Hear my just cause, O Lord; consider my complaint; listen to my prayer, which comes not from lying lips. Let my vindication come forth from your presence; let your eyes behold what is right.
Weigh my heart, examine me by night, refine me, and you will find no impurity in me. My mouth does not trespass for earthly rewards; I have heeded the words of your lips. My footsteps hold fast in the ways of your commandments; my feet have not stumbled in your paths.
I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me, and listen to my words. Show me your marvellous loving-kindness, O Saviour of those who take refuge at your right hand from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings, From the wicked who assault me, from my enemies who surround me to take away my life. They have closed their heart to pity and their mouth speaks proud things. They press me hard, they surround me on every side, watching how they may cast me to the ground, Like a lion that is greedy for its prey, like a young lion lurking in secret places.
Arise, Lord; confront them and cast them down; deliver me from the wicked by your sword. Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand from those whose portion in life is unending, Whose bellies you fill with your treasure, who are well supplied with children
and leave their wealth to their little ones.
As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness; when I awake and behold your likeness, I shall be satisfied.
The heavens are telling the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. One day pours out its song to another and one night unfolds knowledge to another. They have neither speech nor language and their voices are not heard, Yet their sound has gone out into all lands and their words to the ends of the world. In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun, that comes forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber and rejoices as a champion to run his course. It goes forth from the end of the heavens and runs to the very end again, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure and gives light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever; the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey, dripping from the honeycomb. By them also is your servant taught and in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can tell how often they offend?
O cleanse me from my secret faults!
Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins lest they get dominion over me; so shall I be undefiled, and innocent of great offence. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling; he was exalted in Israel; but he incurred guilt through Baal and died. And now they keep on sinning and make a cast image for themselves, idols of silver made according to their understanding, all of them the work of artisans. ‘Sacrifice to these’, they say. People are kissing calves! Therefore they shall be like the morning mist or like the dew that goes away early, like chaff that swirls from the threshing-floor or like smoke from a window.
Yet I have been the Lord your God ever since the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no saviour. It was I who fed you in the wilderness, in the land of drought. When I fed them, they were satisfied; they were satisfied, and their heart was proud; therefore they forgot me. So I will become like a lion to them, like a leopard I will lurk beside the way. I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs, and will tear open the covering of their heart;there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild animal would mangle them.
I will destroy you, O Israel; who can help you?
Where now is your king, that he may save you?
Where in all your cities are your rulers, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and rulers’?
I gave you a king in my anger, and I took him away in my wrath.
Ephraim’s iniquity is bound up; his sin is kept in store. The pangs of childbirth come for him, but he is an unwise son; for at the proper time he does not present himself at the mouth of the womb.
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
Shall I redeem them from Death?
O Death, where are your plagues?
O Sheol, where is your destruction?
Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
1 Corinthians 16.1-9
Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.
I will visit you after passing through Macedonia—for I intend to pass through Macedonia—and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
God of grace and might, who sent your servant Anskar to spread the gospel to the Nordic peoples: raise up, we pray, in our generation messengers of your good news and heralds of your kingdom that the world may come to know the immeasurable riches of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.