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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Wednesday, proper 10
Morning Prayer
Bartolome de Las Casas

The Opening

Opening Sentence

Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite." Isaiah 57:15

Hymn: Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve

Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve,
And press with vigor on;
A heavenly race demands thy zeal,
And an immortal crown.

'Tis God's all animating voice,
That calls thee from on high;
'Tis his own hand presents the prize
To thine aspiring eye.

A cloud of witnesses around,
Hold thee in full survey;
Forget the steps already trod,
And onward urge thy way.

Blessed Savior, introduced by thee,
Have we our race begun;
And crown'd with victory, at thy feet
We lay our trophies down.

Strand Seventh Day Adventist Church on the 31 March 2012. Cape Town, South Africa

Confession

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

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 neighbors 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 on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Versicle and Response

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 forever Amen.

The Spirit of the Lord renews the face of the earth:
Come let us adore him.

Jubilate

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Antiphon

The Spirit of the Lord renews the face of the Earth:
Come let us adore him.

The Psalms

Psalm 38 or
Coverdale
Domine, ne in furore

1O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger; *
do not punish me in your wrath.

2For your arrows have already pierced me, *
and your hand presses hard upon me.

3There is no health in my flesh,
because of your indignation; *
there is no soundness in my body, because of my sin.

4For my iniquities overwhelm me; *
like a heavy burden they are too much for me to bear.

5My wounds stink and fester *
by reason of my foolishness.

6I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; *
I go about in mourning all the day long.

7My loins are filled with searing pain; *
there is no health in my body.

8I am utterly numb and crushed; *
I wail, because of the groaning of my heart.

9O Lord, you know all my desires, *
and my sighing is not hidden from you.

10My heart is pounding, my strength has failed me, *
and the brightness of my eyes is gone from me.

11My friends and companions draw back from my affliction; *
my neighbors stand afar off.

12Those who seek after my life lay snares for me; *
those who strive to hurt me speak of my ruin
and plot treachery all the day long.

13But I am like the deaf who do not hear, *
like those who are mute and who do not open their mouth.

14I have become like one who does not hear *
and from whose mouth comes no defense.

15For in you, O LORD, have I fixed my hope; *
you will answer me, O Lord my God.

16For I said, "Do not let them rejoice at my expense, *
those who gloat over me when my foot slips."

17Truly, I am on the verge of falling, *
and my pain is always with me.

18I will confess my iniquity *
and be sorry for my sin.

19Those who are my enemies without cause are mighty, *
and many in number are those who wrongfully hate me.

20Those who repay evil for good slander me, *
because I follow the course that is right.

21O LORD, do not forsake me; *
be not far from me, O my God.

22Make haste to help me, *
O Lord of my salvation.

Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Amen.

The Lessons

The Old Testament Reading

Joshua 3: 1-13

1 Early in the morning Joshua rose and set out from Shittim with all the Israelites, and they came to the Jordan. They camped there before crossing over. 2 At the end of three days the officers went through the camp 3 and commanded the people, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place. Follow it, 4 so that you may know the way you should go, for you have not passed this way before. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, a distance of about two thousand cubits; do not come any nearer to it." 5 Then Joshua said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." 6 To the priests Joshua said, "Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass on in front of the people." So they took up the ark of the covenant and went in front of the people. 7 The LORD said to Joshua, "This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that I will be with you as I was with Moses. 8 You are the one who shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, 'When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.' " 9 Joshua then said to the Israelites, "Draw near and hear the words of the LORD your God." 10 Joshua said, "By this you shall know that among you is the living God who without fail will drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites: 11 the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is going to pass before you into the Jordan. 12 So now select twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan flowing from above shall be cut off; they shall stand in a single heap."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 11 The Third Song of Isaiah

Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19
Surge, illuminare

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.

New Testament Reading

Romans 11: 25-36

25 So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, "Out of Zion will come the Deliverer; he will banish ungodliness from Jacob." 27 "And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins." 28 As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32 For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all. 33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" 35 "Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?" 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 16 The Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79
Benedictus Dominus Deus

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;*
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior,*
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old,

that he would save us from our enemies,*
from the hands of all who hate us.

he promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,*
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear,*
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,*
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his 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.

