Archive for the ‘Social Justice’ Tag

Litany for the Daily Round   Leave a comment

Nevada State Orphanage

Above:  Nevada State Orphanage, Carson City, Nevada

Image Source = Library of Congress

Litany Source = A Book of Worship for Free Churches (1948), the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches in the United States

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Let us thank God for his blessings.  For all thy blessings in creation; for the beauty of earth and sea and sky; for thy manifold works, and the wisdom with which thou hast made them all,

We thank thee, O God.

For the happiness of our earthly life; for peaceful homes and healthful days; for our powers of mind and body; for faithful friends, for the joy of loving and being beloved,

We thank thee, O God.

For the revelation of thy love and for newness of life in our Saviour; for the blessings brought to us by thy holy Church; for the grace of thy sacraments and for our fellowship with thee in Christ,

We thank thee, O God.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.  From blindness to thy presence in life and sacrament; from hardness of heart and from want of truth, in thought and word and deed,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From all that would injure the body, from unworthy fears and anxieties, from despondency, discontent and despair,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From want of sympathy with friends and neighbors; from harsh judgments and ill-feeling towards any; from idle talk and slander; from want of love for our contrary, and unwillingness to seek the common good,

Good Lord, deliver us.

When we question the value of life; when our sense of duty grows faint through self-indulgence; in suffering and failure; in times of happiness and success; in our days of labor and our nights of rest; in the freedom of youth and the weariness of old age; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment,

Good Lord, deliver us.

That it may please thee to bless with wisdom and courage to those to whom the people have entrusted power, and to give thy guidance and blessing to all who hold rule over their fellows;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to inspire all who are seeking to improve the conditions of our industrial life, and to give fortitude and new hope to all who are out of work;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to solace all who have lost those whom they most loved; to sustain the widows and orphans; to uphold all who are sick and suffering; to protect such as have lost the kindly light of reason; and to supply the needs of the blind, the deaf, and the dumb;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the splendor of the Eternal Light, remove from our hearts all darkness, now and forevermore.  Amen.

–Pages 306-309

Prophetic Witness in Society   Leave a comment

Beggars 1868

Above:  Beggars, 1868

Image in the Public Domain

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Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:

By the guidance of your Holy Spirit,

grant that we may do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;

through Jesus Christ, our Judge and Redeemer,

who lives and reigns with you and the same Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 55:11-56:1

Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12

Acts 14:14-17, 21-23

Mark 4:21-29

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 736

For Social Justice   Leave a comment

Above:  The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1964

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003688129/)

Words by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1939-1968)

Prayer Source = Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

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Yes, Jesus,

I want to be on your right side

or your left side,

not for any selfish reason.

I want to be on your right or your best side,

not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition,

but I just want to be there

in love and in justice and in truth

and in commitment to others,

so we can make of this old world a new world.  Amen.

O Young and Fearless Prophet   5 comments

A Map of Ancient Galilee

Image Source = Wikipedia

Words by S. (Samuel) Ralph Harlow (1885-1972), in 1931; Harlow was a Congregationalist then United Church of Christ minister and Professor of Religion and Social Ethics at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Hymn Source = The United Methodist Hymnal:  The Book of United Methodist Worship (1989)

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1.  O young and fearless Prophet of ancient Galilee,

thy life is still a summons to serve humanity;

to make our steadfast thoughts and actions less prone to please the crowd,

to stand with humble courage for truth with hearts uncowed.

2.  We marvel at the purpose that held thee to thy course

while ever on the hilltop before thee loomed the cross;

thy steadfast face set forward where love and duty shone,

while we betray so quickly and leave thee there alone.

3.  O help us stand unswerving against war’s bloody way,

where hate and lust and falsehood hold back Christ’s holy sway;

forbid false love of country that blinds us to his call,

who lifts above the nations the brotherhood of all.

4.  Stir up in us a protest against our greed for wealth,

while others starve and hunger and plead for work and health;

where homes with little children cry out for lack of bread,

who live their years sore burdened beneath a gloomy dread.

