Morning Prayer 2.1.16, Brigit, Abbess of Kildare, 523

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By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.

Acolytes, clergy and members of St. Brigid’s, Rio Vista, California, where the Rev. Lucretia Jevne is priest-in-charge and the Rev. Susan M. Reeve, one of our webcasters, serves as deacon. Susan is so proud of this little mission that if we failed to mention it today, we’d never hear the end of it. (Oh wait: “It's in the Diocese of Northern California!”)

Acolytes, clergy and members of St. Brigid’s, Rio Vista, California, where the Rev. Lucretia Jevne is priest-in-charge and the Rev. Susan M. Reeve, one of our webcasters, serves as deacon. Susan is so proud of this little mission that if we failed to mention it today, we’d never hear the end of it. (Oh wait: “It’s in the Diocese of Northern California!”)

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1

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 56

1  Have mercy on me, O God,
for my enemies are hounding me; *
all day long they assault and oppress me.
2  They hound me all the day long; *
truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3  Whenever I am afraid, *
I will put my trust in you.
4  In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and will not be afraid, *
for what can flesh do to me?
5  All day long they damage my cause; *
their only thought is to do me evil.
6  They band together; they lie in wait; *
they spy upon my footsteps;
because they seek my life.
7  Shall they escape despite their wickedness? *
O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.
8  You have noted my lamentation;
put my tears into your bottle; *
are they not recorded in your book?
9  Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight; *
this I know, for God is on my side.
10  In God the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and will not be afraid, *
for what can mortals do to me?
11  I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God; *
I will present to you thank-offerings;
12  For you have rescued my soul from death and my feet from stumbling, *
that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

Psalm 57

1  Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
for I have taken refuge in you; *
in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge
until this time of trouble has gone by.
2  I will call upon you, O Most High God, *
the God who maintains my cause.
3  You will send from heaven and save me;
you will confound those who trample upon me; *
O God, you will send forth your love and your faithfulness.
4  I lie in the midst of lions that devour the people; *
their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongue a sharp sword.
5  They have laid a net for my feet,
and I am bowed low; *
they have dug a pit before me,
but have fallen into it themselves.

6  Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, *
and your glory over all the earth.
7  My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; *
I will sing and make melody.
8  Wake up, my spirit;
awake, lute and harp; *
I myself will waken the dawn.
9  I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; *
I will sing praise to you among the nations.
10  For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, *
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11  Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, *
and your glory over all the earth.

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.

Benjamin West: Lot Fleeing Sodom. The story really does seem to be about Middle Eastern hospitality, as we saw with Abraham and these same angels at Mamre a few days ago. Abraham’s lengthy negotiation with God as to how many righteous people were sufficient to spare the city indicates how completely hospitality was equated with righteousness; traveling was dangerous, and hospitality saved people’s lives. As for God’s destroying the cities of the plain, that appears to be theologizing after the fact, much like the Great Flood, as pre-scientific people tried to explain natural phenomena that were otherwise incomprehensible; one modern theory imagines the area was hit by a comet, or that a volcano erupted.

Benjamin West: Lot Fleeing Sodom. The story really does seem to be about Middle Eastern hospitality, as we saw with Abraham and these same angels at Mamre a few days ago. Abraham’s lengthy negotiation with God as to how many righteous people were sufficient to spare the city indicates how completely hospitality was equated with righteousness; traveling was dangerous, and hospitality saved people’s lives. As for God’s destroying the cities of the plain, that appears to be theologizing after the fact, much like the Great Flood, as pre-scientific people tried to explain natural catastrophes that were otherwise incomprehensible; one modern theory imagines the area was hit by a comet, or that a volcano erupted.

THE LESSONS
Genesis 19:1-17, 24-29 (NRSV)

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed down with his face to the ground. He said, “Please, my lords, turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you can rise early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the square.” But he urged them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them.” Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they replied, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came here as an alien, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near the door to break it down. But the men inside reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great, so that they were unable to find the door.

Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city—bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up, get out of this place; for the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be consumed in the punishment of the city.” But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and left him outside the city. When they had brought them outside, they said, “Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed.”

Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD; and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the Plain and saw the smoke of the land going up like the smoke of a furnace.

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had settled.

Canticle: A Song of Hannah
1 Samuel 2:1-8

My heart exults in you, O God; *
my triumph song is lifted in you.
My mouth derides my enemies, *
for I rejoice in your salvation.
There is none holy like you, *
nor any rock to be compared to you, our God.
Do not heap up prideful words or speak in arrogance; *
Only God is knowing and weighs all actions.
The bows of the mighty are broken, *
but the weak are clothed in strength.
Those once full now labor for bread, *
those who hungered now are well fed.
The childless woman has borne sevenfold, *
while the mother of many is forlorn.
God destroys and brings to life, casts down and raises up; *
gives wealth or takes it away, humbles and dignifies.
God raises the poor from the dust; *
and lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with the rulers *
and inherit a place of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are God’s *
on which the whole earth is founded.

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 11:1-12 (NRSV)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

Canticle: A Song of Christ’s Humility
Philippians 2:6-11

Though in the form of God, *
Christ Jesus did not cling to equality with God,
But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, *
and was born in human likeness.
Being found in human form, he humbled himself *
and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Therefore, God has highly exalted him *
and given him the name above every name,
That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, *
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, *
to the glory of God the Father.

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 6:27-40 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “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.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

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

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

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.

