Re-reading MacIntyre and Wilson

from Alasdair MacIntyre. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. Notre Dame, IN: Univ of Notre Dame Press, 2007 (3rd edition). pp 1-2.

“Imagine that the natural sciences were to suffer the effects of a catastrophe. A series of environmental disasters are blamed by the general public on the scientists. Widespread riots occur, laboratories are burnt down, physicists are lynched, books and instruments are destroyed. Finally, a Know-Nothing political movement takes power and successfully abolishes science teaching in schools and universities, imprisoning and executing the remaining scientists. Later still there is a reaction against this destructive movement and enlightened people seek to revive science, although they have largely forgotten what it was. But all they possess are fragments; a knowledge of experiments detached from any knowledge of the theoretical context which gave them significance; parts of theories unrelated either to the other bits and pieces of theory which they possess or to experiment; instruments whose use has been forgotten; half-chapters from books, single pages from articles, not always fully legible because torn and charred. None the less all these fragments are reembodied in a set of practices which go under the revived names of physics, chemistry, and biology. Adults argue with each other about the respective merits of relativity theory, evolutionary theory, and phlogiston theory, although they possess only a very partial knowledge of each. Children learn by heart the surviving portions of the periodic table and recite as incantations some of the theorems of Euclid. Nobody, or almost nobody, realises that what they are doing is not natural science in any proper sense at all. For everything that they do and say conforms to certain canons of consistency and coherence and those contexts which would be needed to understand what they are doing have been lost, perhaps irretrievably.” (p. 1)

“What is the point of constructing this imaginary world inhabited by fictitious pseudo-scientists and real, genuine philosophy? The hypothesis which I wish to advance is that in the actual world which we inhabit the language of morality is in the same state of grave disorder as the language of natural science in the imaginary world which I described. What we possess, if this view is true, are the fragments of a conceptual scheme, parts of which now lack those contexts from which their significance derived. We possess indeed simulacra of morality, we continue to use many of the key expressions. But we have—very largely, it not entirely—lost  our comprehension, both theoretical and practical, of morality.” (p. 2)

from Jonathan R. Wilson. Living Faithfully in a Fragmented World: From MacIntyre’s After Virtue to a New Monasticism, 2nd ed. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010.

This book is written under the conviction that the church in Western culture is in grave danger of compromising its faithfulness to the gospel. Of course, such conviction is almost always present somewhere in the church. Nevertheless, because of the enormous changes that are taking place in our culture, such conviction takes on greater significance. This book is also written under the conviction that the changes taking place in Western culture present a wonderful opportunity for faithful witness to the gospel, as the church in the West reexamines its own life and witness and discovers once again the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to redeem humanity. (p. xiv)

“Jesus Christ calls the church to particular practices: making disciples, baptizing and teaching them…. [The] good news is an ever-present, unchanging reality: Jesus himself promises to be with us always…. [T]he redemption of Jesus Christ is a present reality that he is actively accomplishing in our world today. Therefore, the church’s responsibility is to participate in that redemption and witness to it. We are witnesses to Jesus Christ, ambassadors of God’s reconciliation which is being accomplished through Christ. This responsibility extends to all peoples, to bring the gospel to them and educate them in the practices of the gospel—baptizing and teaching—so that they may participate in this redemption and become its witnesses.

     “This gospel and the mission of the church never change, but the circumstances in which we witness to and live out the gospel do change. With changing circumstances comes the need to rethink how the church lives faithfully and witnesses to the gospel. Changing circumstances bring new opportunities for witness, but they also bring new threats to the integrity of the church’s witness.” (p. xv)

“[T]he church faces many threats to its faithfulness. Words are important here: the gospel is never threatened by changing circumstances—God’s purpose in Jesus Christ is being accomplished and nothing can hinder that. All authority has been given to Jesus Christ. However, what may be compromised is the church’s faithfulness to the gospel. Even here, the church may be made a witness to Jesus Christ by God’s judgment. That is, even an unfaithful church may be used to witness to the gospel by God’s judgment upon it. So what is at issue for us is not the gospel or our witness to the gospel, but the church’s faithfulness to the commission given by Jesus Christ.

