Morning Prayer 4.12.18, John of Damascus, Priest, c. 760

How the faithful city
has become a whore!
She that was full of justice,
righteousness lodged in her—
but now murderers!

President Bush’s service dog Sully kept watch before his body this weekend before departing for Washington, where the president will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol prior to his funeral Wednesday at the National Cathedral. After the service, Sully will work with veterans and active-duty military at Walter Reed Medical Center; Bush liked knowing the golden retriever would assist veterans. (America’s VetDogs)

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Isaiah 40:5

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

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 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD; *
consider my meditation.
2 Hearken to my cry for help, my Sovereign and my God, *
for I make my prayer to you.
3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; *
early in the morning I make my appeal and watch for you.
4 For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, *
and evil cannot dwell with you.
5 Braggarts cannot stand in your sight; *
you hate all those who work wickedness.
6 You destroy those who speak lies; *
the bloodthirsty and deceitful, O LORD, you abhor.
7 But as for me, through the greatness of your mercy I will go into your house; *
I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness,
because of those who lie in wait for me; *
make your way straight before me.
9 For there is no truth in their mouth; *
there is destruction in their heart;
10 Their throat is an open grave; *
they flatter with their tongue.
11 Declare them guilty, O God; *
let them fall, because of their schemes.
12 Because of their many transgressions cast them out, *
for they have rebelled against you.
13 But all who take refuge in you will be glad; *
they will sing out their joy for ever.
14 You will shelter them, *
so that those who love your Name may exult in you.
15 For you, O LORD, will bless the righteous; *
you will defend them with your favor as with a shield.

Psalm 6

1 LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger; *
do not punish me in your wrath.
2 Have pity on me, LORD, for I am weak; *
heal me, LORD, for my bones are racked.
3 My spirit shakes with terror; *
how long, O LORD, how long?
4 Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; *
save me for your mercy’s sake.
5 For in death no one remembers you; *
and who will give you thanks in the grave?
6 I grow weary because of my groaning; *
every night I drench my bed
and flood my couch with tears.
7 My eyes are wasted with grief *
and worn away because of all my enemies.
8 Depart from me, all evildoers, *
for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my supplication; *
the LORD accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be confounded and quake with fear; *
they shall turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

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.

Bribery: $90,000 in cold hard cash found in 2005 in the freezer of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (D-Louisiana), for bribing the vice-president of Nigeria, easy as pie. (police photo)

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 1:21-31 (NRSV)

How the faithful city
has become a whore!
She that was full of justice,
righteousness lodged in her—
but now murderers!
Your silver has become dross,
your wine is mixed with water.
Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not defend the orphan,
and the widow’s cause does not come before them.

Therefore says the Sovereign, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
Ah, I will pour out my wrath on my enemies,
and avenge myself on my foes!
I will turn my hand against you;
I will smelt away your dross as with lye
and remove all your alloy.
And I will restore your judges as at the first,
and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
the faithful city.

Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together,
and those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
For you shall be ashamed of the oaks
in which you delighted;
and you shall blush for the gardens
that you have chosen.
For you shall be like an oak
whose leaf withers,
and like a garden without water.
The strong shall become like tinder,
and their work like a spark;
they and their work shall burn together,
with no one to quench them.

Canticle: A Song of Praise
Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Louis Testelin: St. Paul and St. Silas Flogged at Philippi

1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NRSV)

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was toward you believers. As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

Canticle: A Song to the Lamb
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for evermore.

Parable of the Vineyard and Tenants; artist unknown.

Luke 20:9-18 (NRSV)

Jesus began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Heaven forbid!” But he looked at them and said, “What then does this text mean:

‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?

Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”

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.

John upheld the sacredness of holy objects during the iconoclastic controversy, writing that it was based on heresies that Jesus was divine and not human, and that physical matter itself is somehow evil. (Artist unknown)

Collect of the Day: John of Damascus, Priest, c. 760

Confirm our minds, O Lord, in the mysteries of the true faith, set forth with power by your servant John of Damascus; that we, with him, confessing Jesus to be true God and true Man, and singing the praises of the risen Lord, may, by the power of the resurrection, attain to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For the Nation

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

3 U.S. Military Killed in Taliban Bombing Last Week
They Have Names, begun by Clint Gilliland in 2007
November 26-December 2, 2018
Source: iCasualties

Total War Deaths: 8,443

Iraq: Total Deaths: 4,884
War Officially Ended: December 2011
Current Troop Level: 5,200 + 2000 in Syria
-no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week-

Afghanistan: Total Deaths: 3,559
War Officially Ended: December 2014
Current Troop Level: 14,000

EMOND, Eric, 39, Sgt. 1st Class, U.S. Army, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from Brush Prairie, Washington
ROSS, Andrew, 29, Captain, U.S. Army, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from Lexington, Virginia
ELCHIN, Dylan, 25, Staff Sgt., U.S. Air Force, Special Tactics Combat Controller, 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 720th Special Tactics Group, 24th Special Operations Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, from Hookstown, Pennsylvania

Sgt. Eric Emond, 39, originally from Fall River, Massachusetts and Springdale, Arkansas, was co-founder of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, which assists veterans and gold star families. He was on his seventh tour of duty after recovering from serious wounds from another IED attack in 2009. He was married to Allie and the father of three girls; he earned three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. Capt. Andrew Ross, a West Point graduate and soccer-playing son of an athletic family, who married Felicia Ross last February, was on his second foreign tour; his decorations include two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Ranger Tab and more. Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, a graduate of Hopewell High School in Beaver, Pennsylvania, where he loved to build things in shop class, was engaged to marry Jordan Stigers next year. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and both the Army Commendation Medal with Valor and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Three other U.S. servicemembers and a defense contractor were also injured in the attack.

For Those We Love on Active Duty
Patrick
Logan

For Those in the Armed Forces of our Country

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

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.

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: Savior of the nations, come (#54, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, German, 1524; Martin Luther, after Ambrose of Milan, tr. William M. Reynolds and James Waring McCrady) – Trinity Church, Tariffville, Connecticut, 2014

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