Wednesday morning February 17

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love,
according to your judgment give us life.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In the darkness of our sin,
your light breaks forth like the dawn
and your healing springs up for deliverance.
As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help,
sustain us with your bountiful Spirit
and open our lips to sing your praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Light of Life, Seraphic Fire

Charles Wesley
Light of life, seraphic fire,
Love divine, thyself impart;
Every fainting soul inspire,
Shine in every drooping heart.

Every mournful sinner cheer,
Scatter all our guilty gloom,
Son of God, appear, appear!
To thy human temples come.

Come in this accepted hour,
Bring thy heavenly kingdom in;
Fill us with thy glorious power,
Rooting out the seeds of sin.

Nothing more can we require,
We will covet nothing less;
Be thou all our hearts’ desire,
All our joy and all our peace.

Whom but thee have we in heaven?
Whom have we on earth but thee?
Only thou to us be given,
All beside is vanity.

Grant us love, we ask no more;
Every other gift remove;
Pleasure, fame, and wealth, and power,
Still we all enjoy in love.

Confession of sin

When we cry out to the Lord in our distress,
he will save us from our desperate circumstances.

God will bring us out of darkness
and out of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

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

May the Father forgive us
by the death of his Son
and strengthen us
to live in the power of the Spirit
all our days.

Let us thank the Lord for his faithful love,
and his wondrous works for all people.

Let us offer thanksgiving sacrifices
and declare what God has done in songs of joy.

cf Psalm 107

The Word of God

Psalm 6

Come back to me, Lord! Deliver me!

Please, Lord,
    don’t punish me when you are angry;
    don’t discipline me when you are furious.
Have mercy on me, Lord,
    because I’m frail.
Heal me, Lord,
    because my bones are shaking in terror!
My whole body is completely terrified!
        But you, Lord! How long will this last?
Come back to me, Lord! Deliver me!
    Save me for the sake of your faithful love!
No one is going to praise you
    when they are dead.
Who gives you thanks
    from the grave?
I’m worn out from groaning.
    Every night, I drench my bed with tears;
    I soak my couch all the way through.
My vision fails because of my grief;
    it’s weak because of all my distress.
Get away from me, all you evildoers,
    because the Lord has heard me crying!
The Lord has listened to my request.
    The Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies will be ashamed
    and completely terrified;
    they will be defeated
    and ashamed instantly.

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.

Come back to me, Lord! Deliver me!

Psalm prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,
may the tears shed in your earthly life
be balm for all who weep,
and may the prayers of your pilgrimage
give strength to all who suffer;
for your mercy’s sake.

Psalm 17

You are the one who saves those who take refuge in you.

Listen to what’s right, Lord;
    pay attention to my cry!
Listen closely to my prayer;
    it’s spoken by lips that don’t lie!
My justice comes from you;
    let your eyes see what is right!
You have examined my heart,
    testing me at night.
You’ve looked me over closely,
    but haven’t found anything wrong.
    My mouth doesn’t sin.
But these other people’s deeds?
    I have avoided such violent ways
    by the command from your lips.
My steps are set firmly on your paths;
    my feet haven’t slipped.
I cry out to you because you answer me.
    So tilt your ears toward me now—
    listen to what I’m saying!
Manifest your faithful love in amazing ways
    because you are the one
    who saves those who take refuge in you,
    saving them from their attackers
    by your strong hand.
Watch me with the very pupil of your eye!
    Hide me in the protection of your wings,
        away from the wicked
            who are out to get me,
        away from my deadly enemies
            who are all around me!
They have no pity;
    their mouths speak arrogantly.
They track me down—
    suddenly, they surround me!
    They make their plans to put me in the dirt.
They are like a lion eager to rip its prey;
    they are like a strong young lion lying in wait.
Get up, Lord!
    Confront them!
    Bring them down!
Rescue my life from the wicked—
    use your sword!
Rescue me from these people—
    use your own hands, Lord!
Rescue me from these people
    whose only possession is their fleeting life.
But fill the stomachs of your cherished ones;
    let their children be filled full
    so that they have leftovers enough for their babies.
But me? I will see your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I will be filled full by seeing your image.

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 are the one who saves those who take refuge in you.

Psalm prayer

Generous Lord,
deliver us from all envious thoughts,
and when we are tempted by the desire for wealth,
let us see your face;
for your abundance is enough to clothe our lack;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Genesis 42:6-17

As for Joseph, he was the land’s governor, and he was the one selling grain to all the land’s people. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him, their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he acted like he didn’t know them. He spoke to them with a harsh tone and said, “Where have you come from?”

And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”

Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies. You’ve come to look for the country’s weaknesses.”

They said to him, “No, Master. Your servants have just come to buy food. We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants aren’t spies.”

He said to them, “No. You’ve come to look for the country’s weaknesses.”

They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, but one is gone.”

Joseph said to them, “It’s just as I’ve said to you. You are spies! But here is how to prove yourselves: As Pharaoh lives, you won’t leave here until your youngest brother arrives. Send one of you to get your brother, but the rest of you will stay in prison. We will find out if your words are true. If not, as Pharaoh lives, you are certainly spies.”

He put them all in prison for three days.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Galatians 4:21-5:1

Tell me—those of you who want to be under the Law—don’t you listen to the Law? It’s written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and one by the free woman. The son by the slave woman was conceived the normal way, but the son by the free woman was conceived through a promise. These things are an allegory: the women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to slave children; this is Hagar. Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and she corresponds to the present-day Jerusalem, because the city is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. It’s written:

Rejoice, barren woman, you who have not given birth.
        Break out with a shout, you who have not suffered labor pains;
because the woman who has been deserted will have many more children
        than the woman who has a husband.

Brothers and sisters, you are children of the promise like Isaac. But just as it was then, so it is now also: the one who was conceived the normal way harassed the one who was conceived by the Spirit. But what does the scripture say? Throw out the slave woman and her son, because the slave woman’s son won’t share the inheritance with the free woman’s son. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we aren’t the slave woman’s children, but we are the free woman’s children. Christ has set us free for freedom. Therefore, stand firm and don’t submit to the bondage of slavery again.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.

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.

Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.

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


In faith we pray
We pray to you, our God.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:
give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;
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

Trusting in the compassion 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 God our Redeemer show us compassion and love.