Morning Prayer 9.11.19, 21st Ordinary Saturday

The holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way.

Government opponents in Hong Kong are mourning the death a week ago of Chow Tsz-lok, who fell from the third floor of a car park as police were dispersing demonstrators. He was the first student to die in the pro-democracy protests, held since June by hundreds of thousands. The Chinese government in Beijing, which excels in repression and genocide, finds it hard to clamp down on the former British colony while the whole world watches. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

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 75

1 We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks, *
calling upon your Name and declaring all your wonderful deeds.
2 ”I will appoint a time,” says God; *
“I will judge with equity.
3 Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking, *
I will make its pillars fast.
4 I will say to the boasters, ‘Boast no more,’ *
and to the wicked, ‘Do not toss your horns;
5 Do not toss your horns so high, *
nor speak with a proud neck.'”
6 For judgment is neither from the east nor from the west, *
nor yet from the wilderness or the mountains.
7 It is God who judges; *
he puts down one and lifts up another.
8 For in the LORD’s hand there is a cup,
full of spiced and foaming wine; *
the LORD pours it out,
and all the wicked of the earth shall drink and drain the dregs.
9 But I will rejoice for ever; *
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 God shall break off all the horns of the wicked; *
but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalm 76

1 In Judah is God known; *
the Name of the LORD is great in Israel.
2 At Salem, O God, is your tabernacle, *
and your dwelling is in Zion.
3 There you broke the flashing arrows, *
the shield, the sword, and the weapons of battle.
4 How glorious you are! *
more splendid than the everlasting mountains!
5 The strong of heart have been despoiled;
they sink into sleep; *
none of the warriors can lift a hand.
6 At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, *
both horse and rider lie stunned.
7 What terror you inspire! *
who can stand before you when you are angry?
8 From heaven you pronounced judgment; *
the earth was afraid and was still;
9 When God rose up to judgment *
and to save all the oppressed of the earth.
10 Truly, wrathful Edom will give you thanks, *
and the remnant of Hamath will keep your feasts.
11 Make a vow to the LORD your God and keep it; *
let all around God bring gifts to the One who is worthy to be feared.
12 The LORD breaks the spirit of rulers, *
and strikes terror in the kings of the earth.

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.

This illumination of Ezra the Scribe writing a manuscript is from the Codex Amiatinus, the oldest extant illustrated copy of the Bible, made by English monks about 713. Today it is housed in the Medicea Laurenziana Library in Florence, Italy.

THE LESSONS
Ezra 9:1-15 (NRSV)

After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way.” When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled. Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.

At the evening sacrifice I got up from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle torn, and fell on my knees, spread out my hands to the LORD my God, and said,

“O my God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors to this day we have been deep in guilt, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as is now the case. But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, who has left us a remnant, and given us a stake in his holy place, in order that he may brighten our eyes and grant us a little sustenance in our slavery. For we are slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to give us new life to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem.

“And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering to possess is a land unclean with the pollutions of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations. They have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’ After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you destroy us without remnant or survivor? O LORD, God of Israel, you are just, but we have escaped as a remnant, as is now the case. Here we are before you in our guilt, though no one can face you because of this.”

Canticle: A Song of the Wilderness
Isaiah 35:1-7, 10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, *
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
It shall blossom abundantly, *
and rejoice with joy and singing.
They shall see the glory of the Lord, *
the majesty of our God.
Strengthen the weary hands, *
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to the anxious, “Be strong, do not fear! *
Here is your God, coming with judgment to save you.”
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, *
and the ears of the deaf be unstopped.
Then shall the lame leap like a deer, *
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness *
and streams in the desert;
The burning sand shall become a pool *
and the thirsty ground, springs of water.
The ransomed of God shall return with singing, *
with everlasting joy upon their heads.
Joy and gladness shall be theirs, *
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The Whore of Babylon; scholars disagree about whether St. John was referring to Rome, the capital of the imperial occupiers of Judea, or Jerusalem itself before the destruction of the Second Temple in 67 A.D. (skydreams.com.au)

Revelation 17:1-14 (NRSV)

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk.” So he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.

When I saw her, I was greatly amazed. But the angel said to me, “Why are you so amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

“This calls for a mind that has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; also, they are seven kings, of whom five have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are united in yielding their power and authority to the beast; they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

Canticle: A Song of the Heavenly City
Revelation 21:22-26, 22:1-4

I saw no temple in the city, *
for its temple is the God of surpassing strength and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to light it, *
for the glory of God shines on it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
By its light the nations shall walk, *
and the rulers of the world lay their honor and glory there.
Its gates shall never be shut by day, nor shall there be any night; *
into it they will bring the honor and glory of nations.
I saw the clean river of the water of life, bright as crystal, *
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
The tree of life spanned the river, giving fruit every month, *
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
All curses cease where the throne of God and the Lamb stands,
and all servants give worship there; *
there they will see God’s face, whose Name shall be on their foreheads.

(United Methodist Men)

Matthew 14:22-36 (NRSV)

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

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.

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.

St. Agnes’ Cathedral, Kyoto, Japan. (The Rev. Richard Edward Helmer)

Collect of the Day: Proper 26

Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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
Scotty, ongoing direction
Shirley
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

For Religious Orders
All Saints Sisters of the Poor, UK
Alton Abbey, UK
Benedictine Sisters of Bethany, Cameroon
Community of All Hallows, UK
Community of Christ the King, Australia

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: To God with gladness sing (#399, Darwall’s 148th, John Darwall; James Quinn, para. Ps. 95) – Choir of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 2014

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