Morning Prayer 1.3.19, William Passavant, Pastor Who Restored the Order of Deaconesses, 1894

We are one example of the “community of love” mentioned in today’s Prayer for Mission.

We recorded our 7 a.m. service; click here.
To pray with us at 9 a.m., go here.

They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

Pope Francis gave his noontime Angelus blessing New Year’s Day at St. Peter’s. (Andrew Medichini/AP)

Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

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 68 (PCP)

1 O God, arise, and let your enemies be scattered; *
let those who hate you flee before you.
2 Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
as the wax melts at the fire,
so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3 But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
let them also be merry and joyful.
4 Sing to God, sing praises to God’s Name;
exalt the One who rides upon the heavens; *
The Name of our God is the LORD; rejoice before the LORD!
5 Defender of widows, father of orphans, *
God in heaven’s holy habitation!
6 God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *
but the rebels shall live in dry places.
7 O God, when you went forth before your people, *
when you marched through the wilderness,
8 The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,
at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9 You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
you refreshed the land when it was weary.
10 Your people found their home in it; *
in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.
11 The Lord gave the word; *
great was the company of women who bore the tidings:
12 ”Kings with their armies are fleeing away; *
the women at home are dividing the spoils.”
13 Though you lingered among the sheepfolds, *
you shall be like a dove whose wings are covered with silver,
whose feathers are like green gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered kings, *
it was like snow falling in Zalmon.
15 O mighty mountain, O hill of Bashan! *
O rugged mountain, O hill of Bashan!
16 Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountain,
at the hill which God chose to rest? *
truly the LORD will dwell there for ever.
17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
even thousands of thousands; *
the Lord comes in holiness from Sinai.
18 You have gone up on high and led captivity captive;
you have received gifts even from your enemies, *
that the LORD God might dwell among them.
19 Blessed be the Lord day by day, *
the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens.
20 You are our God, the God of our salvation; *
God is the LORD, by whom we escape death.

21 You, O God, shall crush the heads of your enemies, *
and the hairy scalp of those who go on still in their wickedness.
22 The Lord has said, “I will bring them back from Bashan; *
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea;
23 That your foot may be dipped in blood, *
the tongues of your dogs in the blood of your enemies.”

24 They see your procession, O God, *
your procession into the sanctuary, my Sovereign and my God.
25 The singers go before, musicians follow after, *
in the midst of the maidens playing upon the hand-drums.
26 Bless God in the congregation; *
bless the LORD, you that are of the fountain of Israel.
27 There is Benjamin, least of the tribes, at the head;
the princes of Judah in a company; *
and the princes of Zebulon and Naphtali.
28 Send forth your strength, O God; *
establish, O God, what you have wrought for us.
29 Rulers shall bring gifts to you, *
for your temple’s sake at Jerusalem.
30 Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, *
and the peoples, a herd of wild bulls with its calves.
31 Trample down those who lust after silver; *
scatter the peoples that delight in war.
32 Let tribute be brought out of Egypt; *
let Ethiopia stretch out her hands to God.
33 Sing to God, O realms of the earth; *
sing praises to the Lord.
34 God rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; *
God’s voice thunders forth, a mighty voice.
35 Ascribe power to God; *
whose majesty is over Israel;
whose strength is in the skies.
36 How wonderful is God in the holy places! *
the God of Israel giving strength and power to the chosen people!
Blessed be God!

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.

Jacob’s ladder, or more accurately a staircase; artist unknown. The Oxford Annotated NRSV says this “suggests the ancient view that a sanctuary was a place where the god came to earth.” The LORD’s speech gives enormous comfort to Israel.

Jacob’s Ladder, by an unknown artist in the style of the Providence Lithograph Co.

THE LESSONS
Genesis 28:10-22 (NRSV)

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the LORD stood beside him and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place—and I did not know it!” And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one tenth to you.”

Canticle: The Song of Moses
Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18

I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted; *
the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my refuge; *
the Lord has become my Savior.
This is my God and I will praise him, *
the God of my people and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a mighty warrior; *
Yahweh is his Name.
The chariots of Pharaoh and his army has he hurled into the sea;
the finest of those who bear armor have been drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them; *
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might; *
your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy.
Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
who is like you, glorious in holiness,
awesome in renown, and worker of wonders?
You stretched forth your right hand; *
the earth swallowed them up.
With your constant love you led the people you redeemed; *
with your might you brought them in safety to your holy dwelling.
You will bring them in and plant them *
on the mount of your possession,
The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord, *
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established.
The Lord shall reign *
for ever and 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.

Alonso Cano, c. 1652: The death of Joseph, son of Isaac. (The Hermitage, St. Petersburg)

Hebrews 11:13-22 (NRSV)

All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, “bowing in worship over the top of his staff.” By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.

