Friday, February 10, 2006

An evening prayer of light -- signs and faith

A canticle of light

Psalm 123

To you I lift up my eyes,
to you enthroned in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
until he show us his mercy.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy,
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich,
and of the derision of the proud.

A confession

Psalm 130

Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice;
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss,
O Lord, who could stand?
For there is forgiveness with you;
therefore you shall be feared.
I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;
in his word is my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord,
more than the night-watch for the morning,
more than the night-watch for the morning.
O Israel, wait for the Lord,
for with the Lord there is mercy;
With him there is plenteous redemption,
and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

A Song of Faith

1 Pet. 1:3ff

Blessed be the God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ!

By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading,
Kept in heaven for you.

Who are being protected by the power of God
Through faith for a salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.

You were ransomed from the futile ways of your ancestors
Not with perishable things like silver or gold

But with the precious blood of Christ
Like that of a lamb without spot or stain.

Through him you have confidence in God,
Who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
So that your faith and hope are set on God!

A psalm of praise for the Word

Psalm 147:1-12

How good it is to sing praises to our God!
How pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;
He gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars
And calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
There is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,
But casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds
And prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains
And green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds
And for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,
He has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,
In those who await his gracious favor.

A pleasing sacrifice

Joshua 8:30-35

Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, 'an altar of unhewn stones, on which no iron tool has been used'; and they offered on it burnt-offerings to the Lord, and sacrificed offerings of well-being.

And there, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. All Israel, alien as well as citizen, with their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the Ark in front of the Levitical priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel. And afterwards he read all the words of the law, blessings and curses, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the aliens who resided among them.


Prayer: O gracious Lord, God of glory, to you I lift up my heart this night. As the eyes of a maid looks to her mistress, as the eyes of a loyal servant to his master, so I lift up my eyes to you, O Lord, the One enthroned in glory. I look to you until you show me mercy, for with you there is everlasting love! With you there is great forgiveness, therefore you are to be feared, and praised. Forgive my lack this day, for Lord, if you should note transgressions, who should stand? Forgive my foolish ways, where I failed in reaching your commands or living your will, where I failed by omission or commission, by unguided zeal or despairing excuse, by improper action or in slothful inaction, O Gracious Lord, forgive! Grant your light to shine on my heart tonight. Shine the light of your Word into my soul, as surely as the covenant entered Israel’s soul on Mount Ebal, so engraft your word into my heart tonight, and keep me till the morning light, safe in your counsel. May I awaken stronger, purer and word and thought, renewed body, soul and mind to your high calling. May this sleep be to me the sleep of Adam, which brought him highest need; and may I awaken like Eve, to face the wonder of your light, a new day sprung from the Word. This I ask in the name of Jesus, the Christ, my Lord, and through your Holy Spirit. Amen and amen.

No comments: