Morning Prayer 1.25.20, Conversion of St. Paul

Whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ.

St. Paul statue, in the garden of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. (source unknown)

Their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:4

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 100

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Psalm 19

1 The heavens declare the glory of God, *
and the firmament shows forth the work of God’s hands.
2 One day tells its tale to another, *
and one night imparts knowledge to another.
3 Although they have no words or language, *
and their voices are not heard,
4 Their sound has gone out into all lands, *
and their message to the ends of the world.
5 In the deep has God set a pavilion for the sun; *
it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;
it rejoices like a champion to run its course.
6 It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens
and runs about to the end of it again; *
nothing is hidden from its burning heat.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect and revives the soul; *
the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent.
8 The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart; *
the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean and endures for ever; *
the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, *
sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.
11 By them also is your servant enlightened, *
and in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Can people tell how often they offend? *
cleanse me from my secret faults.
13 Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;
let them not get dominion over me; *
then shall I be whole and sound,
and innocent of a great offense.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, *
O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.

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.

Pietro Perugino: God the Father and Angels, a ceiling medallion in the Stanza dell’Incendio di Borgo, Apostolic Palace, Vatican City.

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 45:18-25 (NRSV)

For thus says the LORD,
who created the heavens
(he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(he established it;
he did not create it a chaos,
he formed it to be inhabited!):
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I did not speak in secret,
in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
“Seek me in chaos.”
I the LORD speak the truth,
I declare what is right.

Assemble yourselves and come together,
draw near, you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge —
those who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god
that cannot save.
Declare and present your case;
let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the LORD?
There is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is no one besides me.

Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn,
from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness
a word that shall not return:
“To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear.”

Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and strength;
all who were incensed against him
shall come to him and be ashamed.
In the LORD all the offspring of Israel
shall triumph and glory.

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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.

El Greco, c. 1614: St. Paul (Museo del Prado, Madrid)

Philippians 3:4b-11 (NRSV)

I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh.

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Canticle: We Praise You, O God
Te Deum laudamus

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
All creation worships you,
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you took our flesh to set us free
you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come to be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

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

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.

Caravaggio: Conversion of St. Paul. He went from persecutor to Christ’s greatest evangelist – and he would probably be the first to say it served him right. To get his attention, the Lord knocked him off his high horse.

Collect of the Day: Conversion of St. Paul

O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer for Christian Unity
catholic.org

Eternal Father,
we praise you for sending your Son
to be one of us and to save us.
Look upon your people with mercy,
for we are divided in so many ways,
and give us the Spirit of Jesus to make us one in love.

We ask this gift, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Morning Prayer List

For Those Seeking God’s Will
Hilary
Michelle
Shirley
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry
√Episcopal Church in Minnesota, electing a bishop today

For Religious Orders
Society of the Holy Cross, Korea
Society of the Precious Blood, UK, Lesotho & South Africa
Society of the Sisters of Bethany, UK
St. Gregory’s Abbey, OSB, Michigan
St. Joseph’s Monastery, Mississippi
St. Mark’s Abbey, Australia
and for Orders in other Communions and Churches

Please add your own prayers here.

For Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14++

VIDEO: Lift high the cross (#473, Crucifer, Sydney Hugo Nicholson; George William Kitchin, alt. Michael Robert Newbolt) – First-Plymouth UCC, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2017

Video Evensong 1.24.20, Florence Li Tim-Oi, First Woman Priest, 1992

We hope Mother Florence would have been very comfortable at tonight’s service:
Click here.

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

The Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio has a very popular Nile hippopotamus who is about to turn 3 years old, and the zoo is turning her birthday into a fundraising event for Australian wildlife. Fiona doesn’t want presents, they say, she wants people to buy T-shirts that will benefit the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund. The shirts feature a koala and a kangaroo giving Fiona a hug; the proceeds will be delivered to Zoos Victoria. It’s just one example of similar efforts large and small all over the world. Fiona was premature and weighed only 29 pounds when she was born in 2017, but she has thrived in Cincinnati and now weighs a svelte 1300 pounds – plus her birthday cake. (John Minchillo/AP)

Seek the One who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth: The Lord is his name. Amos 5:8

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

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.

If possible, light a candle here.

VIDEO: O Gracious Light (#S59, Plainsong, Mode 2, Bruce E. Ford & James McGregor) – Stephanie Seefeldt, 2017

Hymn: O Gracious Light

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

VIDEO: Psalm 35 – Sons of Korah, 2002

Psalm 35

1 Fight those who fight me, O LORD; *
attack those who are attacking me.
2 Take up a shield and armor *
and rise up to help me.
3 Draw the sword and bar the way against those who pursue me: *
say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
4 Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled; *
let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, *
and let the angel of the LORD drive them away.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, *
and let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
7 For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; *
without a cause they have dug a pit to take me alive.
8 Let ruin come upon them unawares; *
let them be caught in the net they hid;
let them fall into the pit they dug.
9 Then I will be joyful in you, O LORD; *
I will glory in your victory.
10 My very bones will say, “LORD, who is like you? *
You deliver the poor from those who are too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
11 Malicious witnesses rise up against me; *
they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
12 They pay me evil in exchange for good; *
my soul is full of despair.
13 But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth *
and humbled myself by fasting;
14 I prayed with my whole heart,
as one would for a friend or a brother; *
I behaved like one who mourns for a mother,
bowed down and grieving.
15 But when I stumbled, they were glad and gathered together;
they gathered against me; *
strangers whom I did not know tore me to pieces and would not stop.
16 They put me to the test and mocked me; *
they gnashed at me with their teeth.
17 O Lord, how long will you look on? *
rescue me from the roaring beasts,
and my life from the young lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great congregation; *
I will praise you in the mighty throng.
19 Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, *
or let those who hate me without a cause wink at each other.
20 For they do not plan for peace, *
but invent deceitful schemes against the quiet in the land.
21 They opened their mouths at me and said, *
“Aha! we saw it with our own eyes.”
22 You saw it, O LORD; do not be silent; *
O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Awake, arise, to my cause! *
to my defense, my God and my Lord!
24 Give me justice, O LORD my God,
according to your righteousness; *
do not let them triumph over me.
25 Do not let them say in their hearts,
“Aha! just what we want!” *
Do not let them say, “We have swallowed you up.”
26 Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced; *
let those who boast against me be clothed with dismay and shame.
27 Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad; *
let them say always, “Great are you, O LORD,
you desire the prosperity of your servant.”
28 And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness *
and of your praise all the day long.

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.

He Qi: Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well

THE LESSON
John 4:16-26 (NRSV)

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

VIDEO: Simon’s Canticle (Manoling Francisco, SJ) – Hangad, featuring Celia Uy, 2002

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

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 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

VIDEO: The Lord’s Prayer (Malotte) – Mahalia Jackson, Newport Jazz Festival, 1958

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. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Florence Li Tim-Oi was ordained a priest on an emergency basis during World War II after the Japanese invasion of China prevented male clergy from serving in Hong Kong and Macao. Her bishop, Ronald Hall of Hong Kong, decided that “God’s work would reap better results if she had the proper title” of priest, and he made her one on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul in 1944. After the war, male priests complained that women don’t belong in Christ’s sanctuary; faced with controversy, she decided not to exercise her priestly ministry until it was recognized by the wider Anglican Communion. Still, Bishop Hall appointed her rector of St. Barnabas, Hepu, and insisted she always be called Mother Florence. During the Cultural Revolution she was imprisoned for years at a Chinese “re-education” camp and forced into manual labor. Chinese churches reopened in 1979, she resumed public ministry, and in 1981 on a visit to family, the Anglican Church of Canada recognized her as a priest and licensed her, first in Montreal and then in Toronto; American women had gained ordination in 1974 and recognition in 1976, paving the way for her restoration. (source unknown)

Collect of the Day: Florence Li Tim-Oi, Priest, 1922

Almighty God, who pours out your spirit upon your sons and daughters: grant that we, following the example of your servant Florence Li Tim-Oi, chosen priest in your church, may with faithfulness, patience and tenacity proclaim your holy gospel to all the nations, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A Collect for Fridays

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.

