Tuesday, December 11

Morning Prayer

Call to Worship

John 1:3

3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving

Readings

Morning Psalms 26, 28

I Will Bless the Lord

Of David.

1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 2Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. 3For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.

4I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. 5I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.

6I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord,

7proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds.

8O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. 9Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, 10in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.

11But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. 12My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.

The Lord Is My Strength and My Shield

Of David.

1 To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. 2Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

3Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts. 4Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. 5Because they do not regard the works of the Lord or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.

6Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. 7The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

8The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

9Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Reading the Bible Together: Genesis 37:1-36

Joseph's Dreams

37Jacob lived in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.

2These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. 4But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.

5Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. 6He said to them, "Hear this dream that I have dreamed: 7Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf." 8His brothers said to him, "Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

9Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." 10But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?" 11And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them." And he said to him, "Here I am." 14So he said to him, "Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word." So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, "What are you seeking?" 16"I am seeking my brothers," he said. "Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock." 17And the man said, "They have gone away, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'" So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

18They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him.

19They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer. 20Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams." 21But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, "Let us not take his life." 22And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him"--that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers listened to him. 28Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30and returned to his brothers and said, "The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?" 31Then they took Joseph's robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, "This we have found; please identify whether it is your son's robe or not." 33And he identified it and said, "It is my son's robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces." 34Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, "No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning." Thus his father wept for him. 36Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.

Prayers for the Day

Lord's Prayer

Prayers of Supplication and Intercession

Closing Prayer

Merciful God, who sent Your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Grace

3Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!

(Psalm 72:3)


Evening Prayer

Call to Worship

Colossians 1:16

16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.

Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving

Confession of Sin

Gracious God, my sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what my lips tremble to name, what my heart can no longer bear, and what has become for me a consuming fire of judgment. Set me free from a past that I cannot change; open to me a future in which I can be changed; and grant me grace to grow more and more in Your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.

Personal Examination and Confession

Words of Assurance

14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

(Romans 6:14)

Evening Psalms 36, 39

How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love

To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the Lord.

1 Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. 2For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. 3The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. 4He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil.

5Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 6Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord.

7How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 9For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

10Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! 11Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. 12There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

What Is the Measure of My Days?

To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

1 I said, "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence." 2I was mute and silent; I held my peace to no avail, and my distress grew worse. 3My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:

4"O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! 5Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah 6Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

7"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. 8Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool! 9I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. 10Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand. 11When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah

12"Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers. 13Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!"

Prayers for the Night

Prayers of Supplication and Intercession

Closing Prayer

Father in heaven, the day draws near when the glory of Your Son will make radiant the night of the waiting world. May the lure of greed not impede us from the joy which moves the hearts of those who seek Him. May the darkness not blind us to the vision of wisdom which fills the minds of those who find Him. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Grace

49for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

(Luke 1:49)