Richard Allen: First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1831

Thursday, March 26, 2015Monday, March 26, 2018
The Collect: 

Loving God, your servant Richard Allen was born a slave, but in you he learned that he was your beloved child by adoption in Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit was led to proclaim liberty to his captive people: Give us strength to proclaim your freedom to the captives of our world; through Jesus Christ, Savior of all, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Exodus 6:1–11

1Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.’

2 God also spoke to Moses and said to him: ‘I am the Lord. 3I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty,* but by my name “TheLord”* I did not make myself known to them. 4I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens. 5I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6Say 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 judgement. 7I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. 8I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.” ’ 9Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.

10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, 11‘Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land.’

Psalm: 
Psalm 136:1–2,10–16

1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever. 
2 O give thanks to the God of gods,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever. 
10 who struck Egypt through their firstborn,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever; 
11 and brought Israel out from among them,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever; 
12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever; 
13 who divided the Red Sea* in two,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever; 
14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever; 
15 but overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,*
   for his steadfast love endures for ever; 
16 who led his people through the wilderness,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever;

Epistle: 
Acts 12:1–11
1About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. 2He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. 3After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.)4When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. 5While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.

6 The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. 7Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’ And the chains fell off his wrists. 8The angel said to him, ‘Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.’ He did so. Then he said to him, ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.’ 9Peter* went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. 11Then Peter came to himself and said, ‘Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.’

Gospel: 
John 7:25–31

25 Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? 26And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah?* 27Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah* comes, no one will know where he is from.’ 28Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, ‘You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. 29I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.’ 30Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31Yet many in the crowd believed in him and were saying, ‘When the Messiah* comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?’*