Evening Prayer Readings
The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
An Independent Traditional 1928 BCP Ministry
BLESSED be the LORD my strength, * who teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
My hope and my fortress, my castle and deliverer, my defender in whom I trust; * who subdueth my people that is under me.
LORD, what is man, that thou hast such respect unto him? * or the son of man, that thou so regardest him?
Man is like a thing of nought; * his time passeth away like a shadow.
Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down; * touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
Cast forth thy lightning, and tear them; * shoot out thine arrows, and consume them.
Send down thine hand from above; * deliver me, and take me out of the great waters, from the hand of strangers;
Whose mouth talketh of vanity, * and their right hand is a right hand of wickedness.
I will sing a new song unto thee, O God; * and sing praises unto thee upon a ten-stringed lute.
Thou hast given victory unto kings, * and hast delivered David thy servant from the peril of the sword.
Save me, and deliver me from the hand of strangers, * whose mouth talketh of vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of iniquity:
That our sons may grow up as the young plants, * and that our daughters may be as the polished corners of the temple;
That our garners may be full and plenteous with all manner of store; * that our sheep may bring forth thousands, and ten thousands in our fields;
That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no decay, * no leading into captivity, and no complaining in our streets.
Happy are the people that are in such a case; * yea, blessed are the people who have the LORD for their God.
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.
Now when the time drew near that Mattathias should die, he said unto his sons, Now hath pride and rebuke gotten strength, and the time of destruction, and the wrath of indignation: Now therefore, my sons, be ye zealous for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers. Call to remembrance what acts our fathers did in their time; so shall ye receive great honour and an everlasting name. Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness? Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment and was made lord of Egypt. Phinees our father in being zealous and fervent obtained the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. Jesus for fulfilling the word was made a judge in Israel. Caleb for bearing witness before the congregation received the heritage of the land. David for being merciful possessed the throne of an everlasting kingdom. Elias for being zealous and fervent for the law was taken up into heaven. Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, by believing were saved out of the flame. Daniel for his innocency was delivered from the mouth of lions. And thus consider ye throughout all ages, that none that put their trust in him shall be overcome. Fear not then the words of a sinful man: for his glory shall be dung and worms. To day he shall be lifted up and to morrow he shall not be found, because he is returned into his dust, and his thought is come to nothing. Wherefore, ye my sons, be valiant and shew yourselves men in the behalf of the law; for by it shall ye obtain glory.
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty, that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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