Wednesday morning December 6

Thursday morning
Tuesday morning


Opening response

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

Reveal among us the light of your presence
that we may behold your power and glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
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.


Center of Our Hopes Thou Art

Charles Wesley
Center of our hopes thou art,
End of our enlarged desires;
Stamp thine image on our heart,
Fill us now with holy fires;
Cemented by love divine,
Seal our souls forever thine.

All our works in thee be wrought,
Leveled at one common aim,
Every word and every thought,
Purge in the refining flame,
Lead us through the paths of peace,
On to perfect holiness.

Let us altogether rise,
To thy glorious life restored;
Here regain our paradise,
Here prepare to meet our Lord;
Here enjoy the earnest given
Travel hand in hand to heaven.

Confession of sin

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin
or repay us according to our wrongdoing.
Because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God,
Holy and strong,
Holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.

Let my whole being bless the Lord.
Let everything inside me bless his holy name.

Let my whole being bless the Lord,
and never forget all his good deeds.

The Word of God

Psalm 5

You, Lord, bless the righteous. You cover them with favor like a shield.

Hear my words, Lord!
    Consider my groans!
  Pay attention to the sound of my cries, my king and my God,
        because I am praying to you!
Lord, in the morning you hear my voice.
    In the morning I lay it all out before you.
    Then I wait expectantly.
Because you aren’t a God
    who enjoys wickedness;
    evil doesn’t live with you.
Arrogant people won’t last long
in your sight;
    you hate all evildoers;
    you destroy liars.
    The Lord despises people who are violent and dishonest.
But me? I will enter your house
    because of your abundant, faithful love;
    I will bow down at your holy temple,
        honoring you.
Lord, because of many enemies,
    please lead me in your righteousness.
    Make your way clear,
        right in front of me.
Because there’s no truth in my enemies’ mouths,
    all they have inside them is destruction.
    Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues slick with talk.
Condemn them, God!
    Let them fail by their own plans.
Throw them out for their many sins
    because they’ve rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you celebrate.
    Let them sing out loud forever!
Protect them
    so that all who love your name
    can rejoice in you.
Because you, Lord, bless the righteous.
    You cover them with favor like a shield.

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, bless the righteous. You cover them with favor like a shield.

Psalm prayer

Lord, protect us from the deceit
of flattering tongues and lying lips;
give us words of life which speak your truth
and bless your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 7

I will thank the Lord for his righteousness.

I take refuge in you, Lord, my God.
    Save me from all who chase me!
    Rescue me!
Otherwise, they will rip me apart,
    dragging me off with no chance of rescue.
Lord, my God, if I have done this—
        if my hands have done anything wrong,
        if I have repaid a friend with evil
        or oppressed a foe for no reason—
    then let my enemy
        not only chase but catch me,
        trampling my life into the ground,
        laying my reputation in the dirt.
Get up, Lord; get angry!
    Stand up against the fury of my foes!
Wake up, my God;
    you command that justice be done!
Let the assembled peoples surround you.
    Rule them from on high!
The Lord will judge the peoples.
    Establish justice for me, Lord,
    according to my righteousness
    and according to my integrity.
Please let the evil of the wicked be over,
    but set the righteous firmly in place
    because you, the righteous God,
    are the one who examines hearts and minds.
God is my shield;
    he saves those whose heart is right.
God is a righteous judge,
    a God who is angry at evil every single day.
If someone doesn’t change their ways,
    God will sharpen his sword,
    will bend his bow,
    will string an arrow.
God has deadly weapons in store
    for those who won’t change;
    he gets his flaming arrows ready!
But look how the wicked hatch evil,
    conceive trouble, give birth to lies!
They make a pit, dig it all out,
    and then fall right into the hole that they’ve made!
The trouble they cause
        will come back on their own heads;
    the violence they commit
        will come down on their own skulls.
But I will thank the Lord
        for his righteousness;
    I will sing praises
        to the name of the Lord Most High.

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.

I will thank the Lord for his righteousness.

Psalm prayer

Lord, your justice turns evil on itself:
move us to examine our hearts
and repent of all duplicity;
for the sake of Jesus Christ,
our Judge and righteous Savior.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 28:1-13

Oh, the majestic garland of Ephraim’s drunks
    and the fading flower of its splendid beauty
    on the head that flows with perfume
    of those hammered with wine.
Look! The Lord has someone who is powerful and strong;
    like a hailstorm, a disastrous tempest,
    like a downpour of mighty, overflowing waters,
    he can level them to the ground with his hand.
The majestic garland of Ephraim’s drunks
    will be trampled underfoot.
    The withered flower, which is a thing of beauty
        as it sits on the head of those bloated with fat,
        will be like an early fig before the summer harvest:
    whoever sees it swallows it as soon as it is in hand.
On that day, the Lord of heavenly forces will be a splendid garland and a beautiful wreath for the people who survive, and a spirit of justice for the one who sits in judgment, and a strength for those who repel the assault at the gate.

These also stagger from wine and stumble from beer:
    priest and prophet stagger from beer;
    they are confused by wine;
    they stray on account of beer;
    they err when receiving visions;
    they stumble when making judgments.
All the tables are covered with vomit;
    filth overruns the place.
To whom will God teach knowledge?
    To whom will he explain the message?
    To those just weaned from milk?
    To those who have hardly outgrown the breast?
It is “tsav letsav, tsav lestav; qav leqav, qav leqav,”
    a little of this, a little of that.
With derisive speech and a foreign tongue,
    he will speak to this people.
He has said to them,
    “This is the place of rest;
    give rest to the weary;
    this is the place of repose”;
        but they refused to listen.
So the Lord’s word will be for them:
    “tsav letsav, tsav letsav; qav leqav, qav leqav,”
    a little of this, a little of that.
So that they will go and stagger backward,
    they will be broken, snared, and captured.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 12:38-50

At that time some of the legal experts and the Pharisees requested of Jesus, “Teacher, we would like to see a sign from you.”

But he replied, “An evil and unfaithful generation searches for a sign, but it won’t receive any sign except Jonah’s sign. Just as Jonah was in the whale’s belly for three days and three nights, so the Human One will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The citizens of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it as guilty, because they changed their hearts and lives in response to Jonah’s preaching. And look, someone greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will be raised up by God at the judgment with this generation and condemn it because she came from a distant land to hear Solomon’s wisdom. And look, someone greater than Solomon is here.

“When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn’t find any. Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the place vacant, cleaned up, and decorated. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself. They go in and make their home there. That person is worse off at the end than at the beginning. This is the way it will be also for this evil generation.”

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers stood outside trying to speak with him. Someone said to him, “Look, your mother and brothers are outside wanting to speak with you.”

Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” He stretched out his hand toward his disciples and said, “Look, here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother.”

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.

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.

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.

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 may be offered for:

the day and its tasks
the world and its needs
the church and her life

Prayers may include the following concerns:

The church, that she may be ready for the coming of Christ
The leaders of the church
The nations, that they may be subject to the rule of God
Those who are working for justice in the world
The broken, that they may find God’s healing

Other intercessions and supplications may be offered as the Holy Spirit leads.


Lord, hear your people
and answer our prayers.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armor of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
      to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.  

The Lord’s Prayer

Awaiting his coming in glory, 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 the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting.