Evening Prayer 7.24.17, Thomas à Kempis, Author of ‘Imitation of Christ,’ 1471

A spoken version from Daily Office Radio is below.

Some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

Continuing the legacy of the peace movement in Northern Ireland, a dozen youth from Ulster spent a week at Christ Church, Madison, Indiana, culminating in an episcopal Evensong with Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, plus a picnic with the pontiff. Back during the sectarian “troubles,” parents on both sides were eager to get their children away from the violence between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Today’s trips are still peacemaking efforts, paying off in smiles, fun and new friends. (The Rev. Evelyn Wheeler)

Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2

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 44

1 We have heard with our ears, O God,
our forefathers have told us, *
the deeds you did in their days,
in the days of old.
2 How with your hand you drove the peoples out
and planted our ancestors in the land; *
how you destroyed nations and made your people flourish.
3 For they did not take the land by their sword,
nor did their arm win the victory for them; *
but your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance,
because you favored them.
4 You are my Sovereign and my God; *
you command victories for Jacob.
5 Through you we pushed back our adversaries; *
through your Name we trampled on those who rose up against us.
6 For I do not rely on my bow, *
and my sword does not give me the victory.
7 Surely you gave us victory over our adversaries *
and put those who hate us to shame.
8 Every day we gloried in God, *
and we will praise your Name for ever.
9 Nevertheless, you have rejected and humbled us *
and do not go forth with our armies.
10 You have made us fall back before our adversary, *
and our enemies have plundered us.
11 You have made us like sheep to be eaten *
and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You are selling your people for a trifle *
and are making no profit on the sale of them.
13 You have made us the scorn of our neighbors, *
a mockery and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations, *
a laughing-stock among the peoples.
15 My humiliation is daily before me, *
and shame has covered my face;
16 Because of the taunts of the mockers and blasphemers, *
because of the enemy and avenger.
17 All this has come upon us; *
yet we have not forgotten you,
nor have we betrayed your covenant.
18 Our heart never turned back, *
nor did our footsteps stray from your path;
19 Though you thrust us down into a place of misery, *
and covered us over with deep darkness.
20 If we have forgotten the Name of our God, *
or stretched out our hands to some strange god,
21 Will not God find it out? *
for you know the secrets of the heart.
22 Indeed, for your sake we are killed all the day long; *
we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Awake, O Lord! why are you sleeping? *
Arise! do not reject us for ever.
24 Why have you hidden your face *
and forgotten our affliction and oppression?
25 We sink down into the dust; *
our body cleaves to the ground.
26 Rise up, and help us, *
and save us, for the sake of your steadfast love.

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.

Parable of the Sower (artist unknown)

THE LESSON
Mark 4:1-20 (NRSV)

Again Jesus began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that

‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.'”

And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

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 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.

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.

For almost 600 years, this has been the #1 classic of Christian devotional literature. Kempis’s title suggests something very simple, yet very hard; act like Christ as much as possible, the way a child imitates its parents. Sections include Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life; Directives for the Interior Life; On Interior Consolation; and On the Blessed Sacrament.

Collect of the Day: Thomas à Kempis, Priest, 1471

Holy Father, you have nourished and strengthened your Church by the inspired writings of your servant Thomas à Kempis: Grant that we may learn from him to know what is necessary to be known, to love what is to be loved, to praise what highly pleases you, and always to seek to know and follow your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 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

Our donors
Consecration of +Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows as Bishop of Indianapolis
Our Daily Office retreat in New Orleans
Ordination of Maria, Leslie, Teresa & Alissa
Our mission partners in Haiti, Liberia, Brazil and on the Rosebud Reservation
Those who give to food banks, pantries and meal programs, and all who receive
Community Health Centers and Free Clinics

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Otukpo, Owerri & Owo, Nigeria

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.

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: Theology of Hymns: Episode 1 – Dr. John Fenstermaker, Trinity-by-the-Cove, Naples, Florida, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s