Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran Pastor, Martyr, 1945
O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world!
Your majesty above the heavens is praised out of the mouths of babes at the breast.
You have founded a stronghold against your foes, that you might still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have ordained,
what is man, that you should be mindful of him;
the son of man, that you should seek him out?
You have made him little lower than the angels and crown him with glory and honour.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands and put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
the fish of the sea and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world!
May the Lord hear you in the day of trouble, the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
Send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you out of Zion;
Remember all your offerings
and accept your burnt sacrifice;
Grant you your heart’s desire and fulfil all your mind.
May we rejoice in your salvation and triumph in the name of our God;
may the Lord perform all your petitions.
Now I know that the Lord will save his anointed; •
he will answer him from his holy heaven,
with the mighty strength of his right hand.
Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we will call only on the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright.
O Lord, save the king and answer us when we call upon you.
The king shall rejoice in your strength, O Lord;
how greatly shall he rejoice in your salvation!
You have given him his heart’s desire and have not denied the request of his lips.
For you come to meet him with blessings of goodness and set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
He asked of you life and you gave it him, length of days, for ever and ever.
His honour is great because of your salvation;
glory and majesty have you laid upon him.
You have granted him everlasting felicity and will make him glad with joy in your presence.
For the king puts his trust in the Lord;
because of the loving-kindness of the Most High, he shall not be overthrown.
Your hand shall mark down all your enemies;
your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them like a fiery oven in the time of your wrath;
the Lord will swallow them up in his anger and the fire will consume them.
Their fruit you will root out of the land and their seed from among its inhabitants.
Because they intend evil against you and devise wicked schemes which they cannot perform,
you will put them to flight when you aim your bow at their faces.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your own might; we will make music and sing of your power.
Then, just as the Lord our God had ordered us, we set out from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness that you saw, on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, until we reached Kadesh-barnea. I said to you, ‘You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. See, the Lord your God has given the land to you; go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you; do not fear or be dismayed.’
All of you came to me and said, ‘Let us send men ahead of us to explore the land for us and bring back a report to us regarding the route by which we should go up and the cities we will come to.’ The plan seemed good to me, and I selected twelve of you, one from each tribe. They set out and went up into the hill country, and when they reached the Valley of Eshcol they spied it out and gathered some of the land’s produce, which they brought down to us. They brought back a report to us, and said, ‘It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.’
But you were unwilling to go up. You rebelled against the command of the Lord your God; you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘It is because the Lord hates us that he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to hand us over to the Amorites to destroy us. Where are we heading? Our kindred have made our hearts fail by reporting, “The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large and fortified up to heaven! We actually saw there the offspring of the Anakim!” ’ I said to you, ‘Have no dread or fear of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you, is the one who will fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your very eyes, and in the wilderness, where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you travelled until you reached this place. But in spite of this, you have no trust in the Lord your God, who goes before you on the way to seek out a place for you to camp, in fire by night, and in the cloud by day, to show you the route you should take.’
When the Lord heard your words, he was wrathful and swore: ‘Not one of these—not one of this evil generation—shall see the good land that I swore to give to your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and to his descendants I will give the land on which he set foot, because of his complete fidelity to the Lord.’ Even with me the Lord was angry on your account, saying, ‘You also shall not enter there. Joshua son of Nun, your assistant, shall enter there; encourage him, for he is the one who will secure Israel’s possession of it. And as for your little ones, who you thought would become booty, your children, who today do not yet know right from wrong, they shall enter there; to them I will give it, and they shall take possession of it. But as for you, journey back into the wilderness, in the direction of the Red Sea.’
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification:
grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you
in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.