FRIDAY THE THIRD OF MARCH, 2017
God, gracious and merciful, give us, we entreat you, a humble trust in your mercy, and suffer not our heart to fail us. Though our sins be seven, though our sins be seventy times seven, though our sins be more in number than the hairs of our head, yet give us grace in loving penitence to cast ourselves down into the depth of your compassion. Amen.
( Christina G. Rossetti )
PSALM FIFTY-ONE ( abridged )
The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness;
according to the abundance of your compassion
blot out my offences.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults
and my sin is ever before me.
Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean;
wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear of joy and gladness,
that the bones you have broken may rejoice.
Turn your face from my sins
and blot out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence
and take not your holy spirit from me.
Give me again the joy of your salvation
and sustain me with your gracious spirit.
Deliver me from my guilt, O God,
the God of my salvation,
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
For you desire no sacrifice, else I would give it;
you take no delight in burnt offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
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.
The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.
Take away, good lord, the sin that corrupts us;
give us the sorrow that heals
and the joy that praises
and restore by grace your own image within us,
that we may take our place among your people;
in Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Richard Allen was born into slavery on the fourteenth of February, 1760 in Delaware. In his teens, he began attending meetings of the Methodist Society, and joined them at age seventeen. On hearing the preaching of Methodist ministers in Delaware, Allen’s master became convinced that slavery was wrong and Allen was able to buy his freedom in 1780. In 1784 he qualified as a preacher at the founding of the Methodist Church in the United States in Baltimore. But he also experienced the institutional racism of those early Methodists who insisted on segregating African-Americans. In 1786 he began preaching at Saint George’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, where he was again segregated to preaching in the early morning hours and, when his congregation numbered fifty, they were also segregated to worship in a separate location.
Together with Absalom Jones, another Africa-American Methodist preacher, he led the black members of Saint Georges out of the Methodist Church in 1787 and they struggled to find the money to build themselves a church. He and Jones formed the Free African Society in 1787 to minister to African-Americans who were new to Philadelphia.
Eventually he and Jones parted ways. Absalom Jones and many of the Free African Society found a home in the Episcopal Church. Richard Allen and others wanted to continue in the Methodist tradition. On this day in 1794, he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. In 1799 he was ordained to the sacred ministry, and by 1815 their church had over twelve hundred members. In 1816 Allen united four African Methodist congregations under the banner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was elected the first bishop of the Church, and led the church until his death in 1831.
Richard Allen struggled to make the Christian faith meaningful to the African American community in North America. He saw the Church at its worst, yet created a viable and Spirit-filled community of African- Americans early in the history of the United States of America.
Scripture. "Exodus," chapter six, verse six:
"Say therefore to the Israelites, 'I am the LORD, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment."
... for peace in the world.
... for the congregations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
... for an end to segregation, both official and casual, in our churches.
... for the people of Bulgaria who celebrate their national day today.
... that people will stop exploiting and endangering the creatures that we share this planet with. WORLD WILDLIFE DAY
... for honest and open government and that all politicians may tell the truth.
... for the people of Northern Ireland awaiting the result of their assembly election and that stability will return to the political process in the province. DETAILS
... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
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.
From "Preparation for the Judgment," a sermon by John Henry Newman:
Well is the hour of death described as the evening. There is something in the evening especially calm and solemn, fitly representing the hour of death. How peculiar, how unlike anything else, is a summer evening, when after the fever and heat of the day, after walking, or after working, after any toil, we cease from it, and for a few minutes enjoy the grateful feeling of rest! Especially is it so in the country, where evening tends to fill us with peace and tranquillity. The decreasing light, the hushing of all sounds, the sweet smell, perhaps, of the woods or the herbs which are all about us, the mere act of resting, and the consciousness that night is coming, all tend to tranquillise us and make us serious. Alas, I know that in persons of irreligious mind it has a very different effect, and while other men are raised to the love of God and Christ and the thought of heaven by the calm evening, they are but led to the thought of evil and deeds of sin. But I am speaking of those who live towards God and train their hearts heavenward, and I say that such persons find in the calm evening but an incitement to greater devotion, greater renunciation of the world. It does but bring before them the coming down of death, and leads them with the Apostle to die daily. Evening is the time for divine visitations. The Lord God visited Adam after he had sinned in the garden, in the cool of the evening. In the evening the patriarch Isaac went out to meditate in the field. In the evening our Lord discovered himself to the two disciples who went to Emmaus. In the same evening he appeared to the Eleven, breathed on them, gave them the Holy Ghost, and invested them with the power of remitting and retaining sins.
Nay even in a town the evening is a soothing time. It is soothing to be at the end of the week, having completed the week's work, with the day of rest before us. It is soothing, even after the day of rest, though labour is in store for us against the morrow, to find ourselves in the evening of the day. It is a feeling that almost all must be able to bear witness to, as something peculiar, as something fitly prefiguring that awful time when our work will be done, and we shall rest from our labours.
O God, the source of perfect blessedness, who teaches your faithful ones to walk in your laws, to search your testimonies, to keep your commands; grant to us, we beseech you, your righteousness, that we may seek you with our whole hearts; that we, who hitherto have wandered like lost sheep, restored by your kind arms, may rejoice in the glories of Paradise, through Jesus Christ your son. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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