If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night," darkness is not dark to you, O Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike. Psalm 139:10, 11
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.
Evening Examen: Was there time today when I felt guilty, ashamed, or lonely? What was most joyful about my day? Let God guide you as you reflect on your day by asking him for light, grace, and gratitude.
O God, make speed to save us. *
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Truly, God is good to Israel, *
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; *
I had almost tripped and fallen;
Because I envied the proud *
and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
For they suffer no pain, *
and their bodies are sleek and sound;
In the misfortunes of others they have no share; *
they are not afflicted as others are;
Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace *
and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from gross minds, *
and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
They scoff and speak maliciously; *
out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, *
and their evil speech runs through the world.
And so the people turn to them *
and find in them no fault.
They say, "How should God know? *
is there knowledge in the Most High?"
So then, these are the wicked; *
always at ease, they increase their wealth.
In vain have I kept my heart clean, *
and washed my hands in innocence.
I have been afflicted all day long, *
and punished every morning.
Had I gone on speaking this way, *
I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
When I tried to understand these things, *
it was too hard for me;
Until I entered the sanctuary of God *
and discerned the end of the wicked.
Surely, you set them in slippery places; *
you cast them down in ruin.
Oh, how suddenly do they come to destruction, *
come to an end, and perish from terror!
Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord, *
when you arise you will make their image vanish.
When my mind became embittered, *
I was sorely wounded in my heart.
I was stupid and had no understanding; *
I was like a brute beast in your presence.
Yet I am always with you; *
you hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me by your counsel, *
and afterwards receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? *
and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
Though my flesh and my heart should waste away, *
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Truly, those who forsake you will perish; *
you destroy all who are unfaithful.
But it is good for me to be near God; *
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.
I will speak of all your works *
in the gates of the city of Zion.
Father, in your wisdom you allowed your Son to be dismayed by the prospect of his cross, but by his death the penalty of sin was changed to glory. Grant that, on our journey to you, the cross of your Son may not be a stumbling block but a beacon to guide us to that heavenly country where you with your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit live and reign one God, now and forever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit; *
as it was in the beginning
is now and shall be for ever. Amen.
2 KINGS 1:2-17
Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay injured; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.” But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Get up, go to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?’ Now therefore thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.’” So Elijah went. The messengers returned to the king, who said to them, “Why have you returned?” They answered him, “There came a man to meet us, who said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him: Thus says the Lord: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but shall surely die.’” He said to them, “What sort of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” They answered him, “A hairy man, with a leather belt around his waist.” He said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”
Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. He went up and said to him, “O man of God, this is the king’s order: Come down quickly!” But Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. So the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and entreated him, “O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. Look, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight.” Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he set out and went down with him to the king, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, —is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? —therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.” So he died according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken. His brother, Jehoram succeeded him as king in the second year of King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son.
1 CORINTHIANS 3:16-23
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
This week, pray especially for:
- our City Church kids; that they would know Jesus’ saving love and understand their lives and the world around them in light of his story
- for those in positions of public trust especially our city officials; that they may serve justice, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person
- for the poor, the persecuted, the sick, and all who suffer; for refugees, prisoners, and all who are in danger; that they may be relieved and protected
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer and/or the following Collect:
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 our Lord. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord. *
Thanks be to God!
The Almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.