Isabella (Sojourner Truth) was the next-to-youngest child of several born to James and Elizabeth, slaves owned by a wealthy Dutchman in New York. For the first 28 years of her life she was a slave, sold from household to household. She fled slavery with the help of Quaker friends, first living in Philadelphia, then New York, where she joined the Mother Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church when African-Americans were being denied the right to worship with white members of St. George’s Church in Philadelphia.
Belle (as Isabella was called) became a street-corner evangelist in poverty-stricken areas of New York City, but quickly realized people needed food, housing and warm clothing. She focused her work on a homeless shelter for women.
When she was about 46, Belle believed she heard God say to her, “Go east.” So, she set out east for Long Island and Connecticut. Stopping at a Quaker farm for a drink of water, she was asked her name. “My name is Sojourner,” Belle said. “What is your last name?” the woman asked. Belle thought of all her masters’ names she had carried through life. Then the thought came: “The only master I have now is God, and His name is Truth.”
Sojourner became a traveling preacher, approaching white religious meetings and campgrounds and asking to speak. Fascinated by her charismatic presence, her wit, wisdom, and imposing six-foot height, they found her hard to refuse. She never learned to read or write, but quoted extensive Bible passages from memory in her sermons. She ended by singing a “home-made” hymn and addressing the crowd on the evils of slavery. Her reputation grew and she became part of the abolitionist and women’s rights speakers’ network. During a women’s rights convention in Ohio, Sojourner gave the speech for which she is best remembered: “Ain’t I a Woman.” She died on this day in 1883. HWHM
Jerusalem, arise and stand upon the heights,
and behold the joy which comes to you from God. Baruch 5
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!
HYMN: Herman G Stuempfle ©
Tune: Valet will ich dir geben https://tinyurl.com/4jw2hc23
1 Rejoice, O Zion’s daughter,
And greet your promised king.
Spread branches in His pathway
And loud Hosannas sing!
He comes astride a donkey
In deep humility
To claim God’s coming kingdom,
Of truth and equity.
2 O Christ, though king they hailed You,
They sent You out to die,
For soon the songs of praises
Were drowned by, “Crucify!”
They stripped away Your garments,
They made a cross Your throne,
And there You died in darkness,
Abandoned and alone.
3 But still You come among us
In cities built with pride.
You walk the streets of sorrow
Where hate and greed divide.
Redeem us from our madness,
The clash of class and race.
Establish soon Your kingdom
Of justice, truth, and grace.
4 We shout again, “Hosanna!”
We hail You as our king!
Christ, stir our wills to action
To match the praise we sing.
Send us where truth is threatened,
Where justice is denied,
And move our hearts to offer
The love for which You died.
Psalm 119:105-144 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/v825pov)
105 Thy word is a lantern unto my feet *
and a light unto my paths.
106 I have sworn, and am stedfastly purposed *
to keep thy righteous judgements.
107 I am troubled above measure *
quicken me, O Lord, according to thy word.
108 Let the free-will offerings of my mouth please thee, O Lord *
and teach me thy judgements.
109 My soul is alway in my hand *
yet do I not forget thy law.
110 The ungodly have laid a snare for me *
but yet I swerved not from thy commandments.
111 Thy testimonies have I claimed as mine heritage for ever *
and why? they are the very joy of my heart.
112 I have applied my heart to fulfil thy statutes alway *
even unto the end.
113 I hate them that imagine evil things *
but thy law do I love.
114 Thou art my defence and shield *
and my trust is in thy word.
115 Away from me, ye wicked *
I will keep the commandments of my God.
116 O stablish me according to thy word, that I may live *
and let me not be disappointed of my hope.
117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe *
yea, my delight shall be ever in thy statutes.
118 Thou hast trodden down all them that depart from thy statutes *
for they imagine but deceit.
119 Thou puttest away all the ungodly of the earth like dross *
therefore I love thy testimonies.
120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee *
and I am afraid of thy judgements.
121 I deal with the thing that is lawful and right *
O give me not over unto mine oppressors.
