Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of 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 72

Prayer for Guidance and Support for the King

Of Solomon.

Give the king your justice, O God,
 and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
 and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
 and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
 give deliverance to the needy,
 and crush the oppressor.

May he live while the sun endures,
 and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
 like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
 and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

May he have dominion from sea to sea,
 and from the River to the ends of the earth.
May his foes bow down before him,
 and his enemies lick the dust.
May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
 render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
 bring gifts.
May all kings fall down before him,
 all nations give him service.

For he delivers the needy when they call,
 the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
 and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
 and precious is their blood in his sight.

Long may he live!
 May gold of Sheba be given to him.
May prayer be made for him continually,
 and blessings invoked for him all day long.
May there be abundance of grain in the land;
 may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
 may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
 like the grass of the field.
May his name endure for ever,
 his fame continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed in him;
 may they pronounce him happy.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name for ever;
 may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.

The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.

Isaiah 28:9–22

‘Whom will he teach knowledge,
 and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from milk,
 those taken from the breast?
For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
 line upon line, line upon line,
 here a little, there a little.’

Truly, with stammering lip
 and with alien tongue
 he will speak to this people,
 to whom he has said,
‘This is rest;
 give rest to the weary;
and this is repose’;
 yet they would not hear.
Therefore the word of the Lord will be to them,
 ‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
 line upon line, line upon line,
 here a little, there a little’;
in order that they may go, and fall backwards,
 and be broken, and snared, and taken.

Therefore hear the word of theLord, you scoffers
 who rule this people in Jerusalem.
Because you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with death,
 and with Sheol we have an agreement;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
 it will not come to us;
for we have made lies our refuge,
 and in falsehood we have taken shelter’;
therefore thus says the Lord Godd,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone,
 a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation:
 ‘One who trusts will not panic.’
And I will make justice the line,
 and righteousness the plummet;
hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
 and waters will overwhelm the shelter.
Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
 and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
 you will be beaten down by it.
As often as it passes through, it will take you;
 for morning by morning it will pass through,
 by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it,
 and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.
For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim,
 he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon
to do his deed—strange is his deed!—
 and to work his work—alien is his work!
Now therefore do not scoff,
 or your bonds will be made stronger;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
 from the Lord God of hosts upon the whole land.

Revelation 21:9–21

Vision of the New Jerusalem

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth cornelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass.

St. Luke 1:26–38

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Story for the Day

Blind from birth, Sundar was miraculously healed and his family transformed. But then his family faced tragedy, and Sundar faced his hardest decision: forgiving his father's murderer.

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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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