The Gospel

Matthew 25: 31-46

31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' 40 And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' 45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Bartolome de Las Casas was born in Seville, Spain, in 1474. In 1502 he went to Cuba, and for his military services there was given an Encomienda, an estate that included the services of the Indians living on it. In about 1513 he was ordained priest (probably the first ordination in the Americas), and in 1514 he renounced all claim on his Indian serfs. During the following seven years he made several voyages to Spain to find support for a series of new towns in which Spaniard and Indian would live together in peace and equality. In 1523 he became a Dominican friar and disappeared for a time from public controversy. In 1540 he returned to Spain and was a force behind the passage in 1542 of laws prohibiting Indian slavery and safeguarding the rights of the Indians. He was made Bishop of Chiapas in Guatemala, and returned to the Americas in 1544 to implement the new laws, but he met considerable resistance, and in 1547 he returned to Spain, where he devoted the rest of his life to speaking and writing on behalf of the Indians. He is chiefly remembered for his Brief Report On the Destruction of the Indies (or Tears of the Indians), a fervid and perhaps exaggerated account of the atrocities of the Spanish conquerors against the Indians. The book was widely read and widely translated, and the English version was used to stir up English feeling against the Spanish as a cruel race whom England ought to beware of, and whose colonies in the Americas would be better off in English hands. Las Casas is widely admired as an early pioneer of social justice, and widely denounced as an irresponsible pamphleteer and spreader of slanders. He died in Madrid on 17 July (or perhaps 31 July) 1566, and is remembered as a national hero in Cuba and Nicaragua. An extract from Tears of the Indians follows.

Now Christ wanted his gospel to be preached with enticements, Gentleness, and all meekness, and pagans to be led to the truth not by armed forces but by holy examples, Christian conduct, and the word of God, so that no opportunity would be offered for blaspheming the sacred name or hating the true religion because of the conduct of the preachers. For this is nothing else than making the coming and passion of Christ useless, as long as the truth of the gospel is hated before it is either understood or heard, or as long as innumerable human beings are slaughtered in a war waged on the pretext of preaching the gospel and spreading religion.

With Las Casas we may remember Bartolomeo de Olmedo, priest and friar of Mercy, who was chaplain of Cortez's expedition to Mexico City, and who appears in the records of that expedition as a moderating force, denouncing atrocities and conquest, talking Cortez out of forcibly destroying idol temples, telling him instead to set the Indians an example of Christian love, and wait for them to destroy the idols by their own decision. (Some readers will remember him from Samuel Shellabarger's historical novel, Captain From Castille.) According to the Britannica article on pre-Columbian American cultures (see vol. 26 p. 25 of the 15th edition), the clergy accompanying the Spanish conquistadors were consistently more disposed than the commanders to respect the native civilizations and undertake to preserve their records, and whatever aspects of native culture were not clearly inconsistent with Christianity.

From the beginning, the missionary priests in Spanish America showed concern for the welfare of the Indians. On Christmas Day in 1511, in Hispaniola, the Dominican Antonio de Montesimos preached, saying, "By what right or justice do you keep the Indians in such horrible servitude? Are they not men? Have they not rational souls? Are you not bound to love them as you love yourselves?"

The government policy was to establish towns for the Indians, and these were normally built in connection with mission posts. The Indians seem to have taken to the mission civilization with enthusiasm. In particular, they were great lovers of music, and found plainchant much to their taste. The first Bishop of Mexico, Juan de Zumarraga, said, "I find that more are converted by music than by any other method." They were also impressed by the asceticism of the friars. A prominent idea in the native religions had been that holiness was associated with bearing pain in the service of the gods, and when they met missionaries like the Franciscan Antonio de Roa, who went barefoot and slept on boards, wore only a coarse sackcloth robe, ate no meat or wine, and scourged himself every time he saw a crucifix, they concluded that he must be a man of God, and listened eagerly to his preaching.

It seems clear that the Indians for the most part regarded the missionaries as their benefactors, and gave them a loyalty which was not simply fear of the secular authority that backed them up. This is shown when the secular authority did not back them. In 1769, when the Spanish Crown adopted an anti-Jesuit policy, the Jesuits were deported from Mexico. Mobs of angry Indians attempted to break into the barracks where they were held, and a large military escort was necessary to conduct them to Vera Cruz and the waiting ships. Again, in 1799, in Pueblo, a large Indian crowd attacked a jail in which a priest had been imprisoned.

For about three centuries, from the early 1500's to the early 1800's, the people of Mexico were obedient to the Spanish Crown because their clergy were. But when the Crown broke with the clergy in the early 1800's the priests began to preach independence, and the people followed their lead, and Mexico and the rest of Spanish America became independent.

A great many converts were brought in by the Cloak of Guadalupe. An Indian Christian reported that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him and sent him to see the bishop; and as a sign that the appearance was genuine, she filled his cloak with roses although it was winter, and printed on the cloak a picture of herself, portrayed in the Indian style of art, as a woman treading a serpent, and with some details that made no particular sense to a European. Many Indians came to see the cloak (which is still on display in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City), and were converted by the sight. It seems that some of the details are significant in terms of American Indian culture, and were understood by the Indians to mean that Christianity is the fulfilment of their prophecies and expectations.

