Thursday morning September 8

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.


See How Great a Flame Aspires

Charles Wesley
See how great a flame aspires,
Kindled by a spark of grace.
Jesus’ love the nations fires,
Sets the kingdoms on a blaze:
To bring fire on earth he came;
Kindled in some hearts it is;
O that all might catch the flame,
All partake the glorious bliss!

When he first the work begun,
Small and feeble was his day:
Now the word doth swiftly run;
Now it wins its widening way:
More and more it spreads and grows,
Ever mighty to prevail;
Sin’s strongholds it now overthrows,
Shakes the trembling gates of hell.

Sons of God, your Savior praise,
who the door hath opened wide;
He hath given the word of grace,
Jesus’ word is glorified;
Jesus, mighty to redeem,
He alone the work hath wrought;
Worthy is the work of him,
Him who spake a world from naught.

Saw ye not the cloud arise,
Little as a human hand?
Now it spreads along the skies,
Hangs over all the thirsty land.
Lo! the promise of a shower
Drops already from above;
But the Lord will shortly pour
All the spirit of his love.

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 37

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord.

Don’t get upset over evildoers;
    don’t be jealous of those who do wrong,
    because they will fade fast, like grass;
    they will wither like green vegetables.
Trust the Lord and do good;
    live in the land, and farm faithfulness.
Enjoy the Lord,
    and he will give what your heart asks.
Commit your way to the Lord!
    Trust him! He will act
    and will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
    your justice like high noon.
Be still before the Lord,
    and wait for him.
Don’t get upset when someone gets ahead—
    someone who invents evil schemes.
Let go of anger and leave rage behind!
    Don’t get upset—it will only lead to evil.
Because evildoers will be eliminated,
    but those who hope in the Lord—
    they will possess the land.
In just a little while the wicked won’t exist!
    If you go looking around their place,
    they won’t be there.
But the weak will inherit the land;
    they will enjoy a surplus of peace.
The wicked plot against the righteous,
    grinding their teeth at them.
But my Lord just laughs at them
    because he knows that their day is coming.
The wicked draw their swords and bend their bows
    to bring down the weak and the needy,
    to slaughter those whose way is right.
But the sword of the wicked will enter their own hearts!
    Their bows will be broken!
Better is the little that the righteous have
    than the overabundant wealth of the wicked.
The arms of the wicked will be broken,
    but the Lord supports the righteous.
The Lord is intimately acquainted
    with the lives of the blameless;
    their heritage will last forever.
They won’t be ashamed in troubling times,
    and in a period of famine they will eat their fill.
But the wicked will die,
    the Lord’s enemies will disappear—
    disappear like the beauty of a meadow—in smoke.
The wicked borrow and don’t pay it back, but the righteous are generous and giving.
Those blessed by God will possess the land,
    but those cursed by God will be cut off.
A person’s steps are made secure by the Lord
    when they delight in his way.
Though they trip up, they won’t be thrown down,
    because the Lord holds their hand.
I was young and now I’m old,
    but I have never seen the righteous left all alone,
    have never seen their children begging for bread.
They are always gracious and generous.
    Their children are a blessing.
Turn away from evil! Do good!
    Then you will live in the land forever.
The Lord loves justice.
    He will never leave his faithful all alone.
    They are guarded forever,
        but the children of the wicked are eliminated.
The righteous will possess the land;
    they will live on it forever.
The mouths of the righteous recite wisdom;
    their tongues discuss justice.
The Instruction of their God is in their hearts;
    they don’t miss a step.
The wicked, on the other hand, target the righteous,
    seeking to kill them.
But the Lord won’t leave the righteous
    to the power of the wicked,
    and won’t let the righteous
    be found guilty when they are judged.
Hope in the Lord and keep his way!
    He will lift you up so you can possess the land.
        When the wicked are eliminated,
        you will see it for yourself!
I myself have seen wicked powerful people,
    exalting themselves like a stately cedar.
But when I came back, they were gone!
    I looked all over for them,
    but they couldn’t be found!
Observe those who have integrity
    and watch those whose heart is right
    because the future belongs to persons of peace.
But wrongdoers will be destroyed all together;
    the future of the wicked will be cut short.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
    he is their refuge in times of trouble.
The Lord will help them and rescue them—
    rescue them from the wicked—and he will save them
    because they have taken refuge in him.

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.

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord.

Psalm prayer

Blessed and holy God,
ever merciful and forgiving,
may we turn from what is evil
and do what is good in your sight,
for you have saved us by the cross of your Son,
our Savior Jesus Christ.

Old Testament reading
1 Kings 11:1-13

In addition to Pharaoh’s daughter, King Solomon loved many foreign women, including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. These came from the nations that the Lord had commanded the Israelites about: “Don’t intermarry with them. They will definitely turn your heart toward their gods.” Solomon clung to these women in love. He had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred secondary wives. They turned his heart. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods. He wasn’t committed to the Lord his God with all his heart as was his father David. Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the detestable god of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes and wasn’t completely devoted to the Lord like his father David. On the hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a shrine to Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and to Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. The Lord grew angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from being with the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. The Lord had commanded Solomon about this very thing, that he shouldn’t follow other gods. But Solomon didn’t do what the Lord commanded.

The Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done all this instead of keeping my covenant and my laws that I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. Even so, on account of your father David, I won’t do it during your lifetime. I will tear the kingdom out of your son’s hands. Moreover, I won’t tear away the entire kingdom. I will give one tribe to your son on account of my servant David and on account of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 17:16-34

While Paul waited for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to find that the city was flooded with idols. He began to interact with the Jews and Gentile God-worshippers in the synagogue. He also addressed whoever happened to be in the marketplace each day. Certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers engaged him in discussion too. Some said, “What an amateur! What’s he trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods.” (They said this because he was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) They took him into custody and brought him to the council on Mars Hill. “What is this new teaching? Can we learn what you are talking about? You’ve told us some strange things and we want to know what they mean.” (They said this because all Athenians as well as the foreigners who live in Athens used to spend their time doing nothing but talking about or listening to the newest thing.)

Paul stood up in the middle of the council on Mars Hill and said, “People of Athens, I see that you are very religious in every way. As I was walking through town and carefully observing your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an unknown God.’ What you worship as unknown, I now proclaim to you. God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples made with human hands. Nor is God served by human hands, as though he needed something, since he is the one who gives life, breath, and everything else. From one person God created every human nation to live on the whole earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him. In fact, God isn’t far away from any of us. In God we live, move, and exist. As some of your own poets said, ‘We are his offspring.’

“Therefore, as God’s offspring, we have no need to imagine that the divine being is like a gold, silver, or stone image made by human skill and thought. God overlooks ignorance of these things in times past, but now directs everyone everywhere to change their hearts and lives. This is because God has set a day when he intends to judge the world justly by a man he has appointed. God has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard about the resurrection from the dead, some began to ridicule Paul. However, others said, “We’ll hear from you about this again.” At that, Paul left the council. Some people joined him and came to believe, including Dionysius, a member of the council on Mars Hill, a woman named Damaris, and several others.

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

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
      upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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.