Evening Prayer 15th December 2016

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good tidings to the afflicted. Isaiah 61.1

Psalm 33

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
    Praise befits the upright.
Praise the Lord with the lyre,
    make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song,
    play skilfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

For the word of the Lord is upright;
    and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
    he put the deeps in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord,
    let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood forth.

The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nought;
    he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands for ever,
    the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

The Lord looks down from heaven,
    he sees all the sons of men;
from where he sits enthroned he looks forth
    on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all,
    and observes all their deeds.
A king is not saved by his great army;
    a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
    and by its great might it cannot save.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death,
    and keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and shield.
Yea, our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
Let thy steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in thee.
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.

Zechariah 4

And the angel who talked with me came again, and waked me, like a man that is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps which are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerub′babel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerub′babel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’” Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying,“The hands of Zerub′babel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerub′babel.

“These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.” Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” And a second time I said to him, “What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the oil is poured out?” He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said, “These are the two anointed who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”

St. Matthew 3.1-12

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.”

Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sad′ducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit that befits repentance, and do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

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

Stir up thy power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let thy bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

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