Morning Prayer 11.3.13: Monday in 4 Lent

Our ancestors have inherited nothing but lies,
worthless things in which there is no profit.
Can mortals make for themselves gods?
Such are no gods!

(This is a homily, so you may want to skip it.) Today Jeremiah refers to the parting of the Red Sea, which for the Jews is central in the History of Salvation. In Romans, Paul discourses on the Law, with an example of what does and does not constitute adultery for women. And I asked, “Why does he always bring up women when he talks about adultery? David committed adultery; he even killed for it.” No surprise, we have these patriarchal scriptures we have to accept (and by now Paul has long been joyously converted). However: the full History of Salvation is broad and infinite. God led the Jews out of slavery, and in 1948 back into Israel; just like God led African-Americans out of slavery, and Russian serfs, and someday will lead Palestinians. God is leading women out of slavery - and blesses Malala. Most of all, God leads sinners out of slavery every day. So I asked, “Is there art that uses imagery we can understand today of all God’s liberations?” If so, I can’t find it. There are classical paintings, Charlton Heston knockoffs, two-bit cartoons and cynical commerce; but nothing that I could find where the travelers look like us - with Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, Enmegabowh and Emma of Hawai’i, Tutu and Gallaudet, Florence Li Tim-Oi and Bill W., Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Harvey Milk. So I chose this illustration in hopes that we can see that God parts the Red Sea every day - that we are the ones walking through it, if we have the courage and faith to accept it; and that it doesn’t look like Hollywood, it looks like St. Luke’s, Long Beach.

(This is a homily, so you may want to skip it.) Today Jeremiah refers to the parting of the Red Sea, which for the Jews is central in the History of Salvation. In Romans, Paul discourses on the Law, with an example of what does and does not constitute adultery for women. And I asked, “Why does he always bring up women when he talks about adultery? David committed adultery; he even killed for it.” No surprise, we have these patriarchal scriptures we have to accept (and by now Paul has long been joyously converted). However: the full History of Salvation is infinitely broad and deep. God led the Jews out of slavery, and in 1948 back into Israel; just like God led African-Americans out of slavery, and Russian serfs, and Irish, and Africans, and aborigines, and Untouchable ones, and soon will lead Palestinians. God is leading women out of slavery before our very eyes – and blesses daughter Malala. Most of all, God leads sinners out of slavery every day. So I asked, “Is there art that uses imagery we can understand today of all God’s Red Sea partings?” If so, I can’t find it. There are classical paintings, Charlton Heston knockoffs, two-bit cartoons and cynical commerce; but nothing where the travelers look like us – with Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, Enmegabowh and Emma of Hawai’i, Tutu and Gallaudet, Florence Li Tim-Oi and Bill W., Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Harvey Milk. So I chose this illustration in hopes that we can see that God parts the Red Sea every day – that we are the ones walking through it, if we have the courage and faith to push ahead; and that it doesn’t look like Hollywood, it looks like St. Luke’s, Long Beach.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

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.

Psalm 95:1-7
Venite

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving;
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God;
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

Psalm 89:1-18

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

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 LESSONS
Jeremiah 16:10-21 (NRSV)

And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, “Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?” then you shall say to them: It is because your ancestors have forsaken me, says the LORD, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law; and because you have behaved worse than your ancestors, for here you are, every one of you, following your stubborn evil will, refusing to listen to me. Therefore I will hurl you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.

Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, “As the LORD lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the LORD lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.” For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their ancestors.

I am now sending for many fishermen, says the LORD, and they shall catch them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. For my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from my presence, nor is their iniquity concealed from my sight. And I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.

O LORD, my strength and my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of trouble,
to you shall the nations come
from the ends of the earth and say:
Our ancestors have inherited nothing but lies,
worthless things in which there is no profit.
Can mortals make for themselves gods?
Such are no gods!

“Therefore I am surely going to teach them, this time I am going to teach them my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD.”

Canticle: First Song of Isaiah
Ecce, Deus
Isaiah 12:2-6

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

Romans 7:1-12 (NRSV)

Do you not know, brothers and sisters – for I am speaking to those who know the law – that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress.

In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died, and the very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Magna et mirabilia
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

John 6:1-15 (NRSV)

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

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 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.

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

It looks this Gospel-in-one-icon: giving drink, visiting jail, offering a cloak. (unknown)

It looks like this Gospel-in-one-icon: giving drink, visiting jail, offering a cloak. (unknown)

Collect of the Day: Monday in the Fourth Week of Lent

O Lord our God, in your holy Sacraments you have given us a foretaste of the good things of your kingdom: Direct us, we pray, in the way that leads to eternal life, that we may come to appear before you in that place of light where you dwell for ever with your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

[Disturb Us, O Lord
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, adapted from a prayer by Sir Francis Drake

Disturb us, O Lord

when we are too well-pleased with ourselves
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O Lord

when with the abundance of things we possess,
we have lost our thirst for the water of life
when, having fallen in love with time,
we have ceased to dream of eternity
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.

Stir us, O Lord

to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas
where storms show Thy mastery,
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes
and invited the brave to follow.

Amen.]

It looks like St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. Gee whiz, what a place to walk or wheel into!

It looks like St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. Gee whiz, what a place to walk or wheel into!

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Melbourne, Australia

Prayer 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.

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++

It looks like this. (David LaChapelle)

It hip-hops like this. (David LaChapelle)

It looks like the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. Who do you think cooked the Last Supper?

It looks like the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. Who do ya think cooked that Last Supper?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.