Good morning everyone. Below you will find a service of Morning Prayer that includes readings, prayers, and music. We are living through unprecedented times, and there are many ongoing challenges, but we have an amazing opportunity to take up new practices of reading, singing, and praying in our own homes. We are not alone in this. God is in our midst, leading us through.
Instructions: If you are in a group, choose someone to lead (unbolded parts) and the rest will respond in unison (bolded parts). You may want to divide up responsibilities for the prayers and readings. Notice too that I’ve included music selections with lyrics. This is entirely optional, but if it suits you, please feel free to sing along. Many blessings in your time of worship. – Pastor Sean+
Seek the Lord while he wills to be found, call upon him when he draws near; let the wicked forsake their ways, and the evil ones their thoughts; and let them return to the Lord, and he will have compassion, and to our God, for he will richly pardon. Isaiah 55.6, 7 Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbour. Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen. Almighty God have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all of our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord, open our lips, And our mouth shall proclaim your praise. 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.
The Lord is our light and our life: O come, let us worship. Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great king above all gods. In his hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are his also. The sea is his for he made it, and his hands have moulded the dry land. Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice! The Lord is our light and our life: O come, let us worship.
SONG – Rising (Franciscan Friars of the Renewal)
I believe there’s a morning not followed by night When all the blind that are calling will be given new sight I believe that all children who come to You Christ Are free cos You heal them, You hear all our cries. I believe in Your Love I believe in Your Love And that You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising I believe in Your mercy, like oceans it flows For all who are thirsty, for all our sorrows I believe we’ll rise higher with hearts made low And that Your heart is a fire when it’s dark and it’s cold I believe in Your Love I believe in Your Love And that You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising And it is well with my soul It is well with my soul ‘Cos You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising I believe in Your Love I believe in Your Love And that You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising Yeah You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising (2x)
PSALM 78:1-4, 12-16
My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He did miracles in the sight of their ancestors in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan. He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand up like a wall. He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers. 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 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” 3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” 4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not? The word of the Lord. / Thanks be to God.
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
The Word of the Lord / Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL SONG – He Leadeth Me (Nathan Drake)
He leadeth me: O blessed thought! O words with heavenly comfort fraught! Whate'er I do, where'er I be, Still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me. He leadeth me, he leadeth me, By his own hand he leadeth me; His faithful follower I would be, For by his hand he leadeth me. Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom, Sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom, By waters still, o'er troubled sea, Still 'tis his hand that leadeth me. Lord, I would place thine hand in mine, Nor ever murmur nor repine; Content, whatever lot I see, Since 'tis thine hand that leadeth me. And when my task on earth is done, When by thy grace the victory's won, E'en death's cold wave I will not flee, Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?” They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
The Gospel of Christ. / Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
BIBLE STUDY FOR INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL GROUPS
Have a look at the questions below. They are deigned to help you make the most of the Gospel reading. There’s no need to answer every question. Draw on them as they seem helpful for your reflection and/or discussion. The hope by the end is that our reading and meditating will turn naturally to prayer.
- Return to the Gospel and read it again
- What stands out for you? What are your impressions? Try to isolate a moment, image, theme, phrase or word that feels important. Write it down. Take some time to reflect. Give yourself freedom to wonder.
- Jesus is talking with the religious leaders and they are questioning his authority. Imagine yourself as one of these leaders responding to Jesus and listening to the story about the two sons. What is happening for you? What are you thinking and feeling?
- What do you make of Jesus’ story? What is his overall point? Can you sum it up in one sentence?
- Notice that the religious leaders believe they are in a position to put Jesus in his place, but for all their confidence, they have a blind spot. What is their blind spot? How is this a warning for us too?
- Read the Gospel again.
- The word “Gospel” means “good news.” What makes this story good news?
- We believe that God speaks into our lives and reveals himself to us through scripture. What could God be saying through our readings for this morning? How is he making himself known to you?
- God not only speaks and reveals himself, but he invites us to respond to him. Are there parts of our readings you’d like to turn back to God in prayer? Is there something you’d like to celebrate? Something to confess? Something to ask for? Something to rest in?
- When you think about your life in connection with our readings is there something you’d like to start doing? Stop doing? Continue doing?
SONG – Establish the Work of Our Hands (THE PORTER’S GATE)
If You don't build it we labor in vain Without Your Spirit we stand with no strength I know my life is passing away But the works of Your hands are what will remain Let the favor of the Lord rest upon us O Lord establish the work of our hands O Lord establish the work of our hands Teach us to number the length of our days Pour out Your power we'll pour out Your praise Teach us to run to finish the race For only what's done in love will remain Alleluia alleluia alleluia Alleluia alleluia alleluia
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
Let us confess our faith as we say, I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He 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, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 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.
God of light and power and glory, we rejoice in your light, we live by your power, we look for your glory. Open our eyes to behold your presence, that we may give ourselves to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen. In peace let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy. For peace from on high and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For bishop David, and for all clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For Elizabeth our Queen, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For this place where we live, for every city and community, and for those who live in them in faith, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For all who are affected by coronavirus, through illness or isolation or anxiety, that they may find relief and recovery, let us pray to the Lord, Lord, have mercy. For our own needs and the needs of others, for the lonely, the sick and the suffering … (silent prayer) Together we pray, Lord have mercy Remembering all the saints, we commit ourselves, one another, and our whole life to Christ our God. To thee, O Lord. O Lord our God, you call us in the depths of our being: open our ears to your call, open our hearts to your love, open our minds to your will, that we may know you and give ourselves fully in your service, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered by your Holy Spirit into one, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray as our Saviour 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.
SONG – Abide with Me (Matt Maher)
I have a home eternal home But for now I walk this broken world You walked it first You know our pain But You show hope can rise Again up from the grave Abide with me abide with me Don't let me fall and don't let go Walk with me and never leave Ever close God abide with me There in the night Gethsemane Before the cross before the nails Overwhelmed alone You prayed You met us in our suffering And bore our shame Oh love that will not ever let me go Love that will not ever let me go You never let me go Love that will not ever let me go And up ahead eternity We'll weep no more we'll sing for joy Abide with me
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.