Friday Evening Prayer List: For the Church

For Peace among Christians, Jews & Muslims in the Middle East
Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen

For Church Unity
World Methodism

For the Anglican Communion
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Lokoja, Nigeria, and St. Mark the Evangelist, South Africa

Primates of the Anglican Communion
Justin Badie Arama, South Sudan
Thabo Makgoba, Southern Africa
Tito Zavala, Southern Cone of America
Ezekiel Kondo, Sudan
Jacob Chimeledya, Tanzania

For Ecumenical Partners
Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome
Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America
Robert T. Fuentes, Moderator, The Old Catholic Church USA
The Moravian Church

Our Candidate for Ordination
Steve, ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod, next fall

Our Seminarians & Their Schools
David, Wendy and Maureen, Nashotah House, Wisconsin
Greg, Christian Leaders Institute

Virginia Theological Seminary, Virginia
Westcott House, Cambridge
Williams Theological Seminary, Japan
for the seminaries where we live

Please add your own prayers and supplications here.

Prayer for Mission

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13++

VIDEO: Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around (African-American Spiritual; traditional) – Sweet Honey in the Rock, 2004

Morning Prayer 1.24.20, Florence Li Tim-Oi, Priest, 1992

We were pleased to welcome a Discipleship class today at the early service:

For our 7 a.m. service, click here.
To pray with us at 9 a.m., go here.

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

Nurses say goodbye: many U.S. hospitals are financially sick, especially in big cities and rural areas, and now another one has died, Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima, Washington. Meanwhile in Chicago, four struggling hospitals which lost a combined $79 million last year announced a plan to combine operations, build one new hospital at $1 billion, add more outpatient centers and perhaps close one or more of their present locations; all of them are located in poor black neighborhoods on the South Side and serve Medicaid patients at low reimbursement rates. The University of North Carolina’s Sheps Center reports that 163 U.S. hospitals have closed since 2005, as the national system rewards outpatient services over hospital admissions and allows a costly “arms race” for the latest technology among well-heeled institutions. Yakima, a city of 90,000, will have only one hospital; 400 nurses, doctors and other workers will lose their jobs, and local experts predict medical specialists will leave the city. (Amanda Ray/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3

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 31

1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; *
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.
5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, *
for you have redeemed me,
O LORD, O God of truth.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols, *
and I put my trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; *
for you have seen my affliction;
you know my distress.
8 You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; *
you have set my feet in an open place.
9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow,
and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief,
and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction,
and my bones are consumed.
11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors,
a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten, out of mind, as if I were dead; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.
13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me;
they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. *
I have said, “You are my God.
15 My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me.”
17 LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; *
rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, *
haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19 How great is your goodness, O LORD!
which you have laid up for those who fear you; *
which you have done in the sight of all
for those who put their trust in you.
20 You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; *
you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD! *
for you have shown me the wonders of your love in a besieged city.
22 Yet I said in my alarm,
“I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.” *
Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
when I cried out to you.
23 Love the LORD, all you who are faithful; *
the LORD protects the pious,
but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, *
all you who wait for the LORD.

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.

Abram’s altar under the oak at Moreh. (Go Ye 4th blog)

THE LESSONS
Genesis 11:27—12:8 (NRSV)

Now these are the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives; the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah. She was the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.

Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were two hundred five years; and Terah died in Haran.

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and invoked the name of the LORD.