     “This understanding of the mission of the church must be disciplined by the gospel and firmly grounded in the conviction that ‘relevance’ is an intrinsic characteristic of the gospel, not a demand of the culture. Otherwise, the quest for relevance becomes a quest for acceptance.” (p. xvi)

“We are in danger of failing to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ or of cloaking a nostalgia for the past in Christian language and mistaking its acceptance for acceptance of the gospel.” (p. xvii)

“Since changing circumstances bring new threats, the church must continually discern the characteristics of the particular culture within which it is called to faithfulness. This is true of the church in all times and places.” (p. xviii)

“Such confession and repentance requires an intentionally disciplined way of life that makes such practices integral expressions of life together with God and one another, not a marketing program or public relations ploy.” (p. xix)

“I pursue MacIntyre’s suggestion that we live in a fragmented world rather than a pluralistic world.” (p. xix)

MacIntyre’s story of the mainstream of morality in Western culture and show how the church has compromised its faithfulness by accommodating to that mainstream and how many current conceptions of the mission of the church continue that mistake. (p. xix)

MacIntyre argues that we live in a world in which morality exists only in fragments. These fragments give us only an appearance of morality, not its reality. What the church must learn from this is that our understanding of the gospel, our witness, and our discipleship are also deeply fragmented. We have only a semblance of the gospel, not its reality, at work in our life together. Consequently, “Christians” are deeply vulnerable to ideologies that will use the language of Christianity and make appeals to the gospel in order to co-opt the church for programs and purposes that are contrary to the gospel. We have no firm center in the gospel but are preoccupied with and distracted by peripheral matters that exploit our fragmentation.

     In these circumstances, we have much work to do to overcome our fragmentation and recover a coherent, more holistic practice of the gospel. To do this will require hard, persistent work by communities rooted in a provisional understanding of this fragmentation. This understanding must be provisional because the very character of fragmentation means that those whose lives are fragmented only perceive that fragmentation indirectly, through unease or an initially inchoate sense that something may not be quite right.

     With this provisional understanding of our fragmentation, these communities will then set for themselves an intentional commitment to a way of life that seeks greater coherence and congruence in their life of discipleship. This again will require hard work, a commitment to stable relationships over a long period of time, and a willingness to share life together (commune) in such a way that this shared life is centered in Christ so that the fragments are pulled together by the gravitational pull of this center. In all of this, these communities must acknowledge and celebrate the grace of God as a power that reveals and heals the fragmentation of our lives. (pp 14-15)

“If we lived in a pluralistic world with relatively intact multiple communities, then the recovery of Christian faithfulness would entail the strengthening and maturing of those communities. We would simply need to work with the social arrangements that we currently have to direct them properly.” (p. 15)

“If we live in a fragmented world, then we do not have relatively intact communities of discipleship in the church. Instead, we have fragments of discipleship in fragments of community. But we persist in the belief (and often the self-deception) that we have a good understanding of discipleship and good communities.” (p. 15)

“In other words, as we inchoately sense and vaguely see the fragmentation of the gospel in our lives, the recovery of wholeness in our understanding of the gospel and our life in Christ may be found in God’s gracious calling of [newly Gospel-oriented communities, thriving upon the environment of grace and the foundation of torah, or the divine application of God’s character to human experience]. (p. 16) *

* beginning with the word “newly” in the last sentence, these are my revision and my perspective on the idea suggested by J.R. Wilson’s words, which are, “…gracious calling of new monastic communities.

The Architecture of Habits

“So I was way too busy, totally overcommitted, and living with a chaotic, packed schedule. But I thought I was different because I had a calling. After I saw that protester arrested, I had become consumed with the idea of how important law and economics are in shaping the culture we live in—for better or for worse. Only in retrospect did I realize that, while the house of my life was decorated with Christian content, the architecture of my habits was just like everyone else’s. And that life had been working for me—until it collapsed.”

Justin Whitmel Earley. The Common Rule (p. 4). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

The Magic of Suburbia. Really? Yep.

What follows is a review of I Have (Had) Enough: Memoirs of Abundance in Fatherhood, Friendship, and Faith, by Jeff Jacobson. I highly commend it to you.

A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.

Dorothea Lange

Jeff Jacobson is the greatest contemporary American author you’ve never heard of, but it’s time that changed.

Jeff is to suburban life what Photoshop filters are to pictures. Just when you thought you knew what life looks like, Jeff reminds you of the forgotten details that make all the difference. Reading his reflections on life it’s as if Norman Rockwell painted memories with words; if you can imagine a Rockwell who put brush to tragedy as well as Americana. The moments are vivid, the people are vibrant, the emotions noticed–even if belatedly–with honest reflection, and determinedly filled with wonder.

