OREMUS: 11 January 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Jan 10 17:00:02 GMT 2005


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OREMUS for Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915

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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
you spoke your word
and revealed your Good News in Jesus, the Christ.
You fill all creation with that Word,
so that by proclaiming your joyful promises to all nations
and singing of your glorious hope to all peoples,
we may become one living body in Christ.
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. 

http://www.oremus.org/epiocant.html

Psalm 31

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
   let me never be put to shame;*
 deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me;*
 make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
   for you are my crag and my stronghold;*
 for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.
Take me out of the net
   that they have secretly set for me,*
 for you are my tower of strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit,*
 for you have redeemed me,
   O Lord, O God of truth.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols,*
 and I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy;*
 for you have seen my affliction;
   you know my distress.
You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy;*
 you have set my feet in an open place.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;*
 my eye is consumed with sorrow,
   and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief,
   and my years with sighing;*
 my strength fails me because of affliction,
   and my bones are consumed.
I have become a reproach to all my enemies
   and even to my neighbours,
   a dismay to those of my acquaintance;*
 when they see me in the street they avoid me.
I am forgotten like the dead, out of mind;*
 I am as useless as a broken pot.
For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
   fear is all around;*
 they put their heads together against me;
   they plot to take my life.
But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.*
 I have said, 'You are my God.
'My times are in your hand;*
 rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
   and from those who persecute me.
'Make your face to shine upon your servant,*
 and in your loving-kindness save me.'
Lord, let me not be ashamed
   for having called upon you;*
 rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
   let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be silenced
   which speak against the righteous,*
 haughtily, disdainfully and with contempt.
How great is your goodness, O Lord,
   which you have laid up for those who fear you;*
 which you have done in the sight of all
   for those who put their trust in you.
You hide them in the covert of your presence
   from those who slander them;*
 you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord!*
 for he has shown me the wonders of his love
   in a besieged city.
Yet I said in my alarm,
   'I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.'*
 Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
   when I cried out to you.
Love the Lord, all you who worship him;*
 the Lord protects the faithful,
   but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,*
 all you who wait for the Lord.

A Song of the Holy City (Revelation 21:1-5a)

I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away
and the sea was no more.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice from the throne saying,
'Behold, my dwelling is with my people.

'I will dwell with them and they shall be mine,
and I myself will be with them.

'I will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more.

'Neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain any more,
for the former things have passed away.'

And the One who sat upon the throne said,
'Behold, I make all things new.'

Psalm 146

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
   Alleluia!

READING [Hebrews 1:7-14]:

Of the angels he says,
'He makes his angels winds,
   and his servants flames of fire.'
But of the Son he says,
'Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever,
   and the righteous sceptre is the sceptre of your kingdom.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
   with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.'
And,
'In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
   and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
   they will all wear out like clothing;
like a cloak you will roll them up,
   and like clothing they will be changed.
But you are the same,
   and your years will never end.'
But to which of the angels has he ever said,
'Sit at my right hand
   until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet'?
Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to
serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

For another Biblical reading,
Joshua 4:19-5:1,10-15

HYMN 
Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Tune: Darwall's 148th, Croft's 136th, St. Godric
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/j/j241.html
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Join all the glorious names
of wisdom, love, and power,
that ever mortals knew,
that angels ever bore:
all are too mean to speak his worth,
too mean to set my Savior forth.

But O what gentle terms,
what condescending ways
doth our Redeemer use
to teach his heavenly grace!
Mine eyes with joy and wonder see
what forms of love he bears for me.

Great Prophet of my God,
my tongue would bless thy name;
by thee the joyful news
of our salvation came:
the joyful news of sins forgiven,
of hell subdued and peace with heaven.

Jesus my great High-Priest
offered his blood and died;
my guilty conscience seeks
no sacrifice beside:
his powerful blood did once atone,
and now it pleads before the throne.

My dear almighty Lord,
my Conqueror and my King,
thy scepter and thy sword,
thy reign of grace, I sing;
thine is the power: behold I sit
in willing bonds before thy feet.

Now let my soul arise,
and tread the tempter down;
my Captain leads me forth
to conquest and a crown.
a feeble saint shall win the day,
though death and hell obstruct the way.

Should all the hosts of death,
and powers of hell unknown,
put their most dreadful forms
of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe, for Christ displays
superior power, and guardian grace.

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

Prayer:
Lord Jesus,
born in pain, struggling towards life, fighting for breath;
born in shame, 
born to the threat of Herod's sword; 
fleeing to another country, another home;
wrapped in a young girl's love, placed in a borrowed bed;
We pray for those we know and love;
for all who suffer pain of body or anguish of mind;
for all who struggle to live, to live well, to live better;
for all who burn with shame,
for all who face threat and danger,
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for war-ravaged countries and refugees;
for the starving poor;
for battered wives and abused children;
for the homeless, for the mentally ill;
for those who struggle with disability.
Strengthen us to work for peace on the earth 
and peace with the earth.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the Church,
especially the Diocese of Lichfield, England,
The Rt Revd Jonathan Michael Gledhill, Bishop.
Keep us faithful that we may bear faithful witness in word and work
to your presence among us.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are alone.
May our love reach out to the lonely and broken-hearted,
the bereaved, and all for whom life has become something to be endured.
May we open our minds, hearts and homes to those around us.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

And we pray for our own needs:
seeking the grace of your presence,
firming our resolve to behave as we believe;
seeking your courage to reconcile, heal and make new;
seeking a sure vision of your coming kingdom.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

Loving God, our Father,
you gave your Son Jesus
to be knitted and fastened to our souls
by good will and a great desire for him:
Grant us that Spirit
which opens the eyes of our mind
to that spiritual knowledge of you.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Everlasting God,
whose servant Mary Slessor carried the good news of your Son
to the people of western Africa,
grant that we who commemorate her service
may know the hope of the gospel in our hearts
and manifest its light in all our ways;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

Gather the whole universe into your radiant presence
and continually reveal your Son as our Savior,
that all wounds may be healed,
all that is broken may be made whole,
all illusion will be overcome 
by the truth found in the Light of Christ. Amen.

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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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
prayers reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts.

The intercession is adapted from a prayer by David Bromell,
http://www.methodist-mission-chch.org/resource-intercessions.htm

The collect is by Stephen T. Benner, 2003, and is based on a passage from The
Scale of Perfection by Walter Hilton, 14th century

Mary Slessor was born into a working-class, Presbyterian family in Aberdeen
in 1848. As a child in Dundee, she was enthralled by stories of missions in
Africa. For years, she read diligently as she worked in the mills, and eventually,
in 1875, she was accepted as a teacher for the mission in Calabar, Nigeria. Her
fluency in the local language, physical resilience and lack of pretension
endeared her to those to whom she ministered. She adopted unwanted
children, particularly twins who would otherwise, according to local
superstition, have been put to death. She was influential in organising trade and
in settling disputes, contributing much to the development of the Okoyong
people with whom she later settled. She died, still in Africa, on this day in
1915.


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