Morning Prayer 3.12.19, Francis Xavier, Missionary to the Far East, 1552

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We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.

China announced Monday it would bar U.S. planes and ships from visiting Hong Kong, as retaliation for a bill passed by Congress and signed by Donald Trump, sanctioning Chinese and HK officials responsible for human rights abuses, and requiring an annual review by the State Department. The Chinese also sanctioned Human Rights Watch and similar nonprofits for telling the truth about China’s brutal crackdown. Last weekend, protesters in Hong Kong hoisted “Swole Trump” images (making him look like a bodybuilder) to thank him, an empty gesture to most Americans, whose Congress passed the bill with a veto-proof majority. Demonstrations continued over the weekend and China answered with police violence again. (Vincent Thian/AP)

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1

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.

Hills of Samaria, 2011, on the West Bank of the Jordan River. (Wikipedia)

THE LESSONS
Amos 3:1-11 (NRSV)

Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:

You only have I known of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

Do two walk together
unless they have made an appointment?
Does a lion roar in the forest,
when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den,
if it has caught nothing?
Does a bird fall into a snare on the earth,
when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
when it has taken nothing?
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster befall a city,
unless the LORD has done it?
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing,
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord GOD has spoken;
who can but prophesy?

Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, “Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria,
and see what great tumults are within it,
and what oppressions are in its midst.”
They do not know how to do right, says the LORD,
those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
An adversary shall surround the land,
and strip you of your defense;
and your strongholds shall be plundered.

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.

Lorenzo Lotto, c. 1510: Transfiguration. In this lesson, Peter writes, we didn’t make this up; I was there!

2 Peter 1:12-21 (NRSV)

Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

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.

Giselle Aguilar: Jesus Clears the Temple

Matthew 21:12-22 (NRSV)

Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, “It is written,

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’;
but you are making it a den of robbers.”

The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he cured them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became angry and said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

‘Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies
you have prepared praise for yourself’?”

He left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there. In the morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they were amazed, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.”

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.

Anonymous, Japanese, 17th C.: Francis Xavier, a co-founder of the Jesuits with Ignatius Loyola. As nuncio for the king of Portugal, Xavier traveled to Goa, India, then a Portugese possession; after seven years he departed for Japan, where he learned the language, tried to see the Mikado, and prepared a catechism. In 1552 he landed in China, but got sick and died at 46. (Kobe City Museum)

Collect of the Day: Francis Xavier, Missionary to the Far East, 1552

Loving God, you called Francis Xavier to lead many in India and Japan to know Jesus Christ as their Redeemer: Bring us to the new life of glory promised to all who follow in the Way; through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and 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.

No Americans Killed in War Last Week

They Have Names, begun by Clint Gilliland in 2007
Week of November 26-December 2, 2019
source: iCasualties

Total War Deaths: 7,015

Iraq Total Deaths: 4,575
War Officially Ended: December 2011
Current Troop Level: 5,200 + 2000 in Syria

-no casualties this past week-

Afghanistan Total Deaths: 2,440
War Officially Ended: December 2014
Current Troop Level: 14,000

-no casualties this past week-

Selected Headlines from Iraq & Afghanistan
(eurasiareview) Protesters Torch Iranian Consulate after Iraq PM Resignation
(AFP) – Nearly 70 Dead in Syria Regime Clashes with Idlib Armed Groups
(The New York Times) – U.S. Drone Killed Afghan Civilians, Officials Say
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) – Timothy Weeks, Freed Australian Captive of Taliban, Describes ‘Long and Torturous Ordeal’

For Those We Love on Active Duty
Molly + Chris, newlyweds deploying separately
Patrick
Logan, back home from Turkey!

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.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. 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: The King shall come when morning dawns (see #73, Alistair Coleman; Greek, tr. John Brownlie, alt.) – Choir of Washington National Cathedral, 2014

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