When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
then it was said among the nation, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb.
Invitatory Psalm 95
Come, let’s sing out loud to the LORD!
Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!
Let’s come before him with thanks!
Let’s shout songs of joy to him!
The LORD is a great God,
the great king over all other gods.
The earth’s depths are in his hands;
the mountain heights belong to him;
the sea, which he made, is his
along with the dry ground,
which his own hands formed.
Come, let’s worship and bow down!
Let’s kneel before the LORD, our maker!
He is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
the sheep in his hands.
[Common English Bible]
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
until the destroying storms pass by.
I cry to God Most High, you who fulfill your purpose for me.
You will send from heaven and save me,
you will put to shame those who trample on me.
You will send forth your steadfast love and faithfulness.
I lie down among lions that greedily devour human prey;
their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongues sharp swords.
Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
your faithfulness extends to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
Let your glory be over all the earth.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to you,
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I;
for you are my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me abide in your tent forever,
find refuge under the shelter of your wings.
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage
of those who fear your name….
So I will always sing praises to your name,
as I pay my vows day after day.
Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
preserve my life from the dread enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
from the scheming of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless;
they shoot suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking,
“Who can see us? Who can search out our crimes?
We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.”
For the human heart and mind are deep.
But you will overcome them....
Then everyone ... will tell what God has brought about.
They will ponder what you have done.
Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord who is their refuge.
Let all the upright in heart glory.
Daily Lectionary Reading, John 18:33-37
33 Pilate went back into the palace. He summoned Jesus and asked, “ Are you the king of the Jews? ”
34 Jesus answered, “ Do you say this on your own or have others spoken to you about me? ”
35 Pilate responded, “ I’m not a Jew, am I? Your nation and its chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done? ”
36 Jesus replied, “ My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here. ”
37 “ So you are a king? ” Pilate said.
Jesus answered, “ You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice. ”
Prayer for Today: O Lord, open our ears today to hear the truth. Direct our lives to testify to the truth. Amen.
The Lord exists forever; your word is firmly fixed in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
By your appointment they stand today,
for all things are your servants.
If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my misery.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.
The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your decrees.
I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad.
On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
the Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. Selah
Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
Philistia too, and Tyre, with Ethiopia—
“This one was born there,” they say.
And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in it”;
for the Most High himself will establish it.
The Lord records, as he registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.” Selah
Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.”
O Lord, God of my salvation,
when, at night, I cry out in your presence,
let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
I am like those who have no help,
like those forsaken among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the Pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah
You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call on you, O Lord;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the shades rise up to praise you? Selah
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?
But I, O Lord, cry out to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O Lord, why do you cast me off?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Wretched and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.
You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord,
“My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.
You will deliver me from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
you will cover me with your pinions,
and under your wings I will find refuge;
your faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”
You will not fear the terror of the night,
or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
or the destruction that wastes at noonday.….
Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.
For God will command the angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
God says, “Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
and show them my salvation.”