Morning Prayer 7.1.19, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Writer, 1896; [Canada Day]

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You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do.

There’s a new quasi-musical on Broadway about Hildegard von Bingen: “In the Green” by Grace Mclean, who also stars as the saint’s spiritual director – not the saint herself, which may be the start of the show’s issues. Hildegard, a Renaissance woman centuries before the Renaissance began, is best known today for her music, but the show only uses a few snippets and, one critic said, can barely be termed a musical at all; his respectful but brutal review called it confusing, incoherent and boring. Using actors holding wooden carvings representing the saint’s physical senses – lips for the sense of taste, you see – is only the start of the weirdness, or maybe Hildegard’s many Christian fans will grasp Ms. Mclean’s vision and be delighted. (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:2

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 106:1-18

1 Hallelujah!
Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, *
whose mercy endures for ever.
2 Can anyone declare the mighty acts of the LORD *
or show forth all God’s praise?
3 Happy are those who act with justice *
and always do what is right!
4 Remember me, O LORD, with the favor you have for your people, *
and visit me with your saving help;
5 That I may see the prosperity of your elect
and be glad with the gladness of your people, *
that I may glory with your inheritance.

6 We have sinned as our ancestors did; *
we have done wrong and dealt wickedly.
7 In Egypt they did not consider your marvelous works,
nor remember the abundance of your love; *
they defied the Most High at the Red Sea.
8 But you saved them for your Name’s sake, *
to make your power known.
9 The LORD rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up, *
God led them through the deep as through a desert.
10 The LORD saved them from the hand of those who hated them *
and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 The waters covered their oppressors; *
not one of them was left.
12 Then they believed the words of the LORD *
and sang out songs of praise.

13 But they soon forgot the deeds of the LORD *
and did not await divine counsel.
14 A craving seized them in the wilderness, *
and they put God to the test in the desert.
15 God gave them what they asked, *
but sent leanness into their soul.
16 They envied Moses in the camp, *
and Aaron, the holy one of the LORD.
17 The earth opened and swallowed Dathan *
and covered the company of Abiram.
18 Fire blazed up against their company, *
and flames devoured the wicked.

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.

Samuel anoints Saul as king. (Bible Encyclopedia)

THE LESSONS
1 Samuel 10:17-27 (NRSV)

Samuel summoned the people to the LORD at Mizpah and said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said, ‘No! but set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your clans.”

Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of the Matrites was taken by lot. Finally he brought the family of the Matrites near man by man, and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. So they inquired again of the LORD, “Did the man come here?” and the LORD said, “See, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” Then they ran and brought him from there. When he took his stand among the people, he was head and shoulders taller than any of them. Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship; and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the LORD. Then Samuel sent all the people back to their homes. Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went warriors whose hearts God had touched. But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

Now Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the Gadites and the Reubenites. He would gouge out the right eye of each of them and would not grant Israel a deliverer. No one was left of the Israelites across the Jordan whose right eye Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had not gouged out. But there were seven thousand men who had escaped from the Ammonites and had entered Jabesh-gilead.

Canticle: First Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 12:2-6

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

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 stoning of St. Stephen is a shocking thing, but well worth attending to closely, that the day after the joy of Christmas we are confronted with the horror of seeing someone murdered for Christ. But this reality is contained within the Christ Mass itself; the lections and songs are full of the love of God, but the Sacrament begins “On the night he was handed over to suffering and death.” Stephen was the first martyr for Christ, a joyful deacon and powerful preacher so near to the heart and mind of Jesus that he had to be killed too. In a way it was the ultimate honor; the Church calls this a major feast day. (iconographer unknown)

St. Stephen, Deacon and First Martyr for Christ (iconographer unknown)

Acts 7:44-8:1a (NRSV)

Stephen said, “Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the wilderness, as God directed when he spoke to Moses, ordering him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. Our ancestors in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors. And it was there until the time of David, who found favor with God and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands; as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.”

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.

And Saul approved of their killing him. That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

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.

Jesus is arrested. (jw.org)

Luke 22:52-62 (NRSV)

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

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.

Brenda Putnam: Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” opened eyes and shocked humanity in its portrayal of racist slavery. When he met her, President Abraham Lincoln said, “So you’re the little lady who started this (Civil) War,” and she didn’t deny it. For 40 years it was the world’s bestselling book after the Bible.

Collect of the Day: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Writer and Prophetic Witness, 1896

Gracious God, we thank you for the witness of Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose fiction inspired thousands with compassion for the shame and sufferings of enslaved peoples, and who enriched her writings with the cadences of The Book of Common Prayer. Help us, like her, to strive for your justice, that our eyes may see the glory of your Son, Jesus Christ, when he comes to reign with you and the Holy Spirit in reconciliation and peace, one God, now and always. Amen.

Collect for the Nation
from the Canadian Book of Alternative Services

Almighty God, whose wisdom and whose love are over all, accept the prayers we offer for our nation. Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority, that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for the Renewal of Life

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anglican Rosary Prayer
said on the cruciform bead

Dear Lord Jesus,
help me do the things I should.
To be to others kind and good.
And in all I do or say,
grow more loving every day.

Monday Morning Prayer List: Most Recent

Honorary Deacon Clint, home hospice
Pastor Bruce Gilette, acute leukemia
Jim, in hospice, and wife Clare
Mary, 92, hospice care
Marilyn, Jan’s sister, & Bill, major illness
that the St. Paul’s, Chester, wellness clinic opens on time in September
Marsi, cancer
Andrea Williams, recurrence of lymphoma
Yvonne, next steps
Padre Mickey Dresbach, sarcoma
Katrina, continued surgery recovery
Lauren, healing & strength, & Flynt, patient understanding
Denise, back and ankle
Jennifer, shingles
Fr. Robert Hughes, spinal surgery recovery
Cheryl D., car accident
Cherei Addison, lung & bone cancer
Abby, age 10, surgery issues, health and healing
Nora Jean, toddler with cancer
Terrance Smith, working 3 jobs to make ends meet

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: I couldn’t hear nobody pray (LEVAS 171, Negro Spiritual; Traditional) – Lewis J. Keys & the Wiley College A Capella Choir, recording for the soundtrack of “Birth of a Nation” (2016), 2015

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