The Epiphany Season
Here are the Lessons for the Friday after the Sunday next before Advent from the 1928 BCP Lectionary, 1945 revision (introduction here)
Benedictus Dominus BLESSED be the Lord my strength : who teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight; 2 My hope and my fortress, my castle and deliverer, my defender in whom I trust : who subdueth my people that is under me. 3 Lord, what is man, that thou hast such respect unto him : or the son of man, that thou so regardest him? 4 Man is like a thing of nought : his time passeth away like a shadow. 5 Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down : touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. 6 Cast forth thy lightning, and tear them : shoot out thine arrows, and consume them. 7 Send down thine hand from above : deliver me, and take me out of the great waters, from the hand of strange children; 8 Whose mouth talketh of vanity : and their right hand is a right hand of wickedness. 9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God : and sing praises unto thee upon a ten-stringed lute. 10 Thou hast given victory unto kings : and hast delivered David thy servant from the peril of the sword. 11 Save me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children : whose mouth talketh of vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of iniquity. 12 That our sons may grow up as the young plants : and that our daughters may be as the polished corners of the temple. 13 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 streets. 14 That our oxen may be strong to labour, that there be no decay : no leading into captivity, and no complaining in our streets. 15 Happy are the people that are in such a case : yea, blessed are the people who have the Lord for their God.
For who will say, ‘What have you done?’ or will resist your judgement? Who will accuse you for the destruction of nations that you made? Or who will come before you to plead as an advocate for the unrighteous? For neither is there any god besides you, whose care is for all people, to whom you should prove that you have not judged unjustly; nor can any king or monarch confront you about those whom you have punished. You are righteous and you rule all things righteously, deeming it alien to your power to condemn anyone who does not deserve to be punished. For your strength is the source of righteousness, and your sovereignty over all causes you to spare all. For you show your strength when people doubt the completeness of your power, and you rebuke any insolence among those who know it. Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness, and with great forbearance you govern us; for you have power to act whenever you choose. Through such works you have taught your people that the righteous must be kind, and you have filled your children with good hope, because you give repentance for sins.
‘And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your works; you have a name for being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is at the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Yet you have still a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
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