Evening Prayer, Rite II (Thursday, February 4, 2021)
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I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall. Psalm 16:7,8
The Confession of Sin
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbour.
Silence may be kept.
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 neighbours 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.
The Invitatory and Psalter
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us. 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.
O Gracious Light: Phos Hilaron
O gracious light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O Giver of Life, and to be glorified through all the worlds.
Today’s Appointed Psalm and Lessons
1 O God, why have you utterly cast us off? *
why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago, *
the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance, and Mount Zion where you dwell.
3 Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; *
the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries roared in your holy place; *
they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5 They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees; *
they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.
6 They set fire to your holy place; *
they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name and razed it to the ground.
7 They said to themselves, "Let us destroy them altogether." *
They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.
8 There are no signs for us to see; there is no prophet left; *
there is not one among us who knows how long.
9 How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? *
will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
10 Why do you draw back your hand? *
why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
11 Yet God is my King from ancient times, *
victorious in the midst of the earth.
12 You divided the sea by your might *
and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
13 You crushed the heads of Leviathan *
and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
14 You split open spring and torrent; *
you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15 Yours is the day, yours also the night; *
you established the moon and the sun.
16 You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; *
you made both summer and winter.
17 Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed, *
how a foolish people despised your Name.
18 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; *
never forget the lives of your poor.
19 Look upon your covenant; *
the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
20 Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed; *
let the poor and needy praise your Name.
21 Arise, O God, maintain your cause; *
remember how fools revile you all day long.
22 Forget not the clamor of your adversaries, *
the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.
The First Lesson: A Reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah 55: 1-13
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
The Song of Simeon: Nunc Dimittis, Luke 2:29-32
Lord, you now have set your servant free * to go in peace as you have promised; For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, * whom you have prepared for all the world to see: A Light to enlighten the nations, * and the glory of your people Israel. 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.
The Second Lesson: A Reading from Galatians 5: 1-15
For freedom, Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offence of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
A Reading from the Gospel of Mark 8: 27—9: 1
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah." And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
** Reflections on the readings **
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He 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, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 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.