Morning Prayer 8.1.17, 1st Sunday after the Epiphany: Baptism of Our Lord

He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.

Ruins of the baptism fresco at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the earthquake in 2010. This isn't just a picture of tragedy, though; you can see the faith and spirit that made these frescoes world-famous.

Ruins of the baptism fresco at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the earthquake in 2010. This isn’t just a picture of tragedy, though; you can see the faith and spirit that made these frescoes world-famous. Notice too that the damage didn’t touch the sacramental act of washing sins away with water.

I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. Isaiah 49:6b

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 100
Jubilate

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Psalm 146

1  Hallelujah!
Praise the LORD, O my soul! *
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
2  Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
for there is no help in them.
3  When they breathe their last, they return to earth, *
and in that day their thoughts perish.
4  Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
whose hope is in the LORD their God;
5  Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
who keeps faith for ever;
6  Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger.
7  The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
8  The LORD loves the righteous
and cares for the stranger; *
the LORD sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.
9  The LORD shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 147

1  Hallelujah!
How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor the LORD with praise!
2  The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem *
and gathers the exiles of Israel.
3  The LORD heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.
4  The LORD counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
5  Great is our LORD and mighty in power; *
whose wisdom is beyond limit.
6  The LORD lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7  Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
8  God covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
9  God makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve humankind.
10  God provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
11  The LORD is not impressed by the might of a horse *
and has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
12  But the LORD has pleasure in the God-fearing, *
in those who await God’s gracious favor.
13  Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
14  For God has strengthened the bars of your gates *
and blessed your children within you.
15  God has established peace on your borders *
and satisfies you with the finest wheat.
16  God’s command is sent out to the earth, *
and the word of the LORD runs very swiftly.
17  God gives snow like wool *
and scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
18  God scatters hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against the cold of the LORD?
19  God’s word is sent forth and melts them; *
God’s stormwinds blow, and the waters flow.
20  God’s word is declared to Jacob, *
God’s statutes and judgments to Israel.
21  The LORD has not done so to any other nation; *
to them God’s judgments have not been revealed.
Hallelujah!

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.

Baptism of Christ, by the Workshop of Andrea del Verrochio, including Leonardo da Vinci. This event signals the importance of baptism, so central an act in our faith experience that Christ himself participated in it with the help of his cousin John. The washing is a liturgical or ritual act meant to signify a change of life. Jesus didn't need the washing; he was telling us that we do.

Workshop of Andrea del Verrochio, including Leonardo da Vinci: Baptism of Christ. This event signals the importance of baptism, so central an act in our faith that Christ himself blessed and participated in it with the help of his cousin John. The washing is a liturgical or ritual act meant to signify a change of life. Jesus didn’t need the washing; he was telling us that we do.

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 40:1-11 (NRSV)

Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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.

Baptism of Jesus icon at St. Catherine's Monastery, Mt. Sinai.

Baptism of Jesus icon at St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai.

Hebrews 1:1-12 (NRSV)

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have begotten you”?

Or again,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”?

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

And,
“In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like clothing;
like a cloak you will roll them up,
and like clothing they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end.”

Canticle: We Praise You, O God
Te Deum laudamus

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
All creation worships you,
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you took our flesh to set us free
you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come to be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

There are Christians who insist thst baptism isn't essential to salvation; they like to cite St. Paul's insistence on faith alone, without acknowledging the question he was answering when he wrote it. Occasionally, people who believe that baptism is optional admit that they like Paul's teachings better than those of Jesus. (artist unknown)

Some Christians insist thst baptism isn’t essential to salvation; they like to cite St. Paul’s insistence on faith alone, without acknowledging the question he was answering when he wrote it. Occasionally, people who claim that baptism is optional admit that they like Paul’s teachings better than those of Jesus – to which we say, Let Paul save them. (artist unknown)

John 1:1-7, 19-20, 29-34 (NRSV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

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.

Louis Comfort Tiffany: Christ the Light of the World, at Grace-St. Luke's, Memphis, Tennessee. (Wikipedia)

Louis Comfort Tiffany: Christ the Light of the World, at Grace-St. Luke’s, Memphis, Tennessee. (Wikipedia)

Collect of the Day: First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A Collect for Sundays

O God, you make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord: Give us this day such blessing through our worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Morning Prayer List: Our Donors: thank you!

2016 DONORS

Barbara
Molly, in honor of Church of the Redeemer, Nashville, Tennessee
The Rev. Deacon Kyn Barker (Canada)
Robert Lindstrom Jr.
Elise Ashley Hanley and Chris Ashley
MJ Holman
The Rev. Raymond A. Woo
Dr. Margaret Green (Jamaica), in honor of Gilda and Henry Hudson-Philiips
Sarah Baggs
The Rev. Greg Henneman
Christopher Bates
Patty Gotway
Gail Connolly
Paul D. Messer, in honor of the Rev. Reagin Brown
Sylvia Robbins-Penniman

Please add your own prayers 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.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. 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: “I come,” the great Redeemer cries (#116, This Endris Night, English, harm. Ralph Vaughan Williams) – Los Angeles 1st Congregational Church, 2012

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