Deal bountifully with your servant, so that I may live and observe your word.
Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to your word.
My soul melts away from sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me your law.
— Psalm 119:17-18, 25, 28-29
John 1:1-5 TNIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
If now he was ever with the Father, if He himself created all things, if He brought all things into existence, and keeps together all things, (for this he meant by Life), if He enlightens all things, who so senseless as to say, that the Evangelist desired to teach an inferiority of Divinity by those very expressions, by which, rather than by any others, it is possible to express its equality and not differing? Let us not then confound the creation with the Creator, lest we too hear it said of us, that they served the creature rather than the Creator; for although it be asserted that this is said of the heavens, still in speaking of the heavens he positively says, that we must not serve the creature, for it is a heathenish thing.
Let us therefore not lay ourselves under this curse. For this the Son of God came, that He might rid us from this service; for this He took the form of a slave, that He might free us from this slavery; for this He was spit upon, for this He was buffeted, for this He endured the shameful death. Let us not, I entreat you, make all these things of none effect, let us not go back to our former unrighteousness, or rather to unrighteousness much more grievous; for to serve the creature is not the same thing as to bring down the Creator, as far at least as in us lies, to the meanness of the creature…. Let us then glorify Him as we have received from our fathers, let us glorify Him both by our faith and by our works; for sound doctrines avail us nothing to salvation, if our life is corrupt. Let us then order it according to what is well-pleasing to God, setting ourselves far from all filthiness, unrighteousness, and covetousness, as strangers and foreigners and aliens to the things here on earth.
— St. John Chrysostom, “Homily IV on John 1:1″
Prayer of Response
Father we ask that you would guide us into all righteousness and that we would flee from evil. As we meditate on your incarnation stir our hearts with love for you and for our neighbor. Help us to love your commandments and to follow your decrees with all of our strength. Preserve us in this fast and deepen our love for your glorious Son Jesus Christ our bridegroom, for it is in his name we pray by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.