Morning Prayer 11.15.17, Francis Asbury & George Whitefield, Evangelists, 1817, 1770

Both webcasts are ready now for viewing:

To watch our 7 a.m. webcast, click here.
Rev. Debbie officiated at 9 a.m.; go here.

Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared.

Francis Asbury, an English-born, circuit-riding preacher, was one of only two Methodist ministers to remain in the 13 colonies when the War of Independence broke out in 1776. Later he became the first Methodist bishop in the U.S.A., and for 34 years was Co-Superintendent with Thomas Coke.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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 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 119:97-120

97 Oh, how I love your law! *
all the day long it is in my mind.
98 Your commandment has made me wiser than my enemies, *
and it is always with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, *
for your decrees are my study.
100 I am wiser than the elders, *
because I observe your commandments.
101 I restrain my feet from every evil way, *
that I may keep your word.
102 I do not shrink from your judgments, *
because you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste! *
they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
104 Through your commandments I gain understanding; *
therefore I hate every lying way.

105 Your word is a lantern to my feet *
and a light upon my path.
106 I have sworn and am determined *
to keep your righteous judgments.
107 I am deeply troubled; *
preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.
108 Accept, O LORD, the willing tribute of my lips, *
and teach me your judgments.
109 My life is always in my hand, *
yet I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a trap for me, *
but I have not strayed from your commandments.
111 Your decrees are my inheritance for ever; *
truly, they are the joy of my heart.
112 I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes *
for ever and to the end.

113 I hate those who have a divided heart, *
but your law do I love.
114 You are my refuge and shield; *
my hope is in your word.
115 Away from me, you wicked! *
I will keep the commandments of my God.
116 Sustain me according to your promise, that I may live, *
and let me not be disappointed in my hope.
117 Hold me up, and I shall be safe, *
and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.
118 You spurn all who stray from your statutes; *
their deceitfulness is in vain.
119 In your sight all the wicked of the earth are but dross; *
therefore I love your decrees.
120 My flesh trembles with dread of you; *
I am afraid of your judgments.

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 Festival of Booths, or Succoth, one of three annual feasts mandated in the Hebrew Scriptures, in which the Israelites were required to journey to the Temple for worship. Every year they built tent-like structures in remembrance of their ancestors’ 40-year journey in the desert until they arrived at the Promised Land. After captivity in Babylon, Ezra revived the practice. (artist unknown)

THE LESSONS
Nehemiah 7:73b – 8:3, 5-18 (NRSV)

When the seventh month came—the people of Israel being settled in their towns—all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had given to Israel. Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

On the second day the heads of ancestral houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to the scribe Ezra in order to study the words of the law. And they found it written in the law, which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the people of Israel should live in booths during the festival of the seventh month, and that they should publish and proclaim in all their towns and in Jerusalem as follows, “Go out to the hills and bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written.” So the people went out and brought them, and made booths for themselves, each on the roofs of their houses, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them; for from the days of Jeshua son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing. And day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the book of the law of God. They kept the festival seven days; and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.

Canticle: A Song of Ezekiel
Ezekiel 36:24-28

I will take you from among all nations; *
and gather you from all lands to bring you home.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you; *
and purify you from false gods and uncleanness.
A new heart I will give you *
and a new spirit put within you.
I will take the stone heart from your chest *
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will help you walk in my laws *
and cherish my commandments and do them.
You shall be my people, *
and I will be your God.

Millstone for grinding grain. (heavenawaits blog)

Revelation 18:21-24 (NRSV)

Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“With such violence Babylon the great city
will be thrown down,
and will be found no more;
and the sound of harpists and minstrels and of flutists and trumpeters
will be heard in you no more;
and an artisan of any trade
will be found in you no more;
and the sound of the millstone
will be heard in you no more;
and the light of a lamp
will shine in you no more;
and the voice of bridegroom and bride
will be heard in you no more;
for your merchants were the magnates of the earth,
and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
And in you was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all who have been slaughtered on earth.”

Canticle: A Song of the Spirit
Revelation 22:12-17

“Behold, I am coming soon,” says the Lord,
“and bringing my reward with me, *
to give to everyone according to their deeds.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, *
the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who do God’s commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life, *
and may enter the city through the gates.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you, *
with this testimony for all the churches.
“I am the root and the offspring of David, *
I am the bright morning star.”
“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride; *
“Come!” let each hearer reply!
Come forward, you who are thirsty, *
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.

Leftover loaves and fishes (Leona Choy)

Matthew 15:29-39 (NRSV)

After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

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.

John Russell, 1770: George Whitefield. Whitefield’s powerful, emotional preaching sparked the Great Awakening in 1740, as the Christian religion and the preachers who exhorted them took America by storm. He preached to tens of thousands at a time, a celebrity preacher who once rode from New York to Charleston on horseback, almost 800 miles, with advance men posting handbills announcing his imminent arrival. He owned a plantation in Georgia and was a Scripture-quoting advocate of slavery; and he’s the co-author with Charles Wesley of “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.”

Collect of the Day: Francis Asbury and George Whitefield, Evangelists, 1816, 1770

Holy God, you inspired Francis Asbury and George Whitefield with evangelical zeal through their faithful proclamation of the Gospel: Inspire us, we pray, by your Holy Spirit, that we, like them, may be eager to share your Good News and lead many to Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Grace

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power; that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For joy in God’s creation: a lemur in Andasibe National Park, Madagascar. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

For Joy in God’s Creation

O heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday Morning Prayer List: Healing of Body, Mind & Soul

Joan, adjusting to nursing care, & Robin her daughter
Daisy, infant
Talmadge Jr., addiction
Arthur, Parkinson’s
Debbie, lung cancer
Oscar, kidney cancer
Tom Dayton, cancer
Rowena
Joanne, cancer is back
Bev, stroke
Colleen, broken back
Rebecca N., cancer
Graham, 28, brain tumor
Samantha, complications after liver transplant
Tim, bone cancer’s back
Steve Schenkenberger, recuperating at home
Ann Brewster, chemotherapy
Gary Sudyam, hit by car, spinal cord injuries
Kathie Inboden, Stage II pancreatic cancer
Jon, diabetic macular edema, complications
Katherine, early Alzheimer’s, and her son Robert, early dementia
Fr. Robert Hughes, Parkinson’s
Clint’s daughter Julia Butcher, breast cancer recovery
Honorary Deacon Clint, cancer

For Caregivers
Linda
Robin

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings 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.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the blessing of the God of Abraham and Sarah, and of Jesus Christ born of our sister Mary, and of the Holy Spirit, who broods over the world as a mother over her children, be upon us and remain with us always. Amen.++

VIDEO: Standing on the promises of God (Promises, R. Kelso Carter, 1886) – Alan Jackson, live at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee, 2006

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