Evening Prayer 4.27.17, Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894

You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

The Rev. Nathaniel Dixon of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in the Marble Hill section of Manhattan, New York is also well-known as a jazz musician; he’s played with a lot of famous artists, and that sax in the pulpit also draws a crowd. (Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1

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: Light of the World
Phos hilaron

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 18:21-50

21  The LORD rewarded me because of my righteous dealing; *
because my hands were clean God rewarded me;
22  For I have kept the ways of the LORD *
and have not offended against my God;
23  For all God’s judgments are before my eyes, *
and the decrees of the LORD I have not put away from me;
24  For I have been blameless with the LORD *
and have kept myself from iniquity;
25  Therefore the LORD rewarded me according to my righteous dealing, *
seeing the cleanness of my hands.
26  With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God; *
with the forthright you show yourself forthright.
27  With the pure you show yourself pure, *
but with the crooked you are wily.
28  You will save a lowly people, *
but you will humble the haughty eyes.
29  You, O LORD, are my lamp; *
my God, you make my darkness bright.
30  With you I will break down an enclosure; *
with the help of my God I will scale any wall.
31  As for you, O God, your ways are perfect;
the words of the LORD are tried in the fire; *
you are a shield to all who trust in you.
32  For who is God, but the LORD? *
who is the Rock, except our God?
33  It is God who girds me about with strength *
and makes my way secure.
34  You make me sure-footed like a deer *
and let me stand firm on the heights.
35  You train my hands for battle *
and my arms for bending even a bow of bronze.
36  You have given me your shield of victory; *
your right hand also sustains me;
your loving care makes me great.
37  You lengthen my stride beneath me, *
and my ankles do not give way.
38  I pursue my enemies and overtake them; *
I will not turn back till I have destroyed them.
39  I strike them down, and they cannot rise; *
they fall defeated at my feet.
40  You have girded me with strength for the battle; *
you have cast down my adversaries beneath me;
you have put my enemies to flight.
41  I destroy those who hate me;
they cry out, but there is none to help them; *
they cry to the LORD, who does not answer.
42  I beat them small like dust before the wind; *
I trample them like mud in the streets.
43  You deliver me from the strife of the peoples; *
you put me at the head of the nations.
44  A people I have not known shall serve me;
no sooner shall they hear than they shall obey me; *
strangers will cringe before me.
45  The foreign peoples will lose heart; *
they shall come trembling out of their strongholds.
46  The LORD lives! Blessed is my Rock! *
Exalted is the God of my salvation!
47  The LORD is the God who gave me victory *
and cast down the peoples beneath me.
48  You rescued me from the fury of my enemies;
you exalted me above those who rose against me; *
you saved me from my deadly foe.
49  Therefore will I extol you among the nations, O LORD, *
and sing praises to your Name.
50  You multiply the victories of your king; *
you show loving-kindness to your anointed,
to David and his descendants for ever.

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 the Baptist, a rough-looking character fresh off the desert with a message of repentance. (Iconographer unknown)

THE LESSON
Luke 3:1-14 (NRSV)

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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 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 by your Holy Spirit.

Christina Rossetti, by her brother Dante. Holy Women, Holy Men offered a concise yet sweeping overview of her life and times: 19th century Britain, rapid industrialization, creation of a new middle class, abandonment of the countryside, the squalor of urban slums – and cultural, religious and artistic reactions, including nostalgia for the distant past. Dante Rossetti started a Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; Christina wrote 500 devotional poems and is best known as the author of the Christmas carols “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “Love Came Down at Christmas.”

Collect of the Day: Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894

O God, whom heaven cannot hold, you inspired Christina Rossetti to express the mystery of the Incarnation through her poems: Help us to follow her example in giving our hearts to Christ, who is love; and who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Nairobi and Nakuru, Kenya

Thursday Evening Prayer List

For Sobriety & Recovery
Blake
Talmadge
Mark
Tyler

For Mental Health & Family Peace
Julie
Adam
Scotty

For Those with Addictions

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion on all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

For Those with Mental Illness
alt. Dinah Danby

O heavenly Father, we beseech you to have mercy upon all your children who are living with mental illness. Give them loving and supportive families and friends, and bless their caregivers with wisdom and compassion. Restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, and give them health and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Mission of the Church

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself: We praise and bless you for those whom you have sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the Gospel to all nations. We thank you that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labors, and that in every place your servants call upon your Name; for the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours for ever. 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. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

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: Lift your voice rejoicing, Mary (#190, Fisk of Gloucester, Thomas Foster; Latin, tr. Elizabeth Rundle Charles, alt.) – Choir of Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona, 2013

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