Ant. You have ordered that your commandments be kept diligently;
O that my ways may be guided towards the keeping of your statutes.
V. Blessed are those whose way is blameless, *
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his decrees! *
With all their hearts they seek him.
They never do anything evil, *
but walk in his ways. Psalm 119
As you cause the sun to rise, O God,
bring the light of Christ to dawn in our souls
and dispel all darkness.
Give us grace to reflect Christ’s glory;
and let his love show in our deeds,
his peace shine in our words,
and his healing in our touch,
that all may give him praise, now and forever. Amen. BCW
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!
HYMN: Herman G. Stuempfle, alt. ©
Tune: Rutherford https://tinyurl.com/y4my7nup
1 Cast down, O God, the idols
that hold us in their power,
the empty gods we worship
when darkness has its hour.
We bow to other masters
and by their promise live.
Redeem our wayward passions;
rebel wills forgive.
2 In vain we search for meaning
where transient joys abound,
and seek the soul’s contentment
where peace cannot be found.
We wander, lost and homeless,
in endless, aimless quest,
our hearts forever restless,
till in you they rest.
3 O God, we have our being
in you and you alone.
Recall us from our wand’rings;
reclaim us as your own.
Restore in us the image
revealed in Christ, your Word,
till heart and will pay homage
to our God and Lord.
For psalms in contemporary language, https://tinyurl.com/y9tjh7rk
Psalm 119: 73-104 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y8qj25yx)
73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me *
O give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me *
because I have put my trust in thy word.
75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right *
and that thou of very faithfulness hast caused me to be troubled.
76 O let thy merciful kindness be my comfort *
according to thy word unto thy servant.
77 O let thy loving mercies come unto me, that I may live *
for thy law is my delight.
78 Let the proud be confounded, for they go wickedly about to destroy me *
but I will be occupied in thy commandments.
79 Let such as fear thee, and have known thy testimonies *
be turned unto me.
80 O let my heart be sound in thy statutes *
that I be not ashamed.
81 My soul hath longed for thy salvation *
and I have a good hope because of thy word.
82 Mine eyes long sore for thy word *
saying, O when wilt thou comfort me?
83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke *
yet do I not forget thy statutes.
84 How many are the days of thy servant *
when wilt thou be avenged of them that persecute me?
85 The proud have digged pits for me *
which are not after thy law.
86 All thy commandments are true *
they persecute me falsely; O be thou my help.
87 They had almost made an end of me upon earth *
but I forsook not thy commandments.
88 O quicken me after thy loving-kindness *
and so shall I keep the testimonies of thy mouth.
89 O Lord, thy word *
endureth for ever in heaven.
90 Thy truth also remaineth from one generation to another *
thou hast laid the foundation of the earth, and it abideth.
91 They continue this day according to thine ordinance *
for all things serve thee.
92 If my delight had not been in thy law *
I should have perished in my trouble.
93 I will never forget thy commandments *
for with them thou hast quickened me.
94 I am thine, O save me *
for I have sought thy commandments.
95 The ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me *
but I will consider thy testimonies.
96 I see that all things come to an end *
but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
97 Lord, what love have I unto thy law *
all the day long is my study in it.
98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies *
for they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than my teachers *
for thy testimonies are my study.
100 I am wiser than the aged *
because I keep thy commandments.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way *
that I may keep thy word.
102 I have not shrunk from thy judgements *
for thou teachest me.
103 O how sweet are thy words unto my throat *
yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth.
104 Through thy commandments I get understanding *
therefore I hate all evil ways.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
O God for whom there are no barriers,
no stones too big to remove,
roll away our resistance to you.
Let your words fill us with new life
and bring us out from the tomb of indifference,
alive again in you.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. CGP
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-17, 26-27
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, ‘This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ So David sent messengers to fetch her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, ‘I am pregnant.’
