Evening Prayer Readings
Friday after Trinity 20
The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
An Independent Traditional 1928 BCP Ministry
O LORD, thou hast searched me out, and known me. * Thou knowest my down-sitting, and mine uprising; thou understandest my thoughts long before.
Thou art about my path, and about my bed; * and art acquainted with all my ways.
For lo, there is not a word in my tongue, * but thou, O LORD, knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, * and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me; * I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit? * or whither shall I go then from thy presence?
If I climb up into heaven, thou art there; * if I go down to hell, thou art there also.
If I take the wings of the morning, * and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there also shall thy hand lead me, * and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me; * then shall my night be turned to day.
Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day; * the darkness and light to thee are both alike.
For my reins are thine; * thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: * marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
My bones are not hid from thee, * though I be made secretly, and fashioned beneath in the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; * and in thy book were all my members written;
Which day by day were fashioned, * when as yet there was none of them.
How dear are thy counsels unto me, O God; * O how great is the sum of them!
If I tell them, they are more in number than the sand: * when I wake up, I am present with thee.
Wilt thou not slay the wicked, O God? * Depart from me, ye blood-thirsty men.
For they speak unrighteously against thee; * and thine enemies take thy Name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? * and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
Yea, I hate them right sore; * even as though they were mine enemies.
Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart; * prove me, and examine my thoughts.
Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me; * and lead me in the way everlasting.
And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there. Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
O ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, of thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech thee, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things which thou commandest; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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