Friday

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Collect

Merciful God, who sent your 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 lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, 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 31

Prayer and Praise for Deliverance from Enemies

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
 do not let me ever be put to shame;
 in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;
 rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
 a strong fortress to save me.

You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
 for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
 for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
 you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
 but I trust in the Lord.
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
 because you have seen my affliction;
 you have taken heed of my adversities,
and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
 you have set my feet in a broad place.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
 my eye wastes away from grief,
 my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
 and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
 and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
 a horror to my neighbours,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
 those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
 I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
 terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
 as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
 I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in your hand;
 deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
 save me in your steadfast love.
Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord,
 for I call on you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
 let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.
Let the lying lips be stilled
 that speak insolently against the righteous
 with pride and contempt.

O how abundant is your goodness
 that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
 in the sight of everyone!
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
 from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter
 from contentious tongues.

Blessed be the Lord,
 for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
 when I was beset as a city under siege.
I had said in my alarm,
 ‘I am driven far from your sight.’
But you heard my supplications
 when I cried out to you for help.

Love the Lord, all you his saints.
 The Lord preserves the faithful,
 but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
 all you who wait for the Lord.

Haggai 1:1–15

The Command to Rebuild the Temple

In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest: Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house. Then the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai, saying: Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your panelled 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 you that earn wages earn 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, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured, 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 my house lies in ruins, while all of you hurry off to your own houses. Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the soil produces, on human beings and animals, and on all their labours.

Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of the prophet Haggai, as the Lord their God had sent him; and the people feared the Lord. Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord’s message, saying, I am with you, says the Lord. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, 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.

Revelation 2:18–29

The Message to Thyatira

‘And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze:

‘I know your works—your love, faith, service, and patient endurance. I know that your last works are greater than the first. But I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practise fornication and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her fornication. Beware, I am throwing her on a bed, and those who commit adultery with her I am throwing into great distress, unless they repent of her doings; and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call “the deep things of Satan”, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden; only hold fast to what you have until I come. To everyone who conquers and continues to do my works to the end,

I will give authority over the nations;
to rule them with an iron rod,
 as when clay pots are shattered—

even as I also received authority from my Father. To the one who conquers I will also give the morning star. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

St. Matthew 23:27–39

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.

The Lament over Jerusalem

‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”’

Video for the Day

Cyclone Ockhi ravaged the coastal shore of Kerala, India, in Nov. 2017. Over 200 lives were lost and many fishermen lost their boats in the cyclone.

Learn how GFA-supported workers helped out.




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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