Morning Prayer 2.6.17, Blandina & Companions, the Martyrs of Lyons, 177

I will put my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.

American basketball star LeBron James, often compared to Michael Jordan as the greatest players in NBA history, was the target of a hate crime at his Los Angeles home Wednesday morning while he and his family were at their winter home in Ohio; someone spray-painted the N-word on his front gate – on the eve of the NBA championship series. He told a news conference he was glad his wife and children weren’t there to see the evidence, and took on the racism he lives with every day. He said, “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. We’ve got a long way to go, for us as a society and for us as African Americans, until we feel equal in America.” If anyone thought he was a dumb jock before this, they know better now; he increasingly uses his fame and verbal skills to comment on social inustices. (Gregory Shamus/Getty)

Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24

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.

Christ Our Passover
1 Cor. 5:7-8; Rom. 6:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:20-22

Alleluia.
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; *
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, *
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; *
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; *
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, *
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Christ has been raised from the dead, *
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death, *
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, *
so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

Psalm 102

1 LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come before you; *
hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
2 Incline your ear to me; *
when I call, make haste to answer me,
3 For my days drift away like smoke, *
and my bones are hot as burning coals.
4 My heart is smitten like grass and withered, *
so that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the voice of my groaning *
I am but skin and bones.
6 I have become like a vulture in the wilderness, *
like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake and groan; *
I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
8 My enemies revile me all day long, *
and those who scoff at me have taken an oath against me.
9 For I have eaten ashes for bread *
and mingled my drink with weeping.
10 Because of your indignation and wrath *
you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
11 My days pass away like a shadow, *
and I wither like the grass.
12 But you, O LORD, endure for ever, *
and your Name from age to age.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to have mercy upon it; *
indeed, the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants love its very rubble, *
and are moved to pity even for its dust.
15 The nations shall fear your Name, O LORD, *
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For you, O LORD, will build up Zion, *
and your glory will appear.
17 You will look with favor on the prayer of the homeless; *
you will not despise their plea.
18 Let this be written for a future generation, *
so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD.
19 For the LORD looked down from the holy place on high; *
and from the heavens beheld the earth;
20 To hear the groan of the captive *
and to set free those condemned to die;
21 That they may declare in Zion the Name of the LORD, *
and the praise of our God in Jerusalem;
22 When the peoples are gathered together, *
and the realms also, to serve the LORD.
23 The LORD has brought down my strength before my time; *
and shortened the number of my days;
24 And I said, “O my God,
do not take me away in the midst of my days; *
your years endure throughout all generations.
25 In the beginning, O LORD, you laid the foundations of the earth, *
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
26 They shall perish, but you will endure;
they all shall wear out like a garment; *
as clothing you will change them,
and they shall be changed;
27 But you are always the same, *
and your years will never end.
28 The children of your servants shall continue, *
and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.”

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 LESSONS
Ezekiel 34:17-31 (NRSV)

As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?

Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild animals from the land, so that they may live in the wild and sleep in the woods securely. I will make them and the region around my hill a blessing; and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. The trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase. They shall be secure on their soil; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and save them from the hands of those who enslaved them. They shall no more be plunder for the nations, nor shall the animals of the land devour them; they shall live in safety, and no one shall make them afraid. I will provide for them a splendid vegetation so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the insults of the nations. They shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD. You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.

Canticle: A Song of Jonah
Jonah 2:2-7, 9

I called to you, O God, out of my distress, and you answered me; *
out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.
You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, *
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and billows passed over me.
Then I said, “I am driven away from your sight; *
how shall I ever look again upon your holy temple?”
The waters closed in over me, the deep was round about me; *
weeds were wrapped around my head at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land beneath the earth, *
yet you brought up my life from the depths, O God.
As my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, O God, *
and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.
With the voice of thanksgiving, I will sacrifice to you; *
what I have vowed I will pay, for deliverance belongs to the Lord!

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.

Hebrews 8:1-13 (NRSV)

Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent, was warned, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one. God finds fault with them when he says:

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah;
not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
for they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach one another or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.

Jan Vermeer, 1654: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary

Luke 10:38-42 (NRSV)

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

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

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. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your congregation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among the nations;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
R. Never forget the lives of your poor.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
V. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
R. So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

Blandina window in the Basilica of St. Martin d’Ainay. She was reputed to be very courageous in torture and specially protected by God until the end came; she’s often shown with a lion that refused to attack her. (baguette-over-blog.net)

Collect of the Day: Blandina and Her Companions, The Martyrs of Lyons, 177

Grant, O Lord, we pray, that we who keep the feast of the holy martyrs Blandina and her companions may be rooted and grounded in love of you, and may endure the sufferings of this life for the glory that shall be revealed in us; 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 Fridays

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Friday Morning Prayer List

For Those Looking for Work or a New Project
Libby
Kimberly
Tom

Financial Needs
Daily Office Radio

For the Homeless
50,000 U.S. veterans (source: Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
Residents of tent cities and refugee camps
Those living in shelters, motels, cars, on the streets and in the woods

For the Poor of every nation
For the cold and hungry
For those who minister among them
Food pantries, soup kitchens, gardens, and orchards

For Those Facing Danger & Oppression
Christians persecuted in China, Sudan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Turkey India and Pakistan
Muslims persecuted in India, Myanmar, Europe, Canada & the USA
Hindus persecuted in Bangladesh
Jews all over the world
Against racism in all its forms
All women and girls of the world
LGBTs in places of violence, especially Chechnya
Victims of human trafficking
Archbishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim, Syria, abducted 4 years ago, fate unknown
Rev. Andrew Brunson, American missionary detained in Turkey

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Collect for Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Webcast Dismissal
by Josh Thomas

O God, we’re ready to depart now to begin the rest of our morning. Thank you for this time together to worship you, to see and listen to each other over miles and time zones. We ask your blessing on the concerns and joys each of us has brought with us, that you will be with N., N., and each of our viewers as we go about our day. Be present in our encounters with others, and give us awareness of you in our solitude. Help us do good work and live good lives, in unity with your Son and Holy Spirit. And now, with one voice,

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. Jude 24-25++

VIDEO: Father, we praise thee (#1, Christe Sanctorum, from Antiphoner, 1681; Latin, 10th C., tr. Percy Dearmer) – Sandra Anderson, Lincoln Briney, Mary Beth Cecil, Greg Clark, Brett Gilbert, Tracy Laas and Roger Treece, 2013

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