Morning Prayer 12.31.20, Frances Joseph Gaudet, Educator & Social Reformer, 1934

Somebody cue the grim reaper on 2020:

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In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

Christians have a command of Jesus to respond to: “When did you visit me in prison?” Frances Gaudet heard the call to help Black youth stay out of jail, and by her example she continues to inspire prison reformers. Yesterday a recently-retired chaplain at the Mississippi State Prison at Parchman left the following comment: “Frances Joseph Gaudet sounds like a really good person. I never heard of her – some people down on the (Gulf) Coast brought her to my attention this morning and she sounds like a real leader. About ten or fifteen years back some ladies from down in Baton Rouge were telling us that ‘prison reform’ is deeply embedded in primary education. I started thinking and praying about kids in the context of my 26 years as a prison chaplain and they were right – and I probably ought to go talk to whoever is the custodian of Sr. Gaudet’s apostolate.” That is the Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana, who administers Frances Gaudet Scholarships so at-risk kids can stay in school.

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 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.

Gates of heaven (deskridge, Deviant Art)

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 26:1-9 (NRSV)

On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

We have a strong city;
he sets up victory
like walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
so that the righteous nation that keeps faith
may enter in.
Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—
in peace because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
For he has brought low
the inhabitants of the height;
the lofty city he lays low.
He lays it low to the ground,
casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it,
the feet of the poor,
the steps of the needy.

The way of the righteous is level;
O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous.
In the path of your judgments,
O LORD, we wait for you;
your name and your renown
are the soul’s desire.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

Canticle: The Song of Moses
Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18

I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted; *
the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my refuge; *
the Lord has become my Savior.
This is my God and I will praise him, *
the God of my people and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a mighty warrior; *
Yahweh is his Name.
The chariots of Pharaoh and his army has he hurled into the sea;
the finest of those who bear armor have been drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them; *
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might; *
your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy.
Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
who is like you, glorious in holiness,
awesome in renown, and worker of wonders?
You stretched forth your right hand; *
the earth swallowed them up.
With your constant love you led the people you redeemed; *
with your might you brought them in safety to your holy dwelling.
You will bring them in and plant them *
on the mount of your possession,
The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord, *
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established.
The Lord shall reign *
for ever and 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.

Reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5:16 – 6:2 (NRSV)

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!

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.

(desmond372)

John 8:12-19 (NRSV)

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.” Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

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.

Frances Joseph Gaudet, of African-American and Native American descent, grew up in New Orleans, attended Straight College, and dedicated her life to improving conditions for prisoners, eventually winning wide support from politicians and prison officials. She bought a farm and built a boarding school for children of working mothers, which she donated to the Diocese of Louisiana when she retired. In 1954 this became the Gaudet Episcopal Home, and her trust lives on today in the Gaudet Scholarships.

Collect of the Day: Frances Joseph Gaudet, Educator and Social 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.

A Collect for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Homicides & Unintentional Deaths Increased by 4000 This Year

Last Week’s Gun Toll as of 12.30.20
source: Gun Violence Archive

891 total gun deaths last week (vs. 877)
429 murders and unintentional deaths (vs. 415)
19,149 homicide/murder/unintentional/DGU YTD (vs. 15,208)
462 suicides (est. weekly average)

626 people injured (vs. 710)
8 mass shootings (vs. 2)
2 mass murders (vs. 0)

8 young children killed (vs. 6)
16 young children injured (vs. 14)
26 teenagers killed (vs. 28)
52 teenagers injured (vs. 50)

0 police officers killed (vs. 2)
6 officers injured (vs. 10)
59 police officers killed YTD

27 persons killed by police (vs. 22)
13 persons injured by police (vs. 11)
1,280 persons killed by police YTD

33 defensive use incidents (vs. 26)
38 unintentional shootings (vs. 57)
13 murder-suicides (vs. 13)

A Prayer to End Gun Violence
Diocese of Newark

Gracious Lord who loves us so perfectly, help us to better love you and each other. We weep for the gun violence that kills children and so many others, where guns replaced prayers and homes without you bred frustration. May hearts be changed through your Holy Spirit that justice, mercy, money and, yes, even guns might be used rightly under Heaven, through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings 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.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

God’s blessing be with us,
Christ’s peace be with us,
the Spirit’s outpouring be with us,
now and always. Amen.++

This is the last day of 2020, and operators are standing by! Thanks for getting us halfway.

VIDEO: I wonder as I wander (John Jacob Niles, based on Appalachian folk tune, 1933) – Audrey Assad, 2016

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