Evening Prayer Readings
Fourth Sunday after Trinity
The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
An Independent Traditional 1928 BCP Ministry
HAVE mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; * according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences.
Wash me throughly from my wickedness, * and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults, * and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; * that thou mightest be justified in thy saying, and clear when thou shalt judge.
Behold, I was shapen in wickedness, * and in sin hath my mother conceived me.
But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts, * and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.
Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; * thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness, * that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Turn thy face from my sins, * and put out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God, * and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence, * and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
O give me the comfort of thy help again, * and stablish me with thy free Spirit.
Then shall I teach thy ways unto the wicked, * and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my health; * and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.
Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord, * and my mouth shall show thy praise.
For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it thee; * but thou delightest not in burnt-offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: * a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise.
O be favourable and gracious unto Sion; * build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, with the burnt-offerings and oblations; * then shall they offer young bullocks upon thine altar.
O LORD, thou hast searched me out, and known me. * Thou knowest my down-sitting, and mine uprising; thou understandest my thoughts long before.
Thou art about my path, and about my bed; * and art acquainted with all my ways.
For lo, there is not a word in my tongue, * but thou, O LORD, knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, * and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me; * I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit? * or whither shall I go then from thy presence?
If I climb up into heaven, thou art there; * if I go down to hell, thou art there also.
If I take the wings of the morning, * and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there also shall thy hand lead me, * and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me; * then shall my night be turned to day.
Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day; * the darkness and light to thee are both alike.
For my reins are thine; * thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: * marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
My bones are not hid from thee, * though I be made secretly, and fashioned beneath in the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; * and in thy book were all my members written;
Which day by day were fashioned, * when as yet there was none of them.
How dear are thy counsels unto me, O God; * O how great is the sum of them!
If I tell them, they are more in number than the sand: * when I wake up, I am present with thee.
Wilt thou not slay the wicked, O God? * Depart from me, ye blood-thirsty men.
For they speak unrighteously against thee; * and thine enemies take thy Name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? * and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
Yea, I hate them right sore; * even as though they were mine enemies.
Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart; * prove me, and examine my thoughts.
Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me; * and lead me in the way everlasting.
HEAR, O thou Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; * show thyself also, thou that sittest upon the Cherubim.
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, * stir up thy strength, and come and help us.
Turn us again, O God; * show the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.
O LORD God of hosts, * how long wilt thou be angry with thy people that prayeth?
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears, * and givest them plenteousness of tears to drink.
Thou hast made us a very strife unto our neighbours, * and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Turn us again, thou God of hosts; * show the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.
Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt; * thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
Thou madest room for it; * and when it had taken root, it filled the land.
The hills were covered with the shadow of it, * and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedar-trees.
She stretched out her branches unto the sea, * and her boughs unto the River.
Why hast thou then broken down her hedge, * that all they that go by pluck off her grapes?
The wild boar out of the wood doth root it up, * and the wild beasts of the field devour it.
Turn thee again, thou God of hosts, look down from heaven, * behold, and visit this vine;
And the place of the vineyard that thy right hand hath planted, * and the branch that thou madest so strong for thyself.
It is burnt with fire, and cut down; * and they shall perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, * and upon the son of man, whom thou madest so strong for thine own self.
And so will not we go back from thee: * let us live, and we shall call upon thy Name.
Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts; * show the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off. My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses. And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shalim, and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not. And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the asses, and take thought for us. And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go. Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we? And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.) Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was. Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is. And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me today, and tomorrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God. Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
O GOD, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy, that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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