…for each tree is known by its own fruit.
March 19, 2022
- MORNING: Preparation For Confession: Self-Examination
- MIDDAY: Isaiah 5:1-7, The song of the vineyard
- Lesson: Called to bear good fruit for the Lord
- EVENING: Luke 6:43-45, A tree and its fruits
- Lesson: The true marks of our character
Praise be to thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory.
Before thee only have I sinned, * O Lord, have mercy on me.
Have mercy on me, O God, * according to thy great mercy.
O God + come to my assistance;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O God, who hast prepared for them that love Thee such good things as cannot be seen, pour into our hearts the inclination to love Thee, that we loving Thee in all things and above all things may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God world without end. Amen. 
“Forty days and forty nights”
By George Hunt Smyttan, 1822-1870
1. Forty days and forty nights
thou wast fasting in the wild;
forty days and forty nights
tempted, and yet undefiled.
2. Should not we thy sorrow share
and from worldly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,
strong with thee to suffer pain?
3. Then if Satan on us press,
Jesus, Savior, hear our call!
Victor in the wilderness,
grant we may not faint or fall!
4. So shall we have peace divine:
holier gladness ours shall be;
round us, too, shall angels shine,
such as ministered to thee.
5. Keep, O keep us, Savior dear,
ever constant by thy side;
that we thee we may appear
at the eternal Eastertide. 
We have sinned, O Lord, we have sinned.
Forgive our sins and save us.
Hear us, O Lord,
as you guided Noah on the waves of the flood
and recalled Jonah from the abyss by your Word.
Free us, O Lord,
as you offered a hand to Peter as he was sinking.
Bear us up, O Christ, Son of God,
as you performed wonders among our fathers.
O Lord, stretch forth your hand from on high
to help us in our needs.
Lorrha-Stowe Missal, late 8th century 
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;* my God, I put my trust in you.
Preparation For Confession: Self-Examination
(from St. Augustine’s Prayer Book )
Whether one is motivated by some particular and obvious concern or as a normal part of your spiritual discipline, a thoughtful and careful preparation is essential. Begin with these points of reflection on God’s mercy and on the call that is ours as Christians.
Two men went up to the temple to pray…one was praying thus… “I thank you that I am not like other people…” [the other said,] “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”
— Luke 18
They asked Jesus’ disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?”[He said,] “I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.”
— Matthew 9
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
— 1 John 1
The Plea for Penitence
LORD, TEACH ME TO KNOW and repent my sins, grant that with a clear and searching eye I may judge myself in the light of your goodness; and, knowing my own sins and trusting your great mercy, may I never condemn or despise any other. Amen. 
Rescue the weak and the poor;* deliver them from the power of the wicked.
Isaiah 5:1-7, The song of the vineyard
5 Let me sing for my beloved
my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.
And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and people of Judah,
judge between me
and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?
And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed;
but heard a cry!
Called to bear good fruit for the Lord
“The lesson of the song of the vineyard shows that God’s chosen nation was to bear fruit—to carry out his work, to uphold justice. It did bear fruit, but the fruit was bad. Jesus said, ‘Just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions’ (Matt 7:20). Have you examined your own ‘fruit’ lately? Is it good or bad—useful or wild?” 
GRACIOUS GOD, you created me of the dust of the earth and breathed life into me. Lord Jesus Christ, you sought out those who had no claim to holiness and who knew their need of your mercy; dying, you prayed for forgiveness, and, rising to new life, you spoke peace to your fearful disciples. Holy Spirit, your gifts are wisdom and counsel, you enlighten the mind and lead us to know what is right, good, and in accordance with God’s will. Amen. 
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”
Luke 6:43-45, A tree and its fruits
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
The true marks of our character
“An example from nature underscores how and why hypocrisy is invariably exposed. Ultimately, bad trees yield bad fruit, while good trees produce useful fruit… Over time, what lies hidden within the heart becomes visible in our words, actions, and reactions.” 
“A person’s words and deeds— not appearances— are the true marks of one’s character. In repentance and through the Gospel, the Lord grants you a pure heart, set free from sin by God’s grace. • Create in me a clean heart, O God, that I might bear the fruit of faith. Amen.” 
Concluding Prayer of the Church
* The peace of the Father of joy,
the peace of the Christ of hope,
the peace of the Spirit of grace,
the peace of all peace be mine this night
+ in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
 WOOD, F. M. (2016). LITURGY OF SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE (Kindle ed.). Kellbridge Press.
 The hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal CHURCH 150. forty days and forty nights. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/150
 Stratman, P. (2001). Confession. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 23). Rossway.
 Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 91). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.
 Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 104). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.
 Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Isaiah. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6437). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.
 Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 92-93). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.
 A., E. E. (2016). Luke. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 6987). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.
 Ibid. 8
 The Northumbria Community. (2015). Daily Prayer: Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92355). London: HarperCollins.