Lord of creation,
whose glory is around and within us:
open our eyes to your wonders,
that we may serve you with reverence
and know your peace at our lives’ end,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ Then the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides him there is no other”; and “to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength”, and “to love one’s neighbour as oneself”,—this is much more important than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ After that no one dared to ask him any question.
We have heard with our ears, O God, our forebears have told us,
all that you did in their days, in time of old;
How with your hand you drove out nations and planted us in,
and broke the power of peoples and set us free.
For not by their own sword did our ancestors take the land
nor did their own arm save them,
But your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance,
because you were gracious to them.
You are my King and my God,
who commanded salvation for Jacob.
Through you we drove back our adversaries;
through your name we trod down our foes.
For I did not trust in my bow;
it was not my own sword that saved me;
It was you that saved us from our enemies
and put our adversaries to shame.
We gloried in God all the day long,
and were ever praising your name.
But now you have rejected us and brought us to shame,
and go not out with our armies.
You have made us turn our backs on our enemies,
and our enemies have despoiled us.
You have made us like sheep to be slaughtered,
and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a pittance
and made no profit on their sale.
You have made us the taunt of our neighbours,
the scorn and derision of those that are round about us.
You have made us a byword among the nations;
among the peoples they wag their heads.
My confusion is daily before me,
and shame has covered my face,
At the taunts of the slanderer and reviler,
at the sight of the enemy and avenger.
All this has come upon us,
though we have not forgotten you
and have not played false to your covenant.
Our hearts have not turned back,
nor our steps gone out of your way,
Yet you have crushed us in the haunt of jackals,
and covered us with the shadow of death.
If we have forgotten the name of our God,
or stretched out our hands to any strange god,
Will not God search it out?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
But for your sake are we killed all the day long,
and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rise up! Why sleep, O Lord?
Awake, and do not reject us for ever.
Why do you hide your face
and forget our grief and oppression?
Our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly cleaves to the earth.
Rise up, O Lord, to help us
and redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.