Prayer & Praise: 06/11/2023
Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by your providence, that your Church may joyfully serve you in quiet confidence and godly peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
I will return again to my place,
until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face,
and in their distress earnestly seek me.
“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”
What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
What shall I do with you, O Judah?
Your love is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes early away.
Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets;
I have slain them by the words of my mouth,
and my judgment goes forth as the light.
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest.
He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge!
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you.
If you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you keep company with adulterers.
“You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.
These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
“Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”
For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”