Monday morning September 26

Tuesday morning
Sunday 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.

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and forever.


Into a World of Ruffians Sent

Charles Wesley
Into a world of ruffians sent,
I walk on hostile ground,
Wild human bears on slaughter bent,
And ravening wolves, surround.

The lion seeks my soul to slay,
In some unguarded hour,
And waits to tear his sleeping prey,
And watches to devour.

But worse than all my foes I find
The enemy within,
The evil heart, the carnal mind,
My own insidious sin.

My nature every moment waits
To render me secure,
And all my paths with ease besets,
To make my ruin sure.

But thou hast given a loud alarm;
And thou shalt still prepare
My soul for all assaults, and arm
With never-ceasing prayer.

O do not suffer me to sleep,
Who on thy love depend;
But still thy faithful servant keep,
And save me to the end!

Confession of sin

Come, Holy Spirit of God,
and search our hearts with the light of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, 
and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, 
with all your being, with all your mind, 
and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’
No other commandment is greater than these.
All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

After a period of reflection

Come, let us return to the Lord and say:

Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgment;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Hosea 6

May almighty God,
who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,
bring us his pardon and peace, now and forever.

The Word of God

Psalm 80

Restore us, God! Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Shepherd of Israel, listen!
    You, the one who leads Joseph as if he were a sheep.
    You, who are enthroned upon the winged heavenly creatures.
Show yourself before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!
    Wake up your power!
    Come to save us!
Restore us, God!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!
Lord God of heavenly forces,
    how long will you fume against your people’s prayer?
You’ve fed them bread made of tears;
    you’ve given them tears to drink three times over!
You’ve put us at odds with our neighbors;
    our enemies make fun of us.
Restore us, God of heavenly forces!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!
You brought a vine out of Egypt.
    You drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    then it planted its roots deep, filling the land.
The mountains were covered by its shade;
    the mighty cedars were covered by its branches.
It sent its branches all the way to the sea;
    its shoots went all the way to the Euphrates River.
So why have you now torn down its walls
    so that all who come along can pluck its fruit,
    so that any boar from the forest can tear it up,
    so that the bugs can feed on it?
Please come back, God of heavenly forces!
    Look down from heaven and perceive it!
Attend to this vine,
    this root that you planted with your strong hand,
    this son whom you secured as your very own.
It is burned with fire. It is chopped down.
    They die at the rebuke coming from you.
Let your hand be with the one on your right side—
    with the one whom you secured as your own—
    then we will not turn away from you!
Revive us so that we can call on your name.
    Restore us, Lord God of heavenly forces!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

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.

Restore us, God! Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Psalm prayer

Faithful shepherd of your people,
as we look for the light of your countenance,
restore in us the image of your glory
and graft us into the risen life of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 82

Lord God of heavenly forces, hear my prayer.

God takes his stand in the divine council;
    he gives judgment among the gods:
“How long will you judge unjustly
    by granting favor to the wicked? 
Give justice to the lowly and the orphan;
    maintain the right of the poor and the destitute!
Rescue the lowly and the needy.
    Deliver them from the power of the wicked!
They don’t know; they don’t understand;
    they wander around in the dark.
    All the earth’s foundations shake.
    I hereby declare, “You are gods,
    children of the Most High—all of you!
But you will die like mortals;
    you will fall down like any prince.”
Rise up, God! Judge the earth
    because you hold all nations in your possession!

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 God of heavenly forces, hear my prayer.

Psalm prayer

God our deliverer,
when the foundations are shaken
and justice has departed,
defend the poor and needy
and give your people strength to fight all wrong
in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
2 Kings 5

Naaman, a general for the king of Aram, was a great man and highly regarded by his master, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. This man was a mighty warrior, but he had a skin disease. Now Aramean raiding parties had gone out and captured a young girl from the land of Israel. She served Naaman’s wife.

She said to her mistress, “I wish that my master could come before the prophet who lives in Samaria. He would cure him of his skin disease.” So Naaman went and told his master what the young girl from the land of Israel had said.

Then Aram’s king said, “Go ahead. I will send a letter to Israel’s king.”

So Naaman left. He took along ten kikkars of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. He brought the letter to Israel’s king. It read, “Along with this letter I’m sending you my servant Naaman so you can cure him of his skin disease.”

When the king of Israel read the letter, he ripped his clothes. He said, “What? Am I God to hand out death and life? But this king writes me, asking me to cure someone of his skin disease! You must realize that he wants to start a fight with me.”

When Elisha the man of God heard that Israel’s king had ripped his clothes, he sent word to the king: “Why did you rip your clothes? Let the man come to me. Then he’ll know that there’s a prophet in Israel.”

