Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
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: When, this week, did I sense being drawn away from God? When, this week, did I feel most touched by the presence of God?
O God, make speed to save us. *
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Praise the Name of the LORD; *
give praise, you servants of the LORD.
You who stand in the house of the LORD, *
in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; *
sing praises to his Name, for it is lovely.
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself *
and Israel for his own possession.
For I know that the LORD is great, *
and that our Lord is above all gods.
The LORD does whatever pleases him, in heaven and on earth, *
in the seas and all the deeps.
He brings up rain clouds from the ends of the earth; *
he sends out lightning with the rain,
and brings the winds out of his storehouse.
It was he who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, *
the firstborn both of man and beast.
He sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, O Egypt, *
against Pharaoh and all his servants.
He overthrew many nations *
and put mighty kings to death:
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
and Og, the kingdoms of Bashan, *
and all the kings of Canaan.
He gave their land to be an inheritance, *
an inheritance for Israel his people.
O LORD, your Name is everlasting; *
your renown, O LORD, endures from age to age.
For the LORD gives his people justice *
and shows compassion to his servants.
The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, *
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak; *
eyes have they, but they cannot see.
They have ears, but they cannot hear; *
neither is there any breath in their mouth.
Those who make them are like them, *
and so are all who put their trust in them.
Bless the LORD, O house of Israel; *
O house of Aaron, bless the LORD.
Bless the LORD, O house of Levi; *
you who fear the LORD, bless the LORD.
Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, *
who dwells in Jerusalem.
Lord God, you are great and have done mighty deeds; you have shattered the powers of darkness and have shown compassion to your servants. Keep us from being deceived by idols, for there is no god like you, and your renown endures from age to age. Blessed be the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 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 when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he mocked the Jews. He said in the presence of his associates and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore things? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish it in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish—and burned ones at that?” Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “That stone wall they are building—any fox going up on it would break it down!” Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their taunt back on their own heads, and give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover their guilt, and do not let their sin be blotted out from your sight; for they have hurled insults in the face of the builders. So we rebuilt the wall, and all the wall was joined together to half its height; for the people had a mind to work.
But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and the gaps were beginning to be closed, they were very angry, and all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. So we prayed to our God, and set a guard as a protection against them day and night. But Judah said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, and there is too much rubbish so that we are unable to work on the wall.” And our enemies said, “They will not know or see anything before we come upon them and kill them and stop the work.” When the Jews who lived near them came, they said to us ten times, “From all the places where they live they will come up against us.” So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. After I looked these things over, I stood up and said to the nobles and the officials and the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your kin, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” When our enemies heard that their plot was known to us, and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his work.
From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and body-armor; and the leaders posted themselves behind the whole house of Judah, who were building the wall. The burden bearers carried their loads in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and with the other held a weapon. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. And I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread out, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Rally to us wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet. Our God will fight for us.” So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from break of dawn until the stars came out. I also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant pass the night inside Jerusalem, so that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.” So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me ever took off our clothes; each kept his weapon in his right hand.
And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel: From the tribe of Judah twelve thousand sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand sealed. After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
In the evening, pray for:
individuals and their needs
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer and/or the following Collect:
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; 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.