OREMUS: 9 April 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Apr 8 18:19:11 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Saturday, April 9, 2005
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran Pastor, Martyr, 1945

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessed are you, eternal God;
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom we receive the legacy of a living hope,
born again not only from his death
but also from his resurrection.
Day by day you refine our faith,
that we who have not seen the Christ
may truly confess him as our Lord and God,
and share the blessedness of those who believe.
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 48

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised;*
 in the city of our God is his holy hill.
Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth,
   is the hill of Zion,*
 the very centre of the world
   and the city of the great king.
God is in her citadels;*
 he is known to be her sure refuge.
Behold, the kings of the earth assembled*
 and marched forward together.
They looked and were astounded;*
 they retreated and fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there;*
 they writhed like a woman in childbirth,
   like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.
As we have heard, so have we seen,
   in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God;*
 God has established her for ever.
We have waited in silence
   on your loving-kindness, O God,*
 in the midst of your temple.
Your praise, like your name, O God,
   reaches to the world's end;*
 your right hand is full of justice.
Let Mount Zion be glad
   and the cities of Judah rejoice,*
 because of your judgements.
Make the circuit of Zion; walk round about her;*
 count the number of her towers.
Consider well her bulwarks; examine her strongholds;*
 that you may tell those who come after.
This God is our God for ever and ever;*
 he shall be our guide for evermore.

Psalm 119:145-152

I call with my whole heart;*
 answer me, O Lord, that I may keep your statutes.
I call to you; O that you would save me!*
 I will keep your decrees.
Early in the morning I cry out to you,*
 for in your word is my trust.
My eyes are open in the night watches,*
 that I may meditate upon your promise.
Hear my voice, O Lord,
   according to your loving-kindness;*
 according to your judgements, give me life.
They draw near who in malice persecute me;*
 they are very far from your law.
You, O Lord, are near at hand,*
 and all your commandments are true.
Long have I known from your decrees*
 that you have established them for ever.

A Song of God's Grace (Ephesians 1:3-10)

Blessed are you, 
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for you have blest us in Christ Jesus
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

You chose us to be yours in Christ
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and blameless before you.

In love you destined us for adoption as your children,
through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of your will,

To the praise of your glorious grace,
which you freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In you, we have redemption
through the blood of Christ,
the forgiveness of our sins,

According to the riches of your grace,
which you have lavished upon us.

You have made known to us, in all wisdom and insight,
the mystery of your will,

According to your purpose 
which you set forth in Christ,
as a plan for the fullness of time,

To unite all things in Christ,
things in heaven and things on earth.

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 [Haggai 1:13-2:9]:

Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the
people with the LORD's message, saying, I am with you,
says the LORD. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of
Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the
spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and
the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they
came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their
God, on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth
In the second year of King Darius, in the seventh month,
on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the
LORD came by the prophet Haggai, saying: Speak now to
Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to
Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the
remnant of the people, and say, Who is left among you
that saw this house in its former glory? How does it look
to you now? Is it not in your sight as nothing? Yet now
take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the LORD; take courage,
O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take
courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD; work,
for I am with you, says the LORD of hosts, according to
the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt.
My spirit abides among you; do not fear. For thus says
the LORD of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will
shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry
land; and I will shake all the nations, so that the
treasure of all nations shall come, and I will fill this
house with splendour, says the LORD of hosts. The silver
is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts.
The latter splendour of this house shall be greater than
the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I
will give prosperity, says the LORD of hosts. 

For another Biblical reading,
1 Corinthians 3:10-17

Words: Alan Gaunt (c), based on words by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Tune: Donne secours
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As powers of good so wonderfully hide us,
we face the future boldly, come what may;
at dawn or dusk our God is still beside us,
to whom we trust, completely, each new day.

Yet still old torments cause consternation;
through days of fear and grief we have despaired.
O, give our tortured souls, Lord, your salvation:
the healing you have promised and prepared.