So David sent word to Joab, ‘Send me Uriah the Hittite.’ And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, ‘Go down to your house, and wash your feet.’ Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. When they told David, ‘Uriah did not go down to his house’, David said to Uriah, ‘You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house?’ Uriah said to David, ‘The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing.’ Then David said to Uriah, ‘Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.’ So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.
In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. In the letter he wrote, ‘Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.’ As Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant warriors. The men of the city came out and fought with Joab; and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite was killed as well.
When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.
But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
HYMN: Psalm 14; para. Marie J Post ©
Tune: Maple Avenue
1 The foolish in their hearts deny
the holy God who reigns.
“There is no God! There is no God!”
this generation claims.
Our God looks down on humankind
with penetrating eye
to see if there are any wise
who seek the LORD on high.
2 He finds that all have turned aside
from doing what is right,
that all have strayed, not one does good
not one within his sight.
Have they no knowledge, who consume
God’s own as they eat bread,
who do not call upon the LORD,
who will not bow their head?
3 But they will all be terrified,
for God is on the throne.
Though evil ones oppress the poor,
the LORD will help his own.
O LORD, send us deliverance,
restore us, hear our voice.
When Zion’s restoration comes,
God’s people will rejoice.
Reading: James 3:1-18
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.
How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
HYMN: Harry Emerson Fosdick
Tune: Cwm Rhondda https://tinyurl.com/ybezym5p
1 God of grace and God of glory,
on thy people pour thy power;
crown thine ancient Church’s story;
bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of this hour.
2 Lo! the hosts of evil round us
scorn thy Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us
free our hearts to faith and praise:
grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the living of these days.
3 Cure thy children’s warring madness,
bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.
4 Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of thy salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving thee whom we adore.
Reading: Luke 16:1-13
Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.” Then the manager said to himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.” So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?” He answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.” He said to him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.” Then he asked another, “And how much do you owe?” He replied, “A hundred containers of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your bill and make it eighty.” And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.’
CANTICLE Colossians 1:12-20
(Chant by John Michael Talbot https://tinyurl.com/ya95yzto)
Ant. He is the first born of all creation,
in every way the primacy is his.
Let us give thanks to the Father
for having made you worthy
to share the lot of the saints in light.
He rescued us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.
Through him we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.
He is the image of the invisible God,
the first-born of all creatures.
In him everything in heaven and on earth was created,
things visible and invisible.
All were created through him; all were created for him.
He is before all else that is.
In him everything continues in being.
It is he who is head of the body, the church!
He who is the beginning, the first-born of the dead,
so that primacy may be his in everything.
It pleased God to make absolute fullness reside in him
and, by means of him, to reconcile everything in his person,
both on earth and in the heavens,
making peace through the blood of his cross.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
THE PRAYERS BCW
Eternal God, we rejoice today in the gift of life, which we have received
by your grace, and the new life you give in Jesus Christ.
Especially we thank you for
the love of our families . . .
the affection of our friends . . .
strength and abilities to serve your purpose today . . .
this community in which we live . . .
opportunities to give as we have received. . . .
God of grace, we offer our prayers for the needs of others and commit ourselves
to serve them even as we have been served in Jesus Christ. Especially we pray for
those closest to us, families, friends, neighbors . . .
refugees and homeless men, women and children . . .
the outcast and persecuted . . .
those from whom we are estranged . . .
the church in Africa. . . .
(Karin Simmons: https://tinyurl.com/y7vwp7dd)
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
you call us to embrace
both you and the children of this world
with unconditional love.
Give us grace to discern
what your love demands of us,
that, being faithful in things both great and small,
we may serve you with an undivided heart. Amen. RCLP
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14
Donation to Support This Ministry
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BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.
EH Exciting Holiness, Ed. Brother Tristram SSF © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997
RCLP Revised Common Lectionary Prayers. © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.
CGP Celebrating God’s Presence. © United Church of Canada.
1 Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers; audio from https://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/sep-practice-videos/ ©
The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662).
Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.
Compilation © 2020 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.