Evening Prayer 31.1.16, Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?”

Peter Wohlleben, a forester in Germany, is the author of the bestselling "Hidden Life of Trees," which puts in understandable antropomorphic terms what scientists have known for some time: that trees are social creatures. They communicate with each other, nurture and help each other; they can count, learn and remember, warn each other of predators and care for the dying. A few people even believe they have a spiritual consciousness, but so far there are few such discoveries. (Gordon Welters/The New York Times)

Peter Wohlleben, a forester in Germany, is the author of the bestselling “Hidden Life of Trees,” which puts in understandable anthropomorphic terms what scientists have known for some time: that trees are social creatures. They communicate with each other, nurture and help each other; they can count, learn and remember, warn each other of predators and care for the dying. A few people even believe they have a spiritual consciousness, but so far there are few such discoveries. (Gordon Welters/The New York Times)

From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered to my Name, and a pure offering; for my Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11

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
Phos hilaron

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 8

1  O LORD our Lord, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!
2  Out of the mouths of infants and children *
your majesty is praised above the heavens.
3  You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, *
to quell the enemy and the avenger.
4  When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
5  What are human beings that you should be mindful of them? *
mortals that you should seek them out?
6  You have made them but little lower than the angels; *
you adorn them with glory and honor;
7  You give them mastery over the works of your hands; *
you put all things under their feet:
8  All sheep and oxen, *
even the wild beasts of the field,
9  The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, *
and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
10  O LORD our Lord, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!

Psalm 84

1  How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! *
My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
2  The sparrow has found her a house
and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young; *
by the side of your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my Sovereign and my God.
3  Happy are they who dwell in your house! *
they will always be praising you.
4  Happy are the people whose strength is in you! *
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.
5  Those who go through the desolate valley will find it a place of springs, *
for the early rains have covered it with pools of water.
6  They will climb from height to height, *
and the God of gods will reveal himself in Zion.
7  LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; *
hearken, O God of Jacob.
8  Behold our defender, O God; *
and look upon the face of your Anointed.
9  For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room, *
and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.
10  For the LORD God is both sun and shield; *
the LORD will give grace and glory;
11  No good thing will the LORD withhold *
from those who walk with integrity.
12  O LORD of hosts, *
happy are they who put their trust in you!

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.

JesusHealsBlind.196

THE LESSON
Mark 8:22-30 (NRSV)

They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

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 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 it is 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 with your Holy Spirit.

A forest community in Germany. (Gordon Welters/The New York Times)

A forest community in Germany. What are we to make of the fact that for many people, the way to commune with God is to go to the woods? (Gordon Welters/The New York Times)

Collect of the Day: Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; 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 Sundays

Lord God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ triumphed over the powers of death and prepared for us our place in the new Jerusalem: Grant that we, who have this day given thanks for his resurrection, may praise you in that City of which he is the light, and where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday Evening Prayer List

For This Congregation
Our East & West subscribers
Our Facebook group & Twitter followers, Kindle viewers & iTunes audience
Clint & the Webcasters

For repentance and conversion
of all who don’t know Christ
of all who disbelieve in God
of all too cynical
of all too scared
of all too burned by religion
of all who commit violence in God’s name
of all the hypocrites
of all who gossip and exclude
of all who believe but persist in sin
of all who persecute our Lord
of all schismatics
of all the faithful
for the repentance and conversion of all of us

A Collect 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.

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.

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. Ephesians 3:20-21++

(George A. Chien)

(George A. Chien)

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