Have pity on us.
(after Psalm 72:12-13).
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
Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper
in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord
withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts;
there is no fear of God before their eyes.
For they flatter themselves in their own eyes
that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit;
they have ceased to act wisely and do good.
They plot mischief while on their beds;
they are set on a way that is not good;
they do not reject evil.
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright of heart!
Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There the evildoers lie prostrate;
they are thrust down, unable to rise.
Daily Lectionary Reading, Matthew 2:1-2After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. 2 They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. 4 He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote: 6 You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come one who governs, who will shepherd my people Israel.” 7 Then Herod secretly called for the magi and found out from them the time when the star had first appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you’ve found him, report to me so that I too may go and honor him.” 9 When they heard the king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. 11 They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.
[Common English Lectionary]
Midday Psalm 119:49-56
Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my distress,
that your promise gives me life.
The arrogant utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your ordinances from of old,
I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
those who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
wherever I make my home.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
for I have kept your precepts.
Give ear to my prayer, O God;
do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me,
and in anger they cherish enmity against me.
My heart is in anguish within me,
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
from the raging wind and tempest.”
But I call upon God, and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem me unharmed from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from those who work evil;
from the bloodthirsty save me.
O my strength, I will watch for you;
for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Do not kill them, or my people may forget;
make them totter by your power,
and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been a fortress for me
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.
O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
you have been angry; now restore us!
You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open;
repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.
You have made your people suffer hard things;
you have given us wine to drink that made us reel.
You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
to rally to it out of bowshot. Selah
Give victory with your right hand, and answer us,
so that those whom you love may be rescued.
Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
O grant us help against the foe,
for human help is worthless.
With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.
For you alone, O God, my soul waits in silence;
from you comes my salvation.
You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall never be shaken.
How long will you assail a person,
will you batter your victim, all of you,
as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in God at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before God;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
Put no confidence in extortion,
and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.