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.
Fight those who fight me, O Lord; *
attack those who are attacking me.
Take up shield and armor *
and rise up to help me.
Draw the sword and bar the way against those
who pursue me; *
say to my soul, "I am your salvation."
Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled; *
let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
Let them be like chaff before the wind, *
and let the angel of the Lord drive them away.
Let their way be dark and slippery, *
and let the angel of the Lord pursue them.
For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; *
without a cause they have dug a pit to take me alive.
Let ruin come upon them unawares; *
let them be caught in the net they hid;
let them fall into the pit they dug.
Then I will be joyful in the Lord; *
I will glory in his victory.
My very bones will say, "Lord, who is like you? *
You deliver the poor from those who are too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them."
Malicious witnesses rise up against me; *
they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
They pay me evil in exchange for good; *
my soul is full of despair.
But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth *
and humbled myself by fasting;
I prayed with my whole heart,
as one would for a friend or a brother; *
I behaved like one who mourns for his mother,
bowed down and grieving.
But when I stumbled, they were glad and gathered together;
they gathered against me; *
strangers whom I did not know tore me to pieces and
would not stop.
They put me to the test and mocked me; *
they gnashed at me with their teeth.
O Lord, how long will you look on? *
rescue me from the roaring beasts,
and my life from the young lions.
I will give you thanks in the great congregation; *
I will praise you in the mighty throng.
Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, *
nor let those who hate me without a cause
wink at each other.
For they do not plan for peace, *
but invent deceitful schemes against the
quiet in the land.
They opened their mouths at me and said, *
"Aha! we saw it with our own eyes."
You saw it, O Lord; do not be silent; *
O Lord, be not far from me.
Awake, arise, to my cause! *
to my defense, my God and my Lord!
Give me justice, O Lord my God,
according to your righteousness; *
do not let them triumph over me.
Do not let them say in their hearts,
"Aha! just what we want!" *
Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up."
Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced; *
let those who boast against me be clothed with
dismay and shame.
Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad; *
let them say always, "Great is the Lord,
who desires the prosperity of his servant."
And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness *
and of your praise all the day long.
Lord God, you rose to the aid of your beloved Son against those who unjustly sought his life. Look on your Church as we journey to you, and rescue the poor from their oppressors, that they may tell of your righteousness and your praise; through 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.
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die. Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?
Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
In the evening, pray for:
- individuals and their needs
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer and/or the following Collect for the Ash Wednesday:
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; 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.