Thursday, 7 February 2013
Daily Office - Feb 7
The fool has said in his heart,‘There is no God.’
Corrupt are they, and abominable in their wickedness;
there is no one that does good.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the children of earth,
to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks after God.
But every one has turned back;
all alike have become corrupt: there is none that does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
who eat up my people as if they ate bread and do not call upon the Lord?
There shall they be in great fear;
for God is in the company of the righteous.
Though they would confound the counsel of the poor,
yet the Lord shall be their refuge.
O that Israel’s salvation would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
then will Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?
Who may rest upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads an uncorrupt life and does the thing that is right;
Who speaks the truth from the heart and bears no deceit on the tongue;
Who does no evil to a friend and pours no scorn on a neighbour;
In whose sight the wicked are not esteemed, but who honours those who fear the Lord.
Whoever has sworn to a neighbour and never goes back on that word;
Who does not lend money in hope of gain, nor takes a bribe against the innocent;
Whoever does these things shall never fall.
Preserve me, O God, for in you have I taken refuge;
I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord, all my good depends on you.’
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble in heart.
Though the idols are legion that many run after, their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
neither make mention of their names upon my lips.
The Lord himself is my portion and my cup; in your hands alone is my fortune.
My share has fallen in a fair land; indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel, and in the night watches he instructs my heart.
I have set the Lord always before me; he is at my right hand; I shall not fall.
Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my flesh also shall rest secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Death, nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;
in your presence is the fullness of joy and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.
All this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hate one does not know. Everything that confronts them is vanity, since the same fate comes to all, to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to those who sacrifice and those who do not sacrifice. As are the good, so are the sinners; those who swear are like those who shun an oath. This is an evil in all that happens under the sun, that the same fate comes to everyone. Moreover, the hearts of all are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. But whoever is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, and even the memory of them is lost. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished; never again will they have any share in all that happens under the sun.
Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do. Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that are given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to the skilful; but time and chance happen to them all. For no one can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish taken in a cruel net, and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon them.
I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed important to me. There was a little city with few people in it. A great king came against it and besieged it, building great siege-works against it. Now there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. So I said,
‘Wisdom is better than might; yet the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heeded.’
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image:
teach us to discern your hand in all your works
and your likeness in all your children;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things,
now and for ever. Amen.