Evening Prayer 15.3.17, Wednesday of Lent 2

Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.”

Joni Sledge has died, one of the leaders of Sister Sledge, known for the disco era classic “We Are Family,” a joyful celebration played at family reunions, Pittsburgh baseball games, diocesan synods, on cruise ships, in smalltown Gay bars and senior shuffleboard tournaments whenever a crowdpleasing song is needed. They were four teenage sisters in Philadelphia when they got started; they built up an audience, opened for other touring acts and eventually became headliners themselves with several hits to their credit, none bigger than their joyful ode to sisterhood. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images for the Songswriters Hall of Fame)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

GENERAL CONFESSION

God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that we may abide in your love
and serve only your will. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

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.

Hymn: O Gracious Light

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 119:73-96

73  Your hands have made me and fashioned me; *
give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.
74  Those who fear you will be glad when they see me, *
because I trust in your word.
75  I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right *
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76  Let your loving-kindness be my comfort, *
as you have promised to your servant.
77  Let your compassion come to me, that I may live, *
for your law is my delight.
78  Let the arrogant be put to shame, for they wrong me with lies; *
but I will meditate on your commandments.
79  Let those who fear you turn to me, *
and also those who know your decrees.
80  Let my heart be sound in your statutes, *
that I may not be put to shame.

81  My soul has longed for your salvation; *
I have put my hope in your word.
82  My eyes have failed from watching for your promise, *
and I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83  I have become like a leather flask in the smoke, *
but I have not forgotten your statutes.
84  How much longer must I wait? *
when will you give judgment against those who persecute me?
85  The proud have dug pits for me; *
they do not keep your law.
86  All your commandments are true; *
help me, for they persecute me with lies.
87  They had almost made an end of me on earth, *
but I have not forsaken your commandments.
88  In your loving-kindness, revive me, *
that I may keep the decrees of your mouth.

89  O LORD, your word is everlasting; *
it stands firm in the heavens.
90  Your faithfulness remains from one generation to another; *
you established the earth, and it abides.
91  By your decree these continue to this day, *
for all things are your servants.
92  If my delight had not been in your law, *
I should have perished in my affliction.
93  I will never forget your commandments, *
because by them you give me life.
94  I am yours; oh, that you would save me! *
for I study your commandments.
95  Though the wicked lie in wait for me to destroy me, *
I will apply my mind to your decrees.
96  I see that all things come to an end, *
but your commandment has no bounds.

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.

Artus Wolfort, c. 1620: Jesus at the Pool of Bethsaida. People believed that God sometimes stirred up the waters there, and the first one in the pool would be healed.

THE LESSON
John 5:1-18 (NRSV)

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.

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 power of 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.

Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge (Wikipedia)

Collect for Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent

O God, you so loved the world that you gave your only-begotten Son to reconcile earth with heaven: Grant that we, loving you above all things, may love our friends in you, and our enemies for your sake; 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: the Dell Garden, Bressingham, Norfolk.

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.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

Wednesday Evening Prayer List

For Disaster Victims
Deadly floods in Chile
Flooding in Southern California & the U.S. West
Drought in Southern Africa, India and Papua New Guinea
Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and Europe
Famine in Niger, Mali, Ethiopia, Yemen and South Sudan

For Prisoners
Matthew
The Rev. Andrew Brunson, missionary in Turkey

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.

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 God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++

VIDEO: We Are Family (Bernard Edwards, Nile Rogers) – Sister Sledge, 1979

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