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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Friday
Morning Prayer, Advent 1
Richard Baxter

The Opening

Opening Sentence

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Isaiah 40:5

Hymn: Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve

Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve,
And press with vigor on;
A heavenly race demands thy zeal,
And an immortal crown.

'Tis God's all animating voice,
That calls thee from on high;
'Tis his own hand presents the prize
To thine aspiring eye.

A cloud of witnesses around,
Hold thee in full survey;
Forget the steps already trod,
And onward urge thy way.

Blessed Savior, introduced by thee,
Have we our race begun;
And crown'd with victory, at thy feet
We lay our trophies down.

Strand Seventh Day Adventist Church on the 31 March 2012. Cape Town, South Africa

Confession

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Versicle and Response

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Our King and Savior now draws near:: Come let us adore him.

Invitatory Psalm

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Antiphon

Our King and Savior now draws near:
Come let us adore him.

The Psalms

Psalm 16 or
Coverdale
Conserva me, Domine

1Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; *
I have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord,
my good above all other."

2All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, *
upon those who are noble among the people.

3But those who run after other gods *
shall have their troubles multiplied.

4Their libations of blood I will not offer, *
nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.

5O LORD, you are my portion and my cup; *
it is you who uphold my lot.

6My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; *
indeed, I have a goodly heritage.

7I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel; *
my heart teaches me, night after night.

8I have set the LORD always before me; *
because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.

9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; *
my body also shall rest in hope.

10For you will not abandon me to the grave, *
nor let your holy one see the Pit.

11You will show me the path of life; *
in your presence there is fullness of joy,
and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 17 or
Coverdale
Exaudi, Domine

1Hear my plea of innocence, O LORD;
give heed to my cry; *
listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.

2Let my vindication come forth from your presence; *
let your eyes be fixed on justice.

3Weigh my heart, summon me by night, *
melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.

4I give no offense with my mouth as others do; *
I have heeded the words of your lips.

5My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law; *
in your paths my feet shall not stumble.

6I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; *
incline your ear to me and hear my words.

7Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, *
O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand
from those who rise up against them.

8Keep me as the apple of your eye; *
hide me under the shadow of your wings,

9From the wicked who assault me, *
from my deadly enemies who surround me.

10They have closed their heart to pity, *
and their mouth speaks proud things.

11They press me hard,
now they surround me, *
watching how they may cast me to the ground,

12Like a lion, greedy for its prey, *
and like a young lion lurking in secret places.

13Arise, O LORD; confront them and bring them down; *
deliver me from the wicked by your sword.

14Deliver me, O LORD, by your hand *
from those whose portion in life is this world;

15Whose bellies you fill with your treasure, *
who are well supplied with children
and leave their wealth to their little ones.

16But at my vindication I shall see your face; *
when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding
your likeness.

Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Amen.

The Lessons

Old Testament Lesson

Amos 5:1-17

Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel: 2Fallen, no more to rise, is maiden Israel; forsaken on her land, with no one to raise her up. 3For thus says the Lord GOD: The city that marched out a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which marched out a hundred shall have ten left.

4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: Seek me and live; 5but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beer-sheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing. 6Seek the LORD and live, or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire, and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it. 7Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground! 8The one who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name, 9who makes destruction flash out against the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress. 10They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth. 11Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. 12For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins- you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate. 13Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time. 14Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. 15Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord: In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, "Alas! alas!" They shall call the farmers to mourning, and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing; 17in all the vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you, says the LORD.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 10 The Second Song of Isaiah Isaiah 55:6-11
Quaerite Dominum

Seek the Lord while he wills to be found;*
call upon him when he draws near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways *
and the evil ones their thoughts;

And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion,*
and to our God, for he will richly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,*
nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,*
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as rain and snow fall from the heavens *
and return not again, but water the earth,

Bringing forth life and giving growth,*
seed for sowing and bread for eating,

So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;*
it will not return to me empty;

But it will accomplish that which I have purposed,*
and prosper in that for which I sent it.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

New Testament Lesson

Jude 1-16

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, who are beloved in God the Father and kept safe for Jesus Christ: 2May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.

3 Beloved, while eagerly preparing to write to you about the salvation we share, I find it necessary to write and appeal to you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. 4For certain intruders have stolen in among you, people who long ago were designated for this condemnation as ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5Now I desire to remind you, though you are fully informed, that the Lord, who once for all saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great Day. 7Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

8 Yet in the same way these dreamers also defile the flesh, reject authority, and slander the glorious ones. 9But when the archangel Michael contended with the devil and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a condemnation of slander against him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' 10But these people slander whatever they do not understand, and they are destroyed by those things that, like irrational animals, they know by instinct. 11Woe to them! For they go the way of Cain, and abandon themselves to Balaam's error for the sake of gain, and perish in Korah's rebellion. 12 These are blemishes on your love-feasts, while they feast with you without fear, feeding themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the deepest darkness has been reserved forever. 14 It was also about these that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "See, the Lord is coming with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all, and to convict everyone of all the deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him." 16 These are grumblers and malcontents; they indulge their own lusts; they are bombastic in speech, flattering people to their own advantage.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 18 A Song to the Lamb Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13
Dignus es

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,

For you created everything that is,*
and by your will they were created and have their being;

And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain,*
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,

From every family, language, people, and nation,*
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.

