Morning Prayer 28.2.21, Second Sunday in Lent

The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Joe and Jill Biden traveled to Houston Friday to condole with millions of Texans stranded in their homes without heat, electricity and water in last week’s massive blizzard. They toured a mass vaccination facility at NRG Stadium as well as the Harris County Food Bank, where the First Lady helped pack up groceries for distribution to the needy. It was the Bidens’ first trip to a disaster area since he became president. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, because we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws which he set before us. Daniel 9:9-10

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.

Psalm 100

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Psalm 24

1 The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, *
the world and all who dwell therein.
2 For it is the LORD who founded it upon the seas *
and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
3 ”Who can ascend the hill of the LORD? *
and who can stand in God’s holy place?”
4 ”Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, *
who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
nor sworn by what is a fraud.
5 They shall receive a blessing from the LORD *
and a just reward from the God of their salvation.”
6 Such is the generation of those who seek the LORD, *
of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, O gates;
lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the glorious Sovereign shall come in.
8 ”Who is this glorious Sovereign?” *
“The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.”
9 Lift up your heads, O gates;
lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the glorious Sovereign shall come in.
10 “And who is this glorious Sovereign?” *
“The LORD,
the LORD of hosts is the glorious Sovereign.”

Psalm 29

1 Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, *
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due the holy Name; *
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders; *
the LORD is upon the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; *
the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; *
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6 The LORD makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire;
the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; *
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
8 The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe *
and strips the forests bare.
9 And in the temple of the LORD *
all are crying, “Glory!”
10 The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; *
the LORD sits enthroned as Sovereign for evermore.
11 The LORD shall give strength to the chosen people; *
the LORD shall give the people the blessing 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.

Marc Chagall, 1957: Jeremiah Receiving the Gift of Prophecy

THE LESSONS
Jeremiah 1:1-10 (NRSV)

The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.” Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Canticle: A Song of Penitence
Prayer of Manasseh, 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. 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.

(Desiring God)

1 Corinthians 3:11-23 (NRSV)

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,

“He catches the wise in their craftiness,”

and again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are futile.”

So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

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.

Jesus preaches in a boat (artist unknown)

Mark 3:31 – 4:9 (NRSV)

Then Jesus’ mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

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. 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.

Lenten cleanup day at Calvary Church, Memphis, Tennessee in 2014. There are many ways to make your confession during Lent; cleaning God’s house is one of them. (Chris Girata)

Collect of the Day: Second Sunday in Lent

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Protection

Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of your servants towards the attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of the World Council of Churches
Vancouver Assembly, 1983

Eternal God whose image lies in the hearts of all people,
We live among peoples whose ways are different from ours,
whose faiths are foreign to us, whose tongues are unintelligible to us.
Help us to remember
that you love all people with your great love,
that all religion is an attempt to respond to you,
that the yearnings of other hearts are much like our own and are known to you.
Help us to recognize you in
the words of truth,
the things of beauty,
the actions of love about us.
We pray through Christ,
who is a stranger to no one land more than another,
and to every land no less than another. Amen.

You’re invited to add your own prayers 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.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. 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 crown of roses (Legend, Peter I. Tchaikovsky, 1883; Percy Dearmer, 1913) – Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, 2011

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