Morning Prayer 4.3.17, Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253

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Who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the one who molds it, “Why have you made me like this?”

Fr. Kyle Bennett, the rector of St. Mark’s, Marco Island, Florida, celebrating Mass with an assistant. Fr. Bennett is one of the leaders of Camp Able, a growing movement to provide safe, joyful church camp experiences for the developmentally disabled, and an advocate for their full inclusion in every aspect of church life. The parish is committed to radical hospitality. (parish photo)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

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.

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 you are 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 31

1  In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; *
deliver me in your righteousness.
2  Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.
3  Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4  Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.
5  Into your hands I commend my spirit, *
for you have redeemed me,
O LORD, O God of truth.

6  I hate those who cling to worthless idols, *
and I put my trust in the LORD.
7  I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; *
for you have seen my affliction;
you know my distress.
8  You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; *
you have set my feet in an open place.
9  Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow,
and also my throat and my belly.
10  For my life is wasted with grief,
and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction,
and my bones are consumed.
11  I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors,
a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12  I am forgotten, out of mind, as if I were dead; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.
13  For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me;
they plot to take my life.
14  But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. *
I have said, “You are my God.
15  My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
16  Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me.”
17  LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; *
rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
let them be silent in the grave.
18  Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, *
haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19  How great is your goodness, O LORD!
which you have laid up for those who fear you; *
which you have done in the sight of all
for those who put their trust in you.
20  You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; *
you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21  Blessed be the LORD! *
for you have shown me the wonders of your love in a besieged city.
22  Yet I said in my alarm,
“I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.” *
Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
when I cried out to you.
23  Love the LORD, all you who are faithful; *
the LORD protects the pious,
but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24  Be strong and let your heart take courage, *
all you who wait for the LORD.

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.

Good figs and bad. (Heaven Awaits blog)

THE LESSONS
Jeremiah 24:1-10 (NRSV)

The LORD showed me two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the LORD. This was after King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, together with the officials of Judah, the artisans, and the smiths, and had brought them to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten. And the LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.”

Then the word of the LORD came to me: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. I will set my eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

But thus says the LORD: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who live in the land of Egypt. I will make them a horror, an evil thing, to all the kingdoms of the earth—a disgrace, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they are utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their ancestors.

Canticle: First Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 12:2-6

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of 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.

Romans 9:19-33 (NRSV)

You will say to me then, “Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the one who molds it, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.'” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they shall be called children of the living God.” And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the children of Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth quickly and decisively.” And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left survivors to us, we would have fared like Sodom and been made like Gomorrah.”

What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

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.

Healing a blind man (Coptic Orthodox Church Fathers)

John 9:1-17 (NRSV)

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”

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

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

St. Richard was a humble ascetic, scholar and professor; as bishop he was an able administrator committed both to disciplining the clergy and protecting them during periodic clashes with King Henry III. Many clergy were secretly living with wives, while Richard enforced celibacy and disinherited the women. (Alchetron)

Collect of the Day: Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253

We thank you, Lord God, for all the benefits you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ, our most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, and for all the pains and insults he has borne for us; and we pray that, following the example of your saintly bishop Richard of Chichester, we may see Christ more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent

Be gracious to your people, we entreat you, O Lord, that they, repenting day by day of the things that displease you, may be more and more filled with love of you and of your commandments; and, being supported by your grace in this life, may come to the full enjoyment of eternal life in your everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for the Renewal of Life

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our heart to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday Morning Prayer List: Most Recent

Sixroute, vocational discernment
Owen, mental health
Peni & Kate, caregivers
Blake, addiction
Archbishop Terry Buckle, formerly Bishop of Yukon, lymphoma
Ann Brewster, chemotherapy
Ashlee, assault victim, and Jason, her husband
Ron Larson, prostate cancer
Sr. Charity, abdominal surgery and complications
Gary Sudyam, hit by car, spinal cord injuries
Kathie Inboden, Stage II pancreatic cancer
Jeanetta MacKay, recurrence of cancer
Arthur Wilbur, advanced Parkinson’s
Kimberly, looking for work
Marjorie, ovarian cancer
Nick, myeloma
St. James’s, Milwaukee, discernment
Fr. Doug Yarbrough, multiple sclerosis
Sr. Judy, breast cancer

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: Camp Able: Empowering the Disabled Community – Chad Lansford, 2016

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