Be still! We come to quiet ourselves in this haven of holiness. Be still and know . . . we come to discern the Word that can set us free. Be still and know that God is . . . our Hope, our Help, our Refuge, and our Redeemer.
Prayer of Confession:
Gracious God, settle our hearts and our minds and lift from us our burdens. Hear our prayers for our family, our friends, our world, and for ourselves. Enable us on this day to put away the things that hurt and hinder, and accept anew the things that help all people of faith. Be with us in your love that we may be your children, at one with all those who hear your voice and who follow in your way. Forgive our sins and renew us with life that is full of joy, assured by the presence of a Savior who knows our lot and cares for us always, for Christ is our help and hope. Amen.
Old Testament Lesson: Genesis 4: 1-15 NRSV (source)
Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.” Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground.
In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me.” Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him.
New Testament Lesson: Ephesians 4: 25-32 NRSV (source)
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
- No. 144 – Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!
- No. 499 – Wonder of Wonders, Here Revealed
- No. 443 – O Christ, the Great Foundation
“Home—A Safe Place” – Rev. Scott G. Loomer