Then offer us the cup of desolation,
brimfull of bitterness, and we will stand
and drink with thanks, in spite of trepidation,
from such a dearly loved and gracious hand.

Yet should you bring us back to share the gladness
of this bright world, your sunshine breaking through,
we would remember times of pain and sadness
and offer up the whole of life to you.

As evening falls, the candles we have lighted
will point us through the darkness to your light;
we long to be with loved ones, reunited;
we know your love outshines the darkest night.

As silence deepens, let us hear the chorus
that harmonizes earth's discordant days,
poured out from the unseen that lies before us:
your children's soaring song of endless praise.

By powers of good so faithfully surrounded,
secure and comforted in spite of fear,
we live each day with you Lord, unconfounded,
and go with you to meet the coming year.

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

Jesus, Light of the world,
bring the light and peace of your Gospel
to the nations.
We pray especially for the Diocese of Morogoro, Tanzania,
 The Rt Revd Dudley Mageni, Bishop;
and the Diocese of Mount Kenya Central, Kenya,
The Rt Revd Dr Julius Gatambo Gachuche, Bishop.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, Bread of life,
give food to the hungry
and nourish us all with your Word.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, our Way, our Truth, our Life,
be with us and all who follow in the way.
Deepen our appreciation of your truth
and fill us with your life.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, Good Shepherd,
who gave your life for the sheep,
recover the straggler,
bind up the injured,
strengthen the sick
and lead the healthy and strong to new pastures.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life,
we give you thanks for all who have lived and believed in you.
Raise us with them to eternal life.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
you have made us fellow citizens with the saints
in the city of eternal light.
In the time of storm, when the foundations shake,
teach us to wait in silence 
on your steadfast and transforming love,
made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gracious God, 
the Beyond in the midst of our life, 
who gave grace to your servant Dietrich Bonhoeffer 
to know and teach the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, 
and to bear the cost of following him: 
Grant that we, strengthened by his teaching and example, 
may receive your word and embrace its call with an undivided heart; 
through Jesus Christ our Savior, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Rejoicing in the God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God, who through the resurrection
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
has given us the victory,
give us joy and peace in our faith. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer 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 one sentence from _Revised
Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on
Common Texts and another sentence from _Opening Prayers: Collects in
Contemporary Language_.

Hymn (c) 1991 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. 
(admin. by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188).  
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US & Canada:  Hope Publishing Company, 
Rest of the World:  Stainer & Bell Ltd., 

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, (c) The Church Pension Fund.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

Bonhoeffer was born in 1906, son of a professor of psychiatry and neurology
at the University of Berlin. He was an outstanding student, and at the age of 25
became a lecturer in systematic theology at the same University. When Hitler
came to power in 1933, Bonhoeffer became a leading spokesman for the
Confessing Church, the center of Protestant resistance to the Nazis. He
organized and for a time led the underground seminary of the Confessing
Church. His book Life Together describes the life of the Christian community
in that seminary, and his book The Cost Of Discipleship attacks what he calls
"cheap grace," meaning grace used as an excuse for moral laxity. Bonhoeffer
had been taught not to "resist the powers that be," but he came to believe that
to do so was sometimes the right choice. In 1939 his brother-in-law introduced
him to a group planning the overthrow of Hitler, and he made significant
contributions to their work. (He was at this time an employee of the Military
Intelligence Department.) He was arrested in April 1943 and imprisoned in
Berlin. After the failure of the attempt on Hitler's life in April 1944, he was
sent first to Buchenwald and then to Schoenberg Prison. His life was spared,
because he had a relative who stood high in the government; but then this
relative was himself implicated in anti-Nazi plots. On Sunday 8 April 1945, he
had just finished conducting a service of worship at Schoenberg, when two
soldiers came in, saying, "Prisoner Bonhoeffer, make ready and come with us,"
the standard summons to a condemned prisoner. As he left, he said to another
prisoner, "This is the end -- but for me, the beginning -- of life." He was
hanged the next day, less than a week before the Allies reached the camp.
[James Kiefer, abridged]

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