Wonder. Wonder might be the connective tissue of Jeff’s writing; it breaks out of every difficulty and every tender memory, of every moment you’ve also experienced and those you wish you might have. You are left theorizing that Jeff’s life–not short of pain–is still just a few hints more magical than yours. But, you hope, it’s probably just his filter on life; a filter that’s available to all who choose to adopt it. Normal life lived intentionally; a choice to cherish the magic of moments on living room carpet, at funerals, moments of pennies in urinals, and of sun shining on a future wife’s hair.

What was it that Wendell Berry did for farm life? The same thing Philip Gulley did for small towns, David James Duncan did for the Pacific Northwest, and Eugene Peterson did for theology. Whatever that was, Jeff does for middle class, suburban America. I never imagined wanting to live a corporate sponsored, Midwestern life in a developer designed neighborhood till I read Jacobson’s reflections. These memories read like the musings of a Leif Enger novel…but they’re real.

Jacobson’s memoir is a tool for learning how to recall your own life. It’s a master class in cherishing that will rewrite your own memories as you tour through Jeff’s with a vibrancy you forgot was possible: memories in 4k.

Want to change your life–even the part you’ve already lived? Read Jeff Jacobson.

Consternation

How can one man make you stand up and cheer one minute and send a wave of discouragement over you the next? And a godly man at that?! (I know, I know…it’s the reality of human nature.)

First the cheering:

In order to understand Paul properly we must grasp how his perspective both continues and modifies the religious tradition in which he was reared, especially his understanding of his Old Testament roots.

First, we must recognize his own sense of continuity with his heritage. Paul sees himself and his churches as being in a direct line with the people of God in the Old Testament; and despite his deep convictions about the radical implications of the coming of Christ and the Spirit, he regularly reaffirms that continuity. He includes a primarily Gentile church in the events of the exodus: “all our forefathers were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor 10:1-2). … Paul never speaks of a “new Israel” or “new people of God”; his language is now composed of Jew and Gentile alike as the one people of God.

Now the weeping:

But just as clearly, there is significant discontinuity. The people of God have now been newly formed. Christ is the “goal of the law” (Rom 10:4), and the Spirit is “the promised Holy Spirit” (Gal 3:14, Eph 1:13). Christ’s death and resurrection have brought an end to Torah observance (living on the basis of the Old Testament law, (Rom 7:4-6; 8:2-3); being led by the Spirit has replaced observance as God’s way of fulfilling Torah (Gal 5:18); indeed, the righteous requirement of Torah is now fulfilled in those who walk in/by the Spirit (Rom 8:4).

Argh!!! Gordon Fee is one of the most excellent exegetes of the 20th century (he lived mostly in the 20th century and it’s too soon to tell what impact he will have on the 21st century), and yet here is a grievous misunderstanding, in the midst of a book titled Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God that is jam-packed with excellent material on the Holy Spirit! It makes me want to scream. His reputation and excellence give added weight to his words; do I dare give this book to eager learners?

I sure wish I could call up Dwight Pryor and chat about this one.

But, here we are, so let’s deal with the section I referred to as “the weeping.”

The people of God have now been newly formed.” Well, yes and no.

Yes, they are now re-invigorated with a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit specifically for the expansion of the Gospel to the nations (Acts 2) and given an awareness that God specifically intends for the Jewish nation to be the agent for the spreading of His message to the nations. This had been prophesied all along, but it was a new awareness for the Chosen People. They’ve been newly formed in that they now believe in Jesus Christ as their long-awaited Messiah, and they’ve been re-invigorated with a new and fuller understanding of the tools God had given them all along for the purpose of transformation into His image. Those who felt they could earn their way into God’s graces, have been disabused of that notion, and their entire heritage has been re-cast in the light of Messiah’s identity and teaching.

No, the same people have always been the people of God, and “those of faith,” to use Paul’s language in Galatians 3:7 have participated in the New Covenant all along, whether they were aware of that fact or not. They’re not so much “newly formed” as newly added to, and newly invigorated with a renewed or new understanding. And, they are being taught about the reality that they are new creatures in Messiah–the old has gone and the new has come. But this is not a new reality, just a new understanding, and there is much evidence that it’s not even entirely new understanding. Certainly new to the majority of the Gentiles, to whom Paul is writing, but not new to all the Jews.

