Evening Prayer 16.5.17, The Martyrs of Sudan

As for the seeds that fell among thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.

The Boston Marathon, one of the world’s biggest, ran peacefully last month, with both the men’s and women’s races won by gifted Kenyans. But 50 years ago women weren’t allowed to race, as Kathrine Switzer found out when the Boston Athletic Association sent four officials onto the course to shove her out and keep their precious boys’ club. The anniversary was remembered this year in news accounts, and I couldn’t forget this image. There’s nothing inherently male about a road race; call it cootie-phobia or pure insanity. She registered with everyone else (though only using an initial for her first name), she paid her fees, she was a qualified and experienced athlete. Why were the men so upset? Finally it hit me; they were scared she’d beat them. Of course the best women beat men all the time; less than 4 minutes separated the male and female winners this year. But here’s a happy twist; Ms. Switzer was back to run it again this year, welcomed by all as a hero and competitor – and she finished in almost the same time as she did in ’67. There’s a champion in this picture, and it isn’t the men. I bet the Holy Spirit pumped her fist and cheered as Switzer crossed the finish line, loving the irony of it; some guys never grow up. (Paul Connell/The Boston Globe)

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

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: Light of the World

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 68:1-20, 24-36

1  O God, arise, and let your enemies be scattered; *
let those who hate you flee before you.
2  Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
as the wax melts at the fire,
so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3  But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
let them also be merry and joyful.
4  Sing to God, sing praises to God’s Name;
exalt the One who rides upon the heavens; *
The Name of our God is the LORD; rejoice before the LORD!
5  Defender of widows, father of orphans, *
God in heaven’s holy habitation!
6  God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *
but the rebels shall live in dry places.
7  O God, when you went forth before your people, *
when you marched through the wilderness,
8  The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,
at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9  You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
you refreshed the land when it was weary.
10  Your people found their home in it; *
in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.
11  The Lord gave the word; *
great was the company of women who bore the tidings:
12  ”Kings with their armies are fleeing away; *
the women at home are dividing the spoils.”
13  Though you lingered among the sheepfolds, *
you shall be like a dove whose wings are covered with silver,
whose feathers are like green gold.
14  When the Almighty scattered kings, *
it was like snow falling in Zalmon.
15  O mighty mountain, O hill of Bashan! *
O rugged mountain, O hill of Bashan!
16  Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountain,
at the hill which God chose to rest? *
truly the LORD will dwell there for ever.
17  The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
even thousands of thousands; *
the Lord comes in holiness from Sinai.
18  You have gone up on high and led captivity captive;
you have received gifts even from your enemies, *
that the LORD God might dwell among them.
19  Blessed be the Lord day by day, *
the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens.
20  You are our God, the God of our salvation; *
God is the LORD, by whom we escape death.

24  They see your procession, O God, *
your procession into the sanctuary, my Sovereign and my God.
25  The singers go before, musicians follow after, *
in the midst of the maidens playing upon the hand-drums.
26  Bless God in the congregation; *
bless the LORD, you that are of the fountain of Israel.
27  There is Benjamin, least of the tribes, at the head;
the princes of Judah in a company; *
and the princes of Zebulon and Naphtali.
28  Send forth your strength, O God; *
establish, O God, what you have wrought for us.
29  Rulers shall bring gifts to you, *
for your temple’s sake at Jerusalem.
30  Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, *
and the peoples, a herd of wild bulls with its calves.
31  Trample down those who lust after silver; *
scatter the peoples that delight in war.
32  Let tribute be brought out of Egypt; *
let Ethiopia stretch out her hands to God.
33  Sing to God, O realms of the earth; *
sing praises to the Lord.
34  God rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; *
God’s voice thunders forth, a mighty voice.
35  Ascribe power to God; *
whose majesty is over Israel;
whose strength is in the skies.
36  How wonderful is God in the holy places! *
the God of Israel giving strength and power to the chosen people!
Blessed be God!

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.

Vincent Van Gogh, 1888: The Sower

THE LESSON
Luke 8:1-15 (NRSV)

Soon afterwards Jesus went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that

‘looking they may not perceive,
and listening they may not understand.’

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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.

A refugee camp near the Roman Catholic cathedral in Wau, South Sudan, 2016-17. The city of about 230,000 has seen heavy fighting in 1998, 2007 and 2016. (Jill Craig/Voice of America)

Collect of the Day: The Martyrs of the Sudan

O God, steadfast in the midst of persecution, by your providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: As the martyrs of the Sudan refused to abandon Christ even in the face of torture and death, and so by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest, may we, too, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of New York and Diocese of Western New York, USA

Tuesday Evening Prayer List

For the Departed
Ron
Michele

Please add your own prayers here.

Prayer for Mission

O God, you manifest in your servants the signs of your presence: Send forth upon us the Spirit of love, that in companionship with one another your abounding grace may increase among us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

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. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

May the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you and scatter the darkness from before your path; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.++

VIDEO: Jesus Is Risen (unknown origin) – SAT7 Arabic, 2011

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About Josh Thomas

This site offers daily Morning and Evening Prayer in the Anglican tradition according to the Book of Common Prayer of The Episcopal Church, and other sources. Each service includes psalms, Bible lessons, and prayers. The Daily Office Network consists of three sites: two in English (one timed for Asia-Pacific and the other for North & South America) and one in Spanish (Oficio Diario). We serve all the nations of the world. We're glad you came and we invite your comments. May God bless you richly in our Savior Jesus Christ.
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