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 25

Prayer for Guidance and for Deliverance

Of David.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
 do not let me be put to shame;
 do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
 let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
 teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
 for you are the God of my salvation;
 for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
 for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
 according to your steadfast love remember me,
 for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
 therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
 and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
 for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

For your name’s sake, O Lord,
 pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who are they that fear the Lord?
 He will teach them the way that they should choose.

They will abide in prosperity,
 and their children shall possess the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
 and he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever towards the Lord,
 for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
 for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
 and bring me out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
 and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes,
 and with what violent hatred they hate me.
O guard my life, and deliver me;
 do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
 for I wait for you.

Redeem Israel, O God,
 out of all its troubles.

Isaiah 5:8–12, 18–23

Social Injustice Denounced

Ah, you who join house to house,
 who add field to field,
until there is room for no one but you,
 and you are left to live alone
 in the midst of the land!
The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing:
Surely many houses shall be desolate,
 large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath,
 and a homer of seed shall yield a mere ephah.

Ah, you who rise early in the morning
 in pursuit of strong drink,
who linger in the evening
 to be inflamed by wine,
whose feasts consist of lyre and harp,
 tambourine and flute and wine,
but who do not regard the deeds of the Lord,
 or see the work of his hands!

Ah, you who drag iniquity along with cords of falsehood,
 who drag sin along as with cart–ropes,
who say, ‘Let him make haste,
 let him speed his work
 that we may see it;
let the plan of the Holy One of Israel hasten to fulfilment,
 that we may know it!’
Ah, you who call evil good
 and good evil,
who put darkness for light
 and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
 and sweet for bitter!
Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes,
 and shrewd in your own sight!
Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine
 and valiant at mixing drink,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
 and deprive the innocent of their rights!

I Thessalonians 5:1–11

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, ‘There is peace and security’, then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then, let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

St. Luke 21:20–28

The Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold

‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it; for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfilment of all that is written. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Coming of the Son of Man

‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’

A Story for the Day

As Parbatie swept her eyes across the singing children, they paused on one boy in particular. Was Satyesh really singing? Surprise mingled with joy filled Parbatie, and she rushed to call Satyesh’s mother and the local GFA pastor.

Read how God healed this boy!

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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