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Anna Ellison Butler Alexander, Deaconess and Teacher, 1947
Loving God, who didst call Anna Alexander as a deaconess in thy church: Grant unto us the wisdom to teach the gospel of Christ to whomever we meet, by word and by example, that all may come to the enlightenment thou dost intend for thy people; through Jesus Christ, our Teacher and Savior. Amen.
Loving God, who called Anna Alexander as a deaconess in your church: Grant us the wisdom to teach the gospel of Christ to whomever we meet, by word and by example, that all may come to the enlightenment that you intend for your people; through Jesus Christ, our Teacher and Savior. Amen.
First Lesson: Deuteronomy 6:4–9
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lordyour God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Psalm: Psalm 78
1 Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3 That which we have heard and known,
and what our forefathers have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.
4 We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord, *
and the wonderful works he has done.
5 He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel, *
which he commanded them to teach their children;
6 That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7 So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;
8 And not be like their forefathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation, *
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9 The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, *
turned back in the day of battle;
10 They did not keep the covenant of God, *
and refused to walk in his law;
11 They forgot what he had done, *
and the wonders he had shown them.
12 He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He split open the sea and let them pass through; *
he made the waters stand up like walls.
14 He led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15 He split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16 He brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17 But they went on sinning against him, *
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
18 They tested God in their hearts, *
demanding food for their craving.
19 They railed against God and said, *
“Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20 True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the
gullies overflowed; *
but is he able to give bread
or to provide meat for his people?”
21 When the Lord heard this, he was full of wrath; *
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
and his anger mounted against Israel;
22 For they had no faith in God, *
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
23 So he commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna upon them to eat *
and gave them grain from heaven.
25 So mortals ate the bread of angels; *
he provided for them food enough.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens *
and led out the south wind by his might.
27 He rained down flesh upon them like dust *
and wingèd birds like the sand of the sea.
28 He let it fall in the midst of their camp *
and round about their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled, *
for he gave them what they craved.
30 But they did not stop their craving, *
though the food was still in their mouths.
31 So God’s anger mounted against them; *
he slew their strongest men
and laid low the youth of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they went on sinning *
and had no faith in his wonderful works.
33 So he brought their days to an end like a breath *
and their years in sudden terror.
34 Whenever he slew them, they would seek him, *
and repent, and diligently search for God.
35 They would remember that God was their rock, *
and the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouths *
and lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him, *
and they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins
and did not destroy them; *
many times he held back his anger
and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
39 For he remembered that they were but flesh, *
a breath that goes forth and does not return.
40 How often the people disobeyed him in the wilderness *
and offended him in the desert!
41 Again and again they tempted God *
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power *
in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
43 How he wrought his signs in Egypt *
and his omens in the field of Zoan.
44 He turned their rivers into blood, *
so that they could not drink of their streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up, *
and frogs, which destroyed them.
46 He gave their crops to the caterpillar, *
the fruit of their toil to the locust.
47 He killed their vines with hail *
and their sycamores with frost.
48 He delivered their cattle to hailstones *
and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
49 He poured out upon them his blazing anger: *
fury, indignation, and distress,
a troop of destroying angels.
50 He gave full rein to his anger;
he did not spare their souls from death; *
but delivered their lives to the plague.
51 He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, *
the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
52 He led out his people like sheep *
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53 He led them to safety, and they were not afraid; *
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 He brought them to his holy land, *
the mountain his right hand had won.
55 He drove out the Canaanites before them
and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot; *
he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56 But they tested the Most High God, and defied him, *
and did not keep his commandments.
57 They turned away and were disloyal like their fathers; *
they were undependable like a warped bow.
58 They grieved him with their hill-altars *
and provoked his displeasure with their idols.
59 When God heard this, he was angry *
and utterly rejected Israel.
60 He forsook the shrine at Shiloh, *
the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
61 He delivered the ark into captivity, *
his glory into the adversary’s hand.
62 He gave his people to the sword *
and was angered against his inheritance.
63 The fire consumed their young men; *
there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
64 Their priests fell by the sword, *
and their widows made no lamentation.
65 Then the Lord woke as though from sleep, *
like a warrior refreshed with wine.
66 He struck his enemies on the backside *
and put them to perpetual shame.
67 He rejected the tent of Joseph *
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68 He chose instead the tribe of Judah *
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven, *
like the earth which he founded for ever.
70 He chose David his servant, *
and took him away from the sheepfolds.
71 He brought him from following the ewes, *
to be a shepherd over Jacob his people
and over Israel his inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart *
and guided them with the skillfulness of his hands
Gospel: Matthew 11:25–30
25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
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The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Collects, Psalms, and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.
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