Morning Prayer 2.13.18, Absalom Jones, First Black Priest in The Episcopal Church, 1818

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Give judgment for me, O LORD,
for I have lived with integrity; *
I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.

Chadwick Boseman stars in the title role as “Black Panther,” a Marvel Studios picture opening tomorrow. Based on advance ticket sales, it is already projected as the #1 superhero movie of all time. Beyond its financial success, critics are calling Ryan Coogler’s film, based on characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, not just a reinvention of the genre, but a shared communal experience for African-Americans and a beautiful cultural affirmation for all of Africa and the Diaspora, with art direction and set designs that respect and take delight in the continent’s contributions to world art. If the publicity turns out to be true, this will be a moment to cherish. (Marvel Studios)

From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered to my Name, and a pure offering; for my Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11

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

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 26

1 Give judgment for me, O LORD,
for I have lived with integrity; *
I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.
2 Test me, O LORD, and try me; *
examine my heart and my mind.
3 For your love is before my eyes; *
I have walked faithfully with you.
4 I have not sat with the worthless, *
nor do I consort with the deceitful.
5 I have hated the company of evildoers; *
I will not sit down with the wicked.
6 I will wash my hands in innocence, O LORD, *
that I may go in procession round your altar,
7 Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving *
and recounting all your wonderful deeds.
8 LORD, I love the house in which you dwell *
and the place where your glory abides.
9 Do not sweep me away with sinners, *
nor my life with those who thirst for blood,
10 Whose hands are full of evil plots, *
and their right hand full of bribes.
11 As for me, I will live with integrity, *
redeem me, O LORD, and have pity on me.
12 My foot stands on level ground; *
in the full assembly I will bless the LORD.

Psalm 28

1 O LORD, I call to you;
my Rock, do not be deaf to my cry; *
lest, if you do not hear me,
I become like those who go down to the Pit.
2 Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you, *
when I lift up my hand to your holy of holies.
3 Do not snatch me away with the wicked or with the evildoers, *
who speak peaceably with their neighbors,
while strife is in their hearts.
4 Repay them according to their deeds, *
and according to the wickedness of their actions.
5 According to the work of their hands repay them, *
and give them their just deserts.
6 O LORD, they have no understanding of your doings,
nor of the works of your hands; *
therefore you will break them down and not build them up.
7 Blessed is the LORD! *
for you have heard the voice of my prayer.
8 The LORD is my strength and my shield; *
my heart trusts in you, and I have been helped;
9 Therefore my heart dances for joy, *
and in my song will I praise you.
10 You, O LORD, are the strength of your people, *
a safe refuge for your anointed.
11 Save your people and bless your inheritance; *
shepherd them and carry them 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.

Leaf-cutter ants carry back pieces many times their bodyweight to feed the colony. (Jon Pinder)

THE LESSONS
Proverbs 30:1-4, 24-33 (NRSV)

The words of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle.

Thus says the man: I am weary, O God,
I am weary, O God. How can I prevail?
Surely I am too stupid to be human;
I do not have human understanding.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the holy ones.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of the hand?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is the person’s name?
And what is the name of the person’s child?
Surely you know!

Four things on earth are small,
yet they are exceedingly wise:
the ants are a people without strength,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
the badgers are a people without power,
yet they make their homes in the rocks;
the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
the lizard can be grasped in the hand,
yet it is found in kings’ palaces.

Three things are stately in their stride;
four are stately in their gait:
the lion, which is mightiest among wild animals
and does not turn back before any;
the strutting rooster, the he-goat,
and a king striding before his people.

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
For as pressing milk produces curds,
and pressing the nose produces blood,
so pressing anger produces strife.

Canticle: A Song of Pilgrimage
Ecclesiasticus 51:13-16, 20b-22

Before I ventured forth,
even while I was very young, *
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
In the forecourts of the temple I asked for her, *
and I will seek her to the end.
From first blossom to early fruit, *
she has been the delight of my heart.
My foot has kept firmly to the true path, *
diligently from my youth have I pursued her.
I inclined my ear a little and received her; *
I found for myself much wisdom and became adept in her.
To the one who gives me wisdom will I give glory, *
for I have resolved to live according to her way.
From the beginning I gained courage from her, *
therefore I will not be forsaken.
In my inmost being I have been stirred to seek her, *
therefore have I gained a good possession.
As my reward the Almighty has given me the gift of language,*
and with it will I offer praise to God.

Philippians 3:1-11 (NRSV)

Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.

To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, and for you it is a safeguard.

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh—even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh.

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Canticle: A Song of Faith
1 Peter 1:3-4, 18-21

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, *
by divine mercy we have a new birth into a living hope;
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, *
we have an inheritance that is imperishable in heaven.
The ransom that was paid to free us *
was not paid in silver or gold,
But in the precious blood of Christ, *
the Lamb without spot or stain.
God raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory *
so that we might have faith and hope in God.

