Thursday morning September 22

Friday morning
Wednesday morning


Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God, creator of all,
to you be glory and praise forever.
You founded the earth in the beginning
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
In the fullness of time you made us in your image,
and in these last days you have spoken to us
in your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
As we rejoice in the gift of your presence among us
let the light of your love always shine in our hearts,
your Spirit ever renew our lives
and your praises ever be on our lips.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Beyond the Bounds of Time and Space

Charles Wesley
Beyond the bounds of time and space,
Look forward to that heavenly place,
The saints’ secure abode;
On faith’s strong eagle pinions rise,
And force your passage to the skies,
And scale the mount of God.

Though suffering with our Master here,
We shall before his face appear,
And by his side sit down:
To patient faith, the prize is sure,
And all that to the end endure,
The cross, shall wear the crown.

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 78:1-39

How awesome are your works, Lord!

Listen, my people, to my teaching;
    tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a proverb.
    I’ll declare riddles from days long gone—
        ones that we’ve heard and learned about,
        ones that our ancestors told us.
We won’t hide them from their descendants;
    we’ll tell the next generation
    all about the praise due the Lord and his strength—
    the wondrous works God has done.
He established a law for Jacob
    and set up Instruction for Israel,
        ordering our ancestors
        to teach them to their children.
This is so that the next generation
    and children not yet born will know these things,
        and so they can rise up and tell their children
    to put their hope in God—
        never forgetting God’s deeds,
        but keeping God’s commandments—
    and so that they won’t become like their ancestors:
    a rebellious, stubborn generation,
        a generation whose heart wasn’t set firm
        and whose spirit wasn’t faithful to God.
The children of Ephraim, armed with bows,
    retreated on the day of battle.
They didn’t keep God’s covenant;
    they refused to walk in his Instruction.
They forgot God’s deeds
    as well as the wondrous works he showed them.
But God performed wonders in their ancestors’ presence—
    in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
God split the sea and led them through,
    making the waters stand up like a wall.
God led them with the cloud by day;
    by the lightning all through the night.
God split rocks open in the wilderness,
    gave them plenty to drink—
    as if from the deep itself!
God made streams flow from the rock,
    made water run like rivers.
But they continued to sin against God,
    rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
They tested God in their hearts,
    demanded food for their stomachs.
They spoke against God!
    “Can God set a dinner table in the wilderness?” they asked.
“True, God struck the rock
    and water gushed and streams flowed,
        but can he give bread too?
        Can he provide meat for his people?”
When the Lord heard this, he became furious.
        A fire was ignited against Jacob;
    wrath also burned against Israel
        because they had no faith in God,
        because they didn’t trust his saving power.
God gave orders to the skies above,
    opened heaven’s doors,
    and rained manna on them so they could eat.
        He gave them the very grain of heaven!
Each person ate the bread of the powerful ones;
    God sent provisions to satisfy them.
God set the east wind moving across the skies
    and drove the south wind by his strength.
He rained meat on them as if it were dust in the air;
    he rained as many birds as the sand on the seashore!
God brought the birds down in the center of their camp,
    all around their dwellings.
So they ate and were completely satisfied;
    God gave them exactly what they had craved.
But they didn’t stop craving—
    even with the food still in their mouths!
So God’s anger came up against them:
    he killed the most hearty of them;
        he cut down Israel’s youth in their prime.
But in spite of all that, they kept sinning
    and had no faith in God’s wondrous works.
So God brought their days to an end,
    like a puff of air,
    and their years in total ruin.
But whenever God killed them, they went after him!
    They would turn and earnestly search for God.
They would remember that God was their rock,
    that the Most High was their redeemer.
But they were just flattering him with lip service.
    They were lying to him with their tongues.
Their hearts weren’t firmly set on him;
    they weren’t faithful to his covenant.
But God, being compassionate,
    kept forgiving their sins,
    kept avoiding destruction;
    he took back his anger so many times,
    wouldn’t stir up all his wrath!
God kept remembering that they were just flesh,
    just breath that passes and doesn’t come back.

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.

How awesome are your works, Lord!

Psalm prayer

God our deliverer,
as you led our ancestors through the wilderness,
so lead us through the wilderness of this world,
that we may be saved through Christ forever.

Old Testament reading
2 Kings 1:2-17

Ahaziah fell out the window of his second-story room in Samaria and was hurt. He sent messengers, telling them, “Go to Ekron’s god Baal-zebub, and ask if I will recover from this injury.”

