God of the covenant, even when we fall into sin, your Spirit invites us to remember that you chose us to be your servant people.
Awaken us to the power and gifts you pour into us for the good of creation, and grant that we may be trustworthy in all things, producing abundantly as we work to build your realm. Amen.
Our eyes look to God
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.
Song of Deborah
Then Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying:
“When locks are long in Israel, when the people offer themselves willingly – bless the Lord!
“Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes; to the Lord I will sing, I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.
“Lord, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the region of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens poured, the clouds indeed poured water.
The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai, before the Lord, the God of Israel.
“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, caravans ceased and travellers kept to the byways.
The peasantry prospered in Israel, they grew fat on plunder, because you arose, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.
When new gods were chosen, then war was in the gates.
Was shield or spear to be seen among forty thousand in Israel?
My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel who offered themselves willingly among the people.
Bless the Lord.
“Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys, you who sit on rich carpets and you who walk by the way.
To the sound of musicians at the watering places, there they repeat the triumphs of the Lord, the triumphs of his peasantry in Israel.
“Then down to the gates marched the people of the Lord.
“Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, utter a song!
Arise, Barak, lead away your captives, O son of Abinoam.”
From bad to worse
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but it finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So will it be also with this evil generation.”