Morning Prayer Readings
Fourth Sunday in Advent
The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
An Independent Traditional 1928 BCP Ministry
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.
I WILL cry unto God with my voice; * even unto God will I cry with my voice, and he shall hearken unto me.
In the time of my trouble I sought the Lord: * I stretched forth my hands unto him, and ceased not in the night season; my soul refused comfort.
When I am in heaviness, I will think upon God; * when my heart is vexed, I will complain.
Thou holdest mine eyes waking: * I am so feeble that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old, * and the years that are past.
I call to remembrance my song, * and in the night I commune with mine own heart, and search out my spirit.
Will the Lord absent himself for ever? * and will he be no more intreated?
Is his mercy clean gone for ever? * and is his promise come utterly to an end for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious? * and will he shut up his loving-kindness in displeasure?
And I said, It is mine own infirmity; * but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most Highest.
vs 11 I will remember the works of the LORD, * and call to mind thy wonders of old time.
I will think also of all thy works, * and my talking shall be of thy doings.
Thy way, O God, is holy: * who is so great a God as our God?
Thou art the God that doest wonders, * and hast declared thy power among the peoples.
Thou hast mightily delivered thy people, * even the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee, and were afraid; * the depths also were troubled.
The clouds poured out water, the air thundered, * and thine arrows went abroad.
The voice of thy thunder was heard round about: * the lightnings shone upon the ground; the earth was moved, and shook withal.
Thy way is in the sea, and thy paths in the great waters, * and thy footsteps are not known.
Thou leddest thy people like sheep, * by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
O BE joyful in the LORD, all ye lands: * serve the LORD with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.
Be ye sure that the LORD he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; * we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; * be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
For the LORD is gracious, his mercy is everlasting; * and his truth endureth from generation to generation.
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. Thus saith the Lord; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers: Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
O LORD, raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy 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 quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
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