Canticle: A Song of Judith
Judith 16:13-16

I will sing a new song to my God, *
for you are great and glorious, wonderful in strength, invincible.
Let the whole creation serve you, *
for you spoke and all things came into being.
You sent your breath and it formed them, *
no one is able to resist your voice.
Mountains and seas are stirred to their depths, *
rocks melt like wax at your presence.
But to those who fear you, *
you continue to show mercy.
No sacrifice, however fragrant, can please you, *
but whoever fears the Lord shall stand in your sight for ever.

Attr. Colin Nouailler, painted Limoges enamel, c. 1570: Melchizedek and Abraham (The Louvre, Paris)

Hebrews 7:1-17 (NRSV)

This “King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him”; and to him Abraham apportioned “one-tenth of everything.” His name, in the first place, means “king of righteousness”; next he is also king of Salem, that is, “king of peace.” Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

See how great he is! Even Abraham the patriarch gave him a tenth of the spoils. And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to collect tithes from the people, that is, from their kindred, though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man, who does not belong to their ancestry, collected tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had received the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case, tithes are received by those who are mortal; in the other, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.

Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical priesthood—for the people received the law under this priesthood—what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. Now the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek, one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of him,

“You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.”

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.

Carl Bloch: Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well. Jesus doesn’t judge her; she’s full of faith and he accepts her, even though she’s female, Samaritan, has been married five times and now is living with a sixth man. He praises her honesty, makes her an example of God’s inclusive love, and even reveals his own divine nature to her. (Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark)

John 4:16-26 (NRSV)

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

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. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your congregation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among the nations;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
R. Never forget the lives of your poor.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
V. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
R. So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

The Rev. Dr. Ellen Francis Poisson, OSH: Florence Li Tim-Oi. Mother Florence, the first female priest in Anglican history, went through a lot of suffering in her life, including being confined in a “re-education” camp in China and widespread controversy about her ordination, but Canadians rejoiced to receive her as a priest in the Diocese of Montreal in 1981. She is a beloved symbol of women’s ministry and priesthood..

Collect of the Day: Florence Li Tim-Oi, Priest, 1992

Almighty God, who pours out your spirit upon your sons and daughters: grant that we, following the example of your servant Florence Li Tim-Oi, chosen priest in your church, may with faithfulness, patience and tenacity proclaim your holy gospel to all the nations, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A Collect for Fridays

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Friday Morning Prayer List

For Those Looking for Work, Starting a New Business or Project
and Those Looking for More Employees
Maisie, next steps
Libby’s holding down a new job
Colby, full-time
Dina, permanent position
Michelle, discernment
Hilary, direction
Terrance Smith, working 3 jobs to make ends meet
Elizabeth
Christine, job to go with her home
J.M., better use of qualifications
Jack A.
John
Ian
Cathy
Paula
Ann’s husband
Jim

For the Homeless
40,000 U.S. veterans (source: National Alliance to End Homelessness)
Residents of tent cities and refugee camps
Those living in shelters, motels, cars, on the streets and in the woods

For the Poor of every nation
For the cold and hungry, hot and thirsty
For those who minister among them
Parish food pantries, gardens and orchards

For Those Facing Danger & Oppression
Muslims in India
Migrants at the U.S.-Mexican border & other developed countries
People of color
Christians persecuted in Iraq, Syria, India and Pakistan
Muslims persecuted in China, Europe & North America; Rohinyas in Bangladesh
Jews persecuted in many places
All women and girls of the world
LGBTs in places of violence, especially youth worldwide
Victims of human trafficking

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Collect for Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. Jude 24-25++

VIDEO: Chinese Ministries Expand with Li Tim-Oi Center – +Diane Jardine Bruce, Diocese of Los Angeles, 2014

Evening Prayer 1.23.20, Thursday in 2 Epiphany

The Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?”