Many persons today think of the Indians of Mexico as a free and happy people who were conquered and enslaved by the Spanish. It must be remembered that before the coming of the Europeans, the Aztecs with their capital at what is now Mexico City had conquered the surrounding tribes for hundreds of miles in all directions, and required of them every year a tribute of young men and women to be sacrificed in the temples at Mexico City. The subjugated tribes did not like this, and gladly assisted Cortes in his campaign against the Aztecs. Even when he suffered temporary defeats, the loyalty of his Indian auxiliaries never wavered, and his rule, once he had established himself, was considered far less harsh than that of the Aztecs had been. The Britannica article on Cortes speaks of "his acceptance by the Indians and his popularity as a relatively benign ruler."

When the European conquest of the Americas is being deplored, the accompanying high death rate among the natives is often mentioned. It ought to be remembered that most of these deaths were due to smallpox. The disease was brought to the Americas by one sick sailor, and triggered a series of major epidemics. The Indians had no previous exposure to it and almost no resistance to it, and most cases were fatal. Moreover, the Indians habitually treated their sick by baths, and the water was used by many bathers. One bather with an open sore was enough to infect all who shared the same bath. Whenever two populations long separated come into significant contact, each of them is at risk from diseases against which they are defenseless. The smallpox epidemic would have run about the same course if the ships of Columbus had been loaded with social workers and Peace Corps volunteers. One can denounce the Europeans for the smallpox epidemic only by being prepared to say that there ought never to be contact between two populations that have previously been isolated from each other.

written by Jamer Kiefer

Prayer

Eternal God, we give you thanks for the witness of Bartolomé de las Casas, whose deep love for your people caused him to refuse absolution to those who would not free their Indian slaves. Help us, inspired by his example, to work and pray for the freeing of all enslaved people of our world, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 52
Isaiah 59:14-20
Philemon 8-16
Matthew 10:26-31

The Creed

The Apostle's Creed

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.

The Prayers

The Lord's Prayer

or traditional

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.

Suffrages

Show us your mercy, O Lord;

And grant us your salvation.

Clothe your ministers with righteousness;

Let your people sing with joy.

Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;

For only in you can we live in safety.

Lord, keep this nation under your care;

And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

Let your way be known upon earth;

Your saving health among all nations.

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;

Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Create in us clean hearts, O God;

And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Collect of the Day: Proper 10

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and may also have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Benin.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia.

A Collect for Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn: To my humble supplication

To my humble supplication
Lord, give ear and acceptation
Save thy servant, that hath none
Help nor hope but Thee alone. Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

Birthdays
Anniversaries
For Recovery from Sickness
For Travelers
For a Person in Trouble or Bereavement
For Those to be Baptized
For the Departed
Full list of prayers

For our Country

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion us into one united people. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the President of the
United States
and all in Civil Authority

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State (or, Commonwealth), and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Hymn: The God of Abraham Praise

The God of Abraham praise,
Who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of Everlasting Days, and God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM! by earth and heaven confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred Name
forever blessed.

He by Himself hath sworn,
we on His oath depend,
We shall, on eagles' wings upborne, to heaven ascend;
We shall behold His face,
we shall His power adore
And sing the wonders of His grace
forevermore.

There dwells the Lord, our King,
The Lord, our Righteouness,
triumphant o'er the world and sin,
the Prince of Peace;
on Zion's sacred height his kingdom he maintains,
and, glorious with his saints in light,
forever reigns.

The God who reigns on high
the great archangels sing,
and "Holy, holy, holy" cry, "Almighty King!
"Who was, and is, the same, and evermore shall be:
"eternal Father, great I AM, we workship thee."

The whole triumphant host
give thanks to God on high;
"Hail, Father, Son and Holy Ghost" they ever cry;
hail, Abraham's Lord divine!
With heaven our songs we raise;
all might and majesty are thine,
and endless praise. Amen.

A Prayer of Self-Dedication

Almighty and eternal God,
so draw our hearts to you,
so guide our minds,
so fill our imaginations,
so control our wills,
that we may be wholly yours,
utterly dedicated unto you;
and then use us, we pray you, as you will,
and always to your glory and the welfare of your people;
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication 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: Fulfill 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.

The Ending

Benediction

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

Hymn: God Be With You

God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsels guide, uphold you;
With his sheep securely fold you.
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet,
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

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