To you I call, O Lord my rock; be not deaf to my cry, lest, if you do not hear me, I become like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you, when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies. Do not snatch me away with the wicked, with the evildoers, who speak peaceably with their neighbours, while malice is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their deeds and according to the wickedness of their devices. Reward them according to the work of their hands and pay them their just deserts.
They take no heed of the Lord’s doings, nor of the works of his hands; therefore shall he break them down and not build them up.
Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my prayer.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart has trusted in him and I am helped; therefore my heart dances for joy and in my song will I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people, a safe refuge for his anointed.
Save your people and bless your inheritance; shepherd them and carry them for ever.
I will exalt you, O Lord, because you have raised me up and have not let my foes triumph over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to you and you have healed me. You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead; you restored me to life from among those that go down to the Pit.
Sing to the Lord, you servants of his; give thanks to his holy name. For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, his favour for a lifetime. Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
In my prosperity I said,
I shall never be moved. You, Lord, of your goodness, have made my hill so strong.
Then you hid your face from me and I was utterly dismayed. To you, O Lord, I cried; to the Lord I made my supplication:
What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me; O Lord, be my helper.
You have turned my mourning into dancing;you have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness; therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.
This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before his death. He said:
The Lord came from Sinai, and dawned from Seir upon us; he shone forth from Mount Paran.
With him were myriads of holy ones; at his right, a host of his own. Indeed, O favourite among peoples, all his holy ones were in your charge; they marched at your heels, accepted direction from you. Moses charged us with the law, as a possession for the assembly of Jacob. There arose a king in Jeshurun, when the leaders of the people assembled - the united tribes of Israel.
May Reuben live, and not die out, even though his numbers are few.
And this he said of Judah: O Lord, give heed to Judah, and bring him to his people; strengthen his hands for him, and be a help against his adversaries.
And of Levi he said: Give to Levi your Thummim, and your Urim to your loyal one, whom you tested at Massah, with whom you contended at the waters of Meribah; who said of his father and mother, I regard them not; he ignored his kin, and did not acknowledge his children. For they observed your word, and kept your covenant. They teach Jacob your ordinances, and Israel your law; they place incense before you, and whole burnt-offerings on your altar. Bless, O Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands; crush the loins of his adversaries, of those that hate him, so that they do not rise again.
Of Benjamin he said: The beloved of the Lord rests in safety - the High God surrounds him all day long - the beloved rests between his shoulders.
And of Joseph he said: Blessed by the Lord be his land, with the choice gifts of heaven above, and of the deep that lies beneath; with the choice fruits of the sun, and the rich yield of the months; with the finest produce of the ancient mountains, and the abundance of the everlasting hills; with the choice gifts of the earth and its fullness, and the favour of the one who dwells on Sinai. Let these come on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. A firstborn bull—majesty is his! His horns are the horns of a wild ox; with them he gores the peoples, driving them to the ends of the earth; such are the myriads of Ephraim, such the thousands of Manasseh.
And of Zebulun he said: Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out; and Issachar, in your tents. They call peoples to the mountain; there they offer the right sacrifices; for they suck the affluence of the seas and the hidden treasures of the sand.
And of Gad he said: Blessed be the enlargement of Gad! Gad lives like a lion; he tears at arm and scalp. He chose the best for himself, for there a commander’s allotment was reserved; he came at the head of the people, he executed the justice of the Lord, and his ordinances for Israel.
And of Dan he said: Dan is a lion’s whelp that leaps forth from Bashan.
And of Naphtali he said: O Naphtali, sated with favour, full of the blessing of the Lord, possess the west and the south.
And of Asher he said: Most blessed of sons be Asher; may he be the favourite of his brothers, and may he dip his foot in oil. Your bars are iron and bronze; and as your days, so is your strength.
There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, majestic through the skies. He subdues the ancient gods, shatters the forces of old; he drove out the enemy before you, and said, Destroy!
So Israel lives in safety, untroubled is Jacob’s abode in a land of grain and wine, where the heavens drop down dew.
Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread on their backs.
1 John 4.7-end
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
O God the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.