Saturday morning January 30

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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.


And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Charles Wesley

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused his pain?
For me, who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That thou, my God, should die for me?

'Tis mystery all! The immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
'Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left his father's throne above,
So free, so infinite his grace;
Emptied himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race;
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him is mine!
Alive in him, my living head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Confession of sin

Let us admit to God the sin which always confronts us.

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

Almighty God,
patient and of great goodness:
I confess to you,
I confess with my whole heart
my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments,
my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking;
the hurts I have done to others,
and the good I have left undone.
O God, forgive me, for I have sinned against you;
and raise me to newness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

May the God of love and power
forgive us and free us from our sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,
and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 68

Sing to God! Sing praises to his name!

Let God rise up;
    let his enemies scatter;
    let those who hate him
        run scared before him!
Like smoke is driven away,
        drive them away!
    Like wax melting before fire,
        let the wicked perish before God!
But let the righteous be glad
    and celebrate before God.
    Let them rejoice with gladness!
Sing to God! Sing praises to his name!
        Exalt the one who rides the clouds!
    The Lord is his name.
        Celebrate before him!

Father of orphans and defender of widows
    is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the lonely in their homes;
    he sets prisoners free with happiness,
    but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
When you went forth before your people, God,
        when you marched through the wasteland,
    the earth shook!
Yes, heaven poured down
    before God, the one from Sinai—
    before God, the God of Israel!
You showered down abundant rain, God;
    when your inheritance grew weary,
    you restored it yourself,
    and your creatures settled in it.
In your goodness, God,
    you provided for the poor.

My Lord gives the command—
    many messengers are bringing good news:
“The kings of armies are on the run!
    The women back home divide the spoil.
Even if you lie down among the sheepfolds,
    there are wings of a dove covered with silver;
    its pinions covered in precious gold.”
When the Almighty scattered the kings there,
    snow fell on Mount Zalmon.

Mighty mountain, Mount Bashan;
    many-peaked mountain, Mount Bashan!
You many-peaked mountain:
    Why do you look with envy
    at the mountain God desired for his dwelling,
        the mountain where the Lord dwells forever?

God’s chariots are twice ten thousand—
    countless thousands!
    My Lord came from Sinai into the sanctuary.
You ascended the heights,
    leading away your captives,
    receiving tribute from people,
        even from those who rebel
        against the Lord God’s dwelling there.
Bless the Lord!
    The God of our salvation
    supports us day after day!
Our God is the God of salvation,
    and escape from certain death comes through God my Lord.

Yes, God will shatter the heads of his enemies—
    the very skulls of those who walk in guilt.
My Lord has spoken:
    “From Bashan I will bring those people back.
    I will bring them back from the ocean’s depths
        so that you can wash your feet in their blood,
        so that your dogs’ tongues
        can lap up their share of your enemies.”

They saw your procession, God—
    the procession of my God,
    my king, into the sanctuary.
First came the singers,
    then the musicians;
    between them the young women
        were playing hand drums:
“Bless God in the great congregation;
    bless the Lord from Israel’s fountain!”
There’s Benjamin leading them,
    though he’s little;
    then the princes of Judah,
    their speaker;
    then the princes of Zebulun
    and the princes of Naphtali.

Summon your strength, God!
    Show how strong you are, God,
        just as you’ve done for us before,
        from your temple above Jerusalem,
        where kings bring you gifts.
Rebuke the wild animals of the marshland,
    the herd of bulls among the calves of the peoples.
Trample those who delight in money;
    scatter the peoples who take pleasure in battles.
Let ambassadors come from Egypt;
    let Cush stretch out its hands to God.

Sing to God, all kingdoms of the earth!
    Sing praises to my Lord. 
Sing to the one who rides through heaven,
    the most ancient heaven.
    Look! God sends forth his voice,
        his mighty voice.
Recognize how strong God is!
    His majesty extends over Israel;
    his strength is in the clouds.
You are awesome, God, in your sanctuaries—
    the God of Israel who gives strength and power to his people!
Bless God!

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.

Sing to God! Sing praises to his name!

Psalm prayer

Blessed are you, gracious God;
you make your home among the weak,
you deliver us from death,
you bring us joy beyond our imagining
to the praise of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Genesis 17:1-22

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Walk with me and be trustworthy. I will make a covenant between us and I will give you many, many descendants.” Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, “But me, my covenant is with you; you will be the ancestor of many nations. And because I have made you the ancestor of many nations, your name will no longer be Abram but Abraham. I will make you very fertile. I will produce nations from you, and kings will come from you. I will set up my covenant with you and your descendants after you in every generation as an enduring covenant. I will be your God and your descendants’ God after you. I will give you and your descendants the land in which you are immigrants, the whole land of Canaan, as an enduring possession. And I will be their God.”

God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants in every generation. This is my covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Circumcise every male. You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it will be a symbol of the covenant between us. On the eighth day after birth, every male in every generation must be circumcised, including those who are not your own children: those born in your household and those purchased with silver from foreigners. Be sure you circumcise those born in your household and those purchased with your silver. Your flesh will embody my covenant as an enduring covenant. Any uncircumcised male whose flesh of his foreskin remains uncircumcised will be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant.”

God said to Abraham, “As for your wife Sarai, you will no longer call her Sarai. Her name will now be Sarah. I will bless her and even give you a son from her. I will bless her so that she will become nations, and kings of peoples will come from her.”

Abraham fell on his face and laughed. He said to himself, Can a 100-year-old man become a father, or Sarah, a 90-year-old woman, have a child? To God Abraham said, “If only you would accept Ishmael!”

But God said, “No, your wife Sarah will give birth to a son for you, and you will name him Isaac. I will set up my covenant with him and with his descendants after him as an enduring covenant. As for Ishmael, I’ve heard your request. I will bless him and make him fertile and give him many, many descendants. He will be the ancestor of twelve tribal leaders, and I will make a great nation of him. But I will set up my covenant with Isaac, who will be born to Sarah at this time next year.” When God finished speaking to him, God ascended, leaving Abraham alone.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 27:1-10

Early in the morning all the chief priests and the elders of the people reached the decision to have Jesus put to death. They bound him, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, who betrayed Jesus, saw that Jesus was condemned to die, he felt deep regret. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, and said, “I did wrong because I betrayed an innocent man.”

But they said, “What is that to us? That’s your problem.” Judas threw the silver pieces into the temple and left. Then he went and hanged himself.

The chief priests picked up the silver pieces and said, “According to the Law it’s not right to put this money in the treasury. Since it was used to pay for someone’s life, it’s unclean.” So they decided to use it to buy the potter’s field where strangers could be buried. That’s why that field is called “Field of Blood” to this very day. This fulfilled the words of Jeremiah the prophet: And I took the thirty pieces of silver, the price for the one whose price had been set by some of the Israelites, and I gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.

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


Loving God, we look to you.
Receive our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
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.