Saturday morning February 27

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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.


Infinite God, To Thee We Raise

Charles Wesley

Infinite God, to thee we raise
Our hearts in solemn songs of praise,
By all thy works on earth adored,
We worship thee, the common Lord;
The everlasting Father own,
And bow our souls before thy throne.

Thee all the choir of angels sings,
The Lord of hosts, the King of kings;
Cherubs proclaim thy praise aloud,
And seraphs shout the triune God;
And, holy, holy, holy, cry,
Thy glory fills both earth and sky!

Head of the martyrs’ noble host,
Of thee they justly make their boast;
The church, to earth’s remotest bounds,
Her heavenly Founder’s praise resounds;
And strives, with those around the throne,
To hymn the mystic three in one.

Father of endless majesty,
All might and love they render thee;
Thy true and only Son adore,
The same in dignity and power;
And God the Holy Ghost declare,
The saints’ eternal Comforter.

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 3

You, Lord, are my shield!

Lord, I have so many enemies!
    So many are standing against me.
So many are talking about me:
    “Even God won’t help him.”
But you, Lord, are my shield!
    You are my glory!
    You are the one who restores me.
I cry out loud to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain. 
I lie down, sleep, and wake up
    because the Lord helps me.
I won’t be afraid of thousands of people
    surrounding me on all sides.

Stand up, Lord!
    Save me, my God!
In fact, hit all my enemies on the jaw;
    shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Rescue comes from the Lord!
    May your blessing be on your people!

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, Lord, are my shield!

Psalm prayer

Shield us, Lord, from all evil,
and lift us from apathy and despair, 
that even when we are terrified,
we may trust your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 25

Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths.

I offer my life to you, Lord.
    My God, I trust you.
Please don’t let me be put to shame!
    Don’t let my enemies rejoice over me!
For that matter,
    don’t let anyone who hopes in you
        be put to shame;
    instead, let those who are treacherous without excuse be put to shame.
Make your ways known to me, Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth—teach it to me—
    because you are the God who saves me.
        I put my hope in you all day long.
Lord, remember your compassion and faithful love—
    they are forever!
But don’t remember the sins of my youth or my wrongdoing.
    Remember me only according to your faithful love
        for the sake of your goodness, Lord.
The Lord is good and does the right thing;
    he teaches sinners which way they should go.
God guides the weak to justice,
    teaching them his way.
All the Lord’s paths are loving and faithful
    for those who keep his covenant and laws.
Please, for the sake of your good name, Lord, forgive my sins, which are many! Where are the ones who honor the Lord?
    God will teach them which path to take.
They will live a good life,
    and their descendants will possess the land.
The Lord counsels those who honor him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are always looking to the Lord
    because he will free my feet from the net.
Turn to me, God, and have mercy on me
    because I’m alone and suffering.
My heart’s troubles keep getting bigger—
    set me free from my distress!
Look at my suffering and trouble—
    forgive all my sins!
Look at how many enemies I have
    and how violently they hate me!
Please protect my life! Deliver me!
    Don’t let me be put to shame
    because I take refuge in you.
Let integrity and virtue guard me
    because I hope in you.
Please, God, save Israel from all its troubles!

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.

Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths.

Psalm prayer

Free us, God of mercy,
from all that keeps us from you;
relieve the misery of the anxious and the ashamed
and fill us with the hope of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Genesis 46:1-7, 28-34

Israel packed up everything he owned and traveled to Beer-sheba. There he offered sacrifices to his father Isaac’s God. God said to Israel in a vision at night, “Jacob! Jacob!” and he said, “I’m here.” He said, “I am El, your father’s God. Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt because I will make a great nation of you there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I promise to bring you out again. Joseph will close your eyes when you die.” Then Jacob left Beer-sheba. Israel’s sons put their father Jacob, their children, and their wives on the wagons Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They took their livestock and their possessions that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and arrived in Egypt, Jacob and all of his children with him. His sons and grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—all of his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph so that Joseph could explain the way to Goshen. Then they arrived in the land of Goshen. Joseph hitched up his chariot and went to meet his father Israel in Goshen. When he arrived, he threw his arms around his neck and wept, embracing him for a long time. Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now after seeing your face. You are really still alive!”

Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “Let me go up and inform Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have arrived. The men are shepherds, because they own livestock. They’ve brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ When Pharaoh summons you and says, ‘What do you do?’ say, ‘Your servants have owned livestock since we were young, both we and our ancestors,’ so that you will be able to settle in the land of Goshen, since Egyptians think all shepherds are beneath their dignity.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Hebrews 4:1-13

Therefore, since the promise that we can enter into rest is still open, let’s be careful so that none of you will appear to miss it. We also had the good news preached to us, just as the Israelites did. However, the message they heard didn’t help them because they weren’t united in faith with the ones who listened to it. We who have faith are entering the rest. As God said,

And because of my anger I swore:
        “They will never enter into my rest!”

And yet God’s works were completed at the foundation of the world. Then somewhere he said this about the seventh day of creation: God rested on the seventh day from all his works. But again, in the passage above, God said, They will never enter my rest! Therefore, it’s left open for some to enter it, and the ones who had the good news preached to them before didn’t enter because of disobedience. Just as it says in the passage above, God designates a certain day as “today,” when he says through David much later,

Today, if you hear his voice,
        don’t have stubborn hearts.

If Joshua gave the Israelites rest, God wouldn’t have spoken about another day later on. So you see that a sabbath rest is left open for God’s people. The one who entered God’s rest also rested from his works, just as God rested from his own.

Therefore, let’s make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience, because God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions. No creature is hidden from it, but rather everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to give an answer.

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


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

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.