122 Make thou thy servant to delight in that which is good *
that the proud do me no wrong.
123 Mine eyes are wasted away with looking for thy health *
and for the word of thy righteousness.
124 O deal with thy servant according unto thy loving mercy *
and teach me thy statutes.
125 I am thy servant, O grant me understanding *
that I may know thy testimonies.
126 It is time for thee, Lord, to lay to thine hand *
for they have destroyed thy law.
127 For I love thy commandments *
above gold and precious stone.
128 Therefore hold I straight all thy commandments *
and all false ways I utterly abhor.
129 Thy testimonies are wonderful *
therefore doth my soul keep them.
130 When thy word goeth forth *
it giveth light and understanding unto the simple.
131 I opened my mouth, and drew in my breath *
for my delight was in thy commandments.
132 O look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me *
as thou usest to do unto those that love thy Name.
133 Order my steps in thy word *
and so shall no wickedness have dominion over me.
134 O deliver me from the wrongful dealings of men *
and so shall I keep thy commandments.
135 Shew the light of thy countenance upon thy servant *
and teach me thy statutes.
136 Mine eyes gush out with water *
because men keep not thy law.
137 Righteous art thou, O Lord *
and true is thy judgement.
138 The testimonies that thou hast commanded *
are exceeding righteous and true.
139 My zeal hath even consumed me *
because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
140 Thy word is tried to the uttermost *
and thy servant loveth it.
141 I am small, and of no reputation *
yet do I not forget thy commandments.
142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness *
and thy law is the truth.
143 Trouble and heaviness have taken hold upon me *
yet is my delight in thy commandments.
144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting *
O grant me understanding, and I shall live.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
Psalm 119:105-112 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119n.mp3)
Your word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my pathway.
I have taken an oath and I’ve confirmed it,
that I will keep your righteous laws.
I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord,
according to your Word.
Accept, O Lord, the willing praises of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
I’ve inclined my heart to do your statutes,
forever, even to the end.
Your word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my pathway.
Psalm 109:113-120 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119o.mp3)
I hate the thoughts of doubleminded men,
but I love your law.
You are my refuge and you are my shield;
I’ve put my hope in your Word.
Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
Sustain me according to your promise, and I’ll live;
don’t let my hopes be dashed.
Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I’ll always have regard for your decrees.
You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their deceitfulness is in vain.
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
therefore I love your testimonies.
My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws.
Psalm 119:121-128 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119p.mp3)
I have done what is righteous and just;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
Ensure your servant’s wellbeing;
let not the arrogant oppress me.
My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,
looking for your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant according to your love
and teach me your decrees.
I’m your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your testimonies.
It is time for you to act, O Lord;
your law is being broken.
Because I love your commands more than gold,
more than pure gold,
and because I consider all your precepts right,
I hate every wrong path.
Psalm 119:129-136 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119q.mp3)
Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul has obeyed them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
Direct my footsteps according to your Word;
let no sin rule over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of men,
that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant
and teach me your decrees.
Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law, for your law is not obeyed.
Psalm 119:137-144 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119r.mp3)
Righteous are you, O Lord,
and your laws are right.
The statutes you have laid down are righteous;
fully worthy of trust.
My zeal wears me out
for my foes ignore your words.
your promises have been thoroughly tested,
and your servant loves them.
Though I am small and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me,
yet your commands delight me.
Your statutes are forever right;
give me understanding,
give me understanding that I may live.
you are just in all your ways
and your commandments are the greatest of treasures.
Give us understanding of your law
and direct us according to your will
that we may be faithful in serving you
for the sake of Jesus our Lord. Amen. BCW
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: Zechariah 14:1-5
See, a day is coming for the Lord, when the plunder taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses looted and the women raped; half the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that half of the Mount shall withdraw northwards, and the other half southwards. And you shall flee by the valley of the Lord’s mountain, for the valley between the mountains shall reach to Azal; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
HYMN: D.S. Warner
Tune: Prophetic Truth
1 ’Twas sung by the poets, foreseen in the spirit,
A time of refreshing is near;
When creeds and divisions would fall to demerit,
And saints in sweet union appear.