And so, to him who sits upon the throne,*
and to Christ the Lamb,

Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor,*
for ever and for ever more.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Gospel

Matthew 22:1-14

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other slaves, saying, "Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet." 5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, "The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet." 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11'But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, "Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?" And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, "Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 14For many are called, but few are chosen.'

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Richard Baxter (12 November 1615 - 8 December 1691) was an English Puritan church leader, theologian and controversialist, called by Dean Stanley "the chief of English Protestant Schoolmen". After some false starts, he made his reputation by his ministry at Kidderminster, and at around the same time began a long and prolific career as theological writer. After the Restoration he refused preferment [i. e., an appointment within the Church of England], while retaining a non-separatist presbyterian approach, and became one of the most influential leaders of the nonconformists, spending time in prison.

His ministry at Kidderminster continued, with many interruptions, for about nineteen years; and during that time he accomplished many reforms. He formed the ministers in the country around him into an association, uniting them irrespective of their differences as Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Independents. The Reformed Pastor was a book which Baxter published in relation to the general ministerial efforts he promoted.

On the outbreak of the English Civil War, Baxter blamed both parties and recommended the Protestation, an attempt to avert civil war. In 1647, Baxter was staying at the home of Lady Rouse, wife of Sir Thomas Rouse, 1st Baronet, of Rouse Lench in Warwickshire. There, though debilated by illness, he wrote the most of a major work, The Saints' Everlasting Rest (1650).

After the Restoration in 1660 Baxter, who had helped to bring about that event, settled in London. He preached there till the Act of Uniformity 1662 took effect, and looked for such terms of comprehension as would have permitted the moderate dissenters with whom he acted to have remained in the Church of England. In this hope he was sadly disappointed. The Savoy conference [which formed the basis of the 1662 BCP] resulted in Baxter's Reformed Liturgy, though it was cast aside without consideration.

From 1662 until the indulgence of 1687, Baxter's life was constantly disturbed by persecution of one kind or another. Baxter's health had grown even worse, yet this was the period of his greatest activity as a writer. He wrote 168 or so separate works -- such treatises as the Christian Directory, the Methodus Theologiae Christianae, and the Catholic Theology, might each have represented the life's work of an ordinary man. Without doubt, however, his most famous and enduring contribution to Christian literature was a devotional work published in 1658 under the title Call to the Unconverted to Turn and Live. This slim volume was credited with the conversion of thousands and formed one of the core extra-biblical texts of evangelicalism until at least the middle of the nineteenth century.

from Wikipedia

Prayer

We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the devoted witness of Richard Baxter, who out of love for you followed his conscience at cost to himself, and at all times rejoiced to sing your praises in word and deed; and we pray that our lives, like his, may be welltuned to sing the songs of love, and all our days be filled with praise of Jesus Christ our Lord; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Altenate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 102:11-13, 19-22
Exodus 20:1-17
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Matthew 6:6-15

The Creed

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Prayers

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Suffrages

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;

Govern and uphold them, now and always.

Day by day we bless you;

We praise your name for ever.

Lord, keep us from all sin today;

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy;

For we put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope;

And we shall never hope in vain.

Collect of the Day: The First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of The People's Republic of China

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Baptist General Conference of Canada

A Collect for Fridays

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: To my humble supplication

To my humble supplication
Lord, give ear and acceptation
Save thy servant, that hath none
Help nor hope but Thee alone. Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

Birthdays
Anniversaries
For Recovery from Sickness
For Travelers
For a Person in Trouble or Bereavement
For Those to be Baptized
For the Departed
Full list of prayers

For Our Enemies

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Social Justice

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Young Persons

God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Comfort, comfort ye, my people

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness
mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

Hark, the voice of one that crieth
in the desert far and near,
calling us to new repentance
since the kingdom now is here.
Oh, that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.

Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain:
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
Now o'er earth is shed abroad;
and all flesh shall see the token
that the word is never broken.

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness
mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

Choir: St James Episcopal Church, Bozeman, Montana, USA | Words: Johann Olearius, tr. Catherine Winkworth | Music: Genevan, Louis Bourgeois

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

The Ending

Benediction

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13

Hymn: God Be With You

God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsels guide, uphold you;
With his sheep securely fold you.
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet,
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

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