Morning Prayer 7.29.21, Mary & Martha of Bethany

For all the Marthas we’ve known and loved:

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The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.

In a policy reversal, the new president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassam, inaugurated the country’s vaccination program by taking the first shot, on camera, followed by her prime minister. Former President John Magufuli was a Covid denier, and Tanzania is one of the world’s last nations to receive the vaccine; the U.S. shipped a million doses last weekend. Sometimes it helps to have a woman in charge. (Domasa Sylivester/AP)

The Lord is in the holy temple; let all the earth keep silence. Habakkuk 2:20

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 71

1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; *
let me never be ashamed.
2 In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; *
incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; *
you are my crag and my stronghold.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, *
from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
5 For you are my hope, O Lord GOD, *
my confidence since I was young.
6 I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
from my mother’s womb you have been my strength; *
my praise shall be always of you.
7 I have become a portent to many; *
but you are my refuge and my strength.
8 Let my mouth be full of your praise *
and your glory all the day long.
9 Do not cast me off in my old age; *
forsake me not when my strength fails.
10 For my enemies are talking against me, *
and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.
11 They say that God has forsaken me,
that they will come after me and seize me; *
because there is none who will save.
12 O God, be not far from me; *
come quickly to help me, O my God.
13 Let those who set themselves against me be put to shame and be disgraced; *
let those who seek to do me evil be covered with scorn and reproach.
14 But I shall always wait in patience, *
and shall praise you more and more.
15 My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
and saving deeds all day long; *
though I cannot know the number of them.
16 I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord GOD; *
I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
17 O God, you have taught me since I was young, *
and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.

18 And now that I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, *
till I make known your strength to this generation
and your power to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; *
you have done great things;
who is like you, O God?
20 You have showed me great troubles and adversities, *
but you will restore my life
and bring me up again from the deep places of the earth.
21 You strengthen me more and more; *
you enfold and comfort me.
22 Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre for your faithfulness, O my God; *
I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, *
and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
24 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long, *
for they are ashamed and disgraced who sought to do me harm.

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.

J.P. Morgan Bible, c. 1240: Murder of Ishbaal

THE LESSONS
2 Samuel 4:1-12 (NRSV)

When Saul’s son Ishbaal heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. Saul’s son had two captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab. They were sons of Rimmon, a Benjaminite from Beeroth—for Beeroth is considered to belong to Benjamin. (Now the people of Beeroth had fled to Gittaim and are there as resident aliens to this day).

Saul’s son Jonathan had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled; and, in her haste to flee, it happened that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.

Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ishbaal, while he was taking his noonday rest. They came inside the house as though to take wheat, and they struck him in the stomach; then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. Now they had come into the house while he was lying on his couch in his bedchamber; they attacked him, killed him, and beheaded him. Then they took his head and traveled by way of the Arabah all night long. They brought the head of Ishbaal to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ishbaal, son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.”

David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, when the one who told me, ‘See, Saul is dead,’ thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag—this was the reward I gave him for his news. How much more then, when wicked men have killed a righteous man on his bed in his own house! And now shall I not require his blood at your hand, and destroy you from the earth?” So David commanded the young men, and they killed them; they cut off their hands and feet, and hung their bodies beside the pool at Hebron. But the head of Ishbaal they took and buried in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.

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.

Paul, Silas and the Philippian jailer. (airocross.com)

Acts 16:25-40 (NRSV)

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

When morning came, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, “The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace.” But Paul replied, “They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves.” The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. After leaving the prison they went to Lydia’s home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

Canticle: Glory to God
Gloria in excelsis

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

James J. Tissot, c. 1895: Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees (Brooklyn Museum)

Mark 7:1-23 (NRSV)

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

“You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God)—then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”

Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

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.

Jan Vermeer, 1654: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary

Collect of the Day: Mary and Martha of Bethany

O God, heavenly Father, your Son Jesus Christ enjoyed rest and refreshment in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany: Give us the will to love you, open our hearts to hear you, and strengthen our hands to serve you in others for his sake; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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.

Gun Death Toll Unchanged; Remington Finally Offers Sandy Hook Settlement

Weekly Gun Toll as of 7.28.21

890 total gun deaths last week (vs. 890 last week)
428 murders and unintentional deaths (vs. 428)
462 suicides (est. weekly average)

893 people injured (vs. 954)
15 mass shootings (vs. 23)
1 mass murders (vs. 1)

2 young children killed (vs. 8)
17 young children injured (vs. 19)
31 teenagers killed (vs. 23)
71 teenagers injured (vs. 89)
3 police officers killed (vs. 1)
4 police officers injured (vs. 10)
34 police officers killed YTD

18 persons killed by police (vs. 24)
4 persons injured by police (vs. 11)
763 persons killed by police YTD

23 defensive use incidents (vs. 30)
50 unintentional shootings (vs. 51)
10 murder-suicides (vs. 13)

The bankrupt Remington Arms Company has offered a $33 million settlement to nine of the families whose 6- and 7-year-old children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School – in 2012. Twenty first-graders and six teachers and staff were gunned down by a 20-year-old man using an AR-15 like this one, held aloft by a Connecticut state trooper at a court hearing. Affected parents are consulting their attorneys; the money comes from Remington’s insurance companies. Joshua Koskoff, an attorney for the families, said, “Ironshore and James River… deserve credit for now realizing that promoting the use of AR-15s as weapons of war to civilians is indefensible. Insuring this kind of conduct is an unprofitable and untenable business model.” (Jessica Hill/AP, 2013)

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: My song is love unknown (#458, Love Unknown, John Ireland; Samuel Crossman) – St. Martin’s Choir on BBC’s “Songs of Praise,” 2009

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