But the Lord’s messenger said to Elijah from Tishbe, “Go, intercept the messengers of Samaria’s king, and ask them, ‘Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you are going to question Ekron’s god Baal-zebub? This is what the Lord says: You will never get out of the bed you are lying in; you will die for sure!’” So Elijah set off.

The messengers returned to Ahaziah. He said to them, “Why have you come back?”

They said to him, “A man met us and said, ‘Go back to the king who sent you. Say to him, This is what the Lord says: Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you’ve come to question Ekron’s god Baal-zebub? Because of this, you will never get out of the bed you are lying in; you will die for sure!’”

Ahaziah said to them, “Describe the man who met you and said these things.”

They said to him, “He wore clothes made of hair with a leather belt around his waist.”

Ahaziah said, “That was Elijah from Tishbe.”

So Ahaziah sent out a commander with fifty soldiers. The commander met up with Elijah while he was sitting on a hilltop. The commander said, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!’”

Elijah replied to the commander of the fifty soldiers, “If I really am a man of God, may fire come down from the sky and burn up you and your fifty soldiers.” Then fire came down from the sky and burned up the commander and his fifty soldiers.

Ahaziah then sent another commander with fifty soldiers. The commander said to Elijah, “Man of God, this is what the king says: ‘Hurry and come down!’”

Elijah said to them, “If I really am a man of God, may fire come down from the sky and burn up you and your fifty soldiers.” Then God’s fire came down from the sky and burned up the commander and his fifty soldiers.

For a third time Ahaziah sent a commander with fifty soldiers. So the third commander arrived. He kneeled before Elijah and begged him, “Man of God! Please have some regard for my life and the lives of these fifty soldiers who are your servants. Look, fire came from the sky and burned up the two earlier commanders and their troops of fifty soldiers. Please have regard for my life.”

Then the Lord’s messenger said to Elijah, “Go down with him. Don’t be afraid of him.” So Elijah set out to go with him to the king.

Elijah said to the king: “This is what the Lord says: Why did you send messengers to question Ekron’s god Baal-zebub? Is there no God in Israel whose word you could seek? Because of this, you won’t ever get out of the bed you are lying in; you’ll die for sure!” So Ahaziah died in agreement with the Lord’s word that Elijah had spoken.

Because Ahaziah had no son, Joram became king after him in the second year of Judah’s King Jehoram, who was Jehoshaphat’s son.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 24:1-23

Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They pressed charges against Paul before the governor. After the governor summoned Paul, Tertullus began to make his case against him. He declared, “Under your leadership, we have experienced substantial peace, and your administration has brought reforms to our nation. Always and everywhere, most honorable Felix, we acknowledge this with deep gratitude. I don’t want to take too much of your time, so I ask that you listen with your usual courtesy to our brief statement of the facts. We have found this man to be a troublemaker who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the empire. He’s a ringleader of the Nazarene faction and even tried to defile the temple. That’s when we arrested him. By examining him yourself, you will be able to verify the allegations we are bringing against him.” The Jews reinforced the action against Paul, affirming the truth of these accusations.

The governor nodded at Paul, giving him permission to speak.

He responded, “I know that you have been judge over this nation for many years, so I gladly offer my own defense. You can verify that I went up to worship in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago. They didn’t find me arguing with anyone in the temple or stirring up a crowd, whether in the synagogue or anywhere else in the city. Nor can they prove to you the allegations they are now bringing against me. I do admit this to you, that I am a follower of the Way, which they call a faction. Accordingly, I worship the God of our ancestors and believe everything set out in the Law and written in the Prophets. The hope I have in God I also share with my accusers, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. On account of this, I have committed myself to maintaining a clear conscience before God and with all people. After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring gifts for the poor of my nation and to offer sacrifices. When they found me in the temple, I was ritually pure. There was no crowd and no disturbance. But there were some Jews from the province of Asia. They should be here making their accusations, if indeed they have something against me. In their absence, have these people who are here declare what crime they found when I stood before the Jerusalem Council. Perhaps it concerns this one statement that I blurted out when I was with them: ‘I am on trial before you today because of the resurrection of the dead.’”

Felix, who had an accurate understanding of the Way, adjourned the meeting. He said, “When Lysias the commander arrives from Jerusalem, I will decide this case.” He arranged for a centurion to guard Paul. He was to give Paul some freedom, and his friends were not to be hindered in their efforts to provide for him.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Lord, you have raised up a mighty savior for us in your servant David’s house.

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.

Lord, you have raised up a mighty savior for us in your servant David’s house.

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,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
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

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.


The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil, and keep us in eternal life.