5.  O young and fearless Prophet, we need thy presence here,

amid our pride and glory to see thy face appear;

once more to hear thy challenge above our noisy day,

again to lead us forward along God’s holy way.

Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service   4 comments

Above:  Byzantine Mosaic of Jesus Healing the Man with a Withered Hand

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the American Baptist Convention

Words (in 1961) by Albert F. Bayly (1901-1984), a British Calvinist minister who spent the latter part of his career in The United Reformed Church, formed by a 1972 merger; The Hymns of The United Methodist Hymnal (Diana Sanchez, Editor) tells me that the basis for the hymn is Micah 6:6-8

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1.  Lord, whose love through humble service

Bore the weight of human need,

Who did’st on the Cross, forsaken,

Work with mercy’s perfect deed;

We, thy servants, bring the worship

Not of voice alone, but heart

Consecrating to thy purpose

Every gift thou dost impart.

2.  Still thy children wander homeless;

Still the hungry cry for bread;

Still the captives long for freedom;

Still in grief men mourn their dead.

As, O Lord, thy deep compassion

Healed the sick and freed the soul,

Use the love thy Spirit kindles

Still to save and make men whole.

3.  As we worship, grant us vision,

Till thy love’s revealing light,

In its height and depth and greatness

Dawns upon our quickened sight,

Making known the needs and burdens

Thy compassion bids us bear,

Stirring us to tireless striving

Thine abundant life to share.

4.  Called from worship unto service,

Forth in thy dear name we go,

To the child, the youth, the aged,

Love in living deeds to show,

Hope and health, good will and comfort,

Counsel, aid and peace we give,

That thy children, Lord, in freedom

May thy mercy know and live.

Evening Prayer of the Covenant   2 comments

Sunset

Image Source = Chad Teer

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunset_in_Coquitlam.jpg)

A prayer from the Ethiopian Orthodox liturgy, quoted in In Spirit and In Truth:  A Worship Book, published in 1991 for the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches

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Remember, Lord, the down-coming of the rains and waters and rivers, and bless them.

Remember, Lord, the plants and the seeds and the fruits of the fields of every year, bless them and make them abundant.

Remember, Lord, the safety of your holy church and all the cities and countries.

Remember, Lord, the safety of humankind and of beasts and of me, your sinful servant.

Remember, Lord, our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep and gone to their rest.

Remember, Lord, the captives of your people, and bring them again in peace to their dwelling place.

Remember, Lord, the afflicted and distressed.

Remember, Lord, your servants, the poor who are under oppression, have pity upon them and keep them in the right faith and make them a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, through our spiritual joy and the love of humankind.  Amen.

Fill Our Hearts with Joy and Grace   5 comments

Nile Delta, Egypt

Image Source = NASA, via Wikipedia

A prayer from the Coptic Orthodox liturgy, quoted in In Spirit and In Truth:  A Worship Book, published in 1991 for the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches

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Pray for the raising of river waters this year,

that Christ, our Lord,

may bless it and raise it to its measure,

grant a cheerful touch

unto the lands,

support the human beings,

save the cattle

and forgive us our sins.

Lord, have mercy.

Pray for the trees, vegetations

and land plantations this year,

that Christ, our Lord, may bless them

to grow and bring forth

plentiful fruit, have compassion on his creation

and forgive us our sins.

Lord, have mercy.

Accord it, O Lord, a cheerful touch unto the earth,

water it,

and dispose of our life as deemed fit.

Crown this year with your goodness,

for the sake of the poor of your people,

the widow, the orphan, the stranger

and for our sake.

For our eyes are focused upon you, our hope,

and seek your holy name.

You provide us our food in due course.

Deal with us, O Lord, according to your goodness,

you, the feeder of everybody.

Fill our hearts with joy and grace,

that, as we always have sufficiently of all things,

we grow in every good deed.

