Holy One, open our lips:
and we shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to God, Source of all being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.
Thursdays: From Psalm 139, Domine, probasti
Lord, you have searched me out * and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; *
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before *
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning *
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand will lead me *
and your mighty hand hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, *
and the light around me turn to night.”
Darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day; *
darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts; *
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made; *
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
CLOSING Isaiah 40
The Lord is the everlasting God,*
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
who does not faint nor grow weary,* whose understanding is unsearchable,
who gives power to the faint,*
increase of strength to those who have no might.
Even youth shall faint and be weary;*
the young shall fall exhausted.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;* they shall mount up with wings like eagles.
They shall run and not be weary,*
they shall walk and not faint.
READING: Romans 9:19–33
You will say to me then, ‘Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?’ But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is moulded say to the one who moulds it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea,
‘Those who were not my people I will call “my people”,
and her who was not beloved I will call “beloved”. ’
‘And in the very place where it was said to them, “You are not my people”,
there they shall be called children of the living God.’
And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, ‘Though the number of the children of Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth quickly and decisively.’ And as Isaiah predicted,
‘If the Lord of hosts had not left survivors to us,
we would have fared like Sodom
and been made like Gomorrah.’
What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling-stone, as it is written,
‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’
We have not put the voice of the voiceless first.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We have colluded with the structures of greed.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
We have put money first, loving it too much.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Risen Christ, you fill our lives with your compassion
so that we may always seek you.
Risen Christ, you know our longing: lead us on the path of eternity.
Risen Christ, we pray to you for those who are just beginning to know you.
Risen Christ, we pray to you for those who cannot believe
your love is always offered.
Risen Christ, you are the support of those who encounter difficulties
and discouragement: lead us on the path of eternity.
Risen Christ, we pray to you for those who have been victims of violence and humiliation: come to heal their wounds.
Risen Christ, you guide us by your Spirit: gather all the nations into your Kingdom.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the time of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Thursdays: Jesus our joy, by your continual presence within us, you lead us to give our life. Even if we forget you your love remains, and you send your Holy Spirit upon us. Amen.
O Lord, let the world be ordered in peace, according to your will:
that your people may be free to worship you with joy; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
God most holy, we give you thanks for bringing us out of the shadow of night into the light of morning; and we ask you for the joy of spending this day in your service, so that when evening comes, we may once more give you thanks, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
The Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil; and bring us to life eternal. Amen.