Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beginning the Nativity Fast: That they might set their hope in God

There is a tradition in the Orthodox Church to seasonally read the Psalms.  Many of my friends will join a group and read the psalms during fasting periods... They divide them up and everyone gets a portion so that the entire psalter is read every day. 
I signed up this year to join a team and was given #11 out of 20,  so I get to start in the middle.  I thought I'd blog about it... perhaps you can hold me accountable.  :)

The reading starts with the Trisagion Prayer.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Glory to You, our God, glory to You.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (x3) 

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. 

All- Holy Trinity, have mercy on us.  Lord, forgive our sins.  Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Your Name’s sake.  Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Lord, have mercy. (x3)

Psalms 78-85
78 Give ear, O my people, to my law: Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah, And his strength, and his wondrous works that he hath done.
For he established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which he commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them, even the children that should be born; Who should arise and tell them to their children,
That they might set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep his commandments,
And might not be as their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that set not their heart aright, And whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle.
10 They kept not the covenant of God, And refused to walk in his law;
11 And they forgat his doings, And his wondrous works that he had showed them.
12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He clave the sea, and caused them to pass through; And he made the waters to stand as a heap.
14 In the day-time also he led them with a cloud, And all the night with a light of fire.
15 He clave rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.
16 He brought streams also out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 Yet went they on still to sin against him, To rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18 And they tempted God in their heart By asking food according to their desire.
19 Yea, they spake against God; They said, Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 Behold, he smote the rock, so that waters gushed out, And streams overflowed; Can he give bread also? Will he provide flesh for his people?
21 Therefore Jehovah heard, and was wroth; And a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also went up against Israel;
22 Because they believed not in God, And trusted not in his salvation.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above, And opened the doors of heaven;
24 And he rained down manna upon them to eat, And gave them food from heaven.
25 Man did eat the bread of the mighty: He sent them food to the full.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens; And by his power he guided the south wind.
27 He rained flesh also upon them as the dust, And winged birds as the sand of the seas:
28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their habitations.
29 So they did eat, and were well filled; And he gave them their own desire.
30 They were not estranged from that which they desired, Their food was yet in their mouths,
31 When the anger of God went up against them, And slew of the fattest of them, And smote down the young men of Israel.
32 For all this they sinned still, And believed not in his wondrous works.
33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, And their years in terror.
34 When he slew them, then they inquired after him; And they returned and sought God earnestly.
35 And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouth, And lied unto him with their tongue.
37 For their heart was not right with him, Neither were they faithful in his covenant.
38 But he, being merciful, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: Yea, many a time turned he his anger away, And did not stir up all his wrath.
39 And he remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
40 How oft did they rebel against him in the wilderness, And grieve him in the desert!
41 And they turned again and tempted God, And provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They remember not his hand, Nor the day when he redeemed them from the adversary;
43 How he set his signs in Egypt, And his wonders in the field of Zoan,
44 And turned their rivers into blood, And their streams, so that they could not drink.
45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them; And frogs, which destroyed them.
46 He gave also their increase unto the caterpillar, And their labor unto the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail, And their sycamore-trees with frost.
48 He gave over their cattle also to the hail, And their flocks to hot thunderbolts.
49 He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, Wrath, and indignation, and trouble, A band of angels of evil.
50 He made a path for his anger; He spared not their soul from death, But gave their life over to the pestilence,
51 And smote all the first-born in Egypt, The chief of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52 But he led forth his own people like sheep, And guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53 And he led them safely, so that they feared not; But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, To this mountain, which his right hand had gotten.
55 He drove out the nations also before them, And allotted them for an inheritance by line, And made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God, And kept not his testimonies;
57 But turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers: They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, And moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
59 When God heard this, he was wroth, And greatly abhorred Israel;
60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, The tent which he placed among men;
61 And delivered his strength into captivity, And his glory into the adversary's hand.
62 He gave his people over also unto the sword, And was wroth with his inheritance.
63 Fire devoured their young men; And their virgins had no marriage-song.
64 Their priests fell by the sword; And their widows made no lamentation.
65 Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, Like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
66 And he smote his adversaries backward: He put them to a perpetual reproach.
67 Moreover he refused the tent of Joseph, And chose not the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah, The mount Zion which he loved.
69 And he built his sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which he hath established for ever.
70 He chose David also his servant, And took him from the sheepfolds:
71 From following the ewes that have their young he brought him, To be the shepherd of Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
72 So he was their shepherd according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
A Psalm of Asaph.
79 O God, the nations are come into thine inheritance; Thy holy temple have they defiled; They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.
The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be food unto the birds of the heavens, The flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; And there was none to bury them.
We are become a reproach to our neighbors, A scoffing and derision to them that are round about us.
How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou be angry for ever? Shall thy jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that know thee not, And upon the kingdoms that call not upon thy name.
For they have devoured Jacob, And laid waste his habitation.
Remember not against us the iniquities of our forefathers: Let thy tender mercies speedily meet us; For we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; And deliver us, and forgive our sins, for thy name's sake.
10 Wherefore should the nations say, Where is their God? Let the avenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed Be known among the nations in our sight.
