Morning Prayer 3.13.19, James Theodore Holly, Bishop of Haiti, & of the Dominican Republic, 1911

Good services today:

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

Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

As the tale of Brexit slowly grinds on, the unmarked border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is a major stumbling block. No one wants border crossings; they would disrupt daily life. Ireland is a member of the European Union with its own laws and regulations, which the UK wants to leave without altering free trade in Ireland. British politicians are locked in a stalemate while people are having to hoard canned goods and veterinary supplies. Yesterday Parliament rejected Theresa May’s latest Brexit plan by 149 votes, with only 17 days before the split is scheduled to take effect – and there’s a sudden run on canned peas. (Peter Morrison/AP)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

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.

Psalm 95

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!
Harden not your hearts,
as your forebears did in the wilderness,
at Meribah, and on that day at Massah,
when they tempted me.
They put me to the test,
though they had seen my works.
Forty years long I detested that generation and said,
“This people are wayward in their hearts;
they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my wrath,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Psalm 119:49-72

49 Remember your word to your servant, *
because you have given me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my trouble, *
that your promise gives me life.
51 The proud have derided me cruelly, *
but I have not turned from your law.
52 When I remember your judgments of old, *
O LORD, I take great comfort.
53 I am filled with a burning rage, *
because of the wicked who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been like songs to me *
wherever I have lived as a stranger.
55 I remember your name in the night, O LORD, *
and dwell upon your law.
56 This is how it has been with me, *
because I have kept your commandments.

57 You only are my portion, O LORD; *
I have promised to keep your words.
58 I entreat you with all my heart, *
be merciful to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways *
and turned my feet toward your decrees.
60 I hasten and do not tarry *
to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked entangle me, *
I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I will rise to give you thanks, *
because of your righteous judgments.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you *
and of those who keep your commandments.
64 The earth, O LORD, is full of your love; *
instruct me in your statutes.

65 O LORD, you have dealt graciously with your servant, *
according to your word.
66 Teach me discernment and knowledge, *
for I have believed in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, *
but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and you bring forth good; *
instruct me in your statutes.
69 The proud have smeared me with lies, *
but I will keep your commandments with my whole heart.
70 Their heart is gross and fat, *
but my delight is in your law.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, *
that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is dearer to me *
than thousands in gold and silver.

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.

Today’s lesson is one of several in the Old Testament referring to  calves as idols; others are in 1st Kings, Exodus and Nehemiah, and they bear striking similarities, while varying in who is the target of God’s wrath. (Providence Lithograph Company)

THE LESSONS
Deuteronomy 9:13-21 (NRSV)

Furthermore the LORD said to me, “I have seen that this people is indeed a stubborn people. Let me alone that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and more numerous than they.”

So I turned and went down from the mountain, while the mountain was ablaze; the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. Then I saw that you had indeed sinned against the LORD your God, by casting for yourselves an image of a calf; you had been quick to turn from the way that the LORD had commanded you. So I took hold of the two tablets and flung them from my two hands, smashing them before your eyes. Then I lay prostrate before the LORD as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin you had committed, provoking the LORD by doing what was evil in his sight. For I was afraid that the anger that the LORD bore against you was so fierce that he would destroy you. But the LORD listened to me that time also. The LORD was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him, but I interceded also on behalf of Aaron at that same time. Then I took the sinful thing you had made, the calf, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it thoroughly, until it was reduced to dust; and I threw the dust of it into the stream that runs down the mountain.

Canticle: A Song of Penitence
Prayer of Manasseh, 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.

Hebrews 3:12-19 (NRSV)

Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? But with whom was he angry forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1899: Nicodemus Visiting Jesus (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)

John 2:23 – 3:15 (NRSV)

When Jesus was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

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.

James T. Holly, the first African-American bishop in the Episcopal Church, was especially attracted to Haiti because of its successful slave revolt against the French in 1803, causing Napoleon to abandon his dreams of a French empire in the New World and to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States. Holly led his family and a group of African-Americans to the island nation, where he established churches, schools and medical missions throughout Hispaniola; his Diocese of Haiti is now the largest in the Episcopal Church. He also ordained Benjamin Isaac Wilson as the first Anglican priest in the Dominican Republic in 1898. Holly endured many hardships, including the loss of most of his family, but God never left him, and wrote his name among the missionary greats.

Collect of the Day: James Theodore Holly, Bishop of Haiti, and of the Dominican Republic, 1911

Most gracious God, we thank you that your servant James Theodore Holly labored to build a Church in which all might be free: Grant that, inspired by his testimony, we may overcome our prejudice and honor those whom you call from every family, language, people, and nation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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 the second time in three years, California is experiencing “super blooms” of wildflowers whose seeds were buried for years, sometimes for decades, before suddenly emerging in great swaths of unexpected color after a wet winter. And people are taking advantage; this one is near Corrego Springs. (Gregory Bull/AP)

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

Honorary Deacon Clint, safe passage
Yvonne, facing surgery
Willie G. Allen, diabetic complications, amputations
Mary Smith Wright, cancer
AJ, knee injury
Kristen, health and PTSD
Arthur, advanced Parkinson’s
Jill’s sister Kay, completed chemotherapy
Barbara Hughes, breast cancer
Leesa, recovery from childbirth; baby is well
Charlotte, cancer
Mark Johnson, open-heart surgery postponed
Deacon Dorothy Saucedo, leukemia
Edward, stroke
Jonathan, car accident
Fr. Ed, recovering from stroke
Kara Haney, cerebral palsy, heart and more
Fr. Jack Haney, multiple issues
Judith, ovarian cancer
Jo, diabetes
Beth, health issues

For Caregivers
Jena
Linda
Watt

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: Jesus, keep me near the Cross (LEVAS #29, William H. Doane; Fanny Crosby) – Neville Peter, 2008

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