Friday 19 March

Merciful Lord,
you know our struggle to serve you:
when sin spoils our lives
and overshadows our hearts,
come to our aid
and turn us back to you again;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 11.1–10
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
   and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
   the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
   the spirit of counsel and might,
   the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
   or decide by what his ears hear;
 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
   and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
   and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
   and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
 The wolf shall live with the lamb,
   the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
   and a little child shall lead them.
 The cow and the bear shall graze,
   their young shall lie down together;
   and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
   and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
 They will not hurt or destroy
   on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
   as the waters cover the sea.
 On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Psalm 147.1-12
      How good it is to make music for our God,
   how joyful to honour him with praise.
    The Lord builds up Jerusalem
   and gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
    He heals the brokenhearted
   and binds up all their wounds.
    He counts the number of the stars
   and calls them all by their names.
    Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
   his wisdom is beyond all telling.
    The Lord lifts up the poor,
   but casts down the wicked to the ground.
    Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
   make music to our God upon the lyre;
    Who covers the heavens with clouds
   and prepares rain for the earth;
    Who makes grass to grow upon the mountains
   and green plants to serve our needs.
      He gives the beasts their food
   and the young ravens when they cry.
      He takes no pleasure in the power of a horse,
   no delight in human strength;
      But the Lord delights in those who fear him,
   who put their trust in his steadfast love.