Morning Prayer 7.1.16, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Writer & Prophetic Witness, 1896

Webcast Black Family

Recordings now available!

Josh officiated at 7 a.m. with Gwen as cantor; click here.

Clint officiated at 9 a.m. with 4 cantors! To watch and listen, go here.

You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption.

The Diocese of West Virginia, its parishes and Episcopal Relief and Development have teamed up to provide succor and practical assistance to the victims of last week’s floods, which killed 23 – most in Greenbrier County – and damaged thousands of homes and businesses. Three Episcopal churches in the county survived and took in refugees. St. James’s in Lewisburg is the hub of United Way and diocesan efforts; its Facebook page now has 8000 followers. (United Way of Greenbrier Valley)

The Diocese of West Virginia, its parishes and Episcopal Relief and Development have teamed up to provide succor and practical assistance to the victims of last week’s floods, which killed 23 – most in Greenbrier County – and damaged thousands of homes and businesses. Three Episcopal churches in the county survived and took in refugees. St. James’s in Lewisburg is the hub of United Way and diocesan efforts; its Facebook page now has 8000 followers. (United Way of Greenbrier Valley)

The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

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

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 140

1  Deliver me, O LORD, from evildoers; *
protect me from the violent,
2  Who devise evil in their hearts *
and stir up strife all day long.
3  They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; *
adder’s poison is under their lips.
4  Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; *
protect me from the violent,
who are determined to trip me up.
5  The proud have hidden a snare for me
and stretched out a net of cords; *
they have set traps for me along the path.
6  I have said to the LORD, “You are my God; *
listen, O LORD, to my supplication.
7  O Lord GOD, the strength of my salvation, *
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8  Do not grant the desires of the wicked, O LORD, *
nor let their evil plans prosper.
9  Let not those who surround me lift up their heads; *
let the evil of their lips overwhelm them.
10  Let hot burning coals fall upon them; *
let them be cast into the mire, never to rise up again.”
11  A slanderer shall not be established on the earth, *
and evil shall hunt down the lawless.
12  I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the poor *
and render justice to the needy.
13  Surely, the righteous will give thanks to your Name, *
and the upright shall continue in your sight.

Psalm 142

1  I cry to the LORD with my voice; *
to the LORD I make loud supplication.
2  I pour out my complaint before you, O LORD, *
and tell you all my trouble.
3  When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path; *
in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
4  I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me; *
I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for me.
5  I cry out to you, O LORD; *
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6  Listen to my cry for help, for I have been brought very low; *
save me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7  Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your Name; *
when you have dealt bountifully with me,
the righteous will gather around me.

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 LESSONS
Numbers 24:1-13 (NRSV)

Now Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, so he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him, and he uttered his oracle, saying:

“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,
the oracle of one who hears the words of God,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
who falls down, but with eyes uncovered:
how fair are your tents, O Jacob,
your encampments, O Israel!
Like palm groves that stretch far away,
like gardens beside a river,
like aloes that the LORD has planted,
like cedar trees beside the waters.
Water shall flow from his buckets,
and his seed shall have abundant water,
his king shall be higher than Agag,
and his kingdom shall be exalted.
God who brings him out of Egypt,
is like the horns of a wild ox for him;
he shall devour the nations that are his foes
and break their bones.
He shall strike with his arrows.
He crouched, he lay down like a lion,
and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?
Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
and cursed is everyone who curses you.”

Then Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but instead you have blessed them these three times. Now be off with you! Go home! I said, ‘I will reward you richly,’ but the LORD has denied you any reward.” And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of my own will; what the LORD says, that is what I will say’?”

Canticle: Second Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 55:6-11

Seek the Lord while he wills to be found; *
call upon him when he draws near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways *
and the evil ones their thoughts;
And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion, *
and to our God, for he will richly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, *
nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, *
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as rain and snow fall from the heavens *
and return not again, but water the earth,
Bringing forth life and giving growth, *
seed for sowing and bread for eating,
So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; *
it will not return to me empty;
But it will accomplish that which I have purposed, *
and prosper in that for which I sent it.

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.

Romans 8:12-17 (NRSV)

So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Canticle: A Song to the Lamb
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for evermore.

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.

Titian, 1516: The Tribute Money, or "Render unto Caesar…"

Titian, 1516: The Tribute Money, or “Render unto Caesar…”

Matthew 22:15-22 (NRSV)

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

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

Brenda Putnam: Harriet Beecher Stowe, the American author whose book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” opened eyes in its portrayal of Black slavery as shocking to all human sensibility. When he met her, President Abraham Lincoln said, “So you’re the little lady who started this (Civil) War,” and she didn't deny it. For 40 years it was the world’s bestselling book after the Bible.

Brenda Putnam: Harriet Beecher Stowe, the American author whose book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” opened eyes in its portrayal of Black slavery as shocking to all human sensibility. When he met her, President Abraham Lincoln said, “So you’re the little lady who started this (Civil) War,” and she didn’t deny it. For 40 years it was the world’s bestselling book after the Bible.

Collect of the Day: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Writer and Prophetic Witness, 1896

Gracious God, we thank you for the witness of Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose fiction inspired thousands with compassion for the shame and sufferings of enslaved peoples, and who enriched her writings with the cadences of The Book of Common Prayer. Help us, like her, to strive for your justice, that our eyes may see the glory of your Son, Jesus Christ, when he comes to reign with you and the Holy Spirit in reconciliation and peace, one God, now and always. Amen.

A Collect for Fridays

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Friday Morning Prayer List

For the Poor of every nation
For the cold and hungry
For those who minister among them
Parish food pantries, gardens and orchards

For Those Facing Danger & Oppression
Archbishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim, Syria, abducted 2 years ago, fate unknown
Christians persecuted in Iraq, Syria, India and Pakistan
Muslims persecuted in India and Myanmar
All women and girls of the world
LGBTs in places of violence, especially youth worldwide
Victims of human trafficking

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Collect 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.

Webcast Dismissal
by Josh Thomas

O God, we’re ready to depart now to begin the rest of our morning. Thank you for this time together to worship you, to see and listen to each other over miles and time zones. We ask your blessing on the concerns and joys each of us has brought with us, that you will be with N., N., and each of our viewers as we go about our day. Be present in our encounters with others, and give us awareness of you in our solitude. Help us do good work and live good lives, in unity with your Son and Holy Spirit. And now, with one voice,

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. Jude 24-25++

VIDEO: God is love, let heaven adore him (#379, Abbot’s Leigh, Cyril Vincent Taylor;
Timothy Rees) – BBC “Songs of Praise,” 2014

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