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.
This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to the priest Ezra, the scribe, a scholar of the text of the commandments of the Lord and his statutes for Israel: “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to the priest Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven: Peace. And now I decree that any of the people of Israel or their priests or Levites in my kingdom who freely offers to go to Jerusalem may go with you. For you are sent by the king and his seven counselors to make inquiries about Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God, which is in your hand, and also to convey the silver and gold that the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, with all the silver and gold that you shall find in the whole province of Babylonia, and with the freewill offerings of the people and the priests, given willingly for the house of their God in Jerusalem. With this money, then, you shall with all diligence buy bulls, rams, and lambs, and their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and you shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. Whatever seems good to you and your colleagues to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do, according to the will of your God. The vessels that have been given you for the service of the house of your God, you shall deliver before the God of Jerusalem. And whatever else is required for the house of your God, which you are responsible for providing, you may provide out of the king’s treasury. “I, King Artaxerxes, decree to all the treasurers in the province Beyond the River: Whatever the priest Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, requires of you, let it be done with all diligence, up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred cors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and unlimited salt. Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, or wrath will come upon the realm of the king and his heirs. We also notify you that it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll on any of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the doorkeepers, the temple servants, or other servants of this house of God. “And you, Ezra, according to the God-given wisdom you possess, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River who know the laws of your God; and you shall teach those who do not know them. All who will not obey the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be strictly executed on them, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of their goods or for imprisonment.”
Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless.
Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, “Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”
In the evening, pray for:
- individuals and their needs
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer and/or the following Collect:
Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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.