Blessed be the Lord my rock, who teaches my hands for war and my fingers for battle; My steadfast help and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in whom I trust, who subdues the peoples under me.
O Lord, what are mortals that you should consider them; mere human beings, that you should take thought for them? They are like a breath of wind; their days pass away like a shadow. Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains and they shall smoke. Cast down your lightnings and scatter them; shoot out your arrows and let thunder roar. Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and take me out of the great waters,
from the hand of foreign enemies, Whose mouth speaks wickedness and their right hand is the hand of falsehood.
O God, I will sing to you a new song; I will play to you on a ten-stringed harp, You that give salvation to kings and have delivered David your servant. Save me from the peril of the sword and deliver me from the hand of foreign enemies, Whose mouth speaks wickedness and whose right hand is the hand of falsehood; So that our sons in their youth may be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters like pillars carved for the corners of the temple;
Our barns be filled with all manner of store; our flocks bearing thousands, and ten thousands in our fields;
Our cattle be heavy with young: may there be no miscarriage or untimely birth, no cry of distress in our streets.
Happy are the people whose blessing this is.
Happy are the people who have the Lord for their God.
Praise the Lord, O my soul: while I live will I praise the Lord; as long as I have any being, I will sing praises to my God.
Put not your trust in princes, nor in any human power, for there is no help in them. When their breath goes forth, they return to the earth; on that day all their thoughts perish.
Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help, whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong and bread to those who hunger.
The Lord looses those that are bound;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord watches over the stranger in the land; he upholds the orphan and widow; but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign for ever, your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah, in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah.
I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth, says the Lord.
I will sweep away humans and animals;
I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea.
I will make the wicked stumble.
I will cut off humanity from the face of the earth, says the Lord.
I will stretch out my hand against Judah, and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
and I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal and the name of the idolatrous priests;
those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens;
those who bow down and swear to the Lord, but also swear by Milcom;
those who have turned back from following the Lord, who have not sought the Lord or inquired of him.
Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests. And on the day of the Lord’s sacrifice I will punish the officials and the king’s sons and all who dress themselves in foreign attire. On that day I will punish all who leap over the threshold, who fill their master’s house.with violence and fraud.
On that day, says the Lord, a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the Second Quarter, a loud crash from the hills. The inhabitants of the Mortar wail, for all the traders have perished; all who weigh out silver are cut off. At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the people who rest complacently on their dregs, those who say in their hearts,
‘The Lord will not do good, nor will he do harm.’
Their wealth shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.
The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter, the warrior cries aloud there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.
I will bring such distress upon people that they shall walk like the blind; because they have sinned against the Lord, their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.
Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath;
in the fire of his passion the whole earth shall be consumed; for a full, a terrible end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
Gather together, gather, O shameless nation, before you are driven away like the drifting chaff, before there comes upon you the fierce anger of the Lord, before there comes upon you the day of the Lord’s wrath. Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the Lord’s wrath.
As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.’ And they were greatly distressed.
When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?’ He said, ‘Yes, he does.’ And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, ‘What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?’ When Peter said, ‘From others’, Jesus said to him, ‘Then the children are free. However, so that we do not give offence to them, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.’
O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready your way by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.