Morning Prayer 4th December 2016

Second Sunday of Advent

Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. St. Luke 3.4, 6

Psalm 80

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
thou who leadest Joseph like a flock!
Thou who art enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
    before E′phraim and Benjamin and Manas′seh!
Stir up thy might,
    and come to save us!

Restore us, O God;
    let thy face shine, that we may be saved!

O Lord God of hosts,
    how long wilt thou be angry with thy people’s prayers?
Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears,
    and given them tears to drink in full measure.
Thou dost make us the scorn of our neighbors;
    and our enemies laugh among themselves.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
    let thy face shine, that we may be saved!

Thou didst bring a vine out of Egypt;
    thou didst drive out the nations and plant it.
Thou didst clear the ground for it;
    it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
    the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea,
    and its shoots to the River.
Why then hast thou broken down its walls,
    so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
    and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts!
    Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
    the stock which thy right hand planted.
They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
    may they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance!
But let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand,
    the son of man whom thou hast made strong for thyself!
Then we will never turn back from thee;
    give us life, and we will call on thy name!

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
    let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world
without end. Amen.

Amos 7

Thus the Lord God showed me: behold, he was forming locusts in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings. When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,

“O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee!
    How can Jacob stand?
    He is so small!”

The Lord repented concerning this;

    “It shall not be,” said the Lord.

Thus the Lord God showed me: behold, the Lord God was calling for a judgment by fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. Then I said,

“O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee!
    How can Jacob stand?
    He is so small!”

The Lord repented concerning this;

    “This also shall not be,” said the Lord God.

He showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,

“Behold, I am setting a plumb line
    in the midst of my people Israel;
    I will never again pass by them;
the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
    and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
    and I will rise against the house of Jerobo′am with the sword.”

Then Amazi′ah the priest of Bethel sent to Jerobo′am king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said,

‘Jerobo′am shall die by the sword,
    and Israel must go into exile
    away from his land.’”

And Amazi′ah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

Then Amos answered Amazi′ah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son;but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lordtook me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ “Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.

You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’

Therefore thus says the Lord:

‘Your wife shall be a harlot in the city,
    and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
    and your land shall be parceled out by line;
you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
    and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’”

St. Luke 1.5-20

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechari′ah, of the division of Abi′jah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechari′ah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechari′ah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

And you will have joy and gladness,
and many will rejoice at his birth;
for he will be great before the Lord,
and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink,
and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit,
even from his mother’s womb.
And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God,
and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Eli′jah,
to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

And Zechari′ah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who
trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Collect

Merciful God, who sent thy messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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