Morning Prayer 12.4.13: John of Damascus, Priest, c. 760

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First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming?”

Homeless people in San Francisco lined up for breakfast at St. Francis Lutheran Church. A new study says about 30% of the city’s homeless population identify as LGBT. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

Homeless people in San Francisco lined up for breakfast at St. Francis Lutheran Church. A new study says about 30% of the city’s homeless population identify as LGBT. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

Watch, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. Mark 13:35-36

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 95:1-7
Venite

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 the Lord is 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 119:1-24

Happy are they whose way is blameless, *
who walk in the law of the LORD!
Happy are they who observe your decrees *
and seek you with all their hearts!
Who never do any wrong, *
but always walk in your ways.
You laid down your commandments, *
that we should fully keep them.
Oh, that my ways were made so direct *
that I might keep your statutes!
Then I should not be put to shame, *
when I regard all your commandments.
I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, *
when I have learned your righteous judgments.
I will keep your statutes; *
do not utterly forsake me.

How shall the young cleanse their way? *
By keeping to your words.
With my whole heart I seek you; *
let me not stray from your commandments.
I treasure your promise in my heart, *
that I may not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O LORD; *
instruct me in your statutes.
With my lips will I recite *
all the judgments of your mouth.
I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees *
than in all manner of riches.
I will meditate on your commandments *
and give attention to your ways.
My delight is in your statutes; *
I will not forget your word.

Deal bountifully with your servant, *
that I may live and keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see *
the wonders of your law.
I am a stranger here on earth; *
do not hide your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed at all times *
with longing for your judgments.
You have rebuked the insolent; *
cursed are they who stray from your commandments!
Turn from me shame and rebuke, *
for I have kept your decrees.
Even though rulers sit and plot against me, *
I will meditate on your statutes.
For your decrees are my delight, *
and they are my counselors.Amos 3:12—4:5 (NRSV)

Thus says the LORD: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed. Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob, says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts: On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions, I will punish the altars of Bethel, and the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground. I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall come to an end, says the LORD.

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on My transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days; bring a thank-offering of leavened bread, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel! says the Lord GOD.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSONS
Amos 3:12—4:5 (NRSV)

Thus says the LORD: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.

Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts:
On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
and fall to the ground.
I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end, says the LORD.

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
who are on Mount Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
who say to their husbands, “Bring something to drink!”
The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness:
The time is surely coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
even the last of you with fishhooks.
Through breaches in the wall you shall leave,
each one straight ahead;
and you shall be flung out into Harmon,
says the LORD.
Come to Bethel – and transgress;
to Gilgal – and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every morning,
your tithes every three days;
bring a thank-offering of leavened bread,
and proclaim freewill offerings,
publish them;
for so you love to do, O people of Israel!
says the Lord GOD.

Canticle: A Song of Ezekiel
Ezekiel 36:24-28

I will take you from among all nations; *
and gather you from all lands to bring you home.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you; *
and purify you from false gods and uncleanness.
A new heart I will give you *
and a new spirit put within you.
I will take the stone heart from your chest *
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will help you walk in my laws *
and cherish my commandments and do them.
You shall be my people, *
and I will be your 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.

2 Peter 3:1-10 (NRSV)

This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; in them I am trying to arouse your sincere intention by reminding you that you should remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken through your apostles.

First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!” They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.

The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Canticle: A Song of Our True Nature
Julian of Norwich

Christ revealed our frailty and our falling, *
our trespasses and our humiliations.
Christ also revealed his blessed power, *
his blessed wisdom and love.
He protects us as tenderly and as sweetly when we are in greatest need; *
he raises us in spirit
and turns everything to glory and joy without ending.
God is the ground and the substance, the very essence of nature; *
God is the true father and mother of natures.
We are all bound to God by nature, *
and we are all bound to God by grace.
And this grace is for all the world, *
because it is our precious mother, Christ.
For this fair nature was prepared by Christ
for the honor and nobility of all, *
and for the joy and bliss of salvation.

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.

Matthew 21:23-32 (NRSV)

When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not'; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir'; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

Sandi Hester: Prostitutes, based on today’s Gospel lesson.

Sandi Hester: Prostitutes, based on today’s Gospel lesson.

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 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.

Help us, O God our Savior;
Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
Look upon your congregation;
Give to your people the blessing of peace.
Declare your glory among the nations;
And your wonders among all peoples.
Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
Never forget the lives of your poor.
Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
And your favor to those who are true of heart.
Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

It may seem strange to us today, but it wasn't at the time; the same year John of Damascus was ordained, the anti-icon movement broke out, based on a literal reading of the Old Testament law against graven images. But pictures of the saints, or of Christ in his humanity, are not substitute gods, but windows into heaven. John argued against this gross misunderstanding,

It may seem strange to us today, but it wasn’t at the time; the same year John of Damascus was ordained, the anti-icon movement broke out, based on a literal reading of the Old Testament law against graven images. But pictures of the saints, or of Christ in his humanity, are not substitute gods, but windows into heaven. John argued against this gross misunderstanding,

Collect of the Day: John of Damascus, Priest, c. 760

Confirm our minds, O Lord, in the mysteries of the true faith, set forth with power by your servant John of Damascus; that we, with him, confessing Jesus to be true God and true Man, and singing the praises of the risen Lord, may, by the power of the resurrection, attain to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For joy in God’s creation: purple starfish with 24 legs, at Pillar Point Harbor in San Mateo County, California. (Jim Price)

For joy in God’s creation: purple starfish with 24 legs, at Pillar Point Harbor in San Mateo County, California. (Jim Price)

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
Bev F., battling cancer
Annelle, surgery
Garrett, heart attack
BB, neurological issues
Dominic Fosu, in & out of hospital for months
Helen, chemotherapy
Jon, skin infection
Sue, unknown debilitating illness
Elizabeth H., cancer
Solange, needs kidney transplant
Rachel, chronic illness, pain
Ruth Wraight, commissioned Evangelist
Subdeacon Clint, soul-medic
Nelson Mandela
+Tom Shaw, Bishop of Massachusetts, brain cancer

For Caregivers

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.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Western Louisiana, USA

St. Mark’s Cathedral, Shreveport, Louisiana.

St. Mark’s Cathedral, Shreveport, Louisiana.

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.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. 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: Laurentius Laurenti/Tr. Sarah B. Findlater: Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers! (Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Worcester, Massachusetts, 2010)

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About Josh

This site offers daily Morning and Evening Prayer in the Anglican tradition according to the Book of Common Prayer of The Episcopal Church, based in the USA. Each service includes psalms, Bible lessons, and prayers. This site is timed for the Eastern Hemisphere. We also have a site (dailyoffice.org, or see the Blogroll) timed for the West. These two sites offer the same prayers, but a few features differ. We serve all the nations of the world. We're glad you came and we invite your comments. May God bless you richly in our Savior Jesus Christ.
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One Response to Morning Prayer 12.4.13: John of Damascus, Priest, c. 760

  1. Don says:

    Thank you for this holy place to start our day. Don

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