The Lent of St. Martin, 2015
(what is The Lent of St. Martin?)
At the end of Pent'cost every knee shall bow
to the god of commerce, and the shopping Tao;
we can wait for liturgy, we won't go to church;
for the perfect gift we now must start the search.
Some would say it's Advent, we would say "who cares"
After Giving Thanks, it's time to browse those wares.
Head we toward our temple, to our golden shrine,
Take your hands away sir; it's not yours, it's mine.
Name him shoppers, name him, with love strong as debt,
You must not count the cost; get what you can get.
Head now we toward Bethl'hem - snowy Christmas Eve!
Magic midnight music, then it's time to leave.
We climbed up the Zion of the shopping mall.
We dined at the food court, Mannon's banquet hall.
Christ had his Black Friday: manger to the cross.
Without Jesus' Advent there is only loss.
(tune: King's Weston)
Here are the Lessons for the Thursday after the Sunday next before Advent from the 1928 BCP Lectionary, 1945 revision (introduction here)
Psalm 140, 141:1–4
PSALM 140. Eripe me, Domine DELIVER me, O Lord, from the evil man : and preserve me from the wicked man. 2 Who imagine mischief in their hearts : and stir up strife all the day long. 3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent : adders' poison is under their lips. 4 Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the ungodly : preserve me from the wicked men, who are purposed to overthrow my goings. 5 The proud have laid a snare for me, and spread a net abroad with cords : yea, and set traps in my way. 6 I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God : hear the voice of my prayers, O Lord. 7 O Lord God, thou strength of my health : thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. 8 Let not the ungodly have his desire, O Lord : let not his mischievous imagination prosper, lest they be too proud. 9 Let the mischief of their own lips fall upon the head of them : that compass me about. 10 Let hot burning coals fall upon them : let them be cast into the fire and into the pit, that they never rise up again. 11 A man full of words shall not prosper upon the earth : evil shall hunt the wicked person to overthrow him. 12 Sure I am that the Lord will avenge the poor : and maintain the cause of the helpless. 13 The righteous also shall give thanks unto thy Name : and the just shall continue in thy sight. PSALM 141. Domine, clamavi LORD, I call upon thee, haste thee unto me : and consider my voice when I cry unto thee. 2 Let my prayer be set forth in thy sight as the incense : and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. 3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth : and keep the door of my lips. 4 O let not mine heart be inclined to any evil thing : let me not be occupied in ungodly works with the men that work wickedness, lest I eat of such things as please them.
For it is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the might of your arm? Because the whole world before you is like a speck that tips the scales, and like a drop of morning dew that falls on the ground. But you are merciful to all, for you can do all things, and you overlook people’s sins, so that they may repent. For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made, for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living. For your immortal spirit is in all things. Therefore you correct little by little those who trespass, and you remind and warn them of the things through which they sin, so that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in you, O Lord.
‘And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword: ‘I know where you are living, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you are holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in me even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan lives. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling-block before the people of Israel, so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and practise fornication. So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.
Here are the Lessons for the Wednesday after the Sunday next before Advent from the 1928 BCP Lectionary, 1945 revision (introduction here)
Domine, probasti O LORD, thou hast searched me out and known me : thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising, thou understandest my thoughts long before. 2 Thou art about my path, and about my bed : and spiest out all my ways. 3 For lo, there is not a word in my tongue : but thou, O Lord, knowest it altogether. 4 Thou hast fashioned me behind and before : and laid thine hand upon me. 5 Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me : I cannot attain unto it. 6 Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit : or whither shall I go then from thy presence? 7 If I climb up into heaven, thou art there : if I go down to hell, thou art there also. 8 If I take the wings of the morning : and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea; 9 Even there also shall thy hand lead me : and thy right hand shall hold me. 10 If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me : then shall my night be turned to day. 11 Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day : the darkness and light to thee are both alike. 12 For my reins are thine : thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 13 I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made : marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. 14 My bones are not hid from thee : though I be made secretly, and fashioned beneath in the earth. 15 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect : and in thy book were all my members written; 16 Which day by day were fashioned : when as yet there was none of them. 17 How dear are thy counsels unto me, O God : O how great is the sum of them! 18 If I tell them, they are more in number than the sand : when I wake up I am present with thee. 19 Wilt thou not slay the wicked, O God : depart from me, ye blood-thirsty men. 20 For they speak unrighteously against thee : and thine enemies take thy Name in vain. 21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee : and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 Yea, I hate them right sore : even as though they were mine enemies. 23 Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart : prove me, and examine my thoughts. 24 Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me : and lead me in the way everlasting.
