Morning Prayer 11.24.20, Catherine, Barbara & Margaret, Martyrs, c. 300

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Some good lectors again today:

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The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

AstraZeneca, the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm, and researchers at Oxford University announced Monday that their proposed coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective, cheaper and easier to distribute than two other promising vaccine candidates, which are 5% more effective but have to be stored at -90º F., making them less suited for developing nations. None of the proposed vaccines has been approved yet by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization, but all are ramping up manufacturing; health experts say all approved candidates will be needed. Above: one of 25,000 volunteers in the AstraZeneca trial receives an injection; bless the gift she is giving to humanity. (John Cairns/University of Oxford)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills; *
from where is my help to come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, *
the maker of heaven and earth.
3 The LORD will not let your foot be moved *
and the One who watches over you will not fall asleep.
4 Behold, the One who keeps watch over Israel *
shall neither slumber nor sleep;
5 It is the LORD who watches over you; *
the LORD is your shade at your right hand,
6 So that the sun shall not strike you by day, *
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; *
the LORD shall keep you safe.
8 The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in, *
from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 122

1 I was glad when they said to me, *
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
2 Now our feet are standing *
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built as a city *
that is at unity with itself;
4 To which the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD, *
the assembly of Israel,
to praise the Name of the LORD.
5 For there are the thrones of judgment, *
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: *
“May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls *
and quietness within your towers.
8 For the sake of my kindred and companions, *
I pray for your prosperity.
9 Because of the house of the LORD our God, *
I will seek to do you good.”

Psalm 123

1 To you I lift up my eyes, *
to you enthroned in the heavens.
2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, *
and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
3 So our eyes look to you, O LORD our God, *
until you show us your mercy.
4 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy, *
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5 Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *
and of the derision of the proud.

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.

Zechariah the shepherd (Layman’s Bible blog)

THE LESSONS
Zechariah 11:4-17 (NRSV)

Thus said the LORD my God: Be a shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them kill them and go unpunished; and those who sell them say, “Blessed be the LORD, for I have become rich”; and their own shepherds have no pity on them. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the earth, says the LORD. I will cause them, every one, to fall each into the hand of a neighbor, and each into the hand of the king; and they shall devastate the earth, and I will deliver no one from their hand.

So, on behalf of the sheep merchants, I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. I took two staffs; one I named Favor, the other I named Unity, and I tended the sheep. In one month I disposed of the three shepherds, for I had become impatient with them, and they also detested me. So I said, “I will not be your shepherd. What is to die, let it die; what is to be destroyed, let it be destroyed; and let those that are left devour the flesh of one another!” I took my staff Favor and broke it, annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples. So it was annulled on that day, and the sheep merchants, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD. I then said to them, “If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” So they weighed out as my wages thirty shekels of silver. Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it into the treasury” – this lordly price at which I was valued by them. So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them into the treasury in the house of the LORD. Then I broke my second staff Unity, annulling the family ties between Judah and Israel. Then the LORD said to me: Take once more the implements of a worthless shepherd. For I am now raising up in the land a shepherd who does not care for the perishing, or seek the wandering, or heal the maimed, or nourish the healthy, but devours the flesh of the fat ones, tearing off even their hoofs. Oh, my worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! Let his arm be completely withered, his right eye utterly blinded!

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.

The foundation is laid. (TREAT Center)

1 Corinthians 3:10-23 (NRSV)

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

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.

Vaclav Manes, 1832: Jesus heals the blind

Luke 18:31-43 (NRSV)

Then Jesus took the twelve aside and said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.” But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.

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.

Fernando Yanyez de la Almedina, c. 1510: St. Catherine of Alexandria. She stands with a martyr’s sword over part of a spiked chariot wheel, intended to run her over repeatedly until death. Tradition says she was a well-educated daughter of an Egyptian official, and that she criticized the emperor Maximilian for persecuting Christians, so he summoned 50 orators and philosophers to refute her, but they could not. When he tried to run her over, the wheel fell apart at her touch; finally he had her beheaded. Other artists show Maxmilian’s detached head lying at her feet. (Prado Museum, Madrid)

Collect of the Day: Catherine of Alexandria, Barbara of Nicomedia, and Margaret of Antioch, Martyrs, c. 300

Embolden your church, O God, with the stories of your saints Catherine, Barbara, and Margaret, that we might face all trials and adversities with a fearless mind and an unbroken spirit, knowing that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who strengthens us. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

For Cities

Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth. Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life. Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice and oppression, that peace may prevail with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 U.S. War Deaths; Congress Votes Medal of Honor for Sgt. Alwyn Cashe

They Have Names, begun by Clint Gilliland in 2007
Week of November 17-23, 2020
source: iCasualties

Total War Deaths: 7,037

Iraq Total Deaths: 4,586
War Officially Ended: December 2011
Current Troop Level: 5,200 + 600 in Syria

-no casualties last week-

Afghanistan Total Deaths: 2,451
War Officially Ended: December 2014
Current Troop Level: 14,000

-no casualties last week-

Congress has voted to award the Medal of Honor to Army Sgt. Alwyn Cashe, who gave his life fighting in Iraq in 2005 while rescuing seven other soldiers and an interpreter when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle was hit by an IED. The explosion spilled fuel all over Sgt. Cashe, whose initial injuries were slight; his clothes were on fire but he pulled everyone else out, ignoring his own danger. They survived but he died three weeks later. He was quickly awarded the Silver Star for heroism, but as more evidence accumulated even that high award was not enough. A five-year statute of limitations ran out before the Medal of Honor upgrade could be enacted; that’s when Congress stepped in. Sgt. Cashe served in the first Gulf War in 1991, and then in Iraq from 2003. His son Andrew just graduated from infantry school in Georgia in July. (military.com)

For Those We Love on Active Duty
LeeLee Denton
Michael
Kali
Peter
Krystle + Jordan
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: Amazing Grace (#671, New Britain, from Virginia Harmony, 1831; John Newton) – Blind Boys of Alabama, 2017

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