Evening Prayer 9th December 2016

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 35

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler,
and rise for my help!
Draw the spear and javelin
against my pursuers!
Say to my soul,
“I am your deliverance!”

Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek after my life!
Let them be turned back and confounded
who devise evil against me!
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them on!
Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!

For without cause they hid their net for me;
without cause they dug a pit for my life.
Let ruin come upon them unawares!
And let the net which they hid ensnare them;
let them fall therein to ruin!

Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his deliverance.
All my bones shall say,
“O Lord, who is like thee,
thou who deliverest the weak
from him who is too strong for him,
the weak and needy from him who despoils him?”

Malicious witnesses rise up;
they ask me of things that I know not.
They requite me evil for good;
my soul is forlorn.
But I, when they were sick—
I wore sackcloth,
I afflicted myself with fasting.
I prayed with head bowed on my bosom,
as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
I went about as one who laments his mother,
bowed down and in mourning.

But at my stumbling they gathered in glee,
they gathered together against me;
cripples whom I knew not
slandered me without ceasing;
they impiously mocked more and more,
gnashing at me with their teeth.

How long, O Lord, wilt thou look on?
Rescue me from their ravages,
my life from the lions!
Then I will thank thee in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise thee.

Let not those rejoice over me
who are wrongfully my foes,
and let not those wink the eye
who hate me without cause.
For they do not speak peace,
but against those who are quiet in the land
they conceive words of deceit.
They open wide their mouths against me;
they say, “Aha, Aha!
our eyes have seen it!”

Thou hast seen, O Lord; be not silent!
O Lord, be not far from me!
Bestir thyself, and awake for my right,
for my cause, my God and my Lord!
Vindicate me, O Lord, my God, according to thy righteousness;
and let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not say to themselves,
“Aha, we have our heart’s desire!”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”

Let them be put to shame and confusion altogether
who rejoice at my calamity!
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
who magnify themselves against me!

Let those who desire my vindication
shout for joy and be glad,
and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
Then my tongue shall tell of thy righteousness
and of thy praise all the day long.
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.

Haggai 1

In the second year of Dari′us the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet to Zerub′babel the son of She-al′ti-el, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jeho′zadak, the high priest, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: This people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may appear in my glory, says the Lord. You have looked for much, and lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while you busy yourselves each with his own house. Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. And I have called for a drought upon the land and the hills, upon the grain, the new wine, the oil, upon what the ground brings forth, upon men and cattle, and upon all their labors.”

Then Zerub′babel the son of She-al′ti-el, and Joshua the son of Jeho′zadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him; and the people feared before the Lord. Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord’s message, “I am with you, says the Lord.” And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerub′babel the son of She-al′ti-el, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jeho′zadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month.

St. Luke 22.14-30

And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it was that would do this.

A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.

“You are those who have continued with me in my trials; as my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

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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