The U.S. government has unveiled new visa restrictions in an effort to curb “birth tourism,” in which pregnant women come to give birth and obtain a U.S. passport for their baby. One estimate says about 35,000 women a year, mostly from China and Russia, engage in it. It is unpopular among conservatives, a peculiar feature of the U.S. Constitution, and the government has tried to curb it since before the current administration began – but U.S. companies are allowed to sell $80,000 all-inclusive travel packages, and some women arrive with signed contracts for hospital, doctors and hotel. From now on, the government says, they’ll be treated like any other person seeking a visa for medical care, having to prove their purpose and the money to pay for it. An AP analysis questions how effective the new regulations will be, as long as Americans line up to supply what rich foreigners demand. (Front Page Africa)

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because God is at my right hand, I shall not fall. Psalm 16:7-8

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

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.

Hymn: Light of the World

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 37:19-42

19 The LORD cares for the lives of the godly, *
and their inheritance shall last for ever.
20 They shall not be ashamed in bad times, *
and in days of famine they shall have enough.
21 As for the wicked, they shall perish, *
and the enemies of the LORD, like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish;
they shall vanish like smoke.
22 The wicked borrow and do not repay, *
but the righteous are generous in giving.
23 Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land, *
but those who are cursed shall be destroyed.
24 Our steps are directed by the LORD; *
those in whose way God delights, God strengthens.
25 If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong, *
for the LORD holds them by the hand.
26 I have been young and now I am old, *
but never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
or their children begging bread.
27 The righteous are always generous in their lending, *
and their children shall be a blessing.
28 Turn from evil, and do good, *
and dwell in the land for ever.
29 For the LORD loves justice; *
and does not forsake the faithful.
30 They shall be kept safe for ever, *
but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
31 The righteous shall possess the land *
and dwell in it for ever.
32 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, *
and their tongue speaks what is right.
33 The law of their God is in their heart, *
and their footsteps shall not falter.
34 The wicked spy on the righteous *
and seek occasion to kill them.
35 The LORD will not abandon them to their hand, *
nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
36 Wait upon the LORD and keep God’s way; *
the LORD will raise you up to possess the land,
and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
37 I have seen the wicked in their arrogance, *
flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
38 I went by, and behold, they were not there; *
I searched for them, but they could not be found.
39 Mark those who are honest;
observe the upright; *
for there is a future for the peaceable.
40 Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all; *
the future of the wicked is cut off.
41 But the deliverance of the righteous comes from the LORD; *
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
42 The LORD will help them and rescue them; *
the LORD will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
because in the LORD they seek refuge.

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.

Carracci: Christ and the Samaritan Woman. Jews despised Samaritans and avoided all contact with women, but he stayed with them two whole days.

Carracci: Christ and the Samaritan Woman

THE LESSON
John 4:1-15 (NRSV)

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John”—although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized—he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children 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.

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

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.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

St. Paul’s Cathedral on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Built in 1851, it’s similar in design to an Episcopal church thousands of miles west in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Andrew Neaum)

Collect of the Day: Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Llandaff, Wales; St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich, England; and St. Helena, Province of Southern Africa

Thursday Evening Prayer List

For Sobriety & Recovery
Jon
Stacey
Ian
Talmadge
Martin
Perry
Blake
Beth
Phoebe
Men of Reconciliation House

For Those with Addictions

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion on all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

For Mental Health & Family Harmony
Scotty
Adam
Lyle
Beth

For those with mental illness
by Josh Thomas

O heavenly Father, look with your love on all your children who are living with mental illness; bless them with kindness and patience. Give them true friends who understand them and knowledgable therapists with competence and compassion. Soothe their worries, lift their spirits, help them to trust others, quiet their negative thinking, help them care for themselves and give them peace; through the infinite mercy of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Please add your own prayers 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.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. 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: Times Like These (McKendree) – Fran McKendree, 2008

Morning Prayer 1.23.20, Thursday in 2 Epiphany

Today’s services, free for the taking:

For our 7 a.m. service, click here.
To pray with us at 9 a.m., go here.

They said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves.”