Amen.

Bring Peace to Earth Again   2 comments

Ruins of Old St. Michael’s Cathedral, Coventry, England, with the New Cathedral to the Right

Image Source = Wikipedia

The Official Website of the Cathedral:

http://www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/

Hymn Source = Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Words (in 1996) by the Reverend Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr. (1923-2007), a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and President of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1976-1989)

(http://www.wfn.org/2007/03/msg00237.html)

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1.  Where armies scourge the countryside,

and people flee in fear,

where sirens scream through flaming nights,

and death is ever near:

O God of mercy, hear our prayer:

bring peace to earth again!

2.  Where anger festers in the heart,

and strikes with cruel hand;

where violence stalks the troubled streets,

and terror haunts the land:

O God of mercy, hear our prayer:

bring peace to earth again!

3.  Where homes are torn by bitter strife,

and love dissolves in blame;

where walls you meant for shelt’ring care

hide deeds of hurt and shame:

O God of mercy, hear our prayer:

bring peace to earth again!

4.  O God, whose heart compassionate

ev’ry human pain,

redeem this violent, wounding world

till gentleness shall reign.

O God of mercy, hear our prayer:

bring peace to earth again!

God of Tempest, God of Whirlwind   1 comment

A Russian Orthodox Icon for Pentecost

Image Source = Wikipedia

Hymn Source = Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Words (in 2000) by the Reverend Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr. (1923-2007), a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and President of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1976-1989)

(http://www.wfn.org/2007/03/msg00237.html)

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1.  God of tempest, God of whirlwind,

as on Pentecost descend!

Drive us out from sheltered comfort;

past these walls your people send!

Sweep us into costly service,

there with Christ to bear the cross,

there with Christ to bear the cross!

2. God of blazing, God of burning,

all that blocks your purpose, purge!

Through your church, Christ’s living Body,

let your flaming Spirit surge!

Where deceit conceals injustice,

kindle us to speak your truth,

kindle us to speak your truth!

3.  God of earthquake, God of thunder,

shake us loose from lethargy!

Break the chains of sin asunder,

for earth’s healing set us free!

Crumble walls that still divide us;

make us one in Christ our Lord,

make us one in Christ our Lord!

4.  God of passion, God unsleeping,

stir in us love’s restlessness!

Where the people cry in anguish,

may we share your heart’s distress.

Rouse us from content with evil;

claim us for your kingdom’s work,

claim us for your kingdom’s work!

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/fiftieth-day-of-easter-day-of-pentecost-year-b/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/fiftieth-day-of-easter-day-of-pentecost-year-a/

Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life   15 comments

Times Square, New York, New York

Image Source = Terabass

Words by the Reverend Frank Mason North (1850-1935), a minister of the late Methodist Episcopal Church, a forerunner of The United Methodist Church (1968-); North, concerned with social justice, was active in the movement to end child labor and served as President of the Federal Council of Churches, a forerunner of the National Council of Churches, from 1916 to 1920

Hymn Source = The Methodist Hymnal (1905), of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; the hymn appeared first in this book

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1.  Where cross the crowded ways of life,

Where sound cries of race and clan,

Above the noise of selfish strife,

We hear thy voice, O Son of man!

2.  In haunts of wretchedness and need,

Of shadowed thresholds dark with fears,

From paths where hide the lures of greed,

We catch the vision of thy tears.

3.  From tender childhood’s helplessness,

From woman’s grief, man’s burdened toil,

From famished souls, from sorrow’s stress,

Thy heart has never known recoil.

4.  The cup of water given for thee

Still holds the freshness of thy grace;

Yet long these multitudes to see

The sweet compassion of thy face.

5.  O Master, from the mountain side,

Make haste to heal these hearts of pain,

Among these restless throngs abide,

O tread the city’s street’s again,

6.  Till sons of men shall learn thy love

And follow where thy feet have trod:

Till glorious from thy heaven above

Shall come the city of our God.