Morning Prayer 2.18.17, Martin Luther, Theologian, 1546

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

E. Clinton Bamberger has died, an American lawyer who established the right of defendants to exculpatory evidence discovered by prosecutors, known as the Brady Rule. Ironically, he lost that case because the Supreme Court refused to grant his client a new trial, even as it established that his original trial was tainted. Bamberger was the first director of the Legal Services Corporation established by Congress under President Johnson; a Roman Catholic, he worked his entire life to provide justice for ordinary people. (The Baltimore Sun)

E. Clinton Bamberger has died, an American lawyer who brought a case that established the Constitutional right of defendants to exculpatory evidence discovered by prosecutors, known as the Brady Rule. Ironically, he lost that case because the Supreme Court refused to grant his client a new trial, even as it agreed that his original trial was tainted. Bamberger was the first director of the Legal Services Corporation established by Congress under President Johnson; a Roman Catholic, he worked his entire life to provide justice for the poor. (The Baltimore Sun)

Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, “I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

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 107:33-43

33  The LORD changed rivers into deserts, *
and water-springs into thirsty ground,
34  A fruitful land into salt flats, *
because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
35  God changed deserts into pools of water *
and dry land into water-springs.
36  God settled the hungry there, *
and they founded a city to dwell in.
37  They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, *
and brought in a fruitful harvest.
38  God blessed them, so that they increased greatly; *
God did not let their herds decrease.
39  Yet when they were diminished and brought low, *
through stress of adversity and sorrow,
40  (God pours contempt on nobles *
and makes them wander in trackless wastes)
41  God lifted up the poor out of misery *
and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
42  The upright will see this and rejoice, *
but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
43  Whoever is wise will ponder these things, *
and consider well the mercies of the LORD.

Psalm 108:1-6

1  My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; *
I will sing and make melody.
2  Wake up, my spirit;
awake, lute and harp; *
I myself will waken the dawn.
3  I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; *
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4  For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, *
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5  Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, *
and your glory over all the earth.
6  So that those who are dear to you may be delivered, *
save with your right hand and answer 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
Isaiah 66:1-6 (NRSV)

Thus says the LORD:
Heaven is my throne
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is my resting place?
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things are mine,
says the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look,
to the humble and contrite in spirit,
who trembles at my word.

Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being;
whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever presents a grain offering, like one who offers swine’s blood;
whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways,
and in their abominations they take delight;
I also will choose to mock them,
and bring upon them what they fear;
because, when I called, no one answered,
when I spoke, they did not listen;
but they did what was evil in my sight,
and chose what did not please me.
Hear the word of the LORD,
you who tremble at his word:
Your own people who hate you
and reject you for my name’s sake
have said, “Let the LORD be glorified,
so that we may see your joy”;
but it is they who shall be put to shame.

Listen, an uproar from the city!
A voice from the temple!
The voice of the LORD,
dealing retribution to his enemies!

Canticle: A Song of Creation
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

I The Cosmic Order

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.
Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
all winds and fire and heat.
Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
drops of dew and flakes of snow.
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.
Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Saddle-billed stork of sub-Saharan Africa, sing praise and give honor for ever. (Flickr)

Saddle-billed stork of Sub-Saharan Africa, sing praise and give honor for ever. (It would take a mighty small cowboy to ride that saddle, though.) (Flickr)

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.
All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.
O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

III The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

For Episcopalians, this is a day not only to honor Luther’s place in history, but to celebrate full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest of the Lutheran branches in this country – with special thanksgiving for shared ministry at the altars of our parishes and missions. Above: Augustana Lutheran in Washington, D.C. was founded in 1918 by Swedish immigrants.

For Episcopalians, this is a day not only to honor Luther’s place in history, but to celebrate full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest of the Lutheran branches in this country – with special thanksgiving for shared ministry at the altars of our parishes and missions. Above: Augustana Lutheran in Washington, D.C. was founded in 1918 by Swedish immigrants.

1 Timothy 6:6-21 (NRSV)

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time— he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge; by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith.

Grace be with you.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

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.

James C. Christensen: The Widow’s Mite (Greenwich Workshop)

James C. Christensen: The Widow’s Mite

Mark 12:35-44 (NRSV)

While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,

‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”‘

“David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

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 power of 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.

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

Greg Copeland: Luther Nailing His Theses to the Church Door. Martin Luther was a professor of theology and a former monk whose two central ideas were these: that we are saved by God’s grace, not by good works or buying our way out of God’s judgment; and that the Bible is the only source of authoritative teaching about God. Both claims were interpreted as attacks on the the authority of popes – and the protest movement for reform was born.

Greg Copeland: Luther Nailing His Theses to the Church Door. Martin Luther was a professor of theology and a former monk whose two central ideas were these: that we are saved by God’s grace, not by good works or buying our way out of God’s judgment; and that the Bible is the only source of authoritative teaching about God. Both claims were interpreted as attacks on the authority of popes – and the movement for reform was born.

Collect of the Day: Martin Luther, Theologian, 1546

O God, our refuge and our strength: You raised up your servant Martin Luther to reform and renew your Church in the light of your word. Defend and purify the Church in our own day and grant that, through faith, we may boldly proclaim the riches of your grace, which you have made known in Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Morning Prayer List

For Those Seeking God’s Will
Diocese of North Carolina: episcopal election soon
David, Brad & Danny, vocation
Dinah, religious life
Shirley & Maureen, discernment
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

Service of Profession, Community of the Paraclete; members of this community of men and women take annual vows for at least three years before committing for life. (community website)

Service of Profession, Community of the Paraclete; members of this community of men and women take annual vows for at least three years before committing for life. (community website)

For Religious Orders & Communities
Community of the Holy Cross, UK
Community of the Holy Spirit, New York
Community of the Holy Transfiguration, Zimbabwe
Community of the Mother of Jesus, Illinois
Community of the Paraclete, Washington

Please add your own prayers here.

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: Before thy throne, O God, we kneel (#575, Vater unser im Himmelreich, German, 1539, adapt. Martin Luther; William Boyd Carpenter) – Choir of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Honolulu, 2010

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