Evening Prayer 12.19.16, Lillian Trasher, Missionary to Egypt, 1961

I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.

Christmas comes on Sunday this year, to the relief of altar guilds the world over; in U.S. parishes, Christmas decorations began going up after the last service yesterday. New Anglicans who come from Protestant traditions are often confused by Advent and its rules against rushing Christmas, while those who grew up in a liturgical tradition take pleasure in the weird suspense of it all. At St. Matthew’s, Indianapolis, the work crew came ready for business. But wait until next year, when altar guilds will have to pay for their leisure in 2016. (parish photo)

Christmas comes on Sunday this year, to the relief of altar guilds everywhere; in U.S. churches Christmas decorations began going up after the last service yesterday. New Anglicans who come from Protestant traditions are often confused by Advent and its rules against rushing Christmas, while those who grew up in liturgical traditions take pleasure in the weird suspense of it all. At St. Matthew’s, Indianapolis, the work crew came ready for business. But wait until next year, with Sunday and Christmas Eve on the same day, and altar guilds will pay for this year’s leisure. (parish photo)

Watch, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. Mark 13:35-36

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. Alleluia.

Hymn: O Gracious Light

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 112

1  Hallelujah!
Happy are they who fear the LORD *
and have great delight in his commandments!
2  Their descendants will be mighty in the land; *
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3  Wealth and riches will be in their house, *
and their righteousness will last for ever.
4  Light shines in the darkness for the upright; *
the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.
5  It is good for them to be generous in lending *
and to manage their affairs with justice.
6  For they will never be shaken; *
the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.
7  They will not be afraid of any evil rumors; *
their heart is right;
they put their trust in the LORD.
8  Their heart is established and will not shrink, *
until they see their desire upon their enemies.
9  They have given freely to the poor, *
and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
they will hold up their head with honor.
10  The wicked will see it and be angry;
they will gnash their teeth and pine away; *
the desires of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 115

1  Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
but to your Name give glory; *
because of your love and because of your faithfulness.
2  Why should the heathen say, *
“Where then is their God?”
3  Our God is in heaven; *
whatever God wills to do, God does.
4  Their idols are silver and gold, *
the work of human hands.
5  They have mouths, but they cannot speak; *
eyes have they, but they cannot see;
6  They have ears, but they cannot hear; *
noses, but they cannot smell;
7  They have hands, but they cannot feel;
feet, but they cannot walk; *
they make no sound with their throat.
8  Those who make them are like them, *
and so are all who put their trust in them.
9  O Israel, trust in the LORD; *
who is your help and your shield.
10  O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD; *
who is your help and your shield.
11  You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; *
who is your help and your shield.
12  The LORD has been mindful of us and will bless us; *
the LORD will bless the house of Israel
and will bless the house of Aaron;
13  The LORD will bless the God-fearing, *
both small and great together.
14  May the LORD increase you more and more, *
you and your children after you.
15  May you be blessed by the LORD, *
the maker of heaven and earth.
16  The heaven of heavens is the LORD’s, *
but the LORD entrusted the earth to its peoples.
17  The dead do not praise the LORD, *
nor all those who go down into silence;
18  But we will bless the LORD, *
from this time forth for evermore.
Hallelujah!

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. Matthew’s, Indianapolis, ready for Christmas visitors. (parish photo)

St. Matthew’s, Indianapolis, ready for Christmas visitors. (parish photo)

THE LESSON
John 5:30-47 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

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.

Lillian Trasher in the 1950s. As a young American woman engaged to be married, she found herself called instead to become a missionary, and a Bible verse pointed her to Egypt. She made her first trip in 1910, established an orphanage, bought land and made bricks herself with help from the new Assemblies of God denomination. Through political turmoil and the Nazi invasion of World War II, she took in widows and blind people too, until at her death she had cared for 25,000 children and was known as the “Mother of the Nile.”

Lillian Trasher in the 1950s. As a young American woman engaged to be married, she found herself called instead to become a missionary, and a Bible verse pointed her to Egypt. She made her first trip in 1910, established an orphanage, bought land and made bricks herself with help from the new Assemblies of God denomination. Through political turmoil and the Nazi invasion of World War II, she took in widows and blind people too, until at her death she had cared for 25,000 children and was known as the “Mother of the Nile.”

Collect of the Day: Lillian Trasher, Missionary in Egypt, 1961

God, whose everlasting arms support the universe: We thank you for moving the heart of Lillian Trasher to heroic hospitality on behalf of orphaned children in great need, and we pray that we also may find our hearts awakened and our compassion stirred to care for your little ones, through the example of our Savior Jesus Christ and by the energy of your Holy Spirit, who broods over the world like a mother over her children; for they live and reign with you, one God, for ever and 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.

Monday Evening Prayer List: Thanksgivings

Ordination of Maria, Leslie & Andrew as deacons
Daily Office Network’s 12th Anniversary
Alcina home from hospital
Birth of grandson Henry
Our mission partners in Haiti, Liberia, Brazil and on the Rosebud Reservation
Those who give to food banks and pantries, and all who receive
Community Health Centers and Free Clinics

A Collect 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.

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: O radix Jesse (Jeffrey Sandborg) – Roanoke College Choir, dir. by the composer, 2012

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