Evening Prayer 7.30.20, William Wilberforce, Abolitionist, 1833

Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

This is an empty dorm at the Farmville, Virginia Refugee Detention Center, a privately-owned jail with a big ICE contract and a giant Covid-19 problem, with 262 of 400 inmates testing positive. Many of those positives were transferred within the ICE system to Farmville from hotspot states Arizona and Florida. Conditions are so bad the governor and Virginia’s two senators have asked the CDC to intervene. Immigrant rights groups have sued ICE and its contractor, the Immigration Centers of America, in Federal court. Eight staff people came up positive after they got themselves tested outside the facility, and the town of Farmville and the surrounding county have also seen a doubling of total cases since June. Local government won’t do anything, since it gets a cut of the prison’s profits. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because God is at my right hand, I shall not fall. Psalm 16:7-8

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

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.

Hymn: Light of the World

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 74

1 O God, why have you utterly cast us off? *
why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago, *
the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance,
and Mount Zion where you dwell.
3 Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; *
the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries roared in your holy place; *
they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5 Like those who come with axes to a grove of trees; *
they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.
6 They set fire to your holy place; *
they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name
and razed it to the ground.
7 They said to themselves, “Let us destroy them altogether.” *
They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.
8 There are no signs for us to see;
there is no prophet left; *
there is not one among us who knows how long.
9 How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? *
will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
10 Why do you draw back your hand? *
why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
11 Yet God is my Sovereign from ancient times, *
victorious in the midst of the earth.
12 You divided the sea by your might *
and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
13 You crushed the heads of Leviathan *
and gave it to the people of the desert for food.
14 You split open spring and torrent; *
you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15 Yours is the day, yours also the night; *
you established the moon and the sun.
16 You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; *
you made both summer and winter.
17 Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed, *
how a foolish people despised your Name.
18 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; *
never forget the lives of your poor.
19 Look upon your covenant; *
the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
20 Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed; *
let the poor and needy praise your Name.
21 Arise, O God, maintain your cause; *
remember how fools revile you all day long.
22 Forget not the clamor of your adversaries, *
the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.

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.

Christ’s Descent from the Cross, 14th C. Joseph the Arimathean is in the center, in the green cloak, with the holy women arrayed around our Lord. (Church of Agia Marina, Cyprus)

THE LESSON
Matthew 27:55-66 (NRSV)

Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children 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.

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

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.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1828: William Wilberforce. He was raised Anglican, but was influenced by Methodists and other evangelicals at any early age, who urged him to take up the anti-slavery cause. He wasn’t the first to advocate, but he became the key member of Parliament on the issue, obtaining a ban on the slave trade in 1807 and the abolition of slavery itself in most of the British Empire in 1833. He was conservative, but he was acutely aware that the discussion was about human beings with souls as dear to God as any others. Wilberforce’s conviction and commitment to ending slavery were a direct result of his faith in Jesus Christ; his political skill was the gift of God.

Collect of the Day: William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, kindle in your Church the never-failing gift of love, that, following the example of your servant William Wilberforce, we may have grace to defend the poor, and maintain the cause of those who have no helper; for the sake of him who gave his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

In Time of Calamity

O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of hurricanes, fires, protests and viruses, we flee to you for succor. Deliver the people, we beseech you, from their peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the needy; prosper the means of their safety; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we all may apply our hearts unto your heavenly wisdom which leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Blackburn, England; Bo, Sierra Leone; and Nzara, South Sudan

Thursday Evening Prayer List

For Sobriety & Recovery
Everyone missing their 12-step groups
Men of Reconciliation House
Jon
Stacey
Ian
Talmadge
Martin
Perry
Blake
Beth
Phoebe

For Those with Addictions

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion on all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

For Mental Health & Family Harmony
Samantha
Scotty
Adam
Lyle
Beth

For those with mental illness
by Josh Thomas

O heavenly Father, look with your love on all your children who are living with mental illness; bless them with kindness and patience. Give them true friends who understand them and knowledgable therapists with competence and compassion. Soothe their worries, lift their spirits, help them to trust others, quiet their negative thinking, help them care for themselves and give them peace; through the infinite mercy of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Please add your own prayers 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.

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: Jesu, Jesu (#602, Chereponi, Ghanian folk song, adapt. Thomas Colvin; Ghanian, tr. Colvin) – First-Plymouth UCC, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2018

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