On the fourteenth day of the first month the returned exiles kept the passover.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
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.
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!
49 Remember your word to your servant, *
because you have given me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my trouble, *
that your promise gives me life.
51 The proud have derided me cruelly, *
but I have not turned from your law.
52 When I remember your judgments of old, *
O LORD, I take great comfort.
53 I am filled with a burning rage, *
because of the wicked who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been like songs to me *
wherever I have lived as a stranger.
55 I remember your name in the night, O LORD, *
and dwell upon your law.
56 This is how it has been with me, *
because I have kept your commandments.
57 You only are my portion, O LORD; *
I have promised to keep your words.
58 I entreat you with all my heart, *
be merciful to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways *
and turned my feet toward your decrees.
60 I hasten and do not tarry *
to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked entangle me, *
I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I will rise to give you thanks, *
because of your righteous judgments.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you *
and of those who keep your commandments.
64 The earth, O LORD, is full of your love; *
instruct me in your statutes.
65 O LORD, you have dealt graciously with your servant, *
according to your word.
66 Teach me discernment and knowledge, *
for I have believed in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, *
but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and you bring forth good; *
instruct me in your statutes.
69 The proud have smeared me with lies, *
but I will keep your commandments with my whole heart.
70 Their heart is gross and fat, *
but my delight is in your law.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, *
that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is dearer to me *
than thousands in gold and silver.
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.
Ezra 6:1-22 (NRSV)
Then King Darius made a decree, and they searched the archives where the documents were stored in Babylon. But it was in Ecbatana, the capital in the province of Media, that a scroll was found on which this was written: “A record. In the first year of his reign, King Cyrus issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices are offered and burnt offerings are brought; its height shall be sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits, with three courses of hewn stones and one course of timber; let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. Moreover, let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple in Jerusalem, each to its place; you shall put them in the house of God.”
“Now you, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and you, their associates, the envoys in the province Beyond the River, keep away; let the work on this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God: the cost is to be paid to these people, in full and without delay, from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province Beyond the River. Whatever is needed – young bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests in Jerusalem require – let that be given to them day by day without fail, so that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his children. Furthermore I decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of the house of the perpetrator, who then shall be impaled on it. The house shall be made a dunghill. May the God who has established his name there overthrow any king or people that shall put forth a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”
Then, according to the word sent by King Darius, Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what King Darius had ordered. So the elders of the Jews built and prospered, through the prophesying of the prophet Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished their building by command of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia; and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
The people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. They offered at the dedication of this house of God one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. Then they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their courses for the service of God at Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.
On the fourteenth day of the first month the returned exiles kept the passover. For both the priests and the Levites had purified themselves; all of them were clean. So they killed the passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their fellow priests, and for themselves. It was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile, and also by all who had joined them and separated themselves from the pollutions of the nations of the land to worship the LORD, the God of Israel. With joy they celebrated the festival of unleavened bread seven days; for the LORD had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.
Canticle: A Song of Ezekiel
I will take you from among all nations; *
and gather you from all lands to bring you home.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you; *
and purify you from false gods and uncleanness.
A new heart I will give you *
and a new spirit put within you.
I will take the stone heart from your chest *
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will help you walk in my laws *
and cherish my commandments and do them.
You shall be my people, *
and I will be your God.
Revelation 5:1-10 (NRSV)
Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
and they will reign on earth.”
Canticle: A Song of the Spirit
“Behold, I am coming soon,” says the Lord,
“and bringing my reward with me, *
to give to everyone according to their deeds.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, *
the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who do God’s commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life, *
and may enter the city through the gates.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you, *
with this testimony for all the churches.
“I am the root and the offspring of David, *
I am the bright morning star.”
“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride; *
“Come!” let each hearer reply!
Come forward, you who are thirsty, *
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.
Matthew 13:10-17 (NRSV)
Then the disciples came and asked Jesus, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
‘You will indeed listen, but never understand,
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn –
and I would heal them.’
“But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
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 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. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.
Collect of the Day: John Wyclif, Priest and Prophetic Witness, 1384
O God, your justice continually challenges your Church to live according to its calling: Grant us, who now remember the work of John Wyclif, contrition for the wounds which our sins inflict on your Church and such love for Christ that we may seek to heal the divisions which afflict his Body; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A Collect for Grace
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power; that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Joy in God’s Creation
O heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wednesday Morning Prayer List: Healing of Body, Mind & Soul
Honorary Deacon Clint, safe passage
Martha, progress in physical therapy & pain
J. Huertas, heart problems
Marilyn, Jan’s sister, neurological illness
Yvonne, ongoing chemo
Beth, recovery from surgery
Jill and her sister Kay
Andrea Williams, recurrence of lymphoma
Cheryl D., car accident
Andrea Massey, breast cancer
Mark Ponder, pain after surgery
Rosemary Franklin, last stages of cancer
Paris, Jason & baby Brenden, complications of birth
Joanne, physical & mental health
Katheryn and son Robert, mild cognitive impairment
Marcella, nerve damage & intractable pain
Fr. Robert Hughes, recovery from spinal surgery
Nora Jean, toddler with brain cancer; parents Alex & Caroline
Abby, age 10, surgery issues, health and healing
Beneria & Cosette
Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.
Prayer for Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
May the blessing of the God of Abraham and Sarah, and of Jesus Christ born of our sister Mary, and of the Holy Spirit, who broods over the world as a mother over her children, be upon us and remain with us always. Amen.++
VIDEO: Open your ears, O faithful people (#536, Torah Song (Yisrael V’oraita), Hasidic; Willard F. Jabusch) – Doane College Women’s Chorale and Women’s Choir of First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2014