Antonio Ciseri, 1871: Christ before Pilate

John 18:28-38 (NRSV)

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him.”

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. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your congregation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among the nations;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
R. Never forget the lives of your poor.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
V. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
R. So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

Father Absalom Jones and historic St. Thomas’s African Episcopal Church never had an easy time of it. The Methodists they broke away from eventually donated land on which Jones could build his new church, but then repossessed it and charged them money to get their building back. Negotiations with Episcopal Bishop White were also fraught; White held most of the power to admit them to his diocese, but the St. Thomas congregation demanded a condition that Mr. Jones be licensed as a layreader and eventually ordained, so they could exert their own leadership. He spent many, many years as a deacon before White finally made him a priest. That legacy of resisting racism is what makes St. Thomas’s a vibrant and respected parish today. (Delaware Art Museum)

Raphaelle Peale, 1810: Absalom Jones. He and his friend Richard Allen led a walkout from their Philadelphia Methodist church when it tried to spring racial segregation on them one Sunday. They organized their own church, which became St. Thomas African Episcopal Church, on the condition that Mr. Jones be licensed as a layreader and eventually ordained; he was, first as a deacon and years later as a priest, by William White, the founding father of The Episcopal Church. Without Fr. Absalom, Michael Curry might be the Presiding Bishop of Mr. Allen’s A.M.E. Church instead. (Delaware Art Museum)

Collect of the Day: Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear; that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

No U.S., Allied Casualties in War, Thanks Be to God
They Have Names, compiled since 2007 by Clint Gilliland

Total War Deaths: 8,398

Iraq: Total Deaths: 4,852
-no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week-

Afghanistan: Total Deaths: 3,546
-no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week-

Naomi Parker Fraley has died, two years after a Seton Hall University professor showed that she was the inspiration for the iconic World War II poster of Rosie the Riveter, a symbol of all the American women who kept factories humming by filling industrial jobs left behind by men going off to war. In the poster by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, the Rosie character, a determined, pretty woman, tied up her hair in a red bandanna, donned her blue uniform, rolled up her sleeve and showed off her muscle under the slogan “We Can Do It!” Indeed, millions of Rosies did it, producing more tanks and vehicles, artillery and mortars, machine guns and aircraft, ships and ammunition – and the raw materials to make them – than the world had ever seen. With their counterparts in the Soviet Union and the British Empire, which also built huge supplies, the Allies outproduced the German Axis 2-1, 5-1, even 10-1. (John D. Fraley)

 

Rosie went through many incarnations. In 1942 she was given her name in a popular song that became hits for Kay Kyser’s Band and the Four Vagabonds, an African-American quartet. The songwriters based their ditty on a woman from Long Island, N.Y. In 1943 Norman Rockwell made a Rosie cover for The Saturday Evening Post, using a model from Vermont. Westinghouse Electric commissioned the iconic poster for its factories to keep up morale. The artist based his Rosie on this newspaper photo of a young worker leaning over her lathe; a few months later the poster was taken down and forgotten. Thirty years later amid the ‘70s women’s movement, it resurfaced at the Library of Congress, and was soon mass-produced on everything from T-shirts to coffee mugs. But who was the woman in the photo? The media assumed it was a Michigan woman who thought it looked like her, but Seton Hall professor James J. Kimble was intrigued; he didn’t doubt the Michigan woman but the media’s skimpy evidence. He set out to find who that lathe operator was. It took him six years to locate the original photo; her name was Naomi Parker, a 20-year-old lathe operator at the Alameda Naval Air Station in California. He wondered if he could find her. (Acme Photo Agency)

 

Naomi Parker Fraley and her younger sister Ada Parker Loy, still gorgeous in their 90s. When the war broke out they were 20 and 18, living with their parents in Alameda, and got jobs at the Naval Air Station, two of the first women assigned to jobs in the machine shop. It was there in 1942 that the Acme photographer took the picture, which was published in the local paper with the caption, “Pretty Naomi Parker looks like she might catch her nose in the turret lathe she is operating.” She kept an original clip of it for 70 years. After the war she married a few times and worked as a waitress in Palm Springs, serving Hollywood stars. She witnessed the Rosie revival in the feminist era, but didn’t connect the poster with herself until she and Ada visited the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Site in Richmond, California, where a display said the poster came from the photo – mis-identified as the Michigan woman. She wrote to the National Park Service, which asked for her help in tracking it down. Then the professor showed up: “Rosie the Riveter?” He published his research and Naomi Parker Fraley spent the last two years of her life basking in glory. “I didn’t want fame or fortune,” she told People magazine, “but I did want my own identity. The women of this country these days need some icons. If they think I’m one, I’m happy.” The Omaha World-Herald newspaper asked what it was like to be a symbol of World War II. “Victory!” she cried. “Victory! Victory!” (John D. Fraley)

For Those in the Armed Forces of our Country

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Collect for Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. 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: Rosie the Riveter (John Jacob Loeb; Redd Evans) – The Four Vagabonds, 1943

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