Morning Prayer 1.30.16, Saturday of Epiphany 3

If we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Snow cathedral in Norway. (duskyswondersite.com)

The Snow Cathedral in Norway. (duskyswondersite.com)

I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. Isaiah 49:6b

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

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

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
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 God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Psalm 55

1  Hear my prayer, O God; *
do not hide yourself from my petition.
2  Listen to me and answer me; *
I have no peace, because of my cares.
3  I am shaken by the noise of the enemy *
and by the pressure of the wicked;
4  For they have cast an evil spell upon me *
and are set against me in fury.
5  My heart quakes within me, *
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
6  Fear and trembling have come over me, *
and horror overwhelms me.
7  And I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! *
I would fly away and be at rest.
8  I would flee to a far-off place *
and make my lodging in the wilderness.
9  I would hasten to escape *
from the stormy wind and tempest.”
10  Swallow them up, O Lord;
confound their speech; *
for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
11  Day and night the watchmen make their rounds upon its walls, *
but trouble and misery are in the midst of it.
12  There is corruption at its heart; *
its streets are never free of oppression and deceit.
13  For had it been an adversary who taunted me,
then I could have borne it; *
or had it been enemies who vaunted themselves against me,
then I could have hidden from them.
14  But it was you, my companion, *
my own familiar friend, dear to my own heart.
15  We took sweet counsel together, *
and walked with the throng in the house of God.
16  Let death come upon them suddenly;
let them go down alive into the grave; *
for wickedness is in their dwellings, in their very midst.
17  But I will call upon God, *
and the LORD will deliver me.
18  In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday,
I will complain and lament, *
and the LORD will hear my voice.
19  God will bring me safely back from the battle waged against me; *
for there are many who fight me.
20  God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me and bring them down; *
they never change; they do not fear God.
21  My companion stretched forth a hand against a comrade; *
and broke a covenant.
22  The speech of my companion is softer than butter, *
but with war at heart.
23  The words of my comrade are smoother than oil, *
but they are drawn swords.
24  Cast your burden upon the LORD,
who will sustain you; *
the LORD will never let the righteous stumble.
25  For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful *
down to the pit of destruction, O God.
26  They shall not live out half their days, *
but I will put my trust in you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Aert (or Arent) de Gelder: Abraham and Three Angels, illustrating Middle Eastern hospitality and the principle of finding God in everyone we meet.

Aert de Gelder: Abraham and Three Angels, illustrating Middle Eastern hospitality and the principle of finding God in everyone we meet.

THE LESSONS
Genesis 18:1-16 (NRSV)

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?” The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too wonderful for the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.” Then the men set out from there, and they looked toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to set them on their way.

Canticle: A Song of the Wilderness
Isaiah 35:1-7, 10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, *
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
It shall blossom abundantly, *
and rejoice with joy and singing.
They shall see the glory of the Lord, *
the majesty of our God.
Strengthen the weary hands, *
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to the anxious, “Be strong, do not fear! *
Here is your God, coming with judgment to save you.”
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, *
and the ears of the deaf be unstopped.
Then shall the lame leap like a deer, *
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness *
and streams in the desert;
The burning sand shall become a pool *
and the thirsty ground, springs of water.
The ransomed of God shall return with singing, *
with everlasting joy upon their heads.
Joy and gladness shall be theirs, *
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Hebrews 10:26-39 (NRSV)

For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

For yet “in a very little while,
the one who is coming will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one will live by faith.
My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.”

But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.

Canticle: A Song of the Heavenly City
Revelation 21:22-26, 22:1-4

I saw no temple in the city, *
for its temple is the God of surpassing strength and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to light it, *
for the glory of God shines on it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
By its light the nations shall walk, *
and the rulers of the world lay their honor and glory there.
Its gates shall never be shut by day, nor shall there be any night; *
into it they will bring the honor and glory of nations.
I saw the clean river of the water of life, bright as crystal, *
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
The tree of life spanned the river, giving fruit every month, *
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
All curses cease where the throne of God and the Lamb stands,
and all servants give worship there; *
there they will see God’s face, whose Name shall be on their foreheads.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

John 6:16-27 (NRSV)

When evening came, Jesus’ disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going. The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”

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.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Photographers for the U.S. National Geographic Society climbing up to obtain vertical shots of the tallest of these ancient California redwoods, which grow only on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The tallest is thought to be 311 feet high, and the oldest by ring count is 3500 years old. The species is named for Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, which enabled his people to have a written language. (National Geographic)

Photographers for the National Geographic Society climb up to obtain vertical shots of the tallest sequoia among the ancient California redwoods, which grow only on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The tallest is thought to be 311 feet high, and the oldest by ring count is 3500 years old. The trees are named for Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, a hallmark of civilization which gave his people a written language. (National Geographic)

Collect of the Day: Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Morning Prayer List
Special Intention today: 189th Annual Council of the Diocese of Mississippi

For Those Seeking God’s Will
Dioceses of Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Northern Indiana and Spokane: new bishops
Tom
Dinah
Danny, vocation
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

For Religious Orders and Communities
All Saints Sisters of the Poor, UK
Alton Abbey, UK
Benedictine Sisters of Bethany, Cameroon
Community of All Hallows, UK
Community of Christ the King, Australia

Please add your own prayers here.

For Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. 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.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14++


 

Two members of our daily webcast group can’t wait for the 26th running of the Upper Peninsula 200 dog race next month in northern Michigan. It’s a qualifier for the famous Iditerod race in Alaska. ¶Although as a group we are fairly devout, we do find things to laugh about with great regularity. I suspect it’s because of those webcams. (screen capture)

Members of our daily webcast group love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. But after Morning Prayer, we often find ways to have some fun; I suspect it’s because of those webcams. By now we know each other’s dogs and cats, including a couple of pooches in Missouri who get their own special words to popular hymn tunes. A woman in Austin has a T-shirt for every cause and rally she’s ever been to, and then there are the Famous Idaho Potatoes. Our chaplain gets excited every year about the “Upper Peninsula 200” dog race – the 26th running is next month in northern Michigan, a qualifier for the Iditerod in Alaska – so when one of the Famous Potatoes admired her furry dog hat, a new one was promptly shipped to Boise. Someday I’m sure Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will arrive unannounced right at the final blessing, hoping to share a word with us, only to find himself staring in amazement at all us “crazy Christians.” (screen capture)

4 thoughts on “Morning Prayer 1.30.16, Saturday of Epiphany 3

    • Ciel, every time you comment and interact with us, here or on Facebook, you are in fact connected to us. So are all our e-mail correspondents, Twitter followers, people who hit Like and Share, etc. (Pings too, if I ever could figure out what those are.) So it’s not just in your imagination, it’s a real thing. I always look forward to your comments. This is the whole reason we switched years ago from a static website to become interactive – and we keep looking for new ways to connect, like our retreat last year.

      Anyone can “pray to a computer” by themselves, and that’s good. But we’re about creating a community. And I must say this is the best one I’ve ever been part of. Over time we do get to know each other somewhat, which is the real purpose of the “dog hats” picture above. God reveals ‘himself’ to us through other people, as well as Scripture, which makes the collective Body of Christ essential to our faith.

      Thank you for being one of us.

      Josh

      Like

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