Morning Prayer 10.3.12: [George K.A. Bell, Bishop of Chichester & Ecumenist, 1958; John R. Mott, Evangelist & Ecumenical Pioneer, 1955]

Join these men, go through the rite of purification with them, and pay for the shaving of their heads.

St. Mark’s Cathedral, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA.

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 95:1-7
Venite

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving;
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God;
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

Psalm 101

I will sing of mercy and justice; *
to you, O LORD, will I sing praises.
I will strive to follow a blameless course;
oh, when will you come to me? *
I will walk with sincerity of heart within my house.
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; *
I hate the doers of evil deeds;
they shall not remain with me.
A crooked heart shall be far from me; *
I will not know evil.
Those who in secret slander their neighbors I will destroy; *
those who have a haughty look and a proud heart I cannot abide.
My eyes are upon the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me, *
and only those who lead a blameless life shall be my servants.
Those who act deceitfully shall not dwell in my house, *
and those who tell lies shall not continue in my sight.
I will soon destroy all the wicked in the land, *
that I may root out all evildoers from the city of the LORD.

Psalm 109:1-4, 20-30

Hold not your tongue, O God of my praise; *
for the mouth of the wicked,
the mouth of the deceitful, is opened against me.
They speak to me with a lying tongue; *
they encompass me with hateful words
and fight against me without a cause.
Despite my love they accuse me; *
but as for me, I pray for them.
They repay evil for good, *
and hatred for my love.

But you, O Lord my GOD,
oh, deal with me according to your Name; *
for your tender mercy’s sake, deliver me.
For I am poor and needy, *
and my heart is wounded within me.
I have faded away like a shadow when it lengthens; *
I am shaken off like a locust.
My knees are weak through fasting, *
and my flesh is wasted and gaunt.
I have become a reproach to them; *
they see and shake their heads.
Help me, O LORD my God; *
save me for your mercy’s sake.
Let them know that this is your hand, *
that you, O LORD, have done it.
They may curse, but you will bless; *
let those who rise up against me be put to shame,
and your servant will rejoice.
Let my accusers be clothed with disgrace *
and wrap themselves in their shame as in a cloak.
I will give great thanks to the LORD with my mouth; *
in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
Because he stands at the right hand of the needy, *
to save his life from those who would condemn him.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSONS
Hosea 4:11-19 (NRSV)

Wine and new wine take away the understanding.

My people consult a piece of wood, and their divining rod gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have played the whore, forsaking their God. They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains, and make offerings upon the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the whore, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery; for the men themselves go aside with whores, and sacrifice with temple prostitutes; thus a people without understanding comes to ruin. Though you play the whore, O Israel, do not let Judah become guilty. Do not enter into Gilgal, or go up to Beth-aven, and do not swear, “As the Lord lives.” Like a stubborn heifer, Israel is stubborn; can the Lord now feed them like a lamb in a broad pasture? Ephraim is joined to idols—let him alone. When their drinking is ended, they indulge in sexual orgies; they love lewdness more than their glory. A wind has wrapped them in its wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their altars.

Canticle: Third Song of Isaiah
Surge, illuminare
Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19

Arise, shine, for your light has come, *
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
For behold, darkness covers the land; *
deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.
But over you the Lord will rise, *
and his glory will appear upon you.
Nations will stream to your light, *
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.
Your gates will always be open; *
by day or night they will never be shut.
They will call you, The City of the Lord, *
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Violence will no more be heard in your land, *
ruin or destruction within your borders.
You will call your walls, Salvation, *
and all your portals, Praise.
The sun will no more be your light by day; *
by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.
The Lord will be your everlasting light, *
and your God will be your glory.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Acts 21:15-26 (NRSV)

After these days we got ready and started to go up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came along and brought us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to stay.

When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us warmly. The next day Paul went with us to visit James; and all the elders were present. After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard it, they praised God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all zealous for the law. They have been told about you that you teach all the Jews living among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, and that you tell them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs. What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. Join these men, go through the rite of purification with them, and pay for the shaving of their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself observe and guard the law. But as for the Gentiles who have become believers, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.” Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having purified himself, he entered the temple with them, making public the completion of the days of purification when the sacrifice would be made for each of them.

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Benedictus Dominus
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Luke 5:27-39 (NRSV)

After this Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up, left everything, and followed him.

Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Then they said to him, “John’s disciples, like the disciples of the Pharisees, frequently fast and pray, but your disciples eat and drink.” Jesus said to them, “You cannot make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.'”

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Help us, O God our Savior;
Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
Look upon your congregation;
Give to your people the blessing of peace.
Declare your glory among the nations;
And your wonders among all peoples.
Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
Never forget the lives of your poor.
Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
And your favor to those who are true of heart.
Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

Bishop Bell was a staunch opponent of Hitler and helped Jews and others escape the Third Reich. His opposition to indiscriminate Allied bombing of German cities probably cost him the See of Canterbury.

Collect of the Day: George Kennedy Allen Bell, Bishop of Chichester, and Ecumenist, 1958

God of peace, you sustained your bishop George Bell with the courage to proclaim your truth and justice in the face of disapproval in his own nation: As he taught that we, along with our enemies, are all children of God, may we stand with Christ in his hour of grieving, that at length we may enter your country where there is no sorrow nor sighing, but fullness of joy in you; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Collect of the Day: John Raleigh Mott, Evangelist and Ecumenical Pioneer, 1955

O God, the shepherd of all, we give you thanks for the lifelong commitment of your servant John Raleigh Mott to the Christian nurture of students in many parts of the world; and we pray that, after his example, we may strive for the weaving together of all peoples in friendship, fellowship and cooperation, and while life lasts be evangelists for Jesus Christ, in whom alone is our peace; and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Peace Among the Nations

Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Falls of the Cahabón River, Guatemala; take joy in God’s creation. (James Barringer/The New York Times)

For Joy in God’s Creation

O heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Grace

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power; that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Ibadan North and Ibadan South, Nigeria

Prayer for Mission

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.++

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