Morning Prayer 23.2.16, Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna & Martyr, 156

Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, as you really are unleavened.

Monsignor Thomas Hartman has died, a priest in New York who formed a media "God Squad" with Rabbi Marc Gellman, which ran for two decades on television, radio and in newspapers and reached an audience of up to 15 million. With witty banter, they explored issues of faith and ethics across religious lines. They mostly avoided talking about Jesus, which would have divided them, but Gellman noted how much their separate traditions made them alike. “We realized that we share identical ethical systems,” he continued. “What God wants us to do in the world is the same: compassionate, forgiving, charitable, just. How we imagine God is different, but how we imagine what God wants us to do is exactly the same.” Above: an appearance at Radio City Music Hall in 1997. (Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)

Monsignor Thomas Hartman has died, a priest in New York who formed a media “God Squad” with Rabbi Marc Gellman, which ran for 20 years on television, radio and in newspapers, reaching an audience of up to 15 million. With witty banter, they explored issues of faith and ethics across religious lines – mostly avoiding talk about Jesus, which would have divided them, but noting how much their separate traditions made them alike. “We realized that we share identical ethical systems,” Rabbi Gellman said. “What God wants us to do in the world is the same: compassionate, forgiving, charitable, just. How we imagine God is different, but how we imagine what God wants us to do is exactly the same.” Above: an appearance at Radio City Music Hall in 1997. (Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)

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 61

1  Hear my cry, O God, *
and listen to my prayer.
2  I call upon you from the ends of the earth
with heaviness in my heart; *
set me upon the rock that is higher than I.
3  For you have been my refuge, *
a strong tower against the enemy.
4  I will dwell in your house for ever; *
I will take refuge under the cover of your wings.
5  For you, O God, have heard my vows; *
you have granted me the heritage of those who fear your Name.
6  Add length of days to our ruler’s life; *
with years extending over many generations.
7  Let our ruler sit enthroned before God for ever; *
watched over by your love and faithfulness.
8  So will I always sing the praise of your Name, *
and day by day I will fulfill my vows.

Psalm 62

1  For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
from God comes my salvation.
2  God alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.
3  How long will you assail me to crush me,
all of you together, *
as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?
4  They seek only to bring me down from my place of honor; *
lies are their chief delight.
5  They bless with their lips, *
but in their hearts they curse.
6  For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
truly, my hope is in God.
7  God alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
8  In God is my safety and my honor; *
God is my strong rock and my refuge.
9  Put your trust in God always, O people, *
pour out your hearts before God, who is our refuge.
10  Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath, *
even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
11  On the scales they are lighter than a breath, *
all of them together.
12  Put no trust in extortion;
in robbery take no empty pride; *
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
13  God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, *
that power belongs to God.
14  Steadfast love is yours, O Lord, *
for you repay all people according to their deeds.

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.

Jacopo Pontormo, 1515: Joseph's Brothers Beg Him for Help (National Gallery)

Jacopo Pontormo, 1515: Joseph’s Brothers Beg Him for Help (National Gallery)

THE LESSONS
Genesis 42:1-17 (NRSV)

When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you keep looking at one another? I have heard,” he said, “that there is grain in Egypt; go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.” So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he feared that harm might come to him. Thus the sons of Israel were among the other people who came to buy grain, for the famine had reached the land of Canaan.

Now Joseph was governor over the land; it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” Although Joseph had recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Joseph also remembered the dreams that he had dreamed about them. He said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land!” They said to him, “No, my lord; your servants have come to buy food. We are all sons of one man; we are honest men; your servants have never been spies.” But he said to them, “No, you have come to see the nakedness of the land!” They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of a certain man in the land of Canaan; the youngest, however, is now with our father, and one is no more.” But Joseph said to them, “It is just as I have said to you; you are spies! Here is how you shall be tested: as Pharaoh lives, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here! Let one of you go and bring your brother, while the rest of you remain in prison, in order that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you; or else, as Pharaoh lives, surely you are spies.” And he put them all together in prison for three days.

Canticle: A Song of Praise
Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

1 Corinthians 5:1-8 (NRSV)

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Should you not rather have mourned, so that he who has done this would have been removed from among you?

For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not a good thing. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, as you really are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Canticle: A Song to the Lamb
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for evermore.

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 3:19b-35 (NRSV)

Then Jesus went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

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.

St. Polycarp learned about Jesus from St. John the Evangelist, who taught him and made him Bishop of Smyrna in present-day Turkey. Therefore we would expect that any extant writing by Polycarp would be as faithful to the Gospel as it's possible to get from someone who didn't know Jesus directly. And we have such a fragment, a Letter to the Philippians, as documented by St. Irenaeus (d. 202), who was born in Smyrna and became Polycarp's disciple. Through Irenaeus we have a direct link to "the disciple Jesus loved!" (omhksea.org)

St. Polycarp learned about Jesus from St. John the Evangelist, who taught him and made him Bishop of Smyrna in present-day Turkey. Therefore any extant writing by Polycarp would be as faithful to the Gospel as it’s possible to get from someone who didn’t meet Jesus himself. And we do have Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians, as documented by St. Irenaeus (d. 202), who was born in Smyrna and became Polycarp’s disciple. Thus through Irenaeus we have a direct link to the disciple Jesus loved, making Polycarp one of three “Apostolic Fathers” or most reliable witnesses in post-apostolic history. This is of essential importance to us today, all these centuries later; it is one thing to “believe what the Bible says,” but how do we know our Bible is authentic? Because Polycarp taught what John taught, and taught it to Irenaeus, who left a wealth of records. (omhksea.org)

Collect of the Day: Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna, 156

O God, the maker of heaven and earth, you gave your venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Saviour, and steadfastness to die for his faith: Give us grace, following his example, to share the cup of Christ and rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent

O God, you willed to redeem us from all iniquity by your Son: Deliver us when we are tempted to regard sin without abhorrence, and let the virtue of his passion come between us and our mortal enemy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Three Weeks Since a U.S. Military Death in Foreign Wars
Compiled Since 2007 by Clint Gilliland

Total War Deaths: 8,330

Iraq: Total Deaths: 4,815
-no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week

Afghanistan: Total Deaths: 3,515
-no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week

For Those in the Armed Forces of our Country

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Collect 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: How bright these glorious spirits shine (Peter Klatzow; Isaac Watts) – Commotio Choir, dir. Matthew Berry, 2014

One thought on “Morning Prayer 23.2.16, Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna & Martyr, 156

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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s