring healing to the nations.

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

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.