THE WAY OF FAITHFULNESS

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Opening Prayer

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. BCP 218

TEXT 

Psalm 119:1-32 NRSV

Happy are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the LORD.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
Who seek him with their whole heart,
Who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways.
You have commanded your precepts
To be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast
In keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
Having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
When I learn your righteous ordinances.
I will observe your statutes;
Do not utterly forsake me.

How can young people keep their way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
Do not let me stray from your commandments.
I treasure your word in my heart,
So that I may not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
Teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth.
I delight in the way of your decrees
As much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts,
And fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

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.
I live as an alien in the land;
Do not hide your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed with longing
For your ordinances at all times.
You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
Who wander from your commandments;
Take away from me their scorn and contempt,
For I have kept your decrees.
Even though princes sit plotting against me,
Your servant will meditate on your statutes.
Your decrees are my delight,
They are my counselors.

My soul clings to the dust;
Revive me according to your word.
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
Teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
And I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;
Strengthen me according to your word.
Put false ways far from me;
And graciously teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your ordinances before me.
I cling to your decrees, O LORD;
Let me not be put to shame.
I run the way of your commandments,
For you enlarge my understanding.
 

John 1:19-28 ESV

And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

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