Wisdom 10:1–4, 15–21
Wisdom protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created; she delivered him from his transgression, and gave him strength to rule all things. But when an unrighteous man departed from her in his anger, he perished because in rage he killed his brother. When the earth was flooded because of him, wisdom again saved it, steering the righteous man by a paltry piece of wood. A holy people and blameless race wisdom delivered from a nation of oppressors. She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, and withstood dread kings with wonders and signs. She gave to holy people the reward of their labours; she guided them along a marvellous way, and became a shelter to them by day, and a starry flame through the night. She brought them over the Red Sea, and led them through deep waters; but she drowned their enemies, and cast them up from the depths of the sea. Therefore the righteous plundered the ungodly; they sang hymns, O Lord, to your holy name, and praised with one accord your defending hand; for wisdom opened the mouths of those who were mute, and made the tongues of infants speak clearly.
‘To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands: ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God. ‘And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of the first and the last, who was dead and came to life: ‘I know your affliction and your poverty, even though you are rich. I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Whoever conquers will not be harmed by the second death.
Here are the Lessons for the Tuesday after the Sunday next before Advent from the 1928 BCP Lectionary, 1945 revision (introduction here)
Memento, Domine LORD, remember David : and all his trouble; 2 How he sware unto the Lord : and vowed a vow unto the Almighty God of Jacob; 3 I will not come within the tabernacle of mine house : nor climb up into my bed; 4 I will not suffer mine eyes to sleep, nor mine eye-lids to slumber : neither the temples of my head to take any rest; 5 Until I find out a place for the temple of the Lord : an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. 6 Lo, we heard of the same at Ephrata : and found it in the wood. 7 We will go into his tabernacle : and fall low on our knees before his footstool. 8 Arise, O Lord, into thy resting-place : thou, and the ark of thy strength. 9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness : and let thy saints sing with joyfulness. 10 For thy servant David's sake : turn not away the presence of thine Anointed. 11 The Lord hath made a faithful oath unto David : and he shall not shrink from it; 12 Of the fruit of thy body : shall I set upon thy seat. 13 If thy children will keep my covenant, and my testimonies that I shall learn them : their children also shall sit upon thy seat for evermore. 14 For the Lord hath chosen Sion to be an habitation for himself : he hath longed for her. 15 This shall be my rest for ever : here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein. 16 I will bless her victuals with increase : and will satisfy her poor with bread. 17 I will deck her priests with health : and her saints shall rejoice and sing. 18 There shall I make the horn of David to flourish : I have ordained a lantern for mine Anointed. 19 As for his enemies, I shall clothe them with shame : but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
For who can learn the counsel of God? Or who can discern what the Lord wills? For the reasoning of mortals is worthless, and our designs are likely to fail; for a perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind. We can hardly guess at what is on earth, and what is at hand we find with labour; but who has traced out what is in the heavens? Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? And thus the paths of those on earth were set right, and people were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom.’
I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.’ Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive for ever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades. Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Here are the Lessons for the Monday after the Sunday next before Advent from the 1928 BCP Lectionary, 1945 revision (introduction here)
Psalms 131, 133, 134
PSALM 131. Domine, non est LORD, I am not high-minded : I have no proud looks. 2 I do not exercise myself in great matters : which are too high for me. 3 But I refrain my soul, and keep it low, like as a child that is weaned from his mother : yea, my soul is even as a weaned child. 4 O Israel, trust in the Lord : from this time forth for evermore. PSALM 133. Ecce, quam bonum! BEHOLD, how good and joyful a thing it is : brethren, to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down unto the beard : even unto Aaron's beard, and went down to the skirts of his clothing. 3 Like as the dew of Hermon : which fell upon the hill of Sion. 4 For there the Lord promised his blessing : and life for evermore. PSALM 134. Ecce nunc BEHOLD now, praise the Lord : all ye servants of the Lord; 2 Ye that by night stand in the house of the Lord: even in the courts of the house of our God. 3 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary : and praise the Lord. 4 The Lord that made heaven and earth : give thee blessing out of Sion.
Wisdom 9:1–4, 9-11
‘O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy, who have made all things by your word, and by your wisdom have formed humankind to have dominion over the creatures you have made, and rule the world in holiness and righteousness, and pronounce judgement in uprightness of soul, give me the wisdom that sits by your throne, and do not reject me from among your servants. With you is wisdom, she who knows your works and was present when you made the world; she understands what is pleasing in your sight and what is right according to your commandments. Send her forth from the holy heavens, and from the throne of your glory send her, that she may labour at my side, and that I may learn what is pleasing to you. For she knows and understands all things, and she will guide me wisely in my actions and guard me with her glory.
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
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