OREMUS: 11 December 2004

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 10 17:00:01 GMT 2004

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OREMUS for Saturday, December 11, 2004

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

Blessed are you, God of mercy and might,
with tender comfort and transforming power
you come into our midst.
You remember your ancient promise
and make straight the paths that lead to you
and smooth out the rough ways,
that in our day
we might bring forth your compassion
for all humanity.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 12

Help me, Lord, for there is no godly one left;*
 the faithful have vanished from among us.
Everyone speaks falsely with their neighbour;*
 with a smooth tongue they speak from a double heart.
O that the Lord would cut off all smooth tongues,*
 and close the lips that utter proud boasts!
Those who say, 'With our tongue will we prevail;*
 our lips are our own; who is lord over us?'
'Because the needy are oppressed,
   and the poor cry out in misery,*
 I will rise up', says the Lord,
   'and give them the help they long for.'
The words of the Lord are pure words,*
 like silver refined from ore
   and purified seven times in the fire.
O Lord, watch over us*
 and save us from this generation for ever.
The wicked prowl on every side,*
 and that which is worthless is highly prized by everyone.

Psalm 14

The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'*
 All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
   there is none who does any good.
The Lord looks down from heaven upon us all,*
 to see if there is any who is wise,
   if there is one who seeks after God.
Everyone has proved faithless;
   all alike have turned bad;*
 there is none who does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, all those evildoers*
 who eat up my people like bread
   and do not call upon the Lord?
See how they tremble with fear,*
 because God is in the company of the righteous.
Their aim is to confound the plans of the afflicted,*
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that Israel's deliverance would come out of Zion!*
 when the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
   Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.

A Song of the Spirit (Revelation 22.12-14,16,17)

Behold, I am coming soon', says the Lord,
and bringing my reward with me,
to give to everyone according to their deeds.

'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.'

Blessed are those who do God's commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life,
and may enter into the city through the gates.

'I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you,
with this testimony for all the churches.

'I am the root and the offspring of David,
I am the bright morning star.'

'Come!' say the Spirit and the Bride;
'Come!' let each hearer reply!

Come forward, you who are thirsty,
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.

Psalm 149

   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.

READING [Acts 13:13-41]:

Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and
came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and
returned to Jerusalem; but they went on from Perga and
came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they
went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading
of the law and the prophets, the officials of the
synagogue sent them a message, saying, 'Brothers, if you
have any word of exhortation for the people, give it.' So
Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak:
'You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. The God
of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the
people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and
with uplifted arm he led them out of it. For about forty
years he put up with them in the wilderness. After he had
destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave
them their land as an inheritance for about four hundred
and fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the
time of the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king;
and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of
Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. When he had
removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony
about him he said, "I have found David, son of Jesse, to
be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my
wishes." Of this man's posterity God has brought to
Israel a Saviour, Jesus, as he promised; before his
coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of
repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was
finishing his work, he said, "What do you suppose that I
am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not
worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet."
'My brothers, you descendants of Abraham's family, and
others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation
has been sent. Because the residents of Jerusalem and
their leaders did not recognize him or understand the
words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they
fulfilled those words by condemning him. Even though they
found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate
to have him killed. When they had carried out everything
that was written about him, they took him down from the
tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the
dead; and for many days he appeared to those who came up
with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his
witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news
that what God promised to our ancestors he has fulfilled
for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is
written in the second psalm,
"You are my Son;
   today I have begotten you."
As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to
corruption, he has spoken in this way,
"I will give you the holy promises made to David."
Therefore he has also said in another psalm,
"You will not let your Holy One experience corruption."
For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his
own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and
experienced corruption; but he whom God raised up
experienced no corruption. Let it be known to you
therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness
of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who
believes is set free from all those sins from which you
could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware,
therefore, that what the prophets said does not happen to
"Look, you scoffers!
   Be amazed and perish,
for in your days I am doing a work,
   a work that you will never believe, even if someone
tells you." ' 

For another Biblical reading,
Isaiah 26:13-19

Words: John Milton, 1648
Tune: York, St. Stephen
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The Lord will come and not be slow,
his footsteps cannot err;
before him righteousness shall go,
his royal harbinger.

Truth from the earth, like to a flower,
shall bud and blossom then;
and justice, from her heavenly bower,
look down on mortal men.

Surely to such as do him fear
salvation is at hand!
And glory shall ere long appear
to dwell within our land.

Rise, God, judge thou the earth in might,
this wicked earth redress;
for thou art he who shalt by right
the nations all possess.

The nations all whom thou hast made
shall come, and all shall frame
to bow them low before thee, Lord,
and glorify thy Name.

For great thou art, and wonders great
by thy strong hand are done:
thou in thy everlasting seat
remainest God alone.

The Benedictus (Morning), the 
Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Almighty God,
under whose wings we dwell in safety and mercy,
we give you thanks for all the seasons of grace:
for hope that cries out with prophetic voice,
for your gift of Emmanuel,
for your light that shines in the darkness:
Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Enable us to make fresh beginnings
during these Advent days...
Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Release the everlasting stream of your justice and peace
that it may flow among the nations...
Come, Lord Jesus, come!

For your Church reaching out in every place, especially
Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Save and defend all who suffer want, brokenness, or trouble...
Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Resupply your Church and its leaders
with the oil of gladness and vigilance...
We pray especially for the Diocese of Matlosane, South Africa,
The Rt Revd David Cecil Tapi Nkwe, Bishop.
Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Stir up the wills of all who look to you, Lord God,
and strengthen our faith in your coming,
that transformed by grace we may walk in your way;
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
whom with you and the Holy Spirit we worship and praise,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Give us grace so to imitate your Son
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that, when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of 
the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission.
All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving uses a sentence from a prayer reprinted
from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c)
2002 Consultation on Common Texts; and another sentence from
_Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_,
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is reprinted from _THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours
of Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c) 1997 by
The Order of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

The closing prayer is adapted from a prayer from _Common Worship:
Services and Prayers for the Church of England_, material from which is
included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

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