Morning Prayer 21.7.21, Maria Skobtsova, Monastic & Martyr, 1945

David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today!”

Canada announced that it will open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans on 9 August, despite worries over the Covid-19 delta variant. (The U.S. has not announced a reciprocal policy.) Canada plans to make various additional demands as the border opens; the vaccines have to be Canadian-approved; you have to upload your vaccination record 14 days before your time of arrival, then show your original at the gate; and present a negative coronavirus molecular test taken within 72 hours – all to avoid quarantine for 14 days. Additional rules apply for children. Canada said it also plans to open the borders to all international travelers who qualify on 7 September. Above: the checkpoint at Blaine, Washington, with only one lane open. (Elaine Thompson/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 119:49-72

49 Remember your word to your servant, *
because you have given me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my trouble, *
that your promise gives me life.
51 The proud have derided me cruelly, *
but I have not turned from your law.
52 When I remember your judgments of old, *
O LORD, I take great comfort.
53 I am filled with a burning rage, *
because of the wicked who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been like songs to me *
wherever I have lived as a stranger.
55 I remember your name in the night, O LORD, *
and dwell upon your law.
56 This is how it has been with me, *
because I have kept your commandments.

57 You only are my portion, O LORD; *
I have promised to keep your words.
58 I entreat you with all my heart, *
be merciful to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways *
and turned my feet toward your decrees.
60 I hasten and do not tarry *
to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked entangle me, *
I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I will rise to give you thanks, *
because of your righteous judgments.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you *
and of those who keep your commandments.
64 The earth, O LORD, is full of your love; *
instruct me in your statutes.

65 O LORD, you have dealt graciously with your servant, *
according to your word.
66 Teach me discernment and knowledge, *
for I have believed in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, *
but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and you bring forth good; *
instruct me in your statutes.
69 The proud have smeared me with lies, *
but I will keep your commandments with my whole heart.
70 Their heart is gross and fat, *
but my delight is in your law.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, *
that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is dearer to me *
than thousands in gold and silver.

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.

Guido Reni, c. 1620: Meeting of David and Abigail (Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia)

THE LESSONS
1 Samuel 25:23-44 (NRSV)

When Abigail saw David, she hurried and alighted from the donkey, fell before David on her face, bowing to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, “Upon me alone, my lord, be the guilt; please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. My lord, do not take seriously this ill-natured fellow, Nabal; for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name [meaning fool], and folly is with him; but I, your servant, did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent.

“Now then, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, since the LORD has restrained you from bloodguilt and from taking vengeance with your own hand, now let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be like Nabal. And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive the trespass of your servant; for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the LORD; and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. If anyone should rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living under the care of the LORD your God; but the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. When the LORD has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you prince over Israel, my lord shall have no cause of grief, or pangs of conscience, for having shed blood without cause or for having saved himself. And when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”

David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! Blessed be your good sense, and blessed be you, who have kept me today from bloodguilt and from avenging myself by my own hand! For as surely as the LORD the God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there would not have been left to Nabal so much as one male.” Then David received from her hand what she had brought him; he said to her, “Go up to your house in peace; see, I have heeded your voice, and I have granted your petition.” Abigail came to Nabal; he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; so she told him nothing at all until the morning light. In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him; he became like a stone. About ten days later the LORD struck Nabal, and he died.

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the LORD who has judged the case of Nabal’s insult to me, and has kept back his servant from evil; the LORD has returned the evildoing of Nabal upon his own head.” Then David sent and wooed Abigail, to make her his wife. When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” She rose and bowed down, with her face to the ground, and said, “Your servant is a slave to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” Abigail got up hurriedly and rode away on a donkey; her five maids attended her. She went after the messengers of David and became his wife.

David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel; both of them became his wives. Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

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.

Jacob Jordaens, 1645: St. Paul & Barnabas at Lystra (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna)

Acts 14:19-28 (NRSV)

But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds. Then they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the city. The next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch. There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.” And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.

Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had completed. When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles. And they stayed there with the disciples for some time.

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 calms the sea; source unknown.

Mark 4:35-41 (NRSV)

On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

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.

Maria Skobtsova, a saint in Russian Orthodoxy and a Righteous Gentile to Yad Vashem, took an unlikely route to immortality. Born to a noble family in Riga, Latvia, she became an atheist, married young and became a fixture in radical politics and the literary scene in St. Petersburg, Russia. She divorced and married a Bolshevik, plotted to assassinate Trotsky, served as a smalltown mayor, got arrested and acquitted while her husband was converting to Roman Catholicism. She got rid of him, joined Russian emigrés in Paris, and was attracted to her ex-husband’s faith. She devoted herself to working with the poor; her bishop suggested she become a nun. She agreed as long as she didn’t have to live in a monastery. Instead her house became a sanctuary for the poor, and as Naziism arose she was asked by Jews for baptismal certificates, which she and a priest supplied until they were arrested by the Gestapo. She was gassed at the Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany on Holy Saturday, 1945. (Wikipedia)

Collect of the Day: Maria Skobtsova, Monastic and Martyr, 1945

O Creator and Giver of Life, who crowned your martyr Maria Skobtsova with glory and gave her as an example of service to the suffering and poor even unto death: Teach us to love Christ in our neighbors, and thereby battle injustice and evil with the light of the Resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.

On Racism and Injustice
© Daily Office Network

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 the beauty of the Earth: a red sandstone formation near Sedona, Arizona. The area has served as a location for dozens of Hollywood movies going back to the 1920s. (Tom Welch)

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 TWO

Each of the 191,169,614 persons infected by coronavirus worldwide; 4,101,337 have died
Peter, Tucker, Zoe, Heather & Roy
All essential workers

Michael, dementia
Padre Mickey, melanoma
Dan, ALS
Catharine, kidney cancer
Marja, myasthenia gravis and surgery
Martha, pain management & physical therapy
Yvonne, chemotherapy
Linda, healing of body, mind & relationships
Kay, systemic scleroderma, with 4 young children
Veronica, severely depressed
Lauren, healing & strength, & Flynt, patient understanding
Denise, back and ankle
Alison, Mary, Charlotte and Marsi, cancer
AJ, multiple sclerosis
Edward & Jimmy, stroke
Jonathan & Cheryl D., car accidents
Fr. Jack Haney, health issues
Joanne, physical & mental health

For Caregivers
Mary
Cara
Diane
Greg
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: All praise to thee, for thou, O King divine (#477, Engelberg, Charles V. Stanford; F. Bland Tucker) – St. John’s. Detroit, 2012

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