Morning Prayer 3.5.17, First Sunday of Lent

Remember the long way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments.

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans; founded in 1720 on the banks of the Mississippi River, it stands at the city's heart on Jackson Square, built in 1789, the year George Washington took office. It's the oldest cathedral in America.

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans; founded in 1720 on the banks of the Mississippi River, this church was built in 1789, the year George Washington took office. It’s the oldest cathedral in America, and we went to Mass there Saturday night.

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34

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.

Psalm 100
Jubilate

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Psalm 63:1-8

1  O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; *
my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you,
as in a barren and dry land where there is no water.
2  Therefore I have gazed upon you in your holy place, *
that I might behold your power and your glory.
3  For your loving-kindness is better than life itself; *
my lips shall give you praise.
4  So will I bless you as long as I live *
and lift up my hands in your Name.
5  My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness, *
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips,
6  When I remember you upon my bed, *
and meditate on you in the night watches.
7  For you have been my helper, *
and under the shadow of your wings I will rejoice.
8  My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Psalm 98

1  Sing unto the LORD a new song, *
for the LORD has done marvelous things.
2  The right hand and the holy arm of the LORD *
have secured the victory.
3  The LORD has made known this victory; *
and has openly shown righteousness in the sight of the nations.
4  The LORD remembers mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, *
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
5  Shout with joy to the LORD, all you lands; *
lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.
6  Sing to the LORD with the harp, *
with the harp and the voice of song.
7  With trumpets and the sound of the horn *
shout with joy before the Sovereign, the LORD.
8  Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *
the lands and those who dwell therein.
9  Let the rivers clap their hands, *
and let the hills ring out with joy before the LORD,
who is coming to judge the earth.
10  In righteousness shall the LORD judge the world *
and the peoples with equity.

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
Deuteronomy 8:1-10 (NRSV)

This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember the long way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the LORD your God disciplines you. Therefore keep the commandments of the LORD your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the LORD your God for the good land that he has given you.

Canticle: A Song of Penitence
Prayer of Manasseh, 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.

1 Corinthians 1:17-31 (NRSV)

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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 parable of the wineskins has confused people for centuries; we don’t use wineskins anymore, they are an old, weird technology. We get that it doesn’t work to patch one, but it's only a metaphor about old truths and new ones. Jesus knew his message was new, so it shouldn’t be put in the (Old Testament) vessel of the previous understanding. He was the Son of the same God, but he came to say and do things that had never been seen before. The old way of shunning the unrighteous (“tax collectors and sinners”) didn’t work anymore; it gave the so-called righteous people an excuse to think well of themselves, take pride and judge others, when in fact no one is righteous and all of us are sinners. So let what’s new be new; judge his message and actions on their own merits. To the self-proclaimed righteous people, nothing Jesus did was ever acceptable, whether to fast or not fast; while sinners like Levi began to understand that we all fall short. There is a unity in our mortal condition, and the gulf between us and God is not so great that Christ can’t bridge it if we let him.

The parable of the wineskins has confused people for centuries; we get that it doesn’t work to patch one, but that’s only a metaphor about old truths and new ones. Christ’s message was new, so it shouldn’t be put in the (Old Testament) vessel. He was the Son of the same God, but he came to say and do things that had never been seen before. The old way of shunning the unrighteous (“tax collectors and sinners”) didn’t work anymore; it gave the so-called righteous people an excuse to think well of themselves, take pride and judge others, when in fact no one is righteous and all of us are sinners. So let what’s new be new.

Mark 2:18-22 (NRSV)

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to Jesus, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

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 it is 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.

Advent House, a ministry of Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans, where the Vicar, Chaplain and members of the Daily Office are currently on retreat for a week of spiritual conversation, worship and fun. We're only halfway through and it's already incredible. (cathedral photo)

Advent House, a ministry of Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans, where the Vicar, Chaplain and members of the Daily Office are now on retreat for a week of spiritual conversation, worship and fun. We’re only halfway through and it’s already incredible; the Holy Spirit is blowing our poor minds. (cathedral photo)

Collect of the Day: First Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Sundays

O God, you make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord: Give us this day such blessing through our worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Morning Prayer List: Our Donors: thank you!

2017 DONORS
as of February 28

Cantor – $250 – 499
Lisa C.
Michael Delaney
Jerry Fitzgerald
The Rev. Michael E. Hartney
Steve Helmreich
The Rev. R. R. Lutz
Nicholas Myers
Gregory Seamon
Josh Thomas
The Rev. Warner C. White

Please add your own prayers here.

Prayer for Mission

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. 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: Behold the Savior of Mankind (Benjamin Brainard; Samuel Wesley) – Laura Scott, 2013

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