Canticle: Glory to God

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

(source unknown)

John 10:7-17 (NRSV)

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.”

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. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you;
R. We praise your Name for ever.
V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope;
R. And we shall never hope in vain.

William Passavant, a U.S. Lutheran pastor, founded numerous hospitals, schools and orphanages, but found he needed helpers; on a trip to Germany he decided his answer was deaconesses. He introduced them to America in 1849 and set apart the first U.S. sisters a year later, leading other denominations to do the same. Of course their duties (and incomes) were restricted to “women’s work” as then defined, but gender definitions always have a way of changing. (Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Collect of the Day: William Passavant, Prophetic Witness, 1894

Compassionate God, who raises up ministers among your people: May we ever desire, like your servant William Passavant, to support the work of equipping the saints for service among the sick and the friendless; through Jesus Christ, the divine Physician, who has prepared for us an eternal home, and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A Collect for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

America’s Gun Toll for 2018
Compiled by Michael Hartney
December 23-31, 2018
Source: Gun Violence Archives

Number of incidents, 2018: 56,765
Number of deaths: 14,598
Number of injuries: 28,148
Number of children injured or killed: 3,490
Number of police officers injured or killed: 291
Number of shootings of 4 (or more) injured or killed: 340

Total number of gun incidents Dec. 23-29: 1,161

Teenager deaths this week:

12.23
St. Petersburg, Florida
Destiny Loper, 17
Shot accidentally by a discharged gun inside a vehicle

12.23
Independence, Louisiana
Robert West II, 13
Shot with his Mother by an assailant in their home

12.24
St. Paul, Minnesota
Angel Hernandez, 15
Shot by a 16 y.o. in a city park

12.24
Vacaville, California
Male, 17
Shot during a fight

12.24
Mobile, Alabama
Jakorian Smith, 15
Shot by gunfire from two persons fighting in his home

12.26
Lakeland, Florida
Michael Taylor, 17
Shot by police while fleeing in a stolen vehicle

12.26
Lake City, Florida
Jadon Vaughn, 14
Shot by his 11 y.o. friend with an unsecured gun

12.26
Jersey City, New Jersey
Judane Holmes, 16.
Shot while in a fried chicken restaurant.

12.26
Goodman, Mississippi
Male, 17
Self-inflicted shot to the head with an unsecured gun

12.27
Boston, Massachusetts
Myssiah Pledger, 18
Shot while riding in a vehicle with friends

12.28
Wichita, Kansas
Male, 16
Shot during a grocery store robbery

Child deaths this week:

12.21
Portsmouth, Virginia
Kemon Battle, 12
Shot in the head by a stray bullet while playing outside

12.27
Little Rock, Arkansas
Ja’Shun Watson, 2.
Shot with his Mother outside their apartment

Corporal Ronil Singh of the Newman, California Police Department was murdered the day after Christmas. His alleged killer was arrested Friday and transported to jail held in Cpl. Singh’s own handcuffs. Singh was a native of Fiji, immigrated legally and achieved his dream of becoming a police officer. He was married and the father of a baby son. Singh’s uncle called his nephew “my family’s Action Hero… a very adventurous and beautiful soul, taken away too soon.” (Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department)

Police death this week:

12.26
Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33
Newman, California
Shot while apprehending a DUI suspect

There is good news in 2019 on gun regulations: several state and local restrictions went into effect January 1, including in Washington state, where two months ago 59% of voters raised the minimum age to buy semi-automatic assault rifles from 18 to 21, making gun sales uniform by category statewide instead of carving out a special privilege for the most lethal weapons. Kristen Ellingboe, a spokeswoman for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, said, “We’ve seen that assault rifles are the weapon of choice for mass shootings, and when they’re used, more people are killed and injured.” State and national gun rights groups have sued to stop the new law, but the state attorney general says he looks forward to seeing them in court. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Prayers of the faithful
By Katie Penner and Allison Schrag
themennonite.org

V. Today, we pray for the victims of gun violence in our city and that their suffering can bring about change.

R. Together we pray,
God, grant us peace. Heal our broken hearts with your love.

V. Today, we pray for comfort and healing for the communities torn apart by violence.

R. Together we pray,
God, grant us peace. Heal our broken hearts with your love.

V. Today, we pray for wisdom for the politicians and
activists advocating for stricter gun regulations.

R. Together we pray,
God, grant us peace. Heal our broken hearts with your love.

V. Today, we pray for change to come to this place.

R. Together we pray,
God, grant us peace. Heal our broken hearts with your love.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

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.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

God’s blessing be with us,
Christ’s peace be with us,
the Spirit’s outpouring be with us,
now and always. Amen.++

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