I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind.
Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3
INVITATORY AND PSALTER
Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.
Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For you are a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!
145 I call with my whole heart; *
answer me, O LORD, that I may keep your statutes.
146 I call to you; oh, that you would save me! *
I will keep your decrees.
147 Early in the morning I cry out to you, *
for in your word is my trust.
148 My eyes are open in the night watches, *
that I may meditate upon your promise.
149 Hear my voice, O LORD, according to your loving-kindness; *
according to your judgments, give me life.
150 They draw near who in malice persecute me; *
they are very far from your law.
151 You, O LORD, are near at hand, *
and all your commandments are true.
152 Long have I known from your decrees *
that you have established them for ever.
153 Behold my affliction and deliver me, *
for I do not forget your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me; *
according to your promise, give me life.
155 Deliverance is far from the wicked, *
for they do not study your statutes.
156 Great is your compassion, O LORD; *
preserve my life, according to your judgments.
157 There are many who persecute and oppress me, *
yet I have not swerved from your decrees.
158 I look with loathing at the faithless, *
for they have not kept your word.
159 See how I love your commandments! *
O LORD, in your mercy, preserve me.
160 The heart of your word is truth; *
all your righteous judgments endure for evermore.
161 Rulers have persecuted me without a cause, *
but my heart stands in awe of your word.
162 I am as glad because of your promise *
as one who finds great spoils.
163 As for lies, I hate and abhor them, *
but your law is my love.
164 Seven times a day do I praise you, *
because of your righteous judgments.
165 Great peace have they who love your law; *
for them there is no stumbling block.
166 I have hoped for your salvation, O LORD, *
and have fulfilled your commandments.
167 I have kept your decrees *
and I have loved them deeply.
168 I have kept your commandments and decrees, *
for all my ways are before you.
169 Let my cry come before you, O LORD; *
give me understanding, according to your word.
170 Let my supplication come before you; *
deliver me, according to your promise.
171 My lips shall pour forth your praise, *
when you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue shall sing of your promise, *
for all your commandments are righteous.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me, *
for I have chosen your commandments.
174 I long for your salvation, O LORD, *
and your law is my delight.
175 Let me live, and I will praise you, *
and let your judgments help me.
176 I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; *
search for your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Numbers 22:41—23:12 (NRSV)
On the next day Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal; and from there he could see part of the people of Israel.
Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” Balak did as Balaam had said; and Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your burnt offerings while I go aside. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me. Whatever he shows me I will tell you.” And he went to a bare height.
Then God met Balaam; and Balaam said to him, “I have arranged the seven altars, and have offered a bull and a ram on each altar.” The LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and this is what you must say.” So he returned to Balak, who was standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. Then Balaam uttered his oracle, saying:
“Balak has brought me from Aram,
the king of Moab from the eastern mountains:
‘Come, curse Jacob for me;
Come, denounce Israel!’
How can I curse whom God has not cursed?
How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced?
For from the top of the crags I see him,
from the hills I behold him;
Here is a people living alone,
and not reckoning itself among the nations!
Who can count the dust of Jacob,
or number the dust-cloud of Israel?
Let me die the death of the upright,
and let my end be like his!”
Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but now you have done nothing but bless them.” He answered, “Must I not take care to say what the LORD puts into my mouth?”
Canticle: Third Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19
Arise, shine, for your light has come, *
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
For behold, darkness covers the land; *
deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.
But over you the Lord will rise, *
and his glory will appear upon you.
Nations will stream to your light, *
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.
Your gates will always be open; *
by day or night they will never be shut.
They will call you, The City of the Lord, *
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Violence will no more be heard in your land, *
ruin or destruction within your borders.
You will call your walls, Salvation, *
and all your portals, Praise.
The sun will no more be your light by day; *
by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.
The Lord will be your everlasting light, *
and your God will be your glory.
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Romans 7:13-25 (NRSV)
Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.
Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Matthew 21:33-46 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God,
the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only Son, our Lord.
who was conceived by the power of 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,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he 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.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us 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.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
V. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.
Collect of the Day: Pauli Murray, Priest, 1985
Liberating God, we thank you for the steadfast courage of your servant Pauli Murray, who fought long and well. Unshackle us from the chains of prejudice and fear, so that we may show forth your reconciling love and true freedom, which you revealed through your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
On Racism and Injustice
O God, call us into a deeper relationship to be your church for the sake of the world. Help us to see with new eyes the injustices within church and society. Call us to have a loving heart that respects and uplifts the humanity and dignity of every person; open our ears to listen and learn from the experiences of people of color. Open our mouths to speak up and about injustices. Join us with others to work for racial equity and inclusion for all people.
A Collect for Grace
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power; that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Joy in God’s Creation
O heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wednesday Morning Prayer List: Healing of Body, Mind & Soul
Each of the 10.3 million cases of coronavirus worldwide; especially Zoe
All who bravely put their lives on the line to serve and save others
Honorary Deacon Clint, safe passage
Martha, more freedom of movement, less pain
Nora, anxiety, mourning her mother
J. Huertas, heart problems
Marilyn, Jan’s sister, major illness
Jon, diabetic macular edema and glaucoma: surgery complete, residual pain
Andrea, recurrence of lymphoma
Cheryl D., car accident
Andrea, breast cancer
Mark, pain after surgery
Paris, Jason & baby Brenden, complications of birth
Joanne, physical & mental health
Katheryn and son Robert, mild cognitive impairment
Marcella, nerve damage & intractable pain
Nora Jean, toddler with brain cancer; parents Alex & Caroline
Abby, age 11, health and healing
Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.
Prayer for Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
May the blessing of the God of Abraham and Sarah, and of Jesus Christ born of our sister Mary, and of the Holy Spirit, who broods over the world as a mother over her children, be upon us and remain with us always. Amen.++
VIDEO: Let us lift up holy hands (uncredited) – St. Thomas Gospel Choir, Philadelphia, 2018