11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee: According to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to death;
12 And render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom Their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.
13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture Will give thee thanks for ever: We will show forth thy praise to all generations.
For the Chief Musician, set to Shoshanim Eduth.. A Psalm of Asaph.
80 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; Thou that sittest above the cherubim, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up thy might, And come to save us.
Turn us again, O God; And cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.
O Jehovah God of hosts, How long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears, And given them tears to drink in large measure.
Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbors; And our enemies laugh among themselves.
Turn us again, O God of hosts; And cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.
Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt: Thou didst drive out the nations, and plantedst it.
Thou preparedst room before it, And it took deep root, and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with the shadow of it, And the boughs thereof were like cedars of God.
11 It sent out its branches unto the sea, And its shoots unto the River.
12 Why hast thou broken down its walls, So that all they that pass by the way do pluck it?
13 The boar out of the wood doth ravage it, And the wild beasts of the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: Look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine,
15 And the stock which thy right hand planted, And the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: They perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, Upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
18 So shall we not go back from thee: Quicken thou us, and we will call upon thy name.
19 Turn us again, O Jehovah God of hosts; Cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.
For the Chief Musician; set to the Gittith. A Psalm of Asaph.
81 Sing aloud unto God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
Raise a song, and bring hither the timbrel, The pleasant harp with the psaltery.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast-day.
For it is a statute for Israel, An ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, When he went out over the land of Egypt, Where I heard a language that I knew not.
I removed his shoulder from the burden: His hands were freed from the basket.
Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder; I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah
Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wouldest hearken unto me!
There shall no strange god be in thee; Neither shalt thou worship any foreign god.
10 I am Jehovah thy God, Who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt: Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11 But my people hearkened not to my voice; And Israel would none of me.
12 So I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart, That they might walk in their own counsels.
13 Oh that my people would hearken unto me, That Israel would walk in my ways!
14 I would soon subdue their enemies, And turn my hand against their adversaries.
15 The haters of Jehovah should submit themselves unto him: But their time should endure for ever.
16 He would feed them also with the finest of the wheat; And with honey out of the rock would I satisfy thee.
A Psalm of Asaph.
82 God standeth in the congregation of God; He judgeth among the gods.
How long will ye judge unjustly, And respect the persons of the wicked? Selah
Judge the poor and fatherless: Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
Rescue the poor and needy: Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
They know not, neither do they understand; They walk to and fro in darkness: All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, Ye are gods, And all of you sons of the Most High.
Nevertheless ye shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.
Arise, O God, judge the earth; For thou shalt inherit all the nations.
A song. A Psalm of Asaph.
83 O God, keep not thou silence: Hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult; And they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
Thy take crafty counsel against thy people, And consult together against thy hidden ones.
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; That the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
For they have consulted together with one consent; Against thee do they make a covenant:
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagarenes;
Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre:
Assyria also is joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot. Selah
Do thou unto them as unto Midian, As to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the river Kishon;
10 Who perished at Endor, Who became as dung for the earth.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb; Yea, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna;
12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves in possession The habitations of God.
13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust; As stubble before the wind.
14 As the fire that burneth the forest, And as the flame that setteth the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with thy tempest, And terrify them with thy storm.
16 Fill their faces with confusion, That they may seek thy name, O Jehovah.
17 Let them be put to shame and dismayed for ever; Yea, let them be confounded and perish;
18 That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth.
For the Chief Musician; set to the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
84 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Jehovah of hosts!
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of Jehovah; My heart and my flesh cry out unto the living God.
Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even thine altars, O Jehovah of hosts, My King, and my God.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: They will be still praising thee. Selah
Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; In whose heart are the highways to Zion.
Passing through the valley of Weeping they make it a place of springs; Yea, the early rain covereth it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength; Every one of them appeareth before God in Zion.
O Jehovah God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah
Behold, O God our shield, And look upon the face of thine anointed.
10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, Than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For Jehovah God is a sun and a shield: Jehovah will give grace and glory; No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
12 O Jehovah of hosts, Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
85  Jehovah, thou hast been favorable unto thy land; Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people; Thou hast covered all their sin. Selah
Thou hast taken away all thy wrath; Thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
Turn us, O God of our salvation, And cause thine indignation toward us to cease.
Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
Wilt thou not quicken us again, That thy people may rejoice in thee?
Show us thy lovingkindness, O Jehovah, And grant us thy salvation.
I will hear what God Jehovah will speak; For he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: But let them not turn again to folly.
Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him, That glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth springeth out of the earth; And righteousness hath looked down from heaven.
12 Yea, Jehovah will give that which is good; And our land shall yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him, And shall make his footsteps a way to walk in.
And then close with:
Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.  Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.  Glory to You, O God. (twice)  Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.  Glory to You, O God, our hope, O Lord, glory to You.
Key verses:
Psalm 78:7  That they might set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep his commandments,

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