Morning Prayer 2.12.19, Charles F. Andrews, Friend of the Poor in India, 1940

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I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust.

Someone is stealing the bonsai trees of Japan – and in the U.S. too. CNN reports that seven trees worth $118,000 were stolen from a farm outside Tokyo last month, including a 400-year-old shimpaku juniper; now the owner has issued an appeal for the tree’s care, including weekly watering. Police say that bonsai thieves, like jewel thieves, know what they’re looking for and only steal the most valuable specimens, which usually wind up for sale a few months later, so aficionados check each other’s Instagram accounts regularly. Above: this tree at the Washington Arboretum’s National Bonsai and Penjing Museum is nearly 400. Repent, ye thieves! (Calla Kessler/The Washington Post)

Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3

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 78:1-39

1 Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3 That which we have heard and known,
and what our ancestors have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.
4 We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, *
and the wonderful works God has done.
5 God set up decrees for Jacob
and established a law for Israel, *
commanding them to teach it to their children;
6 That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7 So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep God’s commandments;
8 And not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn and rebellious generation, *
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.

9 The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, *
turned back in the day of battle;
10 They did not keep the covenant of God, *
and refused to walk in God’s law;
11 They forgot what God had done, *
and the wonders shown to them.
12 God worked marvels in the sight of their ancestors, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 God split open the sea and let them pass through; *
making the waters stand up like walls.
14 God led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15 God split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16 God brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17 But they went on sinning against the LORD, *
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.

18 They tested God in their hearts, *
demanding food for their craving.
19 They railed against God and said, *
“Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20 True, God struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed; *
but is God able to give bread
or to provide meat for this people?”
21 Hearing this, the LORD was full of wrath; *
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
the LORD’s anger mounted against Israel;
22 For they had no faith in God, *
nor did they put their trust in the LORD’s saving power.
23 So God commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.
24 God rained down manna upon them to eat *
and gave them grain from heaven.
25 So mortals ate the bread of angels; *
God provided for them food enough.
26 God caused the east wind to blow in the heavens *
and mightily led out the south wind.
27 God rained down flesh upon them like dust *
and wingèd birds like the sand of the sea.
28 God let it fall in the midst of their camp *
and round about their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled, *
for the LORD gave them what they craved.

30 But they did not stop their craving, *
though the food was still in their mouths.
31 So God’s anger mounted against them; *
God slew their strongest
and laid low the youth of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they went on sinning *
and had no faith in God’s wonderful works.
33 So God brought their days to an end like a breath *
and their years in sudden terror.
34 Whenever God slew them, they would repent, *
and they would diligently search for God.
35 They would remember that God was their rock, *
and the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered God with their mouths *
and lied to God with their tongues.
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward God, *
and they were not faithful to the covenant.
38 But being so merciful, God forgave their sins
and did not destroy them; *
many times God held back anger
and did not permit divine wrath to be roused.
39 For the LORD remembered that they were but flesh, *
a breath that goes forth and does not return.

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 LESSONS
Isaiah 59:1-15a (NRSV)

See, the LORD’s hand is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness. No one brings suit justly, no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity. They hatch adders’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web; whoever eats their eggs dies, and the crushed egg hatches out a viper. Their webs cannot serve as clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they rush to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths. Their roads they have made crooked; no one who walks in them knows peace.

Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us; we wait for light, and lo! there is darkness; and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope like the blind along a wall, groping like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among the vigorous as though we were dead. We all growl like bears; like doves we moan mournfully. We wait for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions before you are many, and our sins testify against us. Our transgressions indeed are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning away from following our God, talking oppression and revolt, conceiving lying words and uttering them from the heart. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.

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.

St. Paul with Siconius and Timothy. (source unknown)

2 Timothy 1:1-14 (NRSV)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

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.

A millstone in Israel (imgbuddy.com)

Mark 9:42-50 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

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.

Charles Freer Andrews joined the Church of England and the Christian Social Union while he was a student at Cambridge. Ordained in 1897, he affiliated with the Cambridge Brotherhood of India and taught philosophy at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He combated racism throughout the British Empire, including in South Africa, where he befriended Mohandas Gandhi, and Fiji, where Indians were being oppressed as indentured servants.

Collect of the Day: Charles Freer Andrews, Priest and Friend of the Poor in India, 1940

Gracious God, you called Charles Freer Andrews to show forth your salvation to the poor: By your Holy Spirit inspire in us a tender concern, a passionate justice, and an active love for all people, that there may be one Body and one Spirit in Jesus Christ, our Savior; who with you and the same Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For the Nation

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

No Allied Deaths in War Last Week, Thanks Be to God

They Have Names, begun by Clint Gilliland in 2007
February 4-10, 2019
Source: iCasualties

Total War Deaths: 8,448

Iraq Total Deaths: 4,887

War Officially Ended: December 2011
Current Troop Level: 5,200 + 2000 in Syria

-No casualties this past week-

Afghanistan Total Deaths: 3,561

War Officially Ended: December 2014
Current Troop Level: 14,000

-No casualties this past week-

U.S. Congressman Walter P. Jones (R-NC) has died, a fervent supporter of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2002 who turned against the war and became a fierce critic after attending the funeral of a constituent who died fighting in Afghanistan. In 2002 he led a xenophobic backlash against France for criticizing the U.S. buildup, with a silly move renaming French fries as “freedom fries” and French toast as “freedom toast.” But a year later he listened to the widow of a soldier in Afghanistan read his last letter home at his funeral, in front of newborn twins who would never know their father, after which Jones cried all the way home an hour away. After that, he wrote personal letters to the survivors of every servicemember killed in combat. He told NPR in 2017, “I have signed over 12,000 letters to families and extended families who’ve lost loved ones in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and that was for me asking God to forgive me for my mistake.” (Andrew Harnik/AP)

For Those We Love on Active Duty
Molly
Chris
Patrick
Logan

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: Sing praise to God who reigns above (#408, Mit freuden zart, German, 1529; Johann Jacob Schütz, tr. Frances Elizabeth Cox) – First-Plymouth UCC, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2018

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