Morning Prayer 18.2.16, Martin Luther, Theologian, 1547

Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Greg Copeland: Luther Nailing His Theses to the Church Door. He was a professor of theology and a former monk whose two central ideas were these: that we are saved by God's grace, not by good works or buying our way out of God's judgment; and that the Bible is the only source of authoritative teaching about God. Both claims were interpreted as attacks on the the authority of popes - and Christianity was forever changed.

Greg Copeland: Luther Nailing His Theses to the Church Door. Martin Luther was a professor of theology and a former monk whose two central ideas were these: that we are saved by God’s grace, not by good works or buying our way out of God’s judgment; and that the Bible is the only source of authoritative teaching about God. Both claims were interpreted as attacks on the the authority of popes – and the movement for Reform was born.

I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” Luke 15:18-19

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 God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For the Lord is 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 50

1  The LORD, the God of gods, has spoken; *
and has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2  Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God shines forth in glory.
3  Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before God there is a consuming flame,
and round about a raging storm.
4  God calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of the chosen people.
5  Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me
and sealed it with sacrifice.”
6  Let the heavens declare the rightness of God’s cause; *
for it is God who is judge.

7  Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
“O Israel, I will bear witness against you; *
for I am God, your God.
8  I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; *
your offerings are always before me.
9  I will take no bull-calf from your stalls, *
nor he-goats out of your pens;
10  For all the beasts of the forest are mine, *
the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
11  I know every bird in the sky, *
and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
12  If I were hungry, I would not tell you, *
for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
13  Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls, *
or drink the blood of goats?
14  Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and make good your vows to the Most High.
15  Call upon me in the day of trouble; *
I will deliver you, and you shall honor me.”

16  But to the wicked God says: *
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and take my covenant upon your lips;
17  Since you refuse discipline, *
and toss my words behind your back?
18  When you see thieves, you make them your friends, *
and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
19  You have loosed your lips for evil, *
and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
20  You are always speaking evil of your kin *
and slandering your own flesh and blood.
21  These things you have done, and I kept still, *
and you thought that I am like you.”

22  ”I have made my accusation; *
I have put my case in order before your eyes.
23  Consider this well, you who forget God, *
lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
24  Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; *
but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God.”

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.

Guido Reni, 1631: a rather sanitized version of Joseph and Potiphar's Wife.

Guido Reni, 1631: a rather sanitized version of Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife.

THE LESSONS
Genesis 39:1-23 (NRSV)

Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him; he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the food that he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome and goodlooking. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her. One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house, she caught hold of his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, she called out to the members of her household and said to them, “See, my husband has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice; and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.” Then she kept his garment by her until his master came home, and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me; but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.”

When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, “This is the way your servant treated me,” he became enraged. And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s care all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.

Canticle: The Song of Moses
Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18

I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted; *
the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my refuge; *
the Lord has become my Savior.
This is my God and I will praise him, *
the God of my people and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a mighty warrior; *
Yahweh is his Name.
The chariots of Pharaoh and his army has he hurled into the sea;
the finest of those who bear armor have been drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them; *
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might; *
your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy.
Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
who is like you, glorious in holiness,
awesome in renown, and worker of wonders?
You stretched forth your right hand; *
the earth swallowed them up.
With your constant love you led the people you redeemed; *
with your might you brought them in safety to your holy dwelling.
You will bring them in and plant them *
on the mount of your possession,
The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord, *
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established.
The Lord shall reign *
for ever and 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.

1 Corinthians 2:14 – 3:15 (NRSV)

Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny. “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
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.

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.

Mark 2:1-12 (NRSV)

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

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

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.

Cranach's famous portrait of Martin Luther has been reproduced almost as much as the Praying Hands. Now Luther was a terrible, wicked, horrible anti-Semite later in life; he wrote a book called "On Jews and Their Lies," and his views have been repudiated by Lutherans worldwide. But before this he expressed great sympathy for their persecution (by Roman Catholics) and excitement about the prospect of converting them to Christianity. But he failed miserably at it, and that seems to have led to his bitter attitude afterward. But as to his teaching that Romanism cried out for reform, we count him generally right.

Lucas Cranach the Elder’s famous portrait of Martin Luther has been reproduced almost as much as the Praying Hands. Now Luther was a vile, wicked, horrible anti-Semite later in life; he wrote a book called “On Jews and Their Lies,” views later repudiated by Lutherans worldwide. Before this he expressed great sympathy for their persecution at the hands of Christians, but when his theological arguments failed to persuade them, he ended up advocating violence against them, contradicting his own teachings about a God of love and his peaceful, redeeming Son.

Collect of the Day: Martin Luther, Theologian, 1546

O God, our refuge and our strength: You raised up your servant Martin Luther to reform and renew your Church in the light of your word. Defend and purify the Church in our own day and grant that, through faith, we may boldly proclaim the riches of your grace, which you have made known in Jesus Christ our Savior, 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.

Thursday Morning Prayer List

In Places of War, Political Unrest & Violence
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, México, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela, Yemen

For peace in these nations
For military personnel
For civilians in danger zones
For first responders and emergency workers

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Prayer for Mission

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 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.

God’s blessing be with us,
Christ’s peace be with us,
the Spirit’s outpouring be with us,
now and always. Amen.++

VIDEO: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (#687, Ein Feste Burg, Martin Luther; tr. Frederick Henry Hedge) – California Baptist University Choir and Orchestra, 2010

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