O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining
and whose power we cannot comprehend:
show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,
and shield us from knowing more than we can bear
until we may look upon you without fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,
‘Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.’
‘And this is my covenant with them,
when I take away their sins.’
As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counsellor?’
‘Or who has given a gift to him,
to receive a gift in return?’
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen.
In you, O Lord, do I seek refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be for me a stronghold to which I may ever resort;
send out to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord God,
my confidence, even from my youth.
Upon you have I leaned from my birth,
when you drew me from my mother’s womb;
my praise shall be always of you.
I have become a portent to many,
but you are my refuge and my strength.
Let my mouth be full of your praise
and your glory all the day long.
Do not cast me away in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength fails.
For my enemies are talking against me,
and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.
They say, ‘God has forsaken him;
pursue him and take him,
because there is none to deliver him.’
O God, be not far from me;
come quickly to help me, O my God.
Let those who are against me
be put to shame and disgrace;
let those who seek to do me evil
be covered with scorn and reproach.
But as for me I will hope continually
and will praise you more and more.
My mouth shall tell of your righteousness
and salvation all the day long,
for I know no end of the telling.
I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God;
I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me since I was young,
and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
Forsake me not, O God,
when I am old and grey-headed,
till I make known your deeds to the next generation
and your power to all that are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;
in the great things you have done, who is like you, O God?
What troubles and adversities you have shown me,
and yet you will turn and refresh me
and bring me from the deep of the earth again.
Increase my honour;
turn again and comfort me.
Therefore will I praise you upon the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing out as I play to you,
and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue also will tell of your righteousness all the day long,
for they shall be shamed and disgraced
who sought to do me evil.