Evening Prayer Readings
Thursday after Epiphany 4

The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
The Collect
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The Psalter


Psalm 73


The Seventy-Third Psalm

Quam bonus Israel!


TRULY God is loving unto Israel: * even unto such as are of a clean heart.
 
Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone, * my treadings had well-nigh slipt.
 
And why? I was grieved at the wicked: * I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.
 
For they are in no peril of death; * but are lusty and strong.
 
They come in no misfortune like other folk; * neither are they plagued like other men.
 
And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride, * and cruelty covereth them as a garment.
 
Their eyes swell with fatness, * and they do even what they lust.
 
They corrupt other, and speak of wicked blasphemy; * their talking is against the Most High.
 
For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven, * and their tongue goeth through the world.
 
Therefore fall the people unto them, * and thereout suck they no small advantage.
 
Tush, say they, how should God perceive it? * is there knowledge in the Most High?
 
Lo, these are the ungodly, * these prosper in the world, and these have riches in possession:
 
And I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain, * and washed my hands in innocency.
 
All the day long have I been punished, * and chastened every morning.
 
Yea, and I had almost said even as they; * but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children.
 
Then thought I to understand this; * but it was too hard for me,
 
Until I went into the sanctuary of God: * then understood I the end of these men;
 
Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places, * and castest them down, and destroyest them.
 
O how suddenly do they consume, * perish, and come to a fearful end!
 
Yea, even like as a dream when one awaketh; * so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city.
 
Thus my heart was grieved, * and it went even through my reins.
 
So foolish was I, and ignorant, * even as it were a beast before thee.
 
Nevertheless, I am alway by thee; * for thou hast holden me by my right hand.
 
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, * and after that receive me with glory.
 
Whom have I in heaven but thee? * and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee.
 
My flesh and my heart faileth; * but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
 
For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish; * thou hast destroyed all them that are unfaithful unto thee.
 
But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord GOD, * and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.



 

The First Lesson


Ezekiel 37:21b


Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.



 

The Second Lesson

St. John 7:14-24

Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.



 

The Collect

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

O GOD, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



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