Morning Prayer 4.8.21, Thursday in Easter Week

Some sweet voices today:

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He brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.

Dr. Hans Küng has died, the leading theologian who guided many decisions at Vatican II in the 1960s. He challenged the Roman Church on issues from priestly celibacy to women’s ordination, and was well-known for opposing papal infallibility. He often agreed with Protestant theologian Karl Barth, which smoothed the way for mainstream Protestant denominations to embrace many liturgical forms approved by the Catholic Church, resulting in much closer ecumenical relationships. (Neil Boenzi/The New York Times)

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

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.

Christ Our Passover
1 Cor. 5:7-8; Rom. 6:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:20-22

Alleluia.
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; *
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, *
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; *
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; *
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, *
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Christ has been raised from the dead, *
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death, *
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, *
so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

Psalm 146

1 Hallelujah!
Praise the LORD, O my soul! *
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
2 Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
for there is no help in them.
3 When they breathe their last, they return to earth, *
and in that day their thoughts perish.
4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
whose hope is in the LORD their God;
5 Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
who keeps faith for ever;
6 Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger.
7 The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
8 The LORD loves the righteous
and cares for the stranger; *
the LORD sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.
9 The LORD shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 147

1 Hallelujah!
How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor the LORD with praise!
2 The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem *
and gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 The LORD heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.
4 The LORD counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
5 Great is our LORD and mighty in power; *
whose wisdom is beyond limit.
6 The LORD lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
8 God covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
9 God makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve humankind.
10 God provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
11 The LORD is not impressed by the might of a horse *
and has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
12 But the LORD has pleasure in the God-fearing, *
in those who await God’s gracious favor.
13 Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
14 For God has strengthened the bars of your gates *
and blessed your children within you.
15 God has established peace on your borders *
and satisfies you with the finest wheat.
16 God’s command is sent out to the earth, *
and the word of the LORD runs very swiftly.
17 God gives snow like wool *
and scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
18 God scatters hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against the cold of the LORD?
19 God’s word is sent forth and melts them; *
God’s stormwinds blow, and the waters flow.
20 God’s word is declared to Jacob, *
God’s statutes and judgments to Israel.
21 The LORD has not done so to any other nation; *
to them God’s judgments have not been revealed.
Hallelujah!

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.

Richard McBee, 1979: Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones (thetorah.com)

THE LESSONS
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NRSV)

The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.

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.

Carlo Bonte, 17th C.: St. Peter and St. John Heal the Lame Man

Acts 3:11-26 (NRSV)

While (the lame beggar) clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s Portico, utterly astonished. When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets. Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.’ And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days. You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

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.

Love one another.

John 15:12-27 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.”

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.

(Michael Gluth)

Collect of the Day: Thursday in Easter Week

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; 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.

839 Total Gun Deaths Last Week, Almost 700 Hurt

Weekly Gun Toll as of 4.7.21

839 total gun deaths last week (vs. 798 last week)
377 murders and unintentional deaths (vs. 336)
462 suicides (est. weekly average)

699 people injured (vs. 694)
14 mass shootings (vs. 13)
2 mass murders (vs. 1)

6 young children killed (vs. 3)
14 young children injured (vs. 15)
20 teenagers killed (vs. 18)
44 teenagers injured (vs. 46)

1 police officers killed (vs. 1)
3 police officers injured (vs. 7)
17 police officers killed YTD

35 persons killed by police (vs. 28)
14 persons injured by police (vs. 17)
343 persons killed by police YTD

18 defensive use incidents (vs. 24)
38 unintentional shootings (vs. 45)
10 murder-suicides (vs. 10)

President Biden plans to nominate David Chipman, a retired Federal agent who is now a senior policy adviser to the Giffords gun reform group, as the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms today, where Biden’s also expected to announce a series of executive orders to increase background checks and restrict “ghost guns,” made from legal kits for assembly at home. They’re untraceable because the barrels don’t contain serial numbers. Such weapons are being increasingly found at crime scenes; one was used in a mass murder in 2019. Harm-reduction activists are welcoming both Chipman’s nomination and the move against ghost guns, while insisting that much more needs to be done. (Andrew Harnik/AP, 2019)

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. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

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

VIDEO: Come Alive (Dry Bones) (Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren) – Lauren Daigle, 2015

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