Morning Prayer 25.6.20, An Ordinary Thursday

When Moses went into the tent of the covenant on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted.

Rayshard Brooks was laid to rest Tuesday from famed Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, once pastored by Martin Luther King, Jr. Brooks, who was Black, was shot in the back by a White policeman late at night 10 days ago at a fast-food drive-thru. That officer was charged with murder and fired, and a fellow officer was charged with aggravated assault; the city police chief also resigned. Dr. King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, told mourners, “We are here because individuals continue to hide behind badges and trainings and policies and procedures rather than regarding the humanity of others in general and Black lives specifically.” (Curtis Compton/pool)

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

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 105:1-22

1 Give thanks to the LORD and call upon God’s Name; *
make known the deeds of the LORD among the peoples.
2 Sing to the LORD, sing praises, *
and speak of all God’s marvelous works.
3 Glory in God’s holy Name; *
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4 Search for the LORD and the strength of the LORD; *
continually seek the face of God.
5 Remember the marvels God has done, *
the wonders and the judgments of God’s mouth,
6 O offspring of Abraham, God’s servant, *
O children of Jacob, God’s chosen.
7 The LORD is our God, *
whose judgments prevail in all the world.
8 The LORD has always been mindful of the covenant, *
the promise made for a thousand generations:
9 The covenant made with Abraham, *
the oath sworn to Isaac,
10 Which God established as a statute for Jacob, *
an everlasting covenant for Israel,
11 Saying, “To you will I give the land of Canaan *
to be your allotted inheritance.”
12 When they were few in number, *
of little account, and sojourners in the land,
13 Wandering from nation to nation *
and from one realm to another,
14 God let no one oppress them *
and rebuked rulers for their sake,
15 Saying, “Do not touch my anointed *
and do my prophets no harm.”

16 Then the LORD called for a famine in the land *
and destroyed the supply of bread.
17 The LORD sent a man before them, *
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet in fetters; *
his neck they put in an iron collar.
19 Until his prediction came to pass, *
the word of the LORD tested him.
20 The king sent and released him; *
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
21 He set him as a master over his household, *
as a ruler over all his possessions,
22 To instruct his princes according to his will *
and to teach his elders wisdom.

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.

Almond blossoms, like those which budded from Aaron’s staff. (Kathryn Search)

THE LESSONS
Numbers 17:1-11 (NRSV)

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Israelites, and get twelve staffs from them, one for each ancestral house, from all the leaders of their ancestral houses. Write each man’s name on his staff, and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each ancestral house. Place them in the tent of meeting before the covenant, where I meet with you. And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout; thus I will put a stop to the complaints of the Israelites that they continually make against you. Moses spoke to the Israelites; and all their leaders gave him staffs, one for each leader, according to their ancestral houses, twelve staffs; and the staff of Aaron was among theirs. So Moses placed the staffs before the LORD in the tent of the covenant.

When Moses went into the tent of the covenant on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted. It put forth buds, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds. Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the LORD to all the Israelites; and they looked, and each man took his staff. And the LORD said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the covenant, to be kept as a warning to rebels, so that you may make an end of their complaints against me, or else they will die.” Moses did so; just as the LORD commanded him, so he did.

Canticle: The Song of Moses
Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18

I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted; *
the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my refuge; *
the Lord has become my Savior.
This is my God and I will praise him, *
the God of my people and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a mighty warrior; *
Yahweh is his Name.
The chariots of Pharaoh and his army has he hurled into the sea;
the finest of those who bear armor have been drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them; *
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might; *
your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy.
Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
who is like you, glorious in holiness,
awesome in renown, and worker of wonders?
You stretched forth your right hand; *
the earth swallowed them up.
With your constant love you led the people you redeemed; *
with your might you brought them in safety to your holy dwelling.
You will bring them in and plant them *
on the mount of your possession,
The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord, *
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established.
The Lord shall reign *
for ever and for ever.

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.

Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.

Romans 5:1-11 (NRSV)

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Canticle: Glory to God
Gloria in excelsis

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Paolo Veronese: Christ Meeting the Sons of Zebedee and Their Mother

Matthew 20:17-28 (NRSV)

While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

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.

Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia. In 2017 the parish removed memorial plaques in honor of George Washington and Robert E. Lee from the chancel and hung them in the parish hall, part of the ongoing U.S. reassessment of historical figures who owned slaves. Washington, the first president, is usually sacrosanct, but his marker is part of a matched set with Lee’s, the Confederate general who led the Civil War against the United States. Both men went to church there; Alexandria is just across the river from Washington City, and Lee’s home was next door in Arlington. (Rich Grant/Alexandria CVB)

Collect of the Day: Proper 7

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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.

U.S. Gun Violence Remains High; 102 Shot in Chicago on Father’s Day Weekend

America’s Gun Toll
June 18-24, 2020
Source: Gun Violence Archive

Last Week’s Gun Toll as of 6.24.20

875 total gun deaths last week (vs. 860)
413 murders and unintentional deaths (vs. 398)
462 suicides (est. weekly average)

1103 people injured (vs. 1011)
27 mass shootings (vs. 28)
1 mass murders (vs. 1)

7 young children killed (vs. 9)
19 young children injured (vs. 16)
22 teenagers killed (vs. 20)
68 teenagers injured (vs. 72)

0 police officers killed (vs. 2)
5 officers injured (vs. 10)
23 persons killed by police (vs. 23)
10 persons injured by police (vs. 42)

23 defensive use incidents (vs. 36)
49 unintentional shootings (vs. 37)
8 murder-suicides (vs. 13)

The parents of 3-year-old Mekhi James comforted each other Monday at a vigil for their son, who was shot while riding in a car with his father – one of 102 Chicagoans killed or injured by gunfire over Father’s Day weekend. Police Superintendent David Brown, in office only two months, blamed the violence on “gangs, guns and drugs.” (Armando I. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)

A Prayer to End Gun Violence

O Lord our God, we pray for the victims of the other pandemic, as gun violence ravages our homes, our streets, our businesses, schools and houses of worship. We pray for the children killed and injured, for their families and classmates. We pray for teenagers gunned down before their lives have really started. We pray for police officers who keep fighting a never-ending battle, while trying to keep themselves and everyone else safe; and we pray for an end to racial discrimination in law enforcement. We pray for all who are depressed or mentally ill, wanting to hurt themselves or others, in a nation where guns are everywhere. We pray for the victims of crime who are forced to defend themselves and their loved ones. We pray for anti-violence activists and community leaders, in a time when new methods of protest and reform must be created. Let your demands for justice and cries for peace be heard, O Lord, in our legislative chambers and in our hearts; may your healing grace overtake this land, through our Savior Jesus 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: Jesus Was a Person of Color (Roger Campo) – Sons of New York, June 4

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