Morning Prayer 19.7.19, Macrina, Monastic & Teacher, 379

A certain man of the servants of Saul was there, detained before the LORD; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.

The Midwestern U.S. city of Chicago, which is not known as a jungle habitat, entertained itself for a week with reports of an alligator sighted in a lagoon in Humboldt Park west of downtown. To prevent public panic, the park district sent reptile experts to capture the interloper – but each one came up empty, while public interest grew and grew. The gator acquired a nickname (Chance the Zapper, from a Grammy-winning hometown rapper) and fans on social media, but the fearsome creature proved elusive. They finally sent for a gator wrangler, Frank Robb of Florida, where gators are a dicey, ever-present feature of the landscape. He came, he listened to the people, he visited the lagoon with his $10 fishing rod. Even baby gators in Florida know enough not to go for bait hanging off a fishing pole, but Chance was tired and hungry, so the mystery was where he was hiding. Robb surveyed the lagoon, then told the people to stand back and hold onto their loved ones. He baited his hook, tossed out a single cast and presto: one baby alligator, a mere five feet long and scared to death of all these people. Mothers breathed sighs of relief, children ran around the park in wild abandon, and afterward social media sat glumly hoping for a new diversion. Chance is in good health and will soon head to a zoo, where he has been promised a new lagoon that’s separated from the humans by a big, sturdy, chain-link fence. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times)

The Lord is in the holy temple; let all the earth keep silence. Habakkuk 2:20

GENERAL CONFESSION

God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that we may abide in your love
and serve only your will. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

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 31

1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; *
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.
5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, *
for you have redeemed me,
O LORD, O God of truth.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols, *
and I put my trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; *
for you have seen my affliction;
you know my distress.
8 You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; *
you have set my feet in an open place.
9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow,
and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief,
and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction,
and my bones are consumed.
11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors,
a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten, out of mind, as if I were dead; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.
13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me;
they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. *
I have said, “You are my God.
15 My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me.”
17 LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; *
rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, *
haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19 How great is your goodness, O LORD!
which you have laid up for those who fear you; *
which you have done in the sight of all
for those who put their trust in you.
20 You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; *
you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD! *
for you have shown me the wonders of your love in a besieged city.
22 Yet I said in my alarm,
“I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.” *
Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
when I cried out to you.
23 Love the LORD, all you who are faithful; *
the LORD protects the pious,
but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, *
all you who wait for 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.

With someone watching behind him, David takes Goliath’s sword from Ahimelech. (Sharing Knowledge)

THE LESSONS
1 Samuel 21:1-15 (NRSV)

David came to Nob to the priest Ahimelech. Ahimelech came trembling to meet David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” David said to the priest Ahimelech, “The king has charged me with a matter, and said to me, ‘No one must know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what have you at hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” The priest answered David, “I have no ordinary bread at hand, only holy bread—provided that the young men have kept themselves from women.” David answered the priest, “Indeed women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition; the vessels of the young men are holy even when it is a common journey; how much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread; for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the LORD, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.

David said to Ahimelech, “Is there no spear or sword here with you? I did not bring my sword or my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” The priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you will take that, take it, for there is none here except that one.” David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

David rose and fled that day from Saul; he went to King Achish of Gath. The servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances,

‘Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands’?”

David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of King Achish of Gath. So he changed his behavior before them; he pretended to be mad when in their presence. He scratched marks on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle run down his beard. Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

Canticle: Second Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 55:6-11

Seek the Lord while he wills to be found; *
call upon him when he draws near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways *
and the evil ones their thoughts;
And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion, *
and to our God, for he will richly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, *
nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, *
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as rain and snow fall from the heavens *
and return not again, but water the earth,
Bringing forth life and giving growth, *
seed for sowing and bread for eating,
So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; *
it will not return to me empty;
But it will accomplish that which I have purposed, *
and prosper in that for which I sent it.

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.

(Mission Bible Class)

Acts 13:13-25 (NRSV)

Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem; but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, give it.” So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak:

“You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. For about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance for about four hundred fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.’ Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his work, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.’”

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.

Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1481: Jesus Calling the 12 Apostles

Mark 3:7-19a (NRSV)

Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.

He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot.

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.

Macrina was the older sister of four brothers, three of whom became bishops and saints, and we have a good deal of insight into her from the writings of one of them, Gregory of Nyssa. The time he spent with his sister deepened his faith and unleashed his spirit, which came out in his writing. “On the Making of Man” takes delight in creation, and “Commentary on the Song of Songs” is a celebration of earthly love. Nyssa was a town in Cappodocia in south central Turkey.

Collect of the Day: Macrina, Monastic and Teacher, 379

Merciful God, who called your servant Macrina to reveal in her life and her teaching the riches of your grace and truth: May we, following her example, seek after your wisdom and live according to her way; through Jesus Christ our Savior, 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, Starting a New Business or Project
and Those Looking for More Employees
Maisie, discernment
Libby
Terrance Smith, working 3 jobs to make ends meet
Elizabeth
Will
Christine, job to go with her home
J.M., better use of qualifications
Jack A.
Dina, permanent position
John
Ian
Cathy
Paula
Ann’s husband
Jim

For the Homeless
40,000 U.S. veterans (source: National Alliance to End Homelessness)
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, hot and thirsty
For those who minister among them
Parish food pantries, gardens and orchards

It’s been three months since Louisa Akavi, 62, a nurse-midwife from New Zealand working for the International Red Cross in Syria, was reported as kidnapped by ISIS five years ago, but there has been no activity reported since, according to Red Cross and NZ government officials. They kept her abduction a secret since 2013; she had gone to Idlib with two drivers, also missing, to deliver medical supplies. With ISIS driven out of Syria, NZ and the Red Cross acknowledged the crime and their longstanding efforts to find her. They said they had credible reports of sightings in various locations over the years, most recently in December in one of the last ISIS-held towns, and they have showed her photo in the detention camps where other escapees from ISIS are being held. British journalist John Cantlie, kidnapped by ISIS in 2012, is also believed to be alive, officials said. (International Committee of the Red Cross)

For Hostages
NZ nurse Louisa Akavi, held by ISIS
Canadians held by China: Sarah McIver, Michael Kovrig & Michael Spavor
Archbishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim, Syria, abducted 6 years ago, fate unknown
Political prisoners in Turkey: Serkan Golge, Ismail & Mustafa Kul, Metin Topuz, Hamza Ulucay among others
Pastor Raymond Koh; Amri Che Mat; Joshua and Ruth Hilmy, West Malaysia
Kevin King & Timothy Weeks of American University of Afghanistan, held by Taliban

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Collect for Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

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: Circle of Life (Elton John, Tim Rice) – Disneyland Paris, a month ago

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