Morning Prayer 8.7.17, An Ordinary Saturday

Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

A U.S. retail chain named Hobby Lobby, privately owned by a fundamentalist Christian family, has been charged with looting thousands of ancient artifacts from Iraq by the U.S. government – like this cuneiform tablet. In a settlement, the government confiscated the artifacts, for which the company paid $1.6 million USD, and fined it an additional $3 million. The head of the family expressed regret and blamed his own naiveté, but he’s an experienced collector and this was an elaborate scheme, with deliveries to seven different company facilities in its home city, each falsely labeled as merchandise samples. It took sophistication and shady contacts to arrange; this wasn’t his first time at the rodeo. (U.S. Department of Justice)

The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23

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 137:1-8

1 By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
when we remembered you, O Zion.
2 As for our harps, we hung them up *
on the trees in the midst of that land.
3 For those who led us away captive asked us for a song,
and our oppressors called for mirth: *
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
4 How shall we sing the LORD’s song *
upon an alien soil?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, *
let my right hand forget its skill.
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you, *
if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

7 Remember the day of Jerusalem, O LORD,
against the people of Edom, *
who said, “Down with it! down with it!
even to the ground!”
8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, *
happy the one who pays you back
for what you have done to us!

Psalm 144

1 Blessed be the LORD my rock! *
who trains my hands to fight and my fingers to battle;
2 My help and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, *
my shield in whom I trust,
who subdues the peoples under me.
3 O LORD, what are we that you should care for us? *
mere mortals that you should think of us?
4 We are like a puff of wind; *
our days are like a passing shadow.
5 Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down; *
touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6 Hurl the lightning and scatter them; *
shoot out your arrows and rout them.
7 Stretch out your hand from on high; *
rescue me and deliver me from the great waters,
from the hand of foreign peoples,
8 Whose mouths speak deceitfully *
and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
9 O God, I will sing to you a new song; *
I will play to you on a ten-stringed lyre.
10 You give victory to rulers *
and have rescued David your servant.
11 Rescue me from the hurtful sword *
and deliver me from the hand of foreign peoples,
12 Whose mouths speak deceitfully *
and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
13 May our sons be like plants well nurtured from their youth, *
and our daughters like sculptured corners of a palace.
14 May our barns be filled to overflowing with all manner of crops; *
may the flocks in our pastures increase by thousands and tens of thousands;
may our cattle be fat and sleek.
15 May there be no breaching of the walls, no going into exile, *
no wailing in the public squares.
16 Happy are the people of whom this is so! *
happy are the people whose God is 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.

Jonathan and the honeycomb (bibleencyclopedia.com)

THE LESSONS
1 Samuel 14:16-30 (NRSV)

Saul’s lookouts in Gibeah of Benjamin were watching as the multitude was surging back and forth. Then Saul said to the troops that were with him, “Call the roll and see who has gone from us.” When they had called the roll, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For at that time the ark of God went with the Israelites. While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more; and Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle; and every sword was against the other, so that there was very great confusion. Now the Hebrews who previously had been with the Philistines and had gone up with them into the camp turned and joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. Likewise, when all the Israelites who had gone into hiding in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed closely after them in the battle. So the LORD gave Israel the victory that day.

The battle passed beyond Beth-aven, and the troops with Saul numbered altogether about ten thousand men. The battle spread out over the hill country of Ephraim.

Now Saul committed a very rash act on that day. He had laid an oath on the troops, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before it is evening and I have been avenged on my enemies.” So none of the troops tasted food. All the troops came upon a honeycomb; and there was honey on the ground. When the troops came upon the honeycomb, the honey was dripping out; but they did not put their hands to their mouths, for they feared the oath. But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the troops with the oath; so he extended the staff that was in his hand, and dipped the tip of it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes brightened. Then one of the soldiers said, “Your father strictly charged the troops with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food this day.’ And so the troops are faint.” Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land; see how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. How much better if today the troops had eaten freely of the spoil taken from their enemies; for now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.”

Canticle: A Song of Creation
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

I The Cosmic Order

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.
Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
all winds and fire and heat.
Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
drops of dew and flakes of snow.
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.
Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Spring at Seneca Lake, New York (The Rev. Michael Hartney)

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.
All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.
O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

III The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Pietro da Cortona, 1631: Ananias Restoring the Sight of St. Paul

Acts 9:10-19a (NRSV)

Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

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 23:32-43 (NRSV)

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with Jesus. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

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.

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.

Clay cuneiform confiscated from Hobby Lobby. (U.S. Justice Department)

Collect of the Day: Proper 8

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; 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 Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Morning Prayer List

For Those Seeking God’s Will
Michelle, Sixroute, David, Brad & Danny: vocation
Dinah, religious life
Scotty, ongoing direction
Shirley & Maureen
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

Retreat house of the Community of St. John Baptist (convent photo)

For Religious Orders & Communities
Community of Divine Compassion, Zimbabwe
Community of St. Clare, UK
Community of St. Francis (women), California; Korea; UK
Community of St. John Baptist, New Jersey & UK
Community of St. Mary – Northern, Southern & Western U.S. provinces

Please add your own prayers here.

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.

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.

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: For the beauty of the Earth (John Rutter, Folliot Sandford Pierpoint, alt.) – Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, 2009

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