Samuel Ferguson: Missionary Bishop for West Africa, 1916

Tuesday, August 02, 2016Wednesday, August 02, 2017Thursday, August 02, 2018
The Collect: 

Rite I:
Almighty God, we bless thee for moving thy servant Samuel Ferguson to minister in Liberia, expanding the missionary vision of thy Church in education and ministry. Stir up in us a zeal for thy mission and a yearning for thy holy Word; through Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Rite II:
Almighty God, we bless you for moving your servant Samuel Ferguson to minister in Liberia, expanding the missionary vision of your Church in education and ministry. Stir up in us a zeal for your mission and a yearning for your holy Word; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Lesson: 
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:13–26

13 While I was still young, before I went on my travels,
   I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
14 Before the temple I asked for her,
   and I will search for her until the end.

15 From the first blossom to the ripening grape
   my heart delighted in her;
my foot walked on the straight path;
   from my youth I followed her steps.

16 I inclined my ear a little and received her,
   and I found for myself much instruction.
17 I made progress in her;
   to him who gives wisdom I will give glory.

18 For I resolved to live according to wisdom,
   and I was zealous for the good,
   and I shall never be disappointed.
19 My soul grappled with wisdom,
   and in my conduct I was strict;

I spread out my hands to the heavens,
   and lamented my ignorance of her.
20 I directed my soul to her,
   and in purity I found her.

With her I gained understanding from the first;
   therefore I will never be forsaken.
21 My heart was stirred to seek her;
   therefore I have gained a prize possession.
22 The Lord gave me my tongue as a reward,
   and I will praise him with it.

23 Draw near to me, you who are uneducated,
   and lodge in the house of instruction.
24 Why do you say you are lacking in these things,
   and why do you endure such great thirst?
25 I opened my mouth and said,
   Acquire wisdom for yourselves without money.

26 Put your neck under her yoke,
   and let your souls receive instruction;
   it is to be found close by.

Psalm: 
Psalm 119:9-16

9 How shall a young man cleanse his way? *
       By keeping to your words.
10 With my whole heart I seek you; *
       let me not stray from your commandments.
11 I treasure your promise in my heart, *
       that I may not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord; *
       instruct me in your statutes.
13 With my lips will I recite *
       all the judgments of your mouth.
14 I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees *
       than in all manner of riches.
15 I will meditate on your commandments *
       and give attention to your ways.
16 My delight is in your statutes; *
       I will not forget your word.

Epistle: 
2 Peter 1:16-21

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ 18We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Gospel: 
John 3:1-15

1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ 3Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ 4Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ 5Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ 9Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ 10Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

11 ‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

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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