Morning Prayer 10.21.21, An Ordinary Thursday

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The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—everyone whose spirit God had stirred—got ready to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.

The shooter at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida pleaded guilty yesterday to the murder of 14 students and 3 staff members in February 2018; 17 others were wounded. The shooter will be sentenced at a later date. Rather than his fate, we focus on the victims: Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, a soccer player; Scott Beigel, 35, a geography teacher; Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, a funny, outgoing kid; Nicholas Dworet, 17, who planned to be on the University of Indianapolis swim team in the fall; Aaron Feis, 37, as assistant football coach; Jaime Guttenberg, 14, whose father has been one of the most outspoken of the victims’ parents; Chris Hixon, 49, the athletic director and an Iraq War veteran; Luke Hoyer, 15, a kid who “never got in trouble;” Cara Loughran, 14, who was active in Irish dancing; Gina Montalto, 14, a member of the winter guard of Douglas’ marching band; Joaquin Oliver, 17, a Venezuelan-born U.S. citizen who enjoyed sports and hip-hop; Alaina Petty, 14, a member of Junior ROTC; Meadow Pollack, 18, who planned to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton; Helena Ramsay, 17, who was “smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful;” Alex Schachter, 14, who played trombone and baritone in the school band and orchestra; Carmen Schentrup, 16, a National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist; and Peter Wang, 15, another junior ROTC member who loved cooking and eating Chinese New Year. (Click Orlando)

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 37:1-18

1 Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; *
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
2 For they shall soon wither like the grass, *
and like the green grass fade away.
3 Put your trust in the LORD and do good; *
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
4 Take delight in the LORD, *
who shall give you your heart’s desire.
5 Commit your way to the LORD; put your trust in the LORD, *
who will bring it to pass.
6 The LORD will make your righteousness as clear as the light *
and your just dealing as the noonday.
7 Be still before the LORD; *
wait patiently for the LORD.
8 Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, *
the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
9 Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; *
do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
10 For evildoers shall be cut off, *
but those who wait upon the LORD shall possess the land.
11 In a little while the wicked shall be no more; *
you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.
12 But the lowly shall possess the land; *
they will delight in abundance of peace.
13 The wicked plot against the righteous *
and gnash at them with their teeth.
14 The Lord laughs at the wicked, *
knowing that their day will come.
15 The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
to strike down the poor and needy, *
to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
16 Their sword shall go through their own heart, *
and their bow shall be broken.
17 The little that the righteous has *
is better than the great riches of the wicked.
18 For the power of the wicked shall be broken, *
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

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.

Cyrus the Great of Persia, who reigned from 559 to 530 B.C., did not know God, but his policies of religious toleration made him “anointed of the Lord.” He ended the Jews’ exile in Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar II and sent them home to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. (artist unknown)

THE LESSONS
Ezra 1:1-11 (NRSV)

In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared:

“Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of those among you who are of his people—may their God be with them! —are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem; and let all survivors, in whatever place they reside, be assisted by the people of their place with silver and gold, with goods and with animals, besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.”

The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—everyone whose spirit God had stirred—got ready to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. All their neighbors aided them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely offered. King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. King Cyrus of Persia had them released into the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. And this was the inventory: gold basins, thirty; silver basins, one thousand; knives, twenty-nine; gold bowls, thirty; other silver bowls, four hundred ten; other vessels, one thousand; the total of the gold and silver vessels was five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar brought up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.

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.

Giving away money should feel good. (Getty Images)

1 Corinthians 16:1-9 (NRSV)

Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me. I will visit you after passing through Macedonia—for I intend to pass through Macedonia—and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

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.

Rembrandt, c. 1648: Head of Christ, one of seven such studies.

Matthew 12:15-21 (NRSV)

When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,
my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not wrangle or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
He will not break a bruised reed
or quench a smoldering wick
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.

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.

Christ Church, Yokohama, founded in the Yamate district in 1863, shortly after the formal Opening of Japan. This building, designed by architect Jay Hill Morgan, dates from 1931 and was severely damaged in World War II. (Wikipedia)

Collect of the Day: Proper 24

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; 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.

U.S. Gun Toll Drops Across the Board; Injuries Down 200

Week of October 14-20, 2020
Source: Gun Violence Archive

Last Week’s Gun Toll as of 10.13.21

854 total gun deaths last week (vs. 898)
392 murders and unintentional deaths (436)
462 suicides (est. weekly average)

741 people injured (942)
12 mass shootings (23)
0 mass murders (0)

5 young children killed (4)
8 young children injured (14)
21 teenagers killed (17)
52 teenagers injured (91)

2 police officers killed (2)
7 officers injured (9)
25 persons killed by police (38)
1,081 persons killed by police YTD
15 persons injured by police (vs. 14)

28 defensive use incidents (27)
23 unintentional shootings (13)
11 murder-suicides (17)

A Prayer for Anti-Violence Activists
© Daily Office Network

O Lord, we continue to lose 900 people to gun violence every week; we struggle to keep hope alive and people too, in the face of entrenched opposition in our legislatures. We pray you will show us how to support activists and members who work every day to free us from the scourge of gun violence. We ask your blessing on organizations like Moms United, Bishops United, the Gifford Project and Everytown for Gun Safety; help us to reform our system to enact the people’s will to restrict access to handguns and assault rifles. Your Son our Savior came to save us from death and to bring us to life; help us to follow his example, Lord, in the face of violence aimed at all of us by the enemy. 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: A Touching Place (Dream Angus, Scottish melody, harm. John Bell; Graham Maule) – Choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Joanne Hogg on BBC’s “Songs of Praise,” 2013

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