Evening Prayer 4.7.20, Independence Day (USA)

They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

Jazz, the only recognized art form born in America, was invented by highly-trained African-American symphonic musicians who added syncopation and improvisation to their repertoire – and a universal language was born.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night,” darkness is not dark to you, O Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike. Psalm 139:10-11

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, be not far from us.
Come quickly to help us, O God.

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.

Hymn: Light of the World

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 107:1-32

1 Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, *
whose mercy endures for ever.
2 Let all those whom the LORD has redeemed proclaim *
that the LORD redeemed them from the hand of the foe.
3 God gathered them out of the lands; *
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes; *
they found no way to a city where they might dwell.
5 They were hungry and thirsty; *
their spirits languished within them.
6 Then in their trouble they cried to the LORD, *
who delivered them from their distress.
7 The LORD put their feet on a straight path *
to go to a city where they might dwell.
8 Let them give thanks for the mercy of God, *
for the wonders the LORD does for all people.
9 For God satisfies the thirsty *
and fills the hungry with good things.
10 Some sat in darkness and deep gloom, *
bound fast in misery and iron;
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God *
and despised the counsel of the Most High.
12 So God humbled their spirits with hard labor; *
they stumbled, and there was none to help.
13 Then in their trouble they cried to the LORD, *
who delivered them from their distress.
14 The LORD led them out of darkness and deep gloom *
and broke their bonds asunder.
15 Let them give thanks for the mercy of God, *
for the wonders the LORD does for all people.
16 For God shatters the doors of bronze *
and breaks in two the iron bars.
17 Some were fools and took to rebellious ways; *
they were afflicted because of their sins.
18 They abhorred all manner of food *
and drew near to death’s door.
19 Then in their trouble they cried to the LORD, *
who delivered them from their distress.
20 God sent forth a word to heal them *
and saved them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks for the mercy of God, *
for the wonders the LORD does for all people.
22 Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and recount the deeds of God with shouts of joy.
23 Some went down to the sea in ships *
and plied their trade in deep waters;
24 They beheld the works of the LORD *
whose wonders are in the deep.
25 Then the LORD spoke, and a stormy wind arose, *
which tossed high the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and fell back to the depths; *
their hearts melted because of their peril.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards *
and were at their wits’ end.
28 Then in their trouble they cried to the LORD, *
who delivered them from their distress.
29 God stilled the storm to a whisper *
and quieted the waves of the sea.
30 Then were they glad because of the calm, *
and God brought them to the harbor they were bound for.
31 Let them give thanks for the mercy of God, *
for the wonders the LORD does for all people.
32 Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people *
and praise God in the council of the elders.

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.

The victor rebuilds the vanquished: a shipment of goods under the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II, 1949. Europeans selected the projects and did the construction, using materials and money from the United States.

THE LESSONS
Micah 4:1-5 (NRSV)

In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it,
and many nations shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
and no one shall make them afraid;
for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

For all the peoples walk,
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children 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.

Harriet Tubman escaped slavery in 1849, then began helping others do the same, leading as many as a thousand slaves to freedom before and during the Civil War. (H.B. Lindsley, Library of Congress)

Revelation 21:1-7 (NRSV)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them as their God;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

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.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He 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,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
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. 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.

William White is the George Washington of the Episcopal Church: chaplain of the Continental Congress and later the U.S. Senate; architect of the democratic Episcopal constitution; longtime Bishop of Pennsylvania, twice Presiding Bishop. He picked up the pieces of the defeated, demoralized Church of England in the Colonies and somehow turned it into the leading church in the United States. It’s long since lost that position, of course, but never the memory of White of Pennsylvania. He made the Episcopal Church what it is today.

Collect of the Day: Independence Day

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and who lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Social Justice

Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

In Time of Calamity

O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of hurricanes, fires, protests and viruses, we flee to you for succor. Deliver the people, we beseech you, from their peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the needy; prosper the means of their safety; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we all may apply our hearts unto your heavenly wisdom which leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon us who watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship on the morrow give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Evening Prayer List: For the Church

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Awerial, South Sudan; Kadugli & Nuba Mountains, Sudan; North Mbale, Uganda

For Our Mission Partners
Cuttington University School of Nursing, Liberia
Haiti Nursing Foundation
Diocese of Brasilia Afterschool Program, Brazil
Rosebud Episcopal Mission, South Dakota
St. André’s School, Mithon, Haiti
Matthew Shepard Foundation

For the Episcopal Church & All National Church Bodies

For All Christian Churches
Roman Catholic Church
United/Uniting Churches
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church
for all the Churches of the world

Please add your own prayers here.

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.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13++

VIDEO: We Can Build a Beautiful City (Stephen Schwartz, from the Broadway musical “Godspell”) – Hunter Parrish, 2012

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