Friday morning February 26

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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.


Away, My Needless Fears

Charles Wesley
Away, my needless fears
And doubts no longer mine!
A ray of heavenly light appears,
A messenger divine.

Thrice comfortable hope,
That calms my troubled breast;
My Father's hand prepares the cup,
And what he wills is best.

He knows whatever I want;
He sees my helplessness,
And always readier is to grant
Than I to ask his grace.

My fearful heart he reads,
Secures my soul from harms,
And underneath his mercy spreads
Its everlasting arms.

If what I wish is good,
And suits the will divine,
By earth and hell in vain withstood,
I know it shall be mine.

Here is firm footing; here,
My soul, is solid rock,
To break the waves of grief and fear,
And trouble's rudest shock:

This only can sustain
When earth and heaven remove:
O turn thee to thy rest again,
Thy God's eternal love!

Here then I doubt no more,
But in his pleasure rest,
Whose wisdom, love, and truth and power
Engage to make me blest.

Confession of sin

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor. 

Silence may be kept.

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins
through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all
goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in
eternal life. 

The Word of God

Psalm 40

God, you’ve done so many things — your wonderful deeds and your plans for us — no one can compare with you!

I put all my hope in the Lord.
    He leaned down to me;
    he listened to my cry for help.
He lifted me out of the pit of death,
    out of the mud and filth,
    and set my feet on solid rock.
        He steadied my legs.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise for our God.
Many people will learn of this and be amazed;
    they will trust the Lord.
Those who put their trust in the Lord,
    who pay no attention to the proud
    or to those who follow lies,
    are truly happy!
You, Lord my God!
    You’ve done so many things—
    your wonderful deeds and your plans for us—
        no one can compare with you!
    If I were to proclaim and talk about all of them,
        they would be too numerous to count!
You don’t relish sacrifices or offerings;
    you don’t require entirely burned offerings or compensation offerings—
    but you have given me ears!
So I said, “Here I come!
    I’m inscribed in the written scroll.
    I want to do your will, my God.
    Your Instruction is deep within me.”
I’ve told the good news of your righteousness
    in the great assembly.
    I didn’t hold anything back—
        as you well know, Lord!
I didn’t keep your righteousness only to myself.
    I declared your faithfulness and your salvation.
I didn’t hide your loyal love and trustworthiness
    from the great assembly.
So now you, Lord—
    don’t hold back any of your compassion from me.
Let your loyal love and faithfulness always protect me,
    because countless evils surround me.
My wrongdoings have caught up with me—
    I can’t see a thing!
There’s more of them than hairs on my head—
    my courage leaves me.
Favor me, Lord, and deliver me!
    Lord, come quickly and help me!
Let those who seek my life, who want me dead,
    be disgraced and put to shame.
Let those who want to do me harm
    be thoroughly frustrated and humiliated.
Let those who say to me, “Yes! Oh, yes!”
    be destroyed by their shame.
But let all who seek you
    celebrate and rejoice in you.
Let those who love your salvation always say,
    “The Lord is great!”
But me? I’m weak and needy.
    Let my Lord think of me.
You are my help and my rescuer.
    My God, don’t wait any longer!

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’ve done so many things — your wonderful deeds and your plans for us — no one can compare with you!

Psalm prayer

Free us from our sins, O God,
and may our sacrifices be of praise
to the glory of your Son,
our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Psalm 41

Lord, please have mercy on me and lift me up.

Those who pay close attention to the poor are truly happy!
    The Lord rescues them during troubling times.
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
    they are widely regarded throughout the land as happy people.
    You won’t hand them over to the will of their enemies.
The Lord will strengthen them when they are lying in bed, sick.
    You will completely transform the place where they lie ill.
But me? I said, “Lord, have mercy on me!
    Heal me because I have sinned against you.”
My enemies speak maliciously about me:
    “When will he die and his name disappear?”
Whenever they come to visit, they say nothing of value.
    Their hearts collect evil gossip;
    once they leave, they tell it to everybody.
All of those who hate me talk about me, whispering to each other,
    plotting evil against me:
“Some horrible thing has been poured into him;
    the next time he lies down, he won’t get up.”
Even my good friend,
    the one I trusted,
    who shared my food,
    has kicked me with his heel—a betrayer!
But you, Lord, please have mercy on me and lift me up
    so I can pay them back!
Then I’ll know you are pleased with me
    because my enemy won’t be shouting in triumph over me.
You support me in my integrity;
    you put me in your presence forever.
Bless the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from forever to forever!
        Amen and Amen!

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.

Lord, please have mercy on me and lift me up.

Psalm prayer

God our deliverer,
raise up the poor and comfort the betrayed,
through the one who for our sakes became poor
and whose betrayal brought our salvation,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Genesis 45:16-28

When Pharaoh’s household heard the message “Joseph’s brothers have arrived,” both Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Give your brothers these instructions: Load your pack animals and go back to the land of Canaan. Get your father and your households and come back to me. Let me provide you with good things from the land of Egypt so that you may eat the land’s best food. Give them these instructions too: Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your children and wives, and pick up your father and come back. Don’t worry about your possessions because you will have good things from the entire land of Egypt.”

So Israel’s sons did that. Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh instructed, and he gave them provisions for the road. To all of them he gave a change of clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothing. To his father he sent ten male donkeys carrying goods from Egypt, ten female donkeys carrying grain and bread, and rations for his father for the road. He sent his brothers off; and as they were leaving, he told them, “Don’t be worried about the trip.”

So they left Egypt and returned to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They announced to him, “Joseph’s still alive! He’s actually ruler of all the land of Egypt!” Jacob’s heart nearly failed, and he didn’t believe them.

When they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him, Jacob recovered. Then Israel said, “This is too much! My son Joseph is still alive! Let me go and see him before I die.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Hebrews 3:7-19

So, as the Holy Spirit says,

Today, if you hear his voice,
    don’t have stubborn hearts
        as they did in the rebellion,
        on the day when they tested me in the desert.
That is where your ancestors challenged and tested me,
        though they had seen my work for forty years.
So I was angry with them.
I said, “Their hearts always go off course,
        and they don’t know my ways.”
Because of my anger I swore:
        “They will never enter my rest!”

Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that none of you have an evil, unfaithful heart that abandons the living God. Instead, encourage each other every day, as long as it’s called “today,” so that none of you become insensitive to God because of sin’s deception. We are partners with Christ, but only if we hold on to the confidence we had in the beginning until the end.

When it says,

Today, if you hear his voice, don’t have stubborn hearts
        as they did in the rebellion.

Who was it who rebelled when they heard his voice? Wasn’t it all of those who were brought out of Egypt by Moses? And with whom was God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it with the ones who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And against whom did he swear that they would never enter his rest, if not against the ones who were disobedient? We see that they couldn’t enter because of their lack of faith.

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


Lord of life
In your mercy, hear us.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,
that they may return to the way of righteousness:
grant to all those who are admitted
      into the fellowship of Christ's religion,
that they may reject those things
      that are contrary to their profession,
and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
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.