Naaman arrived with his horses and chariots. He stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent out a messenger who said, “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored and become clean.”

But Naaman went away in anger. He said, “I thought for sure that he’d come out, stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the bad spot, and cure the skin disease. Aren’t the rivers in Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all Israel’s waters? Couldn’t I wash in them and get clean?” So he turned away and proceeded to leave in anger.

Naaman’s servants came up to him and spoke to him: “Our father, if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? All he said to you was, ‘Wash and become clean.’” So Naaman went down and bathed in the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said. His skin was restored like that of a young boy, and he became clean.

He returned to the man of God with all his attendants. He came and stood before Elisha, saying, “Now I know for certain that there’s no God anywhere on earth except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant.”

But Elisha said, “I swear by the life of the Lord I serve that I won’t accept anything.”

Naaman urged Elisha to accept something, but he still refused. Then Naaman said, “If not, then let me, your servant, have two mule loads of earth. Your servant will never again offer entirely burned offerings or sacrifices to any other gods except the Lord. But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master comes into Rimmon’s temple to bow down there and is leaning on my arm, I must also bow down in Rimmon’s temple. When I bow down in Rimmon’s temple, may the Lord forgive your servant for doing that.”

Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.”

But when Naaman had gone some distance from Elisha, Gehazi (who was the servant of Elisha the man of God) thought, My master let this Aramean Naaman off the hook by not accepting the gift he brought! As surely as the Lord lives, I’ll go after him and accept something from him. So Gehazi pursued Naaman.

Naaman saw him running after him, so he got down off his chariot to meet him. He said, “Is everything okay?”

Gehazi answered, “Yes, but my master sent me to say, ‘Two young men who are members of a group of prophets have just now come to me from the hills of Ephraim. Give them a kikkar of silver and two changes of clothing.’”

Naaman said, “By all means, take two kikkars!” He encouraged Gehazi to accept them. He tied two kikkars of silver up in two bags, along with two changes of clothes. Naaman gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them in front of Gehazi. When Gehazi arrived at the elevated fortress, he took the items from them and stored them in his house. Then he sent the servants away, and they left. Gehazi then went and stood before his master.

Elisha said to Gehazi, “Where did you come from, Gehazi?”

“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi replied.

Elisha said to him, “Wasn’t my heart going along with you when the man got off his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to accept silver, clothes, olive trees, vineyards, sheep, cattle, or male and female servants? Naaman’s skin disease will now cling to you and to your descendants forever!” And Gehazi left Elisha’s presence, flaky like snow with skin disease.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 26:1-23

Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak for yourself.”

So Paul gestured with his hand and began his defense. “King Agrippa, I consider myself especially fortunate that I stand before you today as I offer my defense concerning all the accusations the Jews have brought against me. This is because you understand well all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I ask you to listen to me patiently. Every Jew knows the way of life I have followed since my youth because, from the beginning, I was among my people and in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time. If they wanted to, they could testify that I followed the way of life set out by the most exacting group of our religion. I am a Pharisee. Today I am standing trial because of the hope in the promise God gave our ancestors. This is the promise our twelve tribes hope to receive as they earnestly worship night and day. The Jews are accusing me, King Agrippa, because of this hope! Why is it inconceivable to you that God raises the dead?

“I really thought that I ought to oppose the name of Jesus the Nazarene in every way possible. And that’s exactly what I did in Jerusalem. I locked up many of God’s holy people in prison under the authority of the chief priests. When they were condemned to death, I voted against them. In one synagogue after another—indeed, in all the synagogues—I would often torture them, compelling them to slander God. My rage bordered on the hysterical as I pursued them, even to foreign cities.

“On one such journey, I was going to Damascus with the full authority of the chief priests. While on the road at midday, King Agrippa, I saw a light from heaven shining around me and my traveling companions. That light was brighter than the sun. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice that said to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me? It’s hard for you to kick against a spear.’ Then I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are harassing. Get up! Stand on your feet! I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you as my servant and witness of what you have seen and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to open their eyes. Then they can turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, and receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are made holy by faith in me.’

“So, King Agrippa, I wasn’t disobedient to that heavenly vision. Instead, I proclaimed first to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, then to the whole region of Judea and to the Gentiles. My message was that they should change their hearts and lives and turn to God, and that they should demonstrate this change in their behavior. Because of this, some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to murder me. God has helped me up to this very day. Therefore, I stand here and bear witness to the lowly and the great. I’m saying nothing more than what the Prophets and Moses declared would happen: that the Christ would suffer and that, as the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to my people and to the Gentiles.”

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


Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty and everlasting God,
increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to that which is before,
we may run the way of your commandments
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
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.