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

St. Brigid, also called Bride, is one of Ireland’s most popular saints; she may have known St. Patrick. She established a monastery at Kildare and persuaded Conlaed to bring his monks and join her. She is often depicted with a crozier or shepherd’s hook, a sign of episcopal office. We don’t know definitvely whether she was ordained a bishop, but we do know she possessed similar authority. Her love for the poor endeared her to them; she is revered throughout the British Isles. (Br. Kenneth Hosley, OPC)

St. Brigid, also called Bride, is one of Ireland’s most popular saints; she may have known St. Patrick. She established a monastery at Kildare and persuaded Conlaed to bring his monks and join her. She is often depicted with a crozier or shepherd’s hook, a sign of episcopal office. We don’t know definitvely whether she was ordained a bishop, but we do know she possessed similar authority. Her love for the poor endeared her to them; she is revered throughout the British Isles. (Br. Kenneth Hosley, OPC)

Collect of the Day: St. Brigid, Abbess, 523

Everliving God, we rejoice today in the fellowship of your blessed servant Brigid, and we give you thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For the Unity of the Church

Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples that they might be one, as you and he are one: Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you, may be united in one body by the one Spirit, that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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 heart to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday Morning Prayer List: Most Recent

Boko Haram attacks near Maiduguri, Nigeria; 86 reported dead
Dick Seage, departed
Michael James Riddering, missionary, and other victims of terrorism in Burkina Faso
Joan
Mary Gunto, heart attack
Eliza’s father-in-law Herb, hospitalized
Isabella, hospitalized
The Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester
Br. Bernard, SSJE, departed
Bishop Dan, departed
John, cancer
Cosette Malia, newborn
Drought in South Africa
Louie Bickett, ALS
Alison Demarest, coma recovery

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 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.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: I need thee every hour (Robert Lowry; Annie Sherwood Hawks) – Selah, 2011
Dedicated to our Honorary Deacon Clint Gilliland

About Josh Thomas

This site offers daily Morning and Evening Prayer in the Anglican tradition according to the Book of Common Prayer of The Episcopal Church, and other sources. Each service includes psalms, Bible lessons, and prayers. The Daily Office Network consists of three sites: two in English (one timed for Asia-Pacific and the other for North & South America) and one in Spanish (Oficio Diario). We serve all the nations of the world. We're glad you came and we invite your comments. May God bless you richly in our Savior Jesus Christ.
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4 Responses to Morning Prayer 2.1.16, Brigit, Abbess of Kildare, 523

  1. Robert Bohler says:

    The caption for the Benjamin West painting in Monday morning’s readings includes the following: “As for God’s destroying the cities of the plain, that appears to be theologizing after the fact, much like the Great Flood, as pre-scientific people tried to explain natural catastrophes that were otherwise incomprehensibe.”
    Is it the Daily Office’s position that the destruction was not an intervention by God?

    Like

    • Josh Thomas says:

      We don’t have a position, but we did report what many scholars believe. Is it your position God goes around destroying cities that displease him? It would be a wonder there are any of them left.

      Like

      • Robert Bohler says:

        If you change your statement to past tense, then yes, it’s consistent w/ Old Testament that God took actions. I don’t doubt it may have been a comet or a volcano, but that doesn’t preclude the corollary of intervention. But if those acts that are perceived to be miracles can be explained away as “pre-scientific” people who knew no better, then the same could be said of the New Testament miracles, that there’s a logical, scientific example that explains away the unexplainable.

        Like

        • Josh Thomas says:

          And now you’ve taken one caption and universalized it to suggest I’m undermining all of Scripture? I reject that, just as I reject the idea that God committed genocide and mass murder so the Israelites could have a place to stay. I’m particularly wary of all-or-nothing thinking, which strikes me as spiritually immature. I don’t believe in Biblical inerrancy, and I don’t know any Episcopalian who does.

          I don’t seek to explain away the supernatural. (The phrase itself is an accusation.) But there’s a big difference between the loving miracles of the New Testament and the hateful, arbitrary violence of the Old. Genesis dates to the Bronze Age, and yes, that era was pre-scientific, without any scare quotes.

          I am not a Bible scholar; my role here is pastoral. I tried to indicate in my caption that there is a variety of interpretations about the passage above. If you want to believe that God rained down sulphur for lack of 10 righteous people in Sodom, you’re free to do that – though you may not use this space to argue the inherent immorality of homosexuality as though it is proved by this passage. If you want to believe that God rained down sulphur to destroy these immoral cities, you can do that too – but it is a minority view in this Church, one with serious pastoral consequences, and you’d better be prepared to explain why God didn’t rain down fire from heaven over wherever Hitler happened to be from 1938-1945. Whatever was rotten in Sodom doesn’t compare to what was rotten in Nazi Germany. The problem of evil is a thorny one that trips up a lot of people.

          Comparative religion also has a role here. We can surmise what kind of theologizing took place after this incident by looking at the same kind of process after natural disasters in other cultures. God was forever blamed for things he didn’t do, and wouldn’t do. We don’t believe in sacrificing virgins to appease him anymore; we don’t believe God needs appeasing, or that if he did, that children would suffice. Some of us believe instead that the Binding of Isaac, though written in a convoluted, concealing way, was in fact the LORD’s prohibition of human sacrifice.

          Otherwise it’s entirely possible that I can get tenses wrong and introduce theological distortions and oversimplifications in the course of a 75-word caption. Happens all the time, try as I do to prevent it, and edit as I do year by year to improve them. Helpful suggestions in the comments are welcome. Gotcha games are not, considering I have a Trash button. If you want to correct something, rewrite it with citations to persuade me; I’m eager to learn.

          Like

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