Christ is the “goal of the law (Rom 10:4).” For sure, and assuredly Fee gets it right when he renders telos as “goal” rather than “end.” Certainly also, “the Spirit is ‘the promised Holy Spirit’ (Gal 3:14, Eph 1:13),” and yet the Spirit is not new either. Joshua was “a man in whom is the Spirit,” as were all the prophets, Moses, David, etc. Assuredly there were Jews not filled with the Holy Spirit, but in whose name do you think R. Hanina ben Dosa performed miracles? It seems that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost with a fresh infusion, with an anointing for a task of newly epic proportions–take the Gospel to the nations, rather than let the nations come to you–but it was not as if He had not already been indwelling “those of faith” for centuries already.

being led by the Spirit has replaced observance as God’s way of fulfilling Torah (Gal 5:18)” What? No! Being led by the Spirit is synonymous with observing God’s law…after all, who was it that was to write the law on our hearts? “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.” (Jer 31:33) It was the Spirit, aka, the “finger of God” that wrote God’s law on the stone tablets, and it is He who also writes God’s law on our hearts.

indeed, the righteous requirement of Torah is now fulfilled in those who walk in/by the Spirit (Rom 8:4).” Well, yes, of course, for now that we are in Christ and His law is being written in us, as we walk by the Spirit, He guides us in the Way (Ps. 25:8-9,12; Ps 119:1, 30-33)

______________________________

1 Gordon D. Fee. Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996. pp 3-4.

Prayer on July 15 (Year A)

Preparation

O MOST holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons and one God,
infinite in power, wisdom and goodness,
our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier;
our Owner, Governor, and Father; hear our prayers,
and have mercy upon us, miserable sinners.                                         after Richard Baxter

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Night Has Passed/Morning Has Broken

The Word of God

Let your word be spoken and heard by us as the word of God:
Give us attentive, hearing ears,
and opened, believing, understanding hearts,
that we may no more refuse your calls,
nor disregard your merciful, outstretched hand,
nor slight your counsel and correction;
but be more ready to hear,
than to give the sacrifice of fools.                                                                Ecclesiastes 5:1

Psalm 106:1-5

Refrain: The Lord remembered his covenant.

Praise the LORD!
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever.
Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD,
or fully declare all his praise?
Blessed are those who keep justice.
Blessed is one who does what is right at all times.
Remember me, LORD, with the favour that you show to your people.
Visit me with your salvation,
that I may see the prosperity of your chosen,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance. R

Silence may be kept

O Lord God, full of mercy and pity, who did many times deliver your people from their adversity: Remember us O Lord, according to the favour you bear for your people, and visit us with your salvation, that though we have done amiss, and dealt wickedly against you and against your covenant, yet be pleased to help us for your Name sake, and make your power to be known in the mighty deliverance and redemption of us from so great danger and misery. Give us grace to believe your words, to abide your counsels, to walk in your Laws, and to relinquish our own sinful and vain desires. Pity us, and save us according to the multitude of your mercies. Your Name be blessed, O Lord God, everlasting, and world without end, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Leviticus 23:23-32

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, there shall be a solemn rest for you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work. You shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’ ”
 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “However on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement. It shall be a holy convocation to you. You shall afflict yourselves and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. You shall do no kind of work in that same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whoever it is who shall not deny himself in that same day shall be cut off from his people. Whoever does any kind of work in that same day, I will destroy that person from amongst his people. You shall do no kind of work: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall deny yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall keep your Sabbath.”

 

A Song of Jerusalem our Mother

Refrain:
Thus says our God, I will comfort you,
you shall see and your heart shall rejoice.

‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
all you who love her,’ says the Lord.

‘Rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her,

‘That you may drink deeply with delight
from her consoling breast.’

For thus says our God,
‘You shall be nursed and carried on her arm.

‘As a mother comforts her children,
so I will comfort you;

‘You shall see and your heart shall rejoice;
you shall flourish like the grass of the fields.’              Isaiah 66.10, 11a, 12a, 12c, 13a, 14a, b

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Thus says our God, I will comfort you,
you shall see and your heart shall rejoice.

Proverbs 22:26-27

Don’t you be one of those who strike hands,
of those who are collateral for debts.
If you don’t have means to pay,
why should he take away your bed from under you?

A song may be sung       Suggestion: “He Does Abide”[1]

 

Mark 9:2-8

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and brought them up onto a high mountain privately by themselves, and he was changed into another form in front of them. His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus.
Peter answered Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let’s make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” For he didn’t know what to say, for they were very afraid.
A cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only. [2]

 

Prayers

Prayers may include these concerns:

Our homes, families, friends and all whom we love
Those whose time is spent caring for others
Those who are close to death
Those who have lost hope
The worship of the Church

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

Silence may be kept

The Collect of the day or the following is said

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Conclusion

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,
and keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God. [3]

 


[1] The Brilliance

[2] All Scripture from the World English Bible: British Edition (WEBBE)

[3] N. Andrew Long. The Offerings of Our Lips: Prayer in Community. Nampa, ID: In(habit) Media, 2017.