The Chinese government has ordered the city of Wuhan to shut down its airports, trains and buses, trying to limit the outbreak of a new coronavirus centered in the city. People are asked not to leave without a good reason. Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, has confirmed 444 cases and 17 deaths so far. (Chinatopix via 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 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.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1563: Building the Tower of Babel. (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

THE LESSONS
Genesis 11:1-9 (NRSV)

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the LORD said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

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.

(ThoughtCo)

Hebrews 6:13-20 (NRSV)

When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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.

Ivan Rutkovych: Christ and the Samaritan Woman (Lviv National Museum, Ukraine)

John 4:1-15 (NRSV)

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John”—although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized—he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

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.

St. Stephen’s, New Harmony, Indiana; the town is a religious art colony in the site of a former utopian settlement. (parish website)

Collect of the Day: Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 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.

6 Mass Shootings Last Week: 11 Dead, 32 Injured

America’s Gun Toll
January 22, 2020
Source: Gun Violence Archive

Mass Shootings Last Week

Chicago, 1.16 – Two men entered a barber shop and started shooting, injuring 3 boys and 2 men there for a haircut. No arrests.

Grantsville, Utah, 1.17 – A teenage boy killed his mother and three siblings, and wounded his father. The shooter’s name has not been released because he is a minor.

South Houston, Texas, 1.19 – A man shot into a house trailer, killing two and wounding two. The motive is known but no arrest.

Kansas City, Missouri – A man shot up a line of customers waiting to get into a bar, killing 2 and injuring 15. He was shot to death by a security guard, whom police praised for saving lives.

Memphis – Another bar shooting; 1 dead, 4 injured. Police were asking for tips.

San Antonio – Also a bar shooting; 2 killed, 5 injured; police arrested a 19-year-old man.

A Prayer Against Gun Violence
© 2016 Alden Solovy & tobendlight.com, Reprinted by Permission.

God of the slain,
God of the murdered and the victim,
The voice of lamentation echoes across the land.
Wailing beside graves opened too soon,
Weeping beside stains of blood
From the dead and the injured
Pouring forth from bullet wounds:
The child shot,
The suicide,
The domestic assault,
The gang violence,
The mass murder,
The long night of death made easy by guns
And automatic weapons.
The long night of sorrow made easy
By reckless access to machines of slaughter.

Source of justice,
Rock of strength and truth,
You call upon us to stand
In the name of common sense and reason:
To witness on behalf of the innocent and the cut down –
The widowed, orphaned and bereaved –
To answer the scourge of senseless loss,
To advocate for gun control,
To remove military weapons from a civilian population,
To return sanity to our laws, our policies and our lives.

Bless those who dedicate themselves to gun control.
Grant them fortitude and perseverance.
May the work of their hands never falter
Nor despair deter them from their holy calling.

Bless those who are mourning the dead.
Grant them solace and comfort.
Bless those who are healing from the trauma of gun violence.
Grant them lives of health and prosperity,
Joy and peace.

Blessed are You, God of All Being,
Who summons us to choose life,
First, choose life,
Above all,
Choose life.

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: Calling All Angels (Siberry) – Jane Siberry & k.d. lang, 2011

Evening Prayer 1.22.20, Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon & Martyr, 304

He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.

The U.S. now says it has sent more servicemembers out of Iraq for treatment of concussion after the January 8 Iranian missile attack on Ain al-Asad airbase – but the U.S. won’t say how many more have been hurt, as the Pentagon scrambles to keep from undercutting Donald Trump’s claim after the attack that “no Americans were harmed.” We know of 11 already, plus these latest. Up is down, the truth is untrue, and the destruction on the base was still being cleaned up a week later. (Qassim Abdul-Zahra/AP)

Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. Psalm 74:15-16

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

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.

