Samuel Ajayi Crowther: Bishop in the Niger Territories, 1891

Saturday, December 31, 2016Monday, December 31, 2018Tuesday, December 31, 2019
The Collect: 

Rite I:
Almighty God, who didst rescue Samuel Ajayi Crowther from slavery, sent him to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to his people in Nigeria, and made him the first bishop from the people of West Africa: Grant that those who follow in his steps may reap what he has sown and find abundant help for the harvest; through him who took upon himself the form of a slave that we might be free, the same Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Rite II:
Almighty God, you rescued Samuel Ajayi Crowther from slavery, sent him to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to his people in Nigeria, and made him the first bishop from the people of West Africa: Grant that those who follow in his steps may reap what he has sown and find abundant help for the harvest; through him who took upon himself the form of a slave that we might be free, the same Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Isaiah 60:4-9

4 Lift up your eyes and look around;
   they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
   and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
5 Then you shall see and be radiant;
   your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
   the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
6 A multitude of camels shall cover you,
   the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
   all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
   and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.
7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you,
   the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
they shall be acceptable on my altar,
   and I will glorify my glorious house.
8 Who are these that fly like a cloud,
   and like doves to their windows?
9 For the coastlands shall wait for me,
   the ships of Tarshish first,
to bring your children from far away,
   their silver and gold with them,
for the name of the Lord your God,
   and for the Holy One of Israel,
   because he has glorified you.

Psalm: 
Psalm 119:57-64

57 You only are my portion, O Lord; *
       I have promised to keep your words.
58 I entreat you with all my heart, *
       be merciful to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways *
       and turned my feet toward your decrees.
60 I hasten and do not tarry *
       to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked entangle me, *
       I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I will rise to give you thanks, *
       because of your righteous judgments.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you; *
       and of those who keep your commandments.
64 The earth, O Lord, is full of your love; *
       instruct me in your statutes.

Epistle: 
Romans 8:15-23

15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Gospel: 
Matthew 9:35-38

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’

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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