Morning Prayer 12.30.20, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1170, tr.

The countdown on 2020 has begun:

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Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.

Five years late, U.S. railroads have finally complied with a Congressional mandate to install an automatic braking system on 58,000 miles of track. The $15 billion “positive train control” system aims to prevent crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board said it would have prevented 150 collisions and derailments since 1969. Congress required the system be installed within 7 years after a 2008 crash in Los Angeles killed 25 and injured more than 100. The industry said it couldn’t comply, and Congress had to extend the deadline twice. Above: The Amtrak Acela, a high-speed commuter train which runs the Northeast corridor between Boston, New York City and Washington. (Amtrak)

Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born 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 20

1 May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble, *
the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;
2 From God’s holy place may you receive help; *
may God strengthen you out of Zion.
3 May God remember all your offerings *
and accept your burnt sacrifice;
4 Grant you your heart’s desire *
and prosper all your plans.
5 We will shout for joy at your victory
and triumph in the Name of our God; *
may the LORD grant all your requests.
6 Now I know that the LORD gives victory to the anointed one; *
out of God’s holy heaven will come an answer;
the right hand of the LORD works victorious strength.
7 Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, *
but we will call upon the Name of the LORD our God.
8 They collapse and fall down, *
but we will arise and stand upright.
9 O LORD, give victory to the king *
and answer us when we call.

Psalm 21:1-7

1 The king rejoices in your strength, O LORD; *
how greatly he exults in your victory!
2 You have given him his heart’s desire; *
you have not denied him the request of his lips.
3 For you meet him with blessings of prosperity, *
and set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him: *
length of days, for ever and ever.
5 His honor is great, because of your victory; *
splendor and majesty have you bestowed upon him.
6 For you will give him everlasting felicity *
and will make him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king puts his trust in the LORD; *
because of the loving-kindness of the Most High, he will not fall.

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 LESSONS
Isaiah 25:1-9 (NRSV)

O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
For you have been a refuge to the poor,
a refuge to the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
the song of the ruthless was stilled.

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Canticle: Third Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19

Arise, shine, for your light has come, *
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
For behold, darkness covers the land; *
deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.
But over you the Lord will rise, *
and his glory will appear upon you.
Nations will stream to your light, *
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.
Your gates will always be open; *
by day or night they will never be shut.
They will call you, The City of the Lord, *
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Violence will no more be heard in your land, *
ruin or destruction within your borders.
You will call your walls, Salvation, *
and all your portals, Praise.
The sun will no more be your light by day; *
by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.
The Lord will be your everlasting light, *
and your God will be your glory.

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.

Church of the Holy Comforter in Spring, Texas installed a new Revelation window this fall, an exciting development for a growing parish. The new work is now paired with an existing Creation window by the same artist; the church built a new nave a couple of years ago, and now the windows serve as bookends from Genesis to Revelation. When the sun streams through, the colors play across the walls and floor. (parish photo)

Revelation 1:9-20 (NRSV)

I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades. Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”

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.

Lorenzo Lotto, 1527-29: Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery. Where is the guilty man? (Louvre, Paris)

John 7:53—8:11 (NRSV)

Then each of them went home, while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

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.

DeGrey Family Book of Hours, c. 1390: Murder of Thomas Becket. As chancellor of England he was the king’s frequent companion, carousing every chance they got. That’s why Henry II appointed him, so he’d have his own man as archbishop. But once Becket was consecrated, he changed completely; his supporters claimed he had a miraculous change of heart, while others note that once Becket gained an independent power base, he turned on a king he didn’t need anymore. His murder climaxed a dispute over which of them had the right to prosecute criminal priests. When a priest killed or raped, did the Church have jurisdiction or did the State? One question led to another: who ran England, the pope or the king? The Papacy defeated Henry II, but lost 350 years later to Henry VIII. (National Library of Wales)

Collect of the Day: Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr, 1170

O God, our strength and our salvation, you called your servant Thomas Becket to be a shepherd of your people and a defender of your church: Keep your household from all evil and raise up among us faithful pastors and leaders who are wise in the ways of the gospel; through Jesus Christ the shepherd of our souls, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

On Racism and Injustice
© Daily Office Network

O God, call us into a deeper relationship to be your church for the sake of the world. Help us to see with new eyes the injustices within church and society. Call us to have a loving heart that respects and uplifts the humanity and dignity of every person; open our ears to listen and learn from the experiences of people whose skin is different from ours. Open our mouths to speak up about injustices. Join us with others to work for racial equity and inclusion for all people. 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 joy in God’s creation: Window Rock on the Navajo Reservation, Arizona. (Ben Frantzdale)

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

WEEK ONE

Each of the 81.7 million cases of coronavirus worldwide; especially Zoe & Heather
All who put their lives on the line to serve and save others

Honorary Deacon Clint, safe passage
Martha, freedom of movement, less pain
Padre Mickey, chemotherapy’s on hold
Dan, surgery recovery
Lesley, car accident, longterm care
Jennifer’s MS
Nora, anxiety
J. Huertas, heart problems
Marilyn, Jan’s sister, major illness
Yvonne, chemotherapy
Jon, diabetic macular edema and glaucoma: surgery complete, residual pain
Jimmy, stroke
Marsi, cancer
Cheryl D., car accident
Mark, pain after surgery
Paris, Jason & baby Brenden
Joanne, physical & mental health
Katheryn and son Robert, mild cognitive impairment
Marcella, nerve damage & intractable pain
Abby, age 11, health and healing

For Caregivers
Greg
Jena
Karen
Clare
Bill
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: A babe is born (English melody, arr. Allan Alexander; Sloane MS., 15th C.) – Trond Bengtson, lutenist, 2015

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