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
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: What was the most draining part of my day? What was the most life-giving part of 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.
O God, why have you utterly cast us off? *
why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago, *
the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance,
and Mount Zion where you dwell.
Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; *
the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
Your adversaries roared in your holy place; *
they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees; *
they broke down all your carved work with hatchets
They set fire to your holy place; *
they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name
and razed it to the ground.
They said to themselves, "Let us destroy them altogether." *
They burned down all the meeting-places of God
in the land.
There are no signs for us to see;
there is no prophet left; *
there is not one among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? *
will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
Why do you draw back your hand? *
why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
Yet God is my King from ancient times, *
victorious in the midst of the earth.
You divided the sea by your might *
and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
You crushed the heads of Leviathan *
and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
You split open spring and torrent; *
you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
Yours is the day, yours also the night; *
you established the moon and the sun.
You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; *
you made both summer and winter.
Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed, *
how a foolish people despised your Name.
Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; *
never forget the lives of your poor.
Look upon your covenant; *
the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed; *
let the poor and needy praise your Name.
Arise, O God, maintain your cause; *
remember how fools revile you all day long.
Forget not the clamor of your adversaries, *
the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.
Lord our God, remember the covenant sealed with the blood of your Son. Make the Church your spiritual house and make us living stones built upon Christ, so that a full and true temple may be raised to your glory; for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years; this was the length of Sarah’s life. And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
Abraham rose up from beside his dead, and said to the Hittites, “I am a stranger and an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying place, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” The Hittites answered Abraham, “Hear us, my lord; you are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places; none of us will withhold from you any burial ground for burying your dead.” Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of the land. He said to them, “If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me Ephron son of Zohar, so that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as a possession for a burying place.” Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of all who went in at the gate of his city, “No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it; in the presence of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.” Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. He said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “If you only will listen to me! I will give the price of the field; accept it from me, so that I may bury my dead there.” Ephron answered Abraham, “My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver—what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”
Abraham agreed with Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants. So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, passed to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, in the presence of all who went in at the gate of his city. After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. The field and the cave that is in it passed from the Hittites into Abraham’s possession as a burying place.
And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
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.