Evening Prayer 10.8.16, Laurence, Deacon & Martyr at Rome, 258

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”

A massive, drug-fueled outbreak of HIV took place last December in tiny Austin, Indiana, alarming public health officials and reaching the ears of then-Gov. Mike Pence. Experts urged him to declare a public health emergency and order a needle exchange program, which is otherwise illegal under state law. For three months and hundreds of viral infections, the governor said only that he was praying about what to do. Finally he called the county sheriff, who told him to get going on the needle exchange, and the next day Pence announced he would do so. As religious a man as he professes to be, the kinder act seems to belong to this church, which opened itself to community criticism for "enabling addicts to stay addicted." Since the program started and gained acceptance among the addicts, the HIV rate has dropped back down to normal, one or two cases a year. (Aaron Borton/The New York Times)

A massive, drug-fueled outbreak of HIV took place last December in tiny Austin, Indiana, alarming public health officials and reaching the ears of then-Gov. Mike Pence. Experts urged him to declare a public health emergency and order a needle exchange program, which is otherwise illegal under state law. For three months and hundreds of viral infections, the governor said only that he was “praying about what to do.” Finally he called the county sheriff, who told him to get going on the needle exchange, and the next day Pence announced he would do so. Still, the kinder act seems to belong to this unnamed church, which opened itself to local criticism for “enabling addicts to stay addicted.” Since the program started and gained acceptance among the addicts, the HIV rate has dropped back down to normal, one or two cases a year. It turns out that half the young adults in town are hooked on synthetic opiates, and when the drug manufacturer changed the formula to prevent addicts from snorting it, they started shooting up instead – in a state where possessing one syringe without a prescription is a crime. So after they shot up themselves, they washed off the needle and passed it to the next person; in a month or two, hundreds of cases of HIV. (Aaron Borton/The New York Times)

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
Phos hilaron

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 119:121-144

121  I have done what is just and right; *
do not deliver me to my oppressors.
122  Be surety for your servant’s good; *
let not the proud oppress me.
123  My eyes have failed from watching for your salvation *
and for your righteous promise.
124  Deal with your servant according to your loving-kindness *
and teach me your statutes.
125  I am your servant; grant me understanding, *
that I may know your decrees.
126  It is time for you to act, O LORD, *
for they have broken your law.
127  Truly, I love your commandments *
more than gold and precious stones.
128  I hold all your commandments to be right for me; *
all paths of falsehood I abhor.

129  Your decrees are wonderful; *
therefore I obey them with all my heart.
130  When your word goes forth it gives light; *
it gives understanding to the simple.
131  I open my mouth and pant; *
I long for your commandments.
132  Turn to me in mercy, *
as you always do to those who love your Name.
133  Steady my footsteps in your word; *
let no iniquity have dominion over me.
134  Rescue me from those who oppress me, *
and I will keep your commandments.
135  Let your countenance shine upon your servant *
and teach me your statutes.
136  My eyes shed streams of tears, *
because people do not keep your law.

137  You are righteous, O LORD, *
and upright are your judgments.
138  You have issued your decrees *
with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
139  My indignation has consumed me, *
because my enemies forget your words.
140  Your word has been tested to the uttermost, *
and your servant holds it dear.
141  I am small and of little account, *
yet I do not forget your commandments.
142  Your justice is an everlasting justice *
and your law is the truth.
143  Trouble and distress have come upon me, *
yet your commandments are my delight.
144  The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting; *
grant me understanding, that I may live.

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.

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

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

THE LESSON
John 4:1-26 (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.”

Jesus said to her, “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.”

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 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.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit
in the communion of all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

In his confrontation with the Emperor Valerian, Laurence seems to have been both innocent and savvy when soldiers came to confiscate the Church's money; the Church didn't have much, and the Emperor knew that. Laurence's martyrdom wasn't about theology, but about power. (unknown)

In his confrontation with the Emperor Valerian, Laurence seems to have been both innocent and savvy when soldiers came to confiscate the Church’s money; the Church didn’t have much, and the Emperor knew that. Laurence’s martyrdom wasn’t about theology, but about power. (unknown)

Collect of the Day: Laurence, Deacon, and Martyr at Rome, 258

Almighty God, you called your deacon Laurence to serve you with deeds of love, and gave him the crown of martyrdom: Grant that we, following his example, may fulfill your commandments by defending and supporting the poor, and by loving you with all our hearts; 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: Crescent Beach State Park, Maine. (The Ven. Alice Goshorn)

For the beauty of the Earth: Crescent Beach State Park, Maine. (The Ven. Alice Goshorn)

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.

A Collect for Peace

Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

Wednesday Evening Prayer List

For Disaster Victims
People with disabilities killed in Japan
Suicide bombers in Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Bangladesh & Saudi Arabia
Drought in Southern Africa, India and Papua New Guinea
Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and Europe
Famine in Ethiopia and South Sudan

For Prisoners
Matthew

Prisoners of ISIS & Boko Haram: #BringBackOurGirls
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 Sally & Francesca
John P. Craine House, diversion and prevention programs
Sr. Helen Prejean and all prison reformers
All who are condemned to die

For those who suffer for the sake of Conscience

O God our Father, whose Son forgave his enemies while he was suffering shame and death: Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened. This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our merciful and righteous Judge. Amen.

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.

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: I am a missionary – The Rev. Jimmy Bartz, Thad’s Church, Los Angeles, March 2016

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