Morning Prayer 29.7.20, Mary & Martha of Bethany

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The Church of Sweden has announced it is served by more women priests than men, 1533 to 1527, for the first time since women were admitted to the priesthood in 1960. Many Swedish Lutherans welcomed the news, but others, including the Rev. Cristina Grenholm, Secretary of the Church, above, also sounded a note of caution to keep the vocations of men welcomed and honored. Bishop Eva Brunne, retired of Stockholm, supported the advancement of women, but said she hopes the priesthood doesn’t become a predominately women’s profession. (David Keyton/AP)

Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3

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 72

1 Give the king your justice, O God, *
and your righteousness to the king’s son;
2 That he may rule your people righteously *
and the poor with justice;
3 That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, *
and the little hills bring righteousness.
4 He shall defend the needy among the people, *
and shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
5 He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, *
from one generation to another.
6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown field, *
like showers that water the earth.
7 In his time shall the righteous flourish; *
there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.
8 He shall rule from sea to sea, *
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 His foes shall bow down before him, *
and his enemies lick the dust.
10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute, *
and the rulers of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.
11 All kings shall bow down before him, *
and all the nations do him service.
12 For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, *
and the oppressed who has no helper.
13 He shall have pity on the lowly and poor; *
and shall preserve the lives of the needy.
14 He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, *
and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
15 Long may he live!
and may there be given to him gold from Arabia; *
may prayer be made for him always,
and may they bless him all the day long.
16 May there be abundance of grain on the earth,
growing thick even on the hilltops; *
may its fruit flourish like Lebanon,
and its grain like grass upon the earth.
17 May his name remain for ever
and be established as long as the sun endures; *
may all the nations bless themselves in him and call him blessed.

18 Blessed be the Lord GOD, the God of Israel, *
who alone does wondrous deeds!
19 And blessed be God’s glorious Name for ever! *
and may all the earth be filled with the glory of the LORD.
Amen. Amen.

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.

James J. Tissot: Ehud Slays Eglon the Moabite

THE LESSONS
Judges 3:12-30 (NRSV)

The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD strengthened King Eglon of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the LORD. In alliance with the Ammonites and the Amalekites, he went and defeated Israel; and they took possession of the city of palms. So the Israelites served King Eglon of Moab eighteen years.

But when the Israelites cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The Israelites sent tribute by him to King Eglon of Moab. Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit in length; and he fastened it on his right thigh under his clothes. Then he presented the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. When Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent the people who carried the tribute on their way. But he himself turned back at the sculptured stones near Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” So the king said, “Silence!” and all his attendants went out from his presence. Ehud came to him, while he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber, and said, “I have a message from God for you.” So he rose from his seat. Then Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into Eglon’s belly; the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the dirt came out. Then Ehud went out into the vestibule, and closed the doors of the roof chamber on him, and locked them.

After he had gone, the servants came. When they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, “He must be relieving himself in the cool chamber.” So they waited until they were embarrassed. When he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them. There was their lord lying dead on the floor.

Ehud escaped while they delayed, and passed beyond the sculptured stones, and escaped to Seirah. When he arrived, he sounded the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites went down with him from the hill country, having him at their head. He said to them, “Follow after me; for the LORD has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down after him, and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and allowed no one to cross over. At that time they killed about ten thousand of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; no one escaped. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest eighty years.

Canticle: Third Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19

Arise, shine, for your light has come, *
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
For behold, darkness covers the land; *
deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.
But over you the Lord will rise, *
and his glory will appear upon you.
Nations will stream to your light, *
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.
Your gates will always be open; *
by day or night they will never be shut.
They will call you, The City of the Lord, *
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Violence will no more be heard in your land, *
ruin or destruction within your borders.
You will call your walls, Salvation, *
and all your portals, Praise.
The sun will no more be your light by day; *
by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.
The Lord will be your everlasting light, *
and your God will be your glory.

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 Cenacle on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, said to be the “upper room” and site of Christ’s Last Supper, as well as the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Acts 1:1-14 (NRSV)

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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.

Todor Mitrovic: Resurrection. “The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.”

Matthew 27:45-54 (NRSV)

From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

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. 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.

Jan Vermeer, 1654: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary. They were Jesus’ good friends and faithful disciples, though in very different ways. How many times did Jesus accept a bite of food when he came to visit? Mary saw to it he ate.

Collect of the Day: Mary and Martha of Bethany

O God, heavenly Father, your Son Jesus Christ enjoyed rest and refreshment in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany: Give us the will to love you, open our hearts to hear you, and strengthen our hands to serve you in others for his sake; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

On Racism and Injustice

O God, call us into a deeper relationship to be your church for the sake of the world. Help us to see with new eyes the injustices within church and society. Call us to have a loving heart that respects and uplifts the humanity and dignity of every person; open our ears to listen and learn from the experiences of people whose skin is different from ours. Open our mouths to speak up about injustices. Join us with others to work for racial equity and inclusion for all people. 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: lavender blue hummingbird.

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

WEEK ONE

Each of the 16.5 million cases of coronavirus worldwide; especially Zoe, Sarah & Henrietta
All who bravely put their lives on the line to serve and save others

Honorary Deacon Clint, safe passage
Martha, more freedom of movement, less pain
Padre Mickey, chemotherapy’s on hold
Jennifer’s stem cell transplant
Nora, anxiety, mourning her mother
J. Huertas, heart problems
Marilyn, Jan’s sister, major illness
Yvonne, chemotherapy
Jon, diabetic macular edema and glaucoma: surgery complete, residual pain
Jimmy, stroke
Marsi, cancer
Cheryl D., car accident
Mark, pain after surgery
Paris, Jason & baby Brenden, complications of birth
Joanne, physical & mental health
Katheryn and son Robert, mild cognitive impairment
Marcella, nerve damage & intractable pain
Nora Jean, toddler with brain cancer; parents Alex & Caroline
Abby, age 11, health and healing

For Caregivers
Greg
Jena
Karen
Clare
Bill
Watt

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: O God of earth and altar (#591, King’s Lynn, English, adapt. Ralph Vaughan Williams; Gilbert Keith Chesterton) – BBC’s “Songs of Praise,” 2014

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