Prayer on July 14 (Year A)

Preparation

O Lord, open our lips,
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Eternal, incomprehensible, and invisible God,
infinite in power, wisdom and goodness,
dwelling in the light which no man can approach,
where a thousand thousands minister unto you,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before you,
yet dwelling with the humble and contrite,
and taking pleasure in your people:
You have consecrated for us a new and living way,
by the blood of Jesus,
and have bid us seek you while you may be found:
We come to you at your call,
and worship at your footstool.
Behold us in your tender mercies.
Despise us not, though unworthy.                                                          after Richard Baxter

Variant on Benedictus

Chosen first among the priests
To serve within the temple walls
Zacharias stood in awe
As he heard the angel call

Refrain
Benedictus
Benedictus
Blessed is the Lord
Benedictus
Benedictus
God’s incarnate Word

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God
Will come to raise salvation’s horn
God Incarnate, Word made flesh
To a virgin shall be born

Refrain

Christ brings light to sin’s dark night
Our Dayspring, Jesus, from on high
Saints and angels sing God’s praise
All the earth and heav’ns reply

Refrain

God’s incarnate Word
Benedictus
Benedictus

The Word of God

Let your word be spoken and heard by us as the word of God:
Give us attentive, hearing ears,
and opened, believing, understanding hearts,
that we may no more refuse your calls,
nor disregard your merciful, outstretched hand,
nor slight your counsel and correction;
but be more ready to hear,
than to give the sacrifice of fools.                                                                Ecclesiastes 5:1

Psalm 105:39-45

Refrain: Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

39 He spread a cloud for a covering,
fire to give light in the night.
40 They asked, and he brought quails,
and satisfied them with the bread of the sky.
41 He opened the rock, and waters gushed out.
They ran as a river in the dry places.
42 For he remembered his holy word,
and Abraham, his servant.
43 He brought his people out with joy,
his chosen with singing.
44 He gave them the lands of the nations.
They took the labour of the peoples in possession,
45 that they might keep his statutes,
and observe his laws.  Praise the LORD!

Silence may be kept

O God Eternal, who is always mindful of your covenant, and who delivered the seed of Abraham from the slavery of Egypt, from the waves of the sea, from the rage of Pharaoh, from the thirst and famine of the wilderness, continue like mercies to all your people; deliver us from the bondage of our sins, and preserve us in the Ark of the Church, that we perish not in the waves of this troublesome world; save us from all our earthly and spiritual enemies, feed us with food from heaven, and give us enough on earth, that we may gladly keep your statutes, observe your Laws, and so imitate your Son. Grant this, we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Leviticus 23:9-22

9 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.  11 He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  12 On the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb without defect a year old for a burnt offering to the LORD.  13 The meal offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah* of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a pleasant aroma; and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.  14 You must not eat bread, or roasted grain, or fresh grain, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God. This is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 “ ‘You shall count from the next day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.  16 The next day after the seventh Sabbath you shall count fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to the LORD.  17 You shall bring out of your habitations two loaves of bread for a wave offering made of two tenths of an ephah of fine flour. They shall be baked with yeast, for first fruits to the LORD.  18 You shall present with the bread seven lambs without defect a year old, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their meal offering and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet aroma to the LORD.  19 You shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings.  20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.  21 You shall make proclamation on the same day that there shall be a holy convocation to you. You shall do no regular work. This is a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 “ ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you must not wholly reap into the corners of your field, and you must not gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must leave them for the poor, and for the foreigner. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

Proverbs 22:24-25

24 Don’t befriend a hot-tempered man,
and don’t associate with one who harbours anger:

25 lest you learn his ways,
and ensnare your soul. 

A song may be sung       Suggestion: “In Labor All Creation Groans”[1]

In labor all creation groans till fear and hatred cease,
Till human hearts come to believe: In Christ alone is peace.

In labor all creation groans till prejudice shall cease,
Till every race and tribe and tongue in Christ will live in peace.

In labor all creation groans till rape and murder cease,
Till women walk by night unharmed and Christ is this world’s peace.

In labor all creation groans till false divisions cease,
Till enemies are reconciled in Christ who is our peace.

