Morning Prayer 8.2.16, Samuel Ferguson, Missionary Bishop for West Africa, 1916

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Blow the trumpets around the whole camp, and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!’

Smiles all around as a little girl on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota got into the music last week at the Rosebud Youth Concert, co-sponsored by KOYA Radio and the Rosebud Episcopal Mission. The Rosebud Mission has been one of our missionary support projects for the past two years; 10% of our annual budget goes to mision work. (KOYA)

Smiles all around as a little girl on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota got into the music last week at the Rosebud Youth Concert, co-sponsored by KOYA Radio and the Rosebud Episcopal Mission. The Rosebud Mission has been one of our missionary support projects for the past two years; 10% of our annual budget goes to mission work. (KOYA)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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 78:1-39

1  Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2  I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3  That which we have heard and known,
and what our ancestors have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.
4  We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, *
and the wonderful works God has done.
5  God set up decrees for Jacob
and established a law for Israel, *
commanding them to teach it to their children;
6  That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7  So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep God’s commandments;
8  And not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn and rebellious generation, *
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.

9  The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, *
turned back in the day of battle;
10  They did not keep the covenant of God, *
and refused to walk in God’s law;
11  They forgot what God had done, *
and the wonders shown to them.
12  God worked marvels in the sight of their ancestors, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13  God split open the sea and let them pass through; *
making the waters stand up like walls.
14  God led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15  God split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16  God brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17  But they went on sinning against the LORD, *
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.

18  They tested God in their hearts, *
demanding food for their craving.
19  They railed against God and said, *
“Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20  True, God struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed; *
but is God able to give bread
or to provide meat for this people?”
21  Hearing this, the LORD was full of wrath; *
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
the LORD’s anger mounted against Israel;
22  For they had no faith in God, *
nor did they put their trust in the LORD’s saving power.
23  So God commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.
24  God rained down manna upon them to eat *
and gave them grain from heaven.
25  So mortals ate the bread of angels; *
God provided for them food enough.
26  God caused the east wind to blow in the heavens *
and mightily led out the south wind.
27  God rained down flesh upon them like dust *
and wingèd birds like the sand of the sea.
28  God let it fall in the midst of their camp *
and round about their dwellings.
29  So they ate and were well filled, *
for the LORD gave them what they craved.

30  But they did not stop their craving, *
though the food was still in their mouths.
31  So God’s anger mounted against them; *
God slew their strongest
and laid low the youth of Israel.
32  In spite of all this, they went on sinning *
and had no faith in God’s wonderful works.
33  So God brought their days to an end like a breath *
and their years in sudden terror.
34  Whenever God slew them, they would repent, *
and they would diligently search for God.
35  They would remember that God was their rock, *
and the Most High God their redeemer.
36  But they flattered God with their mouths *
and lied to God with their tongues.
37  Their heart was not steadfast toward God, *
and they were not faithful to the covenant.
38  But being so merciful, God forgave their sins
and did not destroy them; *
many times God held back anger
and did not permit divine wrath to be roused.
39  For the LORD remembered that they were but flesh, *
a breath that goes forth and does not return.

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.

H.A. Gibson, 1900: Gideon Watches His Army Drink

H.A. Gibson, 1900: Gideon Watches His Army Drink

THE LESSONS
Judges 7:1-18 (NRSV)

Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the troops that were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was north of them, below the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

The LORD said to Gideon, “The troops with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand. Israel would only take the credit away from me, saying, ‘My own hand has delivered me.’ Now therefore proclaim this in the hearing of the troops, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home.’” Thus Gideon sifted them out; twenty-two thousand returned, and ten thousand remained.

Then the LORD said to Gideon, “The troops are still too many; take them down to the water and I will sift them out for you there. When I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; and when I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So he brought the troops down to the water; and the LORD said to Gideon, “All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, you shall put to one side; all those who kneel down to drink, putting their hands to their mouths, you shall put to the other side.” The number of those that lapped was three hundred; but all the rest of the troops knelt down to drink water. Then the LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred that lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into your hand. Let all the others go to their homes.” So he took the jars of the troops from their hands, and their trumpets; and he sent all the rest of Israel back to their own tents, but retained the three hundred. The camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

That same night the LORD said to him, “Get up, attack the camp; for I have given it into your hand. But if you fear to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah; and you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to attack the camp.” Then he went down with his servant Purah to the outposts of the armed men that were in the camp. The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the east lay along the valley as thick as locusts; and their camels were without number, countless as the sand on the seashore. When Gideon arrived, there was a man telling a dream to his comrade; and he said, “I had a dream, and in it a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came to the tent, and struck it so that it fell; it turned upside down, and the tent collapsed.” And his comrade answered, “This is no other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel; into his hand God has given Midian and all the army.”

