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These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so.
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23
CONFESSION OF SIN
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
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 the Lord is 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!
Psalm 69:1-23, 31-38
1 Save me, O God, *
for the waters have risen up to my neck.
2 I am sinking in deep mire, *
and there is no firm ground for my feet.
3 I have come into deep waters, *
and the torrent washes over me.
4 I have grown weary with my crying;
my throat is inflamed; *
my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
5 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head;
my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. *
Must I then give back what I never stole?
6 O God, you know my foolishness, *
and my faults are not hidden from you.
7 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
Lord GOD of hosts; *
let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me,
O God of Israel.
8 Surely, for your sake I have suffered reproach, *
and shame has covered my face.
9 I have become a stranger to my own kindred, *
an alien to my mother’s children.
10 Zeal for your house has eaten me up; *
the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
11 I humbled myself with fasting, *
but that was turned to my reproach.
12 I put on sack-cloth also, *
and became a byword among them.
13 Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, *
and the drunkards make songs about me.
14 But as for me, this is my prayer to you, *
at the time you have set, O LORD:
15 ”In your great mercy, O God, *
answer me with your unfailing help.
16 Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; *
let me be rescued from those who hate me
and out of the deep waters.
17 Let not the torrent of waters wash over me,
neither let the deep swallow me up; *
do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
18 Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; *
in your great compassion, turn to me.”
19 “Hide not your face from your servant; *
be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
20 Draw near to me and redeem me; *
because of my enemies deliver me.
21 You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; *
my adversaries are all in your sight.”
22 Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; *
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I could find no one.
23 They gave me gall to eat, *
and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
31 As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; *
your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
32 I will praise the Name of God in song; *
I will proclaim the greatness of the LORD with thanksgiving.
33 This will please the LORD more than an offering of oxen, *
more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
34 The afflicted shall see and be glad; *
you who seek God, your heart shall live.
35 For the LORD listens to the needy, *
and does not despise those who are in prison.
36 Let the heavens and earth give praise, *
the seas and all that moves in them;
37 For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; *
they shall live there and have it in possession.
38 The servants of the LORD will inherit it, *
and those who love the Name of God will dwell therein.
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.
Esther 1:1-4, 10-19 (NRSV)
This happened in the days of Ahasuerus, the same Ahasuerus who ruled over one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. In those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were present, while he displayed the great wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and pomp of his majesty for many days, one hundred eighty days in all.
On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who attended him, to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing the royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the officials her beauty; for she was fair to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him. Then the king consulted the sages who knew the laws (for this was the king’s procedure toward all who were versed in law and custom, and those next to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven officials of Persia and Media, who had access to the king, and sat first in the kingdom): “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus conveyed by the eunuchs?” Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, “Not only has Queen Vashti done wrong to the king, but also to all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For this deed of the queen will be made known to all women, causing them to look with contempt on their husbands, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will rebel against the king’s officials, and there will be no end of contempt and wrath! If it pleases the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.”
Canticle: A Song of Jonah
Jonah 2:2-7, 9
I called to you, O God, out of my distress, and you answered me; *
out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.
You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, *
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and billows passed over me.
Then I said, “I am driven away from your sight; *
how shall I ever look again upon your holy temple?”
The waters closed in over me, the deep was round about me; *
weeds were wrapped around my head at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land beneath the earth, *
yet you brought up my life from the depths, O God.
As my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, O God, *
and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.
With the voice of thanksgiving, I will sacrifice to you; *
what I have vowed I will pay, for deliverance belongs to the Lord!
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Acts 17:1-15 (NRSV)
After Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason’s house. When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.” The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go.
That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas off to Beroea; and when they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, including not a few Greek women and men of high standing. But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Beroea as well, they came there too, to stir up and incite the crowds. Then the believers immediately sent Paul away to the coast, but Silas and Timothy remained behind. Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and after receiving instructions to have Silas and Timothy join him as soon as possible, they left him.
Canticle: A Song to the Lamb
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13
Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for evermore.
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
John 12:36b-43 (NRSV)
After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
“Lord, who has believed our message,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said,
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and understand with their heart and turn—
and I would heal them.”
Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him. Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.
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 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. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your congregation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among the nations;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
R. Never forget the lives of your poor.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
V. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
R. So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Collect of the Day: Ninian, Bishop in Galloway, c. 430
O God, by the preaching of your blessed servant and bishop Ninian you caused the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we pray, that having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect for Ember Day: For those to be ordained
Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, we humbly pray, to all who are called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A Collect for Fridays
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
Friday Morning Prayer List
For Those Looking for Work or a New Project
For the Homeless
50,000 U.S. veterans (source: Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
Residents of tent cities and refugee camps
Those living in shelters, motels, cars, on the streets and in the woods
For the Poor of every nation
For the cold and hungry
For those who minister among them
Parish food pantries, gardens and orchards
Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.
Collect for Mission
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.
A Prayer of St. Chrysostom
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.
by Josh Thomas
O God, we’re ready to depart now to begin the rest of our morning. Thank you for this time together to worship you, to see and listen to each other over miles and time zones. We ask your blessing on the concerns and joys each of us has brought with us, that you will be with N., N., and each of our viewers as we go about our day. Be present in our encounters with others, and give us awareness of you in our solitude. Help us do good work and live good lives, in unity with your Son and Holy Spirit. And now, with one voice,
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. Jude 24-25++
VIDEO: God himself is with us (#475, Arnsberg, Joachim Neander, 1680; Gerhard Tersteegen, tr. composite) – West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir, 1994