Evening Prayer 2.24.16, St. Matthias the Apostle

power-failure

Savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them.
 

The Rev. Fernando Cardenal has died, the Nicaraguan priest who was expelled from the Jesuits and prohibited from functioning as a priest for serving as Education Minister of the left-wing Sandinista government of Nicaragua in the 1980s. Like many Latin American priests, he believed in Liberation Theology, which holds that the Church’s job isn’t just to preach salvation in the afterlife, but to help bring justice to the poor in this one. He was born into a well-to-do family in Colombia and later said he had never spoken to a poor person until after seminary and ordination, when he was expected to be a priest to people in their poverty. Pope John Paul II, busy helping the Solidarity movement overthrow the Communist government in Poland, wasn’t having any of that liberation talk, and personally ordered Cardenal’s deposition. As a member of the popularly elected government, Cardenal stayed in his secular post, overseeing a national literacy campaign that raised the readership rate from 15% to 50% in just two years; young volunteers moved into family homes and taught everyone to read. The Sandinista government finally fell due to a U.S.-funded “contra” war; Cardenal later resigned from the party in disgust at the corruption of some of its leaders. In time the Jesuits forgave him, and he was restored to his priestly duties, including writing and giving lectures on theology, politics and the whole deadly affair. (Wikipedia)

The Rev. Fernando Cardenal has died, the Nicaraguan priest who was expelled from the Jesuits and prohibited from functioning as a priest for serving as Education Minister of the left-wing Sandinista government of Nicaragua in the 1980s. Like many Latin American priests, he believed in Liberation Theology, which holds that the Church’s job isn’t just to preach salvation in the afterlife, but to help bring justice to the poor in this one. He was born into a well-to-do family in Colombia and later said he had never spoken to a poor person until after seminary and ordination, when he was expected to be a priest to people in their poverty. Pope John Paul II, busy helping the Solidarity movement overthrow the Communist government in Poland, wasn’t having any of that liberation talk, and personally ordered Cardenal’s deposition. As a member of the popularly elected government, Cardenal stayed in his secular post, overseeing a national literacy campaign that raised the readership rate from 15% to 50% in just two years; young volunteers moved into family homes and taught everyone to read. The Sandinista government finally fell due to a U.S.-funded “contra” war; Cardenal later resigned from the party in disgust at the corruption of some of its leaders. In time the Jesuits forgave him, and he was restored to his priestly duties, including writing and giving lectures on theology, politics and the whole deadly affair. (Wikipedia)

Rend your hearts, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:13

GENERAL CONFESSION

God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that we may abide in your love
and serve only your will. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

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.

Hymn: O Gracious Light
Phos hilaron

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Psalm 80

1  Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *
shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
2  In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, *
stir up your strength and come to help us.
3  Restore us, O God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

4  O LORD God of hosts, *
how long will you be angered
despite the prayers of your people?
5  You have fed them with the bread of tears; *
you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
6  You have made us the derision of our neighbors, *
and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
7  Restore us, O God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

8  You have brought a vine out of Egypt; *
you cast out the nations and planted it.
9  You prepared the ground for it; *
it took root and filled the land.
10  The mountains were covered by its shadow *
and the towering cedar trees by its boughs.
11  You stretched out its tendrils to the Sea *
and its branches to the River.
12  Why have you broken down its wall, *
so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
13  The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it, *
and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it.
14  Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven;
behold and tend this vine; *
preserve what your right hand has planted.
15  They burn it with fire like rubbish; *
at the rebuke of your countenance let them perish.
16  Let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, *
the one you have made so strong for yourself.
17  And so will we never turn away from you; *
give us life, that we may call upon your Name.
18  Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

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.

St. Matthias window by Les Chenoweth at Christ Lutheran Church, Cape Canaveral, Florida

St. Matthias window by Les Chenoweth at Christ Lutheran Church, Cape Canaveral, Florida. His election established the principle of apostolic succession.

THE LESSONS
1 Samuel 16:1-13 (NRSV)

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is now before the LORD.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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.

The parish church (left) and ruins at Bolton Priory in North Yorkshire, an Augustinian monastery built in 1154. The order survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries and remains a religious community today, part of a massive estate owned by the Duke of Devonshire and administered by a trust. (Dr. John Wells)

The parish church (left) and ruins at Bolton Priory in North Yorkshire, an Augustinian monastery built in 1154. The order survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries and remains a religious community today, part of a massive estate owned by the Duke of Devonshire and administered by a trust. (Dr. John Wells)

Acts 20:17-35 (NRSV)

From Miletus Paul sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. When they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the entire time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house, as I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.

“And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

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.

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.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit
in the communion of all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

Peter Paul Rubens: St. Matthias. The eleven surviving apostles nominated him along with Joseph Barsabbas, then cast lots – pebbles or sticks tossed from a container, then interpreted as a sign of God’s preference – as described in Acts 1:23. Matthias took his place among the apostles before Pentecost, after which nothing further is definitely known about him.

Peter Paul Rubens: St. Matthias. The eleven surviving apostles nominated him along with Joseph Barsabbas, then cast lots – pebbles or sticks tossed from a container, then interpreted as a sign of God’s preference – as described in Acts 1:23.

Collect of the Day: St. Matthias the Apostle

Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through 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 Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent

O God, you so loved the world that you gave your only-begotten Son to reconcile earth with heaven: Grant that we, loving you above all things, may love our friends in you, and our enemies for your sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For the beauty of the Earth: Christ and the Solar System. (Coptic Orthodox Church Fathers)

For the beauty of the Earth: Christ and the Solar System. (Coptic Orthodox Church Fathers)

For the Beauty of the Earth

We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

Wednesday Evening Prayer List

For Disaster Victims
Cyclone victims in Fiji and Tonga
Those killed and hurt in the Taiwan earthquake
Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and Europe
Famine in Ethiopia and South Sudan

For Prisoners
Prisoners of ISIS & Boko Haram: #BringBackOurGirls
Victims of human trafficking
Guantanamo; political prisoners

The innocent, the guilty, the victims of crime
Children and families of prisoners
Prison chaplains and ministries, especially Sally & Francesca
John P. Craine House, diversion and prevention programs
Sr. Helen Prejean and all prison reformers
All who are condemned to die

For those who suffer for the sake of Conscience

O God our Father, whose Son forgave his enemies while he was suffering shame and death: Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened. This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our merciful and righteous Judge. Amen.

Prayer for Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++

We Don't Proselytize

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