And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
with many songs and heavenly strings that praise you.
Before I explain the futility of human salvation,
I bow down to worship you.
Before I knock at the doors of the strong,
I bend down to seek you.
Before I start unpacking my worries,
I sing and thank you.
You are the one who brings forth justice to the oppressed, feeds the poor, and releases the prisoners. You freed the oppressed Joseph and Jeremiah from jail. In the lion’s pit, you were with Daniel, and you released Peter from chains. Rhoda shared the good news that the Lord answers the prayers of the godly ones. You freed your people from the chains of oppression, just as the prophets foretold.
You opened the eyes of the blind, and my own eyes have seen the glory of heaven. How many eyes have been bound by moral darkness? But with your light, they can see heavenly glories. You have straightened the bent ones and have relieved our worries. You have searched for the marginalized and taken care of the widows, the orphans, and the strangers.
O Lord, rule over my country, and let the evil of the enemy end!
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
Lord, when we say ‘Give us today our daily bread,’ may we remember our brothers and sisters who live below the poverty line and pray, ‘Give them today their daily bread.’ Give us the wisdom and courage to challenge the policies and structures which make the poor even poorer, while we have more than enough. Grant us such deep compassion that we will not rest while surplus food rots in one part of the world, and families starve in another; for your love’s sake. Continue reading →