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God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

A motorist on Highway 99 in Madera, California called the sheriff to report an ostrich running alongside the road; not a call the sheriff gets every day. So he sent Animal Control, the state sent a couple of troopers, and together they nabbed not an ostrich, but an emu, the large, flightless, Australian bird famous for, well, running alongside roadways. No one was hurt and the emu’s reportedly in good spirits. (California Highway Patrol)

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 95:1-7

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For you are a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Psalm 61

1 Hear my cry, O God, *
and listen to my prayer.
2 I call upon you from the ends of the earth
with heaviness in my heart; *
set me upon the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge, *
a strong tower against the enemy.
4 I will dwell in your house for ever; *
I will take refuge under the cover of your wings.
5 For you, O God, have heard my vows; *
you have granted me the heritage of those who fear your Name.
6 Add length of days to our ruler’s life; *
with years extending over many generations.
7 Let our ruler sit enthroned before God for ever; *
watched over by your love and faithfulness.
8 So will I always sing the praise of your Name, *
and day by day I will fulfill my vows.

Psalm 62

1 For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
from God comes my salvation.
2 God alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will you assail me to crush me,
all of you together, *
as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?
4 They seek only to bring me down from my place of honor; *
lies are their chief delight.
5 They bless with their lips, *
but in their hearts they curse.
6 For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
truly, my hope is in God.
7 God alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
8 In God is my safety and my honor; *
God is my strong rock and my refuge.
9 Put your trust in God always, O people, *
pour out your hearts before God, who is our refuge.
10 Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath, *
even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
11 On the scales they are lighter than a breath, *
all of them together.
12 Put no trust in extortion;
in robbery take no empty pride; *
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
13 God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, *
that power belongs to God.
14 Steadfast love is yours, O Lord, *
for you repay all people according to their deeds.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

I’m not sure most of us quite get what a central figure Elijah is in the Old Testament. He raised people from the dead; ascended bodily into heaven; and his return was prophesied as the forerunner to the Messiah. (St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, c. 1200)

The prophet Elijah, herald of the Messiah, at St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai, c. 1200.

THE LESSONS
1 Kings 21:17-29 (NRSV)

Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria; he is now in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. You shall say to him, “Thus says the LORD: Have you killed, and also taken possession?” You shall say to him, “Thus says the LORD: In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, dogs will also lick up your blood.”

Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you. Because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, I will bring disaster on you; I will consume you, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel; and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin. Also concerning Jezebel the LORD said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the bounds of Jezreel.’ Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat.”

(Indeed, there was no one like Ahab, who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD, urged on by his wife Jezebel. He acted most abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD drove out before the Israelites.)

When Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth over his bare flesh; he fasted, lay in the sackcloth, and went about dejectedly. Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster on his house.”

Canticle: A Song of Praise
Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Praying in the New York City subway, 2014; the sign says, “Repent, judgment is coming. Amen.” God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise. (Kamal Abdullah)

1 Corinthians 1:20-31 (NRSV)

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Canticle: A Song to the Lamb
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for evermore.

Matthew 4:12-17 (NRSV)

Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

V. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your congregation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among the nations;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
R. Never forget the lives of your poor.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
V. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
R. So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

An illumination of choirs of angels, from the Rupertsberg Codex, which Hildegard supervised, of her first book, Scivias (“Know the Ways”), detailing 26 spiritual visitations she received. The original manuscript was lost during World War II, but a copy was made in 1920, the likely source of this illustration. She was a genius in multiple fields, including natural science, musical composition, medicine and spirituality.

Collect of the Day: Hildegard, 1179

God of all times and seasons: Give us grace that we, after the example of your servant Hildegard, may both know and make known the joy and jubilation of being part of your creation, and show forth your glory not only with our lips but in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For the Nation

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Mideast Tensions Mount, but No U.S. Military Deaths Last Week

They Have Names, begun by Clint Gilliland in 2007
Week of September 10-16, 2019
source: iCasualties

Total War Deaths: 7,011

Iraq Total Deaths: 4,574
War Officially Ended: December 2011
Current Troop Level: 5,200 + 2000 in Syria

-no casualties this past week-

Afghanistan Total Deaths: 2,437
War Officially Ended: December 2014
Current Troop Level: 14,000

-no casualties this past week-

Oilfields burning in Saudi Arabia Saturday after Houthi rebels in Yemen, backed by Iran, completed two drone strikes. Donald Trump continues to threaten war with Iran. (Al-Aribiya via AP)

For Those We Love on Active Duty
Molly + Chris
Patrick
Logan in Turkey

For Those in the Armed Forces of our Country

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Collect for Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14++

VIDEO: Kyrie eleison (Hildegard von Bingen) – Catherine Braslavsky, Joseph Rowe, 2008