Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Conclude with

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalm 119:49–72

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.

The Lord is my portion;
 I promise to keep your words.
I implore your favour with all my heart;
 be gracious to me according to your promise.
When I think of your ways,
 I turn my feet to your decrees;
I hurry and do not delay
 to keep your commandments.
Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
 I do not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to praise you,
 because of your righteous ordinances.
I am a companion of all who fear you,
 of those who keep your precepts.
The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
 teach me your statutes.

You have dealt well with your servant,
 O Lord, according to your word.
Teach me good judgement and knowledge,
 for I believe in your commandments.
Before I was humbled I went astray,
 but now I keep your word.
You are good and do good;
 teach me your statutes.
The arrogant smear me with lies,
 but with my whole heart I keep your precepts.
Their hearts are fat and gross,
 but I delight in your law.
It is good for me that I was humbled,
 so that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
 than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Isaiah 9:8–17

Judgement on Arrogance and Oppression

The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
 and it fell on Israel;
and all the people knew it—
 Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—
 but in pride and arrogance of heart they said:
‘The bricks have fallen,
 but we will build with dressed stones;
the sycomores have been cut down,
 but we will put cedars in their place.’
So the Lord raised adversaries against them,
 and stirred up their enemies,
the Arameans in the east and the Philistines in the west,
 and they devoured Israel with open mouth.
For all this, his anger has not turned away;
 his hand is stretched out still.

The people did not turn to him who struck them,
 or seek the Lord of hosts.
So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail,
 palm branch and reed in one day—
elders and dignitaries are the head,
 and prophets who teach lies are the tail;
for those who led this people led them astray,
 and those who were led by them were left in confusion.
That is why the Lord did not have pity on their young people,
 or compassion on their orphans and widows;
for everyone was godless and an evildoer,
 and every mouth spoke folly.
For all this, his anger has not turned away;
 his hand is stretched out still.

II Peter 2:1–10a

False Prophets and Their Punishment

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Even so, many will follow their licentious ways, and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned. And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced against them long ago, has not been idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgement; and if he did not spare the ancient world, even though he saved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood on a world of the ungodly; and if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example of what is coming to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by their lawless deeds that he saw and heard), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgement—especially those who indulge their flesh in depraved lust, and who despise authority.

St. Mark 1:1–8

The Proclamation of John the Baptist

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
 who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
 “Prepare the way of the Lord,
 make his paths straight”’,

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

A Story for the Day

Sumana didn’t want to work. She wanted to stay in school, to learn to read, to learn math. But she clung to the thought that if she went to work, at least her younger siblings could finish school.

See Chasing Education for her Sisters Future to find out what happened.

Source for Collects: The Collects are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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