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.
Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but will go to my country and to my kindred and get a wife for my son Isaac.” The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all kinds of choice gifts from his master; and he set out and went to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water; it was toward evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. I am standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. Let the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Please offer your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’ —let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.” Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, coming out with her water jar on her shoulder. The girl was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me sip a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose-ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, and said, “Tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” She added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder and a place to spend the night.” The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the way to the house of my master’s kin.”
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children— “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
In the evening, pray for:
- individuals and their needs
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer and/or the following Collect for the Fourth Week of Epiphany:
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 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.