1 The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken; *
he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to
2 Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God reveals himself in glory.
3 Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before him there is a consuming flame,
and round about him a raging storm.
4 He calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of his people.
5 “Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me
and sealed it with sacrifice.”
6 Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; *
for God himself is judge.
7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
“O Israel, I will bear witness against you; *
for I am God, your God.
8 I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; *
your offerings are always before me.
9 I will take no bull-calf from your stalls, *
nor he-goats out of your pens;
10 For all the beasts of the forest are mine, *
the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
11 I know every bird in the sky, *
and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, *
for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
13 Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls, *
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and make good your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon me in the day of trouble; *
I will deliver you, and you shall honor me.”
16 But to the wicked God says: *
Why do you recite my statutes,
and take my covenant upon your lips;
17 Since you refuse discipline, *
and toss my words behind your back?
18 When you see a thief, you make him your friend, *
and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
19 You have loosed your lips for evil, *
and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
20 You are always speaking evil of your brother *
and slandering your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I kept still, *
and you thought that I am like you.”
22 “I have made my accusation; *
I have put my case in order before your eyes.
23 Consider this well, you who forget God, *
lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
24 Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving
honors me; *
but to those who keep in my way will I show
the salvation of God.”
A Collect for the Renewal of Life
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Image Credit: Wheat Fields, ca. 1670, Jacob van Ruisdael
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Open Access Collection – https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/437549