Oh, glory to Jesus! we hail the bright day,
And high on our banner salvation display,
The mists of confusion are passing away.
2 We stand in the glory that Jesus has given,
The moon, as the dayspring doth shine;
The light of the sun is now equal to seven,
So bright is the glory divine. [Refrain]
3 Now filled with the Spirit and clad in the armor
Of light and omnipotent truth;
We’ll testify ever, and Jesus we’ll honor
And stand from sin Babel aloof. [Refrain]
4 The prophet’s keen vision, transpiercing the ages,
Beheld us to Zion return;
We’ll sing of our freedom, though Babylon rages,
We’ll shout as her city doth burn. [Refrain]
5 The fig tree is budding, the “evening” is shining,
We welcome the wonderful light!
We look for the Savior, for time is declining,
Eternity’s looming in sight! [Refrain]
Reading: 2 Peter 3:1-18
This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; in them I am trying to arouse your sincere intention by reminding you that you should remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour spoken through your apostles. First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!’ They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the godless.
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
HYMN: Mary Ann Thomson
Tune: Tidings https://tinyurl.com/4fh3hja9
1 O Zion, haste, your mission high fulfilling,
to tell to all the world that God is light;
that he who made all nations is not willing
one soul should perish, lost in shades of night.
Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace;
tidings of Jesus, redemption, and release.
2 Behold how many thousands still are lying,
bound in the darksome prison-house of sin,
with none to tell them of the Savior’s dying,
or of the life he died for them to win. [Refrain]
3 Proclaim to ev’ry people, tongue, and nation
that God, in whom they live and move, is love:
tell how he stooped to save his lost creation,
and died on earth that we might live above. [Refrain]
4 Give of your own to bear the message glorious;
give of your wealth to speed them on their way;
pour out your soul for them in pray’r victorious;
and all your spending Jesus will repay. [Refrain]
Reading: Luke 18:31-34
Then Jesus took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.’ But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.
CANTICLE Philippians 2:6-11
(Chant by John Michael Talbot: https://tinyurl.com/y8ljx8y7)
Though he was in the form of God,
Jesus did not deem equality with God
something to be grasped at.
Rather, he emptied himself
and took the form of a slave,
being born in the likeness of men.
He was known to be of human estate
and it was thus that he humbled himself,
obediently accepting even death,
death on a cross!
Because of this,
God highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
above every other name,
So that at Jesus’ name
every knee must bend
in the heavens, on the earth,
and under the earth,
and every tongue proclaim
to the glory of God the Father:
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
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.
THE PRAYERS BCW
Merciful God, we praise you that you give strength for every weakness, forgiveness
for our failures, and new beginnings in Jesus Christ.
Especially we thank you for
the guidance of your spirit through this day . . .
signs of new life and hope . . .
people who have helped us . . .
those who struggle for justice . . .
expressions of love unexpected or undeserved. . . .
Almighty God, you know all needs before we speak our prayers, yet you welcome
our concerns for others in Jesus Christ. Especially we pray for
those who keep watch over the sick and dying . . .
those who weep with the grieving . . .
those who are without faith and cannot accept your love . . .
the aged who are lonely, distressed or weak . . .
Reformed, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches. . . .
Setting: Sanford Dole https://tinyurl.com/y7ldq7h5
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;
and 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.
O God, whose Spirit guides us into all truth and makes us free: Strengthen and sustain us as you did your servant Sojourner. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. HWHM
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14
BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.
PIC Prayers for An Inclusive Church. Steven Shakespeare © 2008 Canterbury Press.
HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © 2010 The Church Pension Fund.
The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the 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 traditional version of the psalms is from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern versions of Psalm 119 are © 2007-2019 Tom Quinlan. http://www.zcpress.org/music/psalm-119/
Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.
Compilation © 2021 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.