When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped; and he returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Get up; for the LORD has given the army of Midian into your hand.” After he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and put trumpets into the hands of all of them, and empty jars, with torches inside the jars, he said to them, “Look at me, and do the same; when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets around the whole camp, and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!’”

Canticle: A Song of Praise
Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Nicolas Poussin, 1655: St. Peter and St. John Healing the Lame Man. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Nicolas Poussin, 1655: St. Peter and St. John Healing the Lame Man. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Acts 3:1-11 (NRSV)

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s Portico, utterly astonished.

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.

John 1:19-28 (NRSV)

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,'” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

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.  Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R.  Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V.  Day by day we bless you;
R.  We praise your Name for ever.
V.  Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R.  Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V.  Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R.  For we put our trust in you.
V.  In you, Lord, is our hope;
R.  And we shall never hope in vain.

The chapel at Cuttington University in Liberia, founded by Bishop Ferguson, who was born in the United States but moved with his family to Liberia in childhood. Cuttington’s campus was all but destroyed during the civil war ten years ago, but it is growing back; we are proud to sponsor the Martha Kelley Scholarship in Nursing, to honour a member of our congregation who was part of Cuttington’s inaugural class of Bachelor of Science in Nursing students. Recent nursing students and staff did heroic work in the fight against Ebola. (Diocese of Southern Ohio blog)

The chapel at Cuttington University in Liberia, founded by Bishop Samuel Ferguson, who was born in the United States but moved with his family to Liberia in childhood. Cuttington’s campus was all but destroyed during the civil war ten years ago, but it is growing back; we are proud to sponsor the Martha Kelley Scholarship in Nursing, to honor a member of our congregation who was part of Cuttington’s inaugural class of BSN students. Recent nursing students and staff did heroic work in the fight against Ebola. (Diocese of Southern Ohio blog)

Collect of the Day: Samuel Ferguson, Missionary Bishop for West Africa, 1916

Almighty God, we bless you for moving your servant Samuel Ferguson to minister in Liberia, expanding the missionary vision of your Church in education and ministry. Stir up in us a zeal for your mission and a yearning for your holy Word; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

TheyHaveNames

No U.S. Military Killed in War Last Week, Thanks Be to God
They Have Names, compiled since 2007 by Clint Gilliland

Total War Deaths: 8,341

Iraq: Total Deaths: 4,823
– no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week

Afghanistan: Total Deaths: 3,518
– no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week

Civilian Death Estimates
Iraq: 155,923 – 174,355 (Iraq Body Count Project, through March 2016)
Afghanistan: more than 26,000 (Costs of War, Brown University, through January 2015)

The United States has finally decided to award retired Sgt. Gary Rose, a medic, the Medal of Honor for heroic service during the “secret” war in Laos 40 years ago, the first time the USA has even acknowledged that such a war took place. Laos was officially off-limits, but the Viet Cong used the border jungles to supply the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and Americans went in after them. Helicopters carried him and 135 Special Forces in, but they took fire before they even landed and casualties were high. For four nonstop days, Rose – the only medic – seemed to do more than humanly possible to save American lives while fighting off the enemy with his own weapon. He is the first veteran of Laos to win the nation’s highest honor; there are more veterans waiting for their due. Rose, now retired, spends his time working with the poor and disabled; when a reporter visited, Rose gave him a tour of his church, where he was more excited about the upcoming kids’ fundraiser than he was talking about what he did in the war. The Lord was with him those four days. (Joe Buglewicz/The New York Times)

The United States has finally decided to award retired Sgt. Gary Rose, a medic, the Medal of Honor for heroic service during the “secret” war in Laos 40 years ago, the first time the USA has even acknowledged that such a war took place. Laos was officially off-limits, but the Viet Cong used the border jungles to supply the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and Americans went in after them. Helicopters carried him and 135 Special Forces in, but they took fire before they even landed and casualties were high. For four nonstop days, Rose – the only medic – seemed to do more than humanly possible to save American lives while fighting off the enemy with his own weapon. He is the first veteran of Laos to win the nation’s highest honor; there are many more veterans waiting for their due. Rose, now retired, spends his time working with the poor and disabled; when a reporter visited, Rose gave him a tour of his church, where he was more excited about the upcoming kids’ fundraiser than he was talking about what he did in the war. The Lord was surely with him those four days. (Joe Buglewicz/The New York Times)

For Those in the Armed Forces of our Country

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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.

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++

VIDEO: Earth and all stars (#412, Earth and All Stars, David N. Johnson; Herbert F. Brokering) – unnamed Presbyterian Church, 2014

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