Hymn: O Gracious Light

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Psalm 119:25-48

25 My soul cleaves to the dust; *
give me life according to your word.
26 I have confessed my ways, and you answered me; *
instruct me in your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of your commandments, *
that I may meditate on your marvelous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; *
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Take from me the way of lying; *
let me find grace through your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; *
I have set your judgments before me.
31 I hold fast to your decrees; *
O LORD, let me not be put to shame.
32 I will run the way of your commandments, *
for you have set my heart at liberty.

33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, *
and I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; *
I shall keep it with all my heart.
35 Make me go in the path of your commandments, *
for that is my desire.
36 Incline my heart to your decrees *
and not to unjust gain.
37 Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; *
give me life in your ways.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, *
which you make to those who fear you.
39 Turn away the reproach which I dread, *
because your judgments are good.
40 Behold, I long for your commandments; *
in your righteousness preserve my life.

41 Let your loving-kindness come to me, O LORD, *
and your salvation, according to your promise.
42 Then shall I have a word for those who taunt me, *
because I trust in your words.
43 Do not take the word of truth out of my mouth, *
for my hope is in your judgments.
44 I shall continue to keep your law; *
I shall keep it for ever and ever.
45 I will walk at liberty, *
because I study your commandments.
46 I will tell of your decrees before rulers *
and will not be ashamed.
47 I delight in your commandments, *
which I have always loved.
48 I will lift up my hands to your commandments, *
and I will meditate on your statutes.

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.

(iconographer unknown)

THE LESSON
John 3:22-36 (NRSV)

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized—John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.

Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

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 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

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. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Amazing feats of death-defying courage and endurance have long been attributed to Vincent of Saragossa. We know that he was a deacon, that he was martyred in Spain in 304, and that Christians immediately mourned him deeply and exalted him highly. We’re told by unprovable tradition that he was tortured on the rack and cut with hooks; then he was bound to a gridiron and burned alive, but this didn’t kill him. He finally died in prison, and throughout it all amazed everyone with his peaceful tranquility, so much that even his jailer repented and became a Christian. Much of it may be a tall tale – but we can be more certain he was the kind of person, and the kind of deacon, of whom some of it might have been true; so that people began to believe therefore it must be. (source unknown)

Collect of the Day: Vincent, Deacon of Saragossa, and Martyr, 304

Almighty God, whose deacon Vincent, upheld by you, was not terrified by threats nor overcome by torments: Strengthen us to endure all adversity with invincible and steadfast 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 Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For the beauty of the Earth: Wolf River Swamp near Ashland, Mississippi. (Gary Bridgman)

For the Beauty of the Earth

We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, now and for ever. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of St. Davids, Wales

Wednesday Evening Prayer List

For Disaster & Terror Victims
Platform collapse at Epiphany celebration in Ethiopia; 10 dead, 250 injured
440 cases of Chinese coronavirus, 9 dead so far
U.S. troops injured by 12 Iranian ballistic missiles
Earthquake victims in Puerto Rico
Continuing Australian wildfires; 28 dead, 40,000 square miles burned
More violence directed at anti-government protesters in Hong Kong
650,000 Rohingyas forced to flee Myanmar
Famine in Niger, Mali, Ethiopia, Yemen and South Sudan

For Prisoners
Cleave Thomas, last years of a 20-year sentence
Matthew

Prisoners of ISIS & Boko Haram: #BringBackALLOurGirls
Victims of human trafficking, including U.S. & Australian detainees
Guantanamo; political prisoners

The innocent, the guilty, the victims of crime
Children and families of prisoners
Prison chaplains and ministries, especially Kairos
Corrections, probation & parole officers
John P. Craine House, diversion and prevention programs
Sr. Helen Prejean and all prison reformers
All who are condemned to die

Please offer your own prayers here.

Prayer for Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. 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 God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++

VIDEO: O Trinity of blessed light (#30, O lux beata Trinitas, plainsong, Mode 8; Latin, 6th C., tr. John Mason Neale) – Durham University Chamber Choir on BBC’s “Songs of Praise,” 2013