Morning Prayer 9.27.21, Euphrosyne/Smaragdus of Alexandria, Monastic, 5th C.

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The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria in place of the people of Israel; they took possession of Samaria, and settled in its cities.

Canadian hostage Michael Kovrig, held by the Chinese government for 3 years, hugs his wife on the tarmac at Pearson Airport in Toronto Saturday on his release. China kidnapped him and another Canadian, Michael Spavor, as raw leverage to obtain the release of Huawei heiress/executive Meng Wanzhou, arrested on a U.S. warrant for supplying Iran with sensitive electronics and violating UN sanctions. China held show trials and everything against the Canadians, then deported them once Ms. Meng admitted she committed fraud. Huawei products have been banned by several foreign governments. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:2

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 89:1-18

1 Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; *
from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; *
you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3 “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; *
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 ‘I will establish your line for ever, *
and preserve your throne for all generations.'”
5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, *
and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? *
who is like the LORD among the gods?
7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, *
great and terrible to all those circled around.
8 Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? *
O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea *
and still the surging of its waves.
10 You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; *
you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; *
you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
12 You have made the north and the south; *
Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
13 You have a mighty arm; *
strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; *
love and truth go before your face.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout! *
they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
16 They rejoice daily in your Name; *
they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength, *
and by your favor our might is exalted.
18 Truly, the LORD is our ruler; *
the Holy One of Israel is our Sovereign.

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.

Children were sacrificed to Moloch as foreigners took over Samaria, the former home of Israel. (social media)

THE LESSONS
2 Kings 17:24-41 (NRSV)

The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria in place of the people of Israel; they took possession of Samaria, and settled in its cities. When they first settled there, they did not worship the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them. So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land; therefore he has sent lions among them; they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.” Then the king of Assyria commanded, “Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there; let him go and live there, and teach them the law of the god of the land.” So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel; he taught them how they should worship the LORD.

But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the people of Samaria had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived; the people of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the people of Cuth made Nergal, the people of Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. They also worshiped the LORD and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. So they worshiped the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. To this day they continue to practice their former customs.

They do not worship the LORD and they do not follow the statutes or the ordinances or the law or the commandment that the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. The LORD had made a covenant with them and commanded them, “You shall not worship other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall worship the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm; you shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to observe. You shall not worship other gods; you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not worship other gods, but you shall worship the LORD your God; he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” They would not listen, however, but they continued to practice their former custom.

So these nations worshiped the LORD, but also served their carved images; to this day their children and their children’s children continue to do as their ancestors did.

Canticle: A Song of Hannah
1 Samuel 2:1-8

My heart exults in you, O God; *
my triumph song is lifted in you.
My mouth derides my enemies, *
for I rejoice in your salvation.
There is none holy like you, *
nor any rock to be compared to you, our God.
Do not heap up prideful words or speak in arrogance; *
Only God is knowing and weighs all actions.
The bows of the mighty are broken, *
but the weak are clothed in strength.
Those once full now labor for bread, *
those who hungered now are well fed.
The childless woman has borne sevenfold, *
while the mother of many is forlorn.
God destroys and brings to life, casts down and raises up; *
gives wealth or takes it away, humbles and dignifies.
God raises the poor from the dust; *
and lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with the rulers *
and inherit a place of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are God’s *
on which the whole earth is founded.

St. Paul advises that marriage leads to grief – because he expected the imminent return of Christ. (Martha Stewart)

1 Corinthians 7:25-31 (NRSV)

Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that. I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

Canticle: A Song of Christ’s Humility
Philippians 2:6-11

Though in the form of God, *
Christ Jesus did not cling to equality with God,
But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, *
and was born in human likeness.
Being found in human form, he humbled himself *
and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Therefore, God has highly exalted him *
and given him the name above every name,
That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, *
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, *
to the glory of God the Father.

Lilies of the field: they neither toil nor spin. (source unknown)

Matthew 6:25-34 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

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.

Euphrosyne, born female, escaped to a monastery to avoid marriage and became a monk known as Smaragdus, living as a man for the rest of his life. Meanwhile his father, bereft of a daughter, sought solace in the same monastery and was assigned Smaragdus as his spiritual director. For years, Smaragdus didn’t spill the beans until he was on his own deathbed. Ironically, the church traditionally insists on treating this person as female throughout, despite living a majority of years as a man. The inclusive message is mixed.

Collect of the Day: Euphrosyne/Smaragdus of Alexandria, Monastic, 5th century

Merciful God, who looks not with outward eyes but discerns the heart of each: we confess that those whom we love the most are often strangers to us. Give to all parents and children, we pray, the grace to see one another as they truly are and as you have called them to be. All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

Collect for the Renewal of Life

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday Morning Prayer List: Most Recent

231,710,982 cases of coronavirus around the world
4,746,482 deaths

USA: 42,912,172 cases – 853,000 a week, down 253,000
687,789 deaths – 14,000 a week, up slightly

Terry Kay Morton, kidney and liver cancer
Kathy Knapp, ovarian cancer
St. Stephen’s, Millburn, New Jersey, flooded out by Hurricane Ida
Deacon Marc, eye disease
Erik, healing after accident & surgery
Donald, brain cancer, and wife Adriana, breast cancer
Eric needs a kidney
Dawn, healing of spirit, body and mind
Diana, breast cancer
Colby, needs hip replacement
Rich Suda, metastatic prostate cancer
Brad, employment
Nicky, age 5, severe leukemia; 5 siblings, mother Janet
Rev. Jennifer, depression
Brittany, difficult pregnancy
Rashida & Larry, lost to Covid-19
Beverly, abdominal cancer
Wanda, lung cancer
Demetrius Johnson, kidney cancer
Yvonne, chemotherapy

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: My Shepherd will supply my need (#664, Resignation, American folk melody, arr. Howard Helvey; Isaac Watts, para. Ps. 23) – Women’s Choir, First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, Karen Sandene, bassoon, 2017

 

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