Evening Prayer Readings
Thursday after Trinity 4
The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
An Independent Traditional 1928 BCP Ministry
BLESSED be the LORD my strength, * who teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
My hope and my fortress, my castle and deliverer, my defender in whom I trust; * who subdueth my people that is under me.
LORD, what is man, that thou hast such respect unto him? * or the son of man, that thou so regardest him?
Man is like a thing of nought; * his time passeth away like a shadow.
Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down; * touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
Cast forth thy lightning, and tear them; * shoot out thine arrows, and consume them.
Send down thine hand from above; * deliver me, and take me out of the great waters, from the hand of strangers;
Whose mouth talketh of vanity, * and their right hand is a right hand of wickedness.
I will sing a new song unto thee, O God; * and sing praises unto thee upon a ten-stringed lute.
Thou hast given victory unto kings, * and hast delivered David thy servant from the peril of the sword.
Save me, and deliver me from the hand of strangers, * whose mouth talketh of vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of iniquity:
That our sons may grow up as the young plants, * and that our daughters may be as the polished corners of the temple;
That our garners may be full and plenteous with all manner of store; * that our sheep may bring forth thousands, and ten thousands in our fields;
That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no decay, * no leading into captivity, and no complaining in our streets.
Happy are the people that are in such a case; * yea, blessed are the people who have the LORD for their God.
In the mean while the king's officers, such as compelled the people to revolt, came into the city Modin, to make them sacrifice. And when many of Israel came unto them, Mattathias also and his sons came together. Then answered the king's officers, and said to Mattathias on this wise, Thou art a ruler, and an honourable and great man in this city, and strengthened with sons and brethren: Now therefore come thou first, and fulfil the king's commandment, like as all the heathen have done, yea, and the men of Juda also, and such as remain at Jerusalem: so shalt thou and thy house be in the number of the king's friends, and thou and thy children shall be honoured with silver and gold, and many rewards. Then Mattathias answered and spake with a loud voice, Though all the nations that are under the king's dominion obey him, and fall away every one from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments: Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant of our fathers. God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances. We will not hearken to the king's words, to go from our religion, either on the right hand, or the left. Now when he had left speaking these words, there came one of the Jews in the sight of all to sacrifice on the altar which was at Modin, according to the king's commandment. Which thing when Mattathias saw, he was inflamed with zeal, and his reins trembled, neither could he forbear to shew his anger according to judgment: wherefore he ran, and slew him upon the altar. Also the king's commissioner, who compelled men to sacrifice, he killed at that time, and the altar he pulled down. Thus dealt he zealously for the law of God like as Phinees did unto Zambri the son of Salom. And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the covenant, let him follow me. So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that ever they had in the city. Then many that sought after justice and judgment went down into the wilderness, to dwell there: Both they, and their children, and their wives; and their cattle; because afflictions increased sore upon them.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. And the sergeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.
O GOD, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy, that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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