Evening Prayer 14.7.21, Argula von Grumbach, Scholar & Reformer, c. 1554

And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him.

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Helmreich, our interim Board President and webcaster, was installed as the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hobbs, New Mexico, and yesterday the local newspaper welcomed him to town with a front-page biographical sketch. Hobbs is a city of 20,000 full of “friendly and welcoming” people, he says. He made a friend of the reporter, a Methodist minister who formerly served as an interim at his Lutheran church; she writes puff pieces for every new pastor in town, because she knows what it’s like to be new in Hobbs. We’re proud he’s one of ours. (News-Sun)

Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. Psalm 74:15-16

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

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: O Gracious Light

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Psalm 119:25-48

25 My soul cleaves to the dust; *
give me life according to your word.
26 I have confessed my ways, and you answered me; *
instruct me in your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of your commandments, *
that I may meditate on your marvelous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; *
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Take from me the way of lying; *
let me find grace through your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; *
I have set your judgments before me.
31 I hold fast to your decrees; *
O LORD, let me not be put to shame.
32 I will run the way of your commandments, *
for you have set my heart at liberty.

33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, *
and I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; *
I shall keep it with all my heart.
35 Make me go in the path of your commandments, *
for that is my desire.
36 Incline my heart to your decrees *
and not to unjust gain.
37 Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; *
give me life in your ways.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, *
which you make to those who fear you.
39 Turn away the reproach which I dread, *
because your judgments are good.
40 Behold, I long for your commandments; *
in your righteousness preserve my life.

41 Let your loving-kindness come to me, O LORD, *
and your salvation, according to your promise.
42 Then shall I have a word for those who taunt me, *
because I trust in your words.
43 Do not take the word of truth out of my mouth, *
for my hope is in your judgments.
44 I shall continue to keep your law; *
I shall keep it for ever and ever.
45 I will walk at liberty, *
because I study your commandments.
46 I will tell of your decrees before rulers *
and will not be ashamed.
47 I delight in your commandments, *
which I have always loved.
48 I will lift up my hands to your commandments, *
and I will meditate on your statutes.

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.

Caravaggio, c. 1599: Calling of St. Matthew (Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi di Francesi Church, Rome)

THE LESSON
Mark 2:13-22 (NRSV)

Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

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,
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. That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit
in the communion of all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.

Argula von Grumbach, the first female pamphleteer of Lutheranism, had to endure public vilification as a woman from the male Catholic professors at the Bavarian university, and their denunciations have also been preserved. It went about as you’d expect for the reason you expect, that they had no answer for her. So they called her a whore in church and in print. But she persisted, for the better part of a year. People couldn’t wait to get their hands on her replies, because she was smarter than all of them. Even Luther distanced himself from her because of the controversy, though they had met and she had advised him. (Duke University)

Collect of the Day: Argula von Grumbach, Scholar and Church Reformer, c. 1554

Almighty God, who gave your servant Argula von Grumbach a spirit of wisdom and power to love your Word and to boldly draw others to its truth: Pour out that same spirit upon us, that we, knowing and loving your Holy Word, may be unashamed of Christ and may not sin against the Holy Spirit that is within us. Amen.

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Bridge to Eden in the Brooklyn Botanic Park, New York.

For the Beauty of the Earth

We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, now and for ever. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Cyangugu, Rwanda

Wednesday Evening Prayer List

For Disaster & Terror Victims

People confined to where they live
Millions forced into poverty and food insecurity by damaged economies
Hundreds of thousands in squalid refugee camps, including those on Lesbos and Rohingyas in Bangladesh

For Prisoners
Roman Protasevich, Belarus
Michael Spavor & Michael Kovrig
Alexei Navalny; Hong Kong political prisoners; Aung San Suu Kyi
David
Cleave Thomas, last years of a 20-year sentence
Matthew
Children and families of prisoners
Stateless prisoners at Guantanamo
Prison chaplains and ministries, especially Kairos
Sr. Helen Prejean and all prison reformers
All who are condemned to die

Please offer your own prayers here.

Prayer for Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++

VIDEO: Hear my Prayer, O Lord (Henry Purcell) – Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, 2016

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