Morning Prayer 1.14.21, Richard Meux Benson & Charles Gore, Vowed Religious, 1915, 1932

Every one of us kept it together when the cuckoo clock started chanting:

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Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 18, is featured on a Swedish postage stamp being issued today as part of a series on the environment. She started boycotting school on Fridays and standing as a lone protester outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018, from which has grown a worldwide youth movement to stop environmental destruction. The stamps were designed by Swedish artist Henning Trollback. (David Keyton/AP)

From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered to my Name, and a pure offering; for my Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11

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 18:1-20

1 I love you, O LORD my strength, *
O LORD my stronghold, my crag, and my haven.
2 My God, my rock in whom I put my trust, *
my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge;
you are worthy of praise.
3 I will call upon the LORD, *
and so shall I be saved from my enemies.
4 The breakers of death rolled over me, *
and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid.
5 The cords of hell entangled me, *
and the snares of death were set for me.
6 I called upon the LORD in my distress *
and cried out to my God for help.
7 You heard my voice from your heavenly dwelling; *
my cry of anguish came to your ears.
8 The earth reeled and rocked; *
the roots of the mountains shook;
they reeled because of your anger.
9 Smoke rose from your nostrils
and a consuming fire out of your mouth; *
hot burning coals blazed forth from you.
10 You parted the heavens and came down *
with a storm cloud under your feet.
11 You mounted on cherubim and flew; *
you swooped on the wings of the wind.
12 You wrapped darkness about you; *
you made dark waters and thick clouds your pavilion.
13 From the brightness of your presence, through the clouds, *
burst hailstones and coals of fire.
14 O LORD, you thundered out of heaven; *
O Most High, you uttered your voice.
15 You loosed your arrows and scattered them; *
you hurled thunderbolts and routed them.
16 The beds of the seas were uncovered,
and the foundations of the world laid bare, *
at your battle cry, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
17 You reached down from on high and grasped me; *
you drew me out of great waters.
18 You delivered me from my strong enemies
and from those who hated me; *
for they were too mighty for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster; *
but the LORD was my support.
20 You brought me out into an open place; *
you rescued me because you delighted in me.

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 41:17-29 (NRSV)

When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the LORD will answer them,
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
so that all may see and know,
all may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Set forth your case, says the LORD;
bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
Let them bring them, and tell us
what is to happen.
Tell us the former things, what they are,
so that we may consider them,
and that we may know their outcome;
or declare to us the things to come.
Tell us what is to come hereafter,
that we may know that you are gods;
do good, or do harm,
that we may be afraid and terrified.
You, indeed, are nothing
and your work is nothing at all;
whoever chooses you is an abomination.

I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,
from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name.
He shall trample on rulers as on mortar,
as the potter treads clay.
Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know,
and beforehand, so that we might say, “He is right”?
There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed,
none who heard your words.
I first have declared it to Zion,
and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings.
But when I look there is no one;
among these there is no counselor
who, when I ask, gives an answer.
No, they are all a delusion;
their works are nothing;
their images are empty wind.

Canticle: A Song of Wisdom
Wisdom 10:15-19,20b-21

Wisdom freed from a nation of oppressors *
a holy people and a blameless race.
She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, *
withstood dread rulers with wonders and signs.
To the saints she gave the reward of their labors, *
and led them by a marvelous way;
She was their shelter by day *
and a blaze of stars by night.
She brought them across the Red Sea, *
she led them through mighty waters;
But their enemies she swallowed in the waves *
and spewed them out from the depths of the abyss.
And then, Lord, the righteous sang hymns to your Name, *
and praised with one voice your protecting hand;
For Wisdom opened the mouths of the mute, *
and gave speech to the tongues of a new-born people.

Church of the Ascension, Rochester, New York (parish photo)

Ephesians 2:11-22 (NRSV)

So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

Canticle: A Song of True Motherhood
by Julian of Norwich

God chose to be our mother in all things *
and so made the foundation of his work,
most humbly and most pure, in the Virgin’s womb.
God, the perfect wisdom of all, *
arrayed himself in this humble place.
Christ came in our poor flesh *
to share a mother’s care.
Our mothers bear us for pain and for death; *
our true mother, Jesus, bears us for joy and endless life.
Christ carried us within him in love and travail, *
until the full time of his passion.
And when all was completed and he had carried us so for joy, *
still all this could not satisfy the power of his wonderful love.
All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God, *
for the love of Christ works in us;
Christ is the one whom we love.

Christ healing a paralyzed man. (Codex Egberti, German, c. 993)

Mark 2:1-12 (NRSV)

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

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.

Fr. Richard Benson was a disciple of Edward Bouverie Pusey and founded the Society of St. John the Evangelist, the first stable Anglican community for men since the Reformation. They’ve ministered in India, South Africa, England and the USA.

Collect of the Day: Richard Meux Benson, Priest and Vowed Religious, 1915, and Charles Gore, Bishop and Vowed Religious, 1932

Gracious God, who kindled in your servants Richard Meux Benson and Charles Gore the grace to lead a revival of monastic life: grant us also the resolve to serve you faithfully in contemplation and prayer, ministering to the world that you have made, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. 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.

U.S. Gun Violence Returns to Pre-Holiday Levels

Last Week’s Gun Toll as of 1.13.21

821 total gun deaths last week (vs. 634)
359 murders and unintentional deaths (vs. 238)
462 suicides (est. weekly average)

570 people injured (vs. 540)
7 mass shootings (vs. 12)
0 mass murders (vs. 0)

2 young children killed (vs. 5)
8 young children injured (vs. 6)
27 teenagers killed (vs. 9)
48 teenagers injured (vs. 45)

0 police officers killed (vs. 0)
1 officers injured (vs. 6)
0 police officers killed YTD

24 persons killed by police (vs. 16)
16 persons injured by police (vs. 13)
40 persons killed by police YTD

23 defensive use incidents (vs. 10)
42 unintentional shootings (vs. 37)
14 murder-suicides (vs. 9)

A Prayer to End Gun Violence
© Daily Office Network

O Lord our God, we pray for the victims of the other pandemic, as gun violence ravages our homes, our streets, our businesses, schools and houses of worship. We pray for the children killed and injured, for their families and classmates. We pray for teenagers gunned down before their lives have really started. We pray for police officers who keep fighting a never-ending battle, while trying to keep themselves and everyone else safe; and we pray for an end to racial profiling in law enforcement. We pray for all who are depressed or mentally ill, wanting to hurt themselves or others, in a nation where guns are everywhere. We pray for the victims of crime who are forced to defend themselves and their loved ones. We pray for anti-violence activists and community leaders, in a time when new methods of protest and reform must be created. Let your demands for justice and cries for peace be heard, O Lord, in our legislative chambers and in our hearts; may your healing grace overtake this land, through our Savior Jesus Christ. 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.++

VIDEO: Ave Maria (Franz Schubert; Luke 1:28 and 1:42) – Joshua Bell, violin, 2007

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