04 21 2021
Evening Prayer (Vespers)
You may wish to light a candle and place it before you as you begin.
when we call, O God.
Be gracious to us and hear our prayer.
When we are disturbed, may we not sin,
but ponder things on our beds, and be silent.
HYMN: Let all things now living
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2BrrTk1T8k
PSALM: Psalm 150
1Hallelujah! Praise God in the holy temple;
praise God in the mighty firmament.
2Praise God for mighty acts;
praise God for exceeding greatness.
3Praise God with trumpet sound;
praise God with lyre and harp.
4Praise God with tambourine and dance;
praise God with strings and pipe.
5Praise God with resounding cymbals;
praise God with loud clanging cymbals.
6Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD. Hallelujah!
GOSPEL: Mark 16:9-18
A reading from: Mark
9 Very early on the first day of the week, after Jesus had risen to life, he appeared to Mary Magdalene. Earlier he had forced seven demons out of her. 10 She left and told his friends, who were crying and mourning. 11 Even though they heard that Jesus was alive and that Mary had seen him, they would not believe it.
12 Later, Jesus appeared in another form to two disciples, as they were on their way out of the city. 13 But when these disciples told what had happened, the others would not believe.
14 Afterwards, Jesus appeared to his eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them because they were too stubborn to believe the ones who had seen him after he had been raised to life. 15 Then he told them: Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world. 16 Anyone who believes me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe me will be condemned. 17 Everyone who believes me will be able to do wonderful things. By using my name they will force out demons, and they will speak new languages. 18 They will handle snakes and will drink poison and not be hurt. They will also heal sick people by placing their hands on them.
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
This portion of Mark, verses 9-18, is usually marked as doubtful. Even in the second century, some ancient authorities said they thought it should not be included. Others say it definitely should be there. The language is different, giving a summary of events instead of telling the story as the rest of Mark does. One thought is that the last page of authentic / original Mark went missing and scribes who were making copies added something from another source just to complete the story.
We usually say Mark ends at Chapter 16 verse 8. The women fled from the empty tomb, in fear and amazement. But, tonight we have a chance to explore these questionable verses, often called The Longer Ending of Mark.
These verses describe the disciples’ response to the news that Jesus had been raised from the dead. The first little comment has Mary Magdalene going to the tomb and Jesus appears to her. But the disciples heard her report, they would not believe it.
The second little report is of the two Emmaus disciples. Jesus reveals himself to them. But when they return to the rest of the disciples, there is again a refusal to believe.
The third and longer story has Jesus revealing himself to the eleven disciples. Jesus scolds them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe the reports given by others who had seen him already.
After this rebuke he commissions them to go into all the world and preach the good news. Those who believe will be saved; those who do not believe will not be saved. Those who believe will have the power to cast out demons, to speak in new languages, and they will lay hands on the sick and they will be healed. I am intentionally omitting the part about snake handling and poison, since many have died believing Jesus would protect them in any and all circumstances.
In brief, this passage has one message for us: we should believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and our belief should send us to all the world with this extremely good news. This belief in Jesus should fill us with the excitement, the passion, to tell others that God is more powerful than death.
And it should fill us with the belief that when we tell others about Jesus, he will help our listeners to hear us, so they can also come to believe. In this way, one day, the good news will spread to all the world. Amen
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets,
but in these last days, God has spoken to us by the Son.
In peace let us pray to the Lord, saying, “We pray to you, Lord.”
That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful, We pray to you, Lord.
That the work we have done this day and the people we have met may bring us closer to you, We pray to you, Lord.
That we may be forgiven our sins and offences, We pray to you, Lord.
That we may hear and respond to your call to peace and justice, We pray to you, Lord.
That you will sustain the faith and hope of the weary, the lonely, and the oppressed, We pray to you, Lord.
That you will strengthen us in your service, and fill our hearts with longing for your kingdom, We pray to you, Lord.
Other prayer petitions may be offered here.
For all this and more, We pray to you, Lord. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
HYMN: Christ has arisen, alleluia
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPsFTZfR91I
Christ is alive
and has met us here.
Now let us meet God’s Spirit + among friends, strangers,
and in all of creation. Amen.
Scripture from Common English Bible © 2012
Liturgy from ELW Annual Liturgy License 26504
And Worship Annual 2021