Morning Prayer 14.2.19, Cyril & Methodius, Monk & Bishop, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869, 885

Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

The Rev. Thomas James Brown has been elected X Bishop of Maine on the third ballot at a special convention Saturday in Bangor. A native of Bruce Crossing, Michigan, he is currently rector of the Church of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts. He is married to a priest, the Rev. Thomas Mousin, rector of St. John’s, Charlestown in Boston. Congratulations, Maine!

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

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 146

1 Hallelujah!
Praise the LORD, O my soul! *
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
2 Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
for there is no help in them.
3 When they breathe their last, they return to earth, *
and in that day their thoughts perish.
4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
whose hope is in the LORD their God;
5 Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
who keeps faith for ever;
6 Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger.
7 The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
8 The LORD loves the righteous
and cares for the stranger; *
the LORD sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.
9 The LORD shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 147

1 Hallelujah!
How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor the LORD with praise!
2 The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem *
and gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 The LORD heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.
4 The LORD counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
5 Great is our LORD and mighty in power; *
whose wisdom is beyond limit.
6 The LORD lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
8 God covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
9 God makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve humankind.
10 God provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
11 The LORD is not impressed by the might of a horse *
and has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
12 But the LORD has pleasure in the God-fearing, *
in those who await God’s gracious favor.
13 Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
14 For God has strengthened the bars of your gates *
and blessed your children within you.
15 God has established peace on your borders *
and satisfies you with the finest wheat.
16 God’s command is sent out to the earth, *
and the word of the LORD runs very swiftly.
17 God gives snow like wool *
and scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
18 God scatters hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against the cold of the LORD?
19 God’s word is sent forth and melts them; *
God’s stormwinds blow, and the waters flow.
20 God’s word is declared to Jacob, *
God’s statutes and judgments to Israel.
21 The LORD has not done so to any other nation; *
to them God’s judgments have not been revealed.
Hallelujah!

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.

Lights of the world. (NASA Earth Observatory)

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 60:1-17 (NRSV)

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you,
the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
they shall be acceptable on my altar,
and I will glorify my glorious house.

Who are these that fly like a cloud,
and like doves to their windows?
For the coastlands shall wait for me,
the ships of Tarshish first,
to bring your children from far away,
their silver and gold with them,
for the name of the LORD your God,
and for the Holy One of Israel,
because he has glorified you.
Foreigners shall build up your walls,
and their kings shall minister to you;
for in my wrath I struck you down,
but in my favor I have had mercy on you.
Your gates shall always be open;
day and night they shall not be shut,
so that nations shall bring you their wealth,
with their kings led in procession.
For the nation and kingdom
that will not serve you shall perish;
those nations shall be utterly laid waste.
The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
the cypress, the plane, and the pine,
to beautify the place of my sanctuary;
and I will glorify where my feet rest.
The descendants of those who oppressed you
shall come bending low to you,
and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet;
they shall call you the City of the LORD,
the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
with no one passing through,
I will make you majestic forever,
a joy from age to age.
You shall suck the milk of nations,
you shall suck the breasts of kings;
and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
instead of iron I will bring silver;
instead of wood, bronze,
instead of stones, iron.
I will appoint Peace as your overseer
and Righteousness as your taskmaster.

Canticle: A Song of Wisdom
Wisdom 10:15-19,20b-21

Wisdom freed from a nation of oppressors *
a holy people and a blameless race.
She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, *
withstood dread rulers with wonders and signs.
To the saints she gave the reward of their labors, *
and led them by a marvelous way;
She was their shelter by day *
and a blaze of stars by night.
She brought them across the Red Sea, *
she led them through mighty waters;
But their enemies she swallowed in the waves *
and spewed them out from the depths of the abyss.
And then, Lord, the righteous sang hymns to your Name, *
and praised with one voice your protecting hand;
For Wisdom opened the mouths of the mute, *
and gave speech to the tongues of a new-born people.

2 Timothy 2:14-26 (NRSV)

Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.”

In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work. Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Canticle: A Song of True Motherhood
by Julian of Norwich

God chose to be our mother in all things *
and so made the foundation of his work,
most humbly and most pure, in the Virgin’s womb.
God, the perfect wisdom of all, *
arrayed himself in this humble place.
Christ came in our poor flesh *
to share a mother’s care.
Our mothers bear us for pain and for death; *
our true mother, Jesus, bears us for joy and endless life.
Christ carried us within him in love and travail, *
until the full time of his passion.
And when all was completed and he had carried us so for joy, *
still all this could not satisfy the power of his wonderful love.
All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God, *
for the love of Christ works in us;
Christ is the one whom we love.

This rendering of Jesus and the rich young man emphasizes Christ’s compassion for him, which is easy to overlook in the lesson below. The fellow’s questions are self-righteous and he comes off as a bit of a jerk – but Jesus doesn’t need us to be perfect, he needs us to be better. (artist unknown)

Mark 10:17-31 (NRSV)

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

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. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you;
R. We praise your Name for ever.
V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope;
R. And we shall never hope in vain.

The brothers Cyril and Methodius were asked by the king of Moravia to lead a mission to teach his people the faith in their native language. Cyril transliterated the sounds he heard into words, Methodius completed a Slavonic Bible translation, and Cyril’s followers developed the alphabet known as “cyrillic.” (Orthodox Wiki)

Collect of the Day: Cyril and Methodius, Monk and Bishop, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869, 885

Almighty and everlasting God, by the power of the Holy Spirit you moved your servant Cyril and his brother Methodius to bring the light of the Gospel to a hostile and divided people: Overcome all bitterness and strife among us by the love of Christ, and make us one united family under the banner of the Prince of Peace; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

America’s Gun Toll
Week of February 4-10, 2019
Source: Gun Violence Archive

Fatalities & Injuries – one day
Sunday 2.10.19

Philadelphia – 1 killed
Tulsa – 1 injured
Baltimore – 1 injured
Greenville, S.C. – 1 dead, 1 injured
Jackson, MS – 1 dead
Lincoln, NE – 1 injured
Winston-Salem, NC – 1 dead
Mooresville, NC – 1 injured
Goodlettsville, TN – 1 killed
Rochester, NY – 1 injured
Coalmont, TN – 1 dead
Buford, GA – 1 killed
Atlanta – 1 injured
Tallahassee, FL – 1 dead, 1 injured
Palmetto, FL – 1 dead
Jacksonville, FL – 1 dead
Rochester, NY – 1 injured
Newark, NJ – 1 injured
Atlantic City, NJ – 1 dead
Ossining, NY – 1 injured
Chicago – 1 injured

11 dead, 12 injured

Bishops Against Gun Violence rally at a park near the General Convention last year in Austin, Texas. Most of the House of Bishops attended, but some refused. (Episcopal News Service)

Prayer Against Gun Violence
By the Rt. Rev. Stephen Lane

God of Justice, help us, your church, find our voice.
Empower us to change this broken world and to protest the needless deaths caused by gun violence.
Give us power to rise above our fear that nothing can be done and grant us the conviction to advocate for change.
For your dream of love and harmony, Loving God,
Make us instruments of your peace.
All this we pray in the name of the One
who offered his life so that we might live,
Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself: We praise and bless you for those whom you have sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the Gospel to all nations. We thank you that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labors, and that in every place your servants call upon your Name; for the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours for ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

God’s blessing be with us,
Christ’s peace be with us,
the Spirit’s outpouring be with us,
now and always. Amen.++

VIDEO: A Touching Place (Dream Angus, Scottish folk song; John L. Bell, Graham Maule) – Choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Joanne Hogg, BBC “Songs of Praise,” 2013

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