Morning Prayer 31.10.16, Paul Sasaki, Bishop of Mid-Japan, and of Tokyo, 1946; Philip Tsen, Bishop of Honan, China, 1954

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”

Wars of the 20th century created great difficulties for today's saints. Bishop Sasaki, above, worked to preserve the independence of Nippon Sei Ko Kei after the Japanese government ordered all Christian churches to consolidate during World War II. He was tortured and imprisoned, but the Japanese Anglican Church survived and regrouped. It's unique among world Anglicans, the first national missionary church composed of the people who lived there, rather than British and American expatriates.

Wars of the 20th century created great difficulties for today’s saints. Bishop Sasaki, above, served as Primate during World War II and worked to preserve the independence of Nippon Sei Ko Kei after the Japanese government ordered all Christian churches to consolidate, which would have destroyed Anglican apostolic succession. He was tortured and imprisoned along with two other bishops, but the Japanese Anglican Church survived and regrouped. It’s unique among world Anglicans, the first national missionary church composed of the people who lived there, rather than British and American expatriates.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:2

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. Alleluia.

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 you are 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 56

1  Have mercy on me, O God,
for my enemies are hounding me; *
all day long they assault and oppress me.
2  They hound me all the day long; *
truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3  Whenever I am afraid, *
I will put my trust in you.
4  In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and will not be afraid, *
for what can flesh do to me?
5  All day long they damage my cause; *
their only thought is to do me evil.
6  They band together; they lie in wait; *
they spy upon my footsteps;
because they seek my life.
7  Shall they escape despite their wickedness? *
O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.
8  You have noted my lamentation;
put my tears into your bottle; *
are they not recorded in your book?
9  Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight; *
this I know, for God is on my side.
10  In God the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and will not be afraid, *
for what can mortals do to me?
11  I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God; *
I will present to you thank-offerings;
12  For you have rescued my soul from death and my feet from stumbling, *
that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

Psalm 57

1  Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
for I have taken refuge in you; *
in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge
until this time of trouble has gone by.
2  I will call upon you, O Most High God, *
the God who maintains my cause.
3  You will send from heaven and save me;
you will confound those who trample upon me; *
O God, you will send forth your love and your faithfulness.
4  I lie in the midst of lions that devour the people; *
their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongue a sharp sword.
5  They have laid a net for my feet,
and I am bowed low; *
they have dug a pit before me,
but have fallen into it themselves.

6  Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, *
and your glory over all the earth.
7  My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; *
I will sing and make melody.
8  Wake up, my spirit;
awake, lute and harp; *
I myself will waken the dawn.
9  I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; *
I will sing praise to you among the nations.
10  For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, *
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11  Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, *
and your glory over all the earth.

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.

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

THE LESSONS
Ecclesiasticus 38:24-34 (NRSV)

The wisdom of the scribe depends on the opportunity of leisure;
only the one who has little business can become wise.
How can one become wise who handles the plow,
and who glories in the shaft of a goad,
who drives oxen and is occupied with their work,
and whose talk is about bulls?
He sets his heart on plowing furrows,
and he is careful about fodder for the heifers.
So it is with every artisan and master artisan
who labors by night as well as by day;
those who cut the signets of seals,
each is diligent in making a great variety;
they set their heart on painting a lifelike image,
and they are careful to finish their work.
So it is with the smith, sitting by the anvil,
intent on his iron-work;
the breath of the fire melts his flesh,
and he struggles with the heat of the furnace;
the sound of the hammer deafens his ears,
and his eyes are on the pattern of the object.
He sets his heart on finishing his handiwork,
and he is careful to complete its decoration.
So it is with the potter sitting at his work
and turning the wheel with his feet;
he is always deeply concerned over his products,
and he produces them in quantity.
He molds the clay with his arm
and makes it pliable with his feet;
he sets his heart to finish the glazing,
and he takes care in firing the kiln.

All these rely on their hands,
and all are skillful in their own work.
Without them no city can be inhabited,
and wherever they live, they will not go hungry.
Yet they are not sought out for the council of the people,
nor do they attain eminence in the public assembly.
They do not sit in the judge’s seat,
nor do they understand the decisions of the courts;
they cannot expound discipline or judgment,
and they are not found among the rulers.
But they maintain the fabric of the world,
and their concern is for the exercise of their trade.

How different the one who devotes himself
to the study of the law of the Most High!

Canticle: A Song of Hannah
1 Samuel 2:1-8

My heart exults in you, O God; *
my triumph song is lifted in you.
My mouth derides my enemies, *
for I rejoice in your salvation.
There is none holy like you, *
nor any rock to be compared to you, our God.
Do not heap up prideful words or speak in arrogance; *
Only God is knowing and weighs all actions.
The bows of the mighty are broken, *
but the weak are clothed in strength.
Those once full now labor for bread, *
those who hungered now are well fed.
The childless woman has borne sevenfold, *
while the mother of many is forlorn.
God destroys and brings to life, casts down and raises up; *
gives wealth or takes it away, humbles and dignifies.
God raises the poor from the dust; *
and lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with the rulers *
and inherit a place of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are God’s *
on which the whole earth is founded.

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.

Revelation 14:1-13 (NRSV)

Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless.

Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, “Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”

Canticle: A Song of Christ’s Humility
Philippians 2:6-11

Though in the form of God, *
Christ Jesus did not cling to equality with God,
But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, *
and was born in human likeness.
Being found in human form, he humbled himself *
and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Therefore, God has highly exalted him *
and given him the name above every name,
That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, *
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, *
to the glory of God the Father.

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.

Luke 12:49-59 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:

father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

“And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case, or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

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.  Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R.  And grant us your salvation.
V.  Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R.  Let your people sing with joy.
V.  Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R.  For only in you can we live in safety.
V.  Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R.  And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V.  Let your way be known upon earth;
R.  Your saving health among all nations.
V.  Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R.  Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V.  Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R.  And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

He was raised by Episcopal missionaries and after ordination worked with Canadian missioners in China. In 1948 he attended the Lambeth Conference in England, then arrived home and was put under house arrest by the Communist government, whose oppression of Christians continues today. (source unknown)

Bishop Tsen was raised by Episcopal missionaries and after ordination worked with Canadian missioners in China. In 1948 he attended the Lambeth Conference in England, then arrived home and was put under house arrest by the Communist government, whose oppression of Christians (and other religions) continues today. (source unknown)

Collect of the Day: Paul Shinji Sasaki, Bishop of Mid-Japan, and of Tokyo, 1946; Philip Lindel Tsen, Bishop of Honan, China, 1954

Almighty God, we thank you for the faith and witness of Paul Sasaki, bishop in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, tortured and imprisoned by his government, and Philip Tsen, leader of the Chinese Anglican Church, arrested for his faith. We pray that all Church leaders oppressed by hostile governments may be delivered by your mercy, and that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may be faithful to the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Our Country

Almighty God, you have given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness; and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Renewal of Life

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our heart to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday Morning Prayer List: Most Recent

Baylin, child with cancer, going through chemo
Joseph Short, healing
Patrick Dayton, healing
Martha’s brother Lewis
Wanda Bell, COPD
Yvonne’s brother Keith, hospice care
Jocelyn, depression
Campbell’s son, custody issues
Scotty and family, reconciliation
Treese McIntyre-Allen, radiation & chemo
Bob Hetler, cardiac issues
Debbie Brooner, adenocarcinoma
Gail Hart, health issues
Brother Barnabas, Parkinson’s
Lyle, multiple myeloma
Debbie, lupus
Joan, chemo

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 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.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: A Message from the House of Bishops – meeting in Detroit last month

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