Mark 9:01

1 He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see God’s Kingdom come with power.” [2]

Jesus said, I am the gate for the sheep.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.                          John 10:7,10b

Prayers

Prayers may include these concerns:

  – as your spirit is prompted

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

Silence may be kept

The Collect of the day or the following is said

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May God kindle in us the fire of love.
May those who cause division by perverting the truth be stilled.              Rom. 16:17-20 [4]

(the pdf of this prayer may be downloaded here)


[1] Bifrost Arts | Lamentations: Simple Songs of Lament and Hope, Vol. 1

[2] All Scripture from the World English Bible: British Edition (WEBBE)

[4] N. Andrew Long. The Offerings of Our Lips: Prayer in Community. Nampa, ID: In(habit) Media, 2017.

Prayer on July 13 (Year A)

Preparation

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

Worthy is the Lamb

The veil of heaven opened wide
The scene was clearly set
John saw a scroll writ either side
Where seven seals were met
With booming voice the angel said
To now unseal the scroll
But none was found to meet the task
Not even one lone soul

Refrain
Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb
Worthy, worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Convulsed with tears and broken heart
John’s hope was now assailed
“Weep not,” the elder counseled him,
“A Lion has prevailed!”
No lion came to take his claim
No beast of royal reign
Instead there stood a bloodied Lamb
Like one who had been slain

Refrain

Ten thousand times, ten thousand more
The host of heaven cried
All blessing, honor, glory, and pow’r
To Christ, the Lamb that died

Refrain

Christ the Lamb, who was slain            [1]

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God;
let your kindly spirit lead me on a level path.                                                    Psalm 143:10

The Word of God

Psalm 105:30-38

Refrain: Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
30 Their land swarmed with frogs,
even in the rooms of their kings.
31 He spoke, and swarms of flies came,
and lice in all their borders.
32 He gave them hail for rain,
with lightning in their land.
33 He struck their vines and also their fig trees,
and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came
with the grasshoppers, without number,
35 ate up every plant in their land,
and ate up the fruit of their ground.
36 He struck also all the firstborn in their land,
the first fruits of all their manhood.
37 He brought them out with silver and gold.
There was not one feeble person amongst his tribes.
38 Egypt was glad when they departed,
for the fear of them had fallen on them.

Silence may be kept

God of our earthly pilgrimage,
feed your people with the bread of heaven,
that we may hunger and thirst for righteousness
until we reach our promised land;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Leviticus 23:1-8

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The set feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my set feasts.

“ ‘Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no kind of work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings.

“ ‘These are the set feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed season.  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is the LORD’s Passover.  On the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  In the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work.  But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days. In the seventh day is a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work.’ ”

Proverbs 22:22-23

22 Don’t exploit the poor, because he is poor;
and don’t crush the needy in court;
23 for the LORD will plead their case,
and plunder the life of those who plunder them.

 

A song may be sung       Suggestion: “Simeon’s Song”[2]

Lord bid your servant go in peace
Your word is now fulfilled
These eyes have seen salvation’s dawn,
This child so long foretold

This is the Savior of the world,
The Gentiles promised light
God’s glory dwelling in our midst,
The joy of Israel

Behold this child will pierce your heart
His Word will be a sword
A sign opposed to hearts concealed
And grace for heaven’s adored

Almighty Father, hear our cry
Through Christ the only Son,
Whom in the Spirit we adore
For ages without end

Mark 8:31-38

31He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.  32 He spoke to them openly. Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.  33 But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men.”

34 He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the sake of the Good News will save it. 36  For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? 37  For what will a man give in exchange for his life? 38  For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when he comes in his Father’s glory, with the holy angels.” [3]

Jesus said, I am the gate for the sheep.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.                         John 10:7,10b

Prayers

Prayers may include these concerns:

  – Local government, community leaders
  – All who provide local services
  – Those who work with the young and the elderly
  – Schools, colleges and universities
  – Emergency and rescue organizations

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

Silence may be kept

The Collect of the day or the following is said:

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May God kindle in us the fire of love.
May those who cause division by perverting the truth be stilled.              Rom. 16:17-20

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May God bless the work of our hands.
Amen[4]

(the pdf of these prayers may be downloaded here)


[1] Music by Jeff Lippencott | Words by R.C. Sproul | Album: Glory to the Holy One

[2] Bruce Benedict | Canticles | Cardiphonia

[3] All Scripture from the World English Bible: British Edition (WEBBE)

[4] N. Andrew Long. The Offerings of Our Lips: Prayer in Community. Nampa, ID: In(habit) Media, 2017.