ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor,
tremble before him, all the earth.
(Psalm 96:7, 9)
Invitatory Psalm 84
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars,
O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise. Selah
O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
You judge the world with righteousness;
you judge the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Be gracious to me, O Lord.
See what I suffer from those who hate me;
you are the one who lifts me up
from the gates of death,
so that I may recount all your praises,
and, in the gates of daughter Zion,
rejoice in your deliverance.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor perish forever.
Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor
— let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.
For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,
those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.
In the pride of their countenance the wicked say,
“God will not seek it out”;
they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;
they lurk that they may seize the poor;
they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.
They stoop, they crouch,
and the helpless fall by their might.
They think in their heart,
“God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face,
he will never see it.”
Rise up, O Lord;
O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.
Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts,
“You will not call us to account”?
But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,
that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
you have been the helper of the orphan.
O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
so that those from earth may strike terror no more.
Daily Lectionary Readings,
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned. 3 You have made the nation great; you have increased its joy. They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest, as those who divide plunder rejoice. 4 As on the day of Midian, you’ve shattered the yoke that burdened them, the staff on their shoulders, and the rod of their oppressor. 5 Because every boot of the thundering warriors, and every garment rolled in blood will be burned, fuel for the fire. 6 A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be vast authority and endless peace for David’s throne and for his kingdom, establishing and sustaining it with justice and righteousness now and forever. [Common English Bible]
Titus 2:11-14The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. 12 It educates us so that we can live sensible, ethical, and godly lives right now by rejecting ungodly lives and the desires of this world. 13 At the same time we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of our great God and savior Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself for us in order to rescue us from every kind of lawless behavior, and cleanse a special people for himself who are eager to do good actions. [Common English Bible]
Prayer for Today: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace, your grace as appeared, bringing salvation to all people. Instill within us the will to share in your work, to live sensible, ethical, and godly lives. Rescue us from our temptations and our selfishness and our insularity as we reach out to the ones that need our care and attention. Amen.
Midday Psalm 119:9-16
How can young people keep their way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
do not let me stray from your commandments.
I treasure your word in my heart,
so that I may not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth.
I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
In the Lord I take refuge;
how can you say to me, “Flee like a bird to the mountains;
for look, the wicked bend the bow,
they have fitted their arrow to the string,
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
and his soul hates the lover of violence.
For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.
Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
there is no one who does good, no, not one.
Have they no knowledge,
all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon the Lord?
There they shall be in great terror,
for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.
O Lord, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Those who walk blamelessly,
and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honor those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
Those who do these things shall never be moved.
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.
You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.