Morning Prayer 12.31.19, Frances Joseph Gaudet, Educator & Prison Reformer, 1934

A satisfying ending to old 2019:

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You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

Police do not know why a lone gunman walked into this church in suburban Fort Worth, Texas Sunday morning and started shooting with over 250 people present. They do know he had a long criminal record in several states. Sunday he killed two, a deacon serving Communion and a parishioner/volunteer security guard, before being killed by a second volunteer guard. One parishioner said after all the shooting, “I was so surprised because I did not know that so many in the church were armed.” (Yffy Yossifor/Star-Telegram)

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 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, *
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, *
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;
3 Though its waters rage and foam, *
and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.
4 The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

5 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, *
the holy habitation of the Most High.
6 God is in the midst of the city;
it shall not be overthrown; *
God shall help it at the break of day.
7 The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken; *
God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.
8 The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

9 Come now and look upon the works of the LORD, *
what awesome things God has done on earth.
10 It is the LORD who makes war to cease in all the world; *
who breaks the bow, and shatters the spear,
and burns the shields with fire.
11 ”Be still, then, and know that I am God; *
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in the earth.”
12 The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Psalm 48

1 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised; *
in the city of our God is the LORD’s holy hill.
2 Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, *
the city of the great Sovereign and the very center of the world.
3 God is in the citadels of Zion; *
God is known to be its sure refuge.
4 Behold, the rulers of the earth assembled *
and marched forward together.
5 They looked and were astounded; *
they retreated and fled in terror.
6 Trembling seized them there; *
they writhed like a woman in childbirth,
like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.
7 As we have heard, so have we seen,
in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God; *
God has established it for ever.
8 We have waited in silence on your loving-kindness, O God, *
in the midst of your temple.
9 Your praise, like your Name, O God, reaches to the world’s end; *
your right hand is full of justice.
10 Let Mount Zion be glad
and the cities of Judah rejoice, *
because of your judgments.
11 Make the circuit of Zion;
walk round about it; *
count the number of its towers.
12 Consider well its bulwarks;
examine its strongholds; *
that you may tell those who come after.
13 This God is our God for ever and ever; *
God shall be our guide for evermore.

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.

Luca Giordano: Solomon’s Vision

THE LESSONS
1 Kings 3:5-14 (NRSV)

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor all your life; no other king shall compare with you. If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life.”

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.

We are a mist that appears for a little while, James says. (Eberhard Grossgasteiger)

James 4:13-17; 5:7-11 (NRSV)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

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.

Carl Bloch, 1883: Christ Healing at the Pool of Bethesda

John 5:1-15 (NRSV)

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.

Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

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.

Most people are not particularly sympathetic toward prisoners, but Christians have a command of Jesus to deal with: “When did you visit me?” Frances Gaudet heard the call. In 1894 she started holding prayer meetings for young black prisoners in Louisiana, a ministry that expanded to include other races, prison reform efforts and education to prevent recidivism. She bought a farm, founded the Gaudet Normal and Industrial School and served as its principal until 1921, when she donated it to the Episcopal Diocese. The school closed in 1950 but reopened four years later as Gaudet Episcopal House and still serves African-American children ages 4-16. (stock photo)

Collect of the Day: Frances Joseph Gaudet, Educator and Prison Reformer, 1934

Merciful God, who raised up your servant Frances Joseph Gaudet to be a champion of the oppressed: Grant that we, encouraged by her example, may advocate for all who are denied the fullness of life to which you have called all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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.

Green Beret Killed Last Week in Afghanistan Identified & Brought Home

They Have Names, begun by Clint Gilliland in 2007
Week of December 24-30, 2019
source: iCasualties

Total War Deaths: 7,016

Iraq Total Deaths: 4,575
War Officially Ended: December 2011
Current Troop Level: 5,200 + 600 in Syria

-no casualties this past week-

Afghanistan Total Deaths: 2,441
War Officially Ended: December 2014
Current Troop Level: 14,000

-no casualties this past week-

Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble was killed a week ago Monday while cleaning out a Taliban weapons cache in Kunduz province, Afghanistan. He was 33 years old, from Washington Township, Bergen County, New Jersey, on his fourth combat tour, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne); his body was returned to the U.S. on Christmas Day. He is survived by his girlfriend Jen and their 6-year-old daughter Zoey. He loved skydiving and working on cars, especially Fords. An Afghan servicemember was also wounded in the explosion.

For Those We Love on Active Duty
Molly + Chris, deployed separately
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++

We’ll have another new fundraising thermometer tomorrow and more names on Sunday. Thank you for helping us spread the Gospel. (Click the pic!)

VIDEO: Lo, how a rose e’er blooming (#81, Es ist ein ros, German, 1599, harm. Michael Praetorius; German, 1599, tr. Baker et al.) – The Gesualdo Six at Ely Cathedral, 2011

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