OREMUS: 23 October 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Oct 22 19:13:26 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Sunday, October 23, 2005
James of Jerusalem, Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, c. 62

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

Blessed are you, O God,
for your wisdom and love
in setting your Son into a human family,
where he could experience the joys and trials
of human relationships. 
We give you thanks for your servant James,
the Brother of our Lord,
who led the church to accept gentiles
and eventually suffered for his actions.
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 119:145-168

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.

Behold my affliction and deliver me,*
 for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;*
 according to your promise, give me life.
Deliverance is far from the wicked,*
 for they do not study your statutes.
Great is your compassion, O Lord;*
 preserve my life, according to your judgements.
There are many who persecute and oppress me,*
 yet I have not swerved from your decrees.
I look with loathing at the faithless,*
 for they have not kept your word.
See how I love your commandments!*
 O Lord, in your mercy, preserve me.
The heart of your word is truth;*
 all your righteous judgements endure for evermore.

Rulers have persecuted me without a cause,*
 but my heart stands in awe of your word.
I am as glad because of your promise*
 as one who finds great spoils.
As for lies, I hate and abhor them,*
 but your law is my love.
Seven times a day do I praise you,*
 because of your righteous judgements.
Great peace have they who love your law;*
 for them there is no stumbling block.
I have hoped for your salvation, O Lord,*
 and I have fulfilled your commandments.
I have kept your decrees*
 and I have loved them deeply.
I have kept your commandments and decrees,*
 for all my ways are before you.

A Song of the Word of the Lord (Isaiah 55:6-11)

Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;

Let the wicked abandon their ways,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;

Return to the Lord,
who will have mercy;
to our God, who will richly pardon.

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways', says the Lord.

'For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

'As the rain and the snow come down from above,
and return not again but water the earth,

'Bringing forth life and giving growth,
seed for sowing and bread to eat,

'So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;
it will not return to me fruitless,

'But it will accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the task I gave it.'

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all you nations;*
 laud him, all you peoples.
For his loving-kindness towards us is great,*
 and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.

READING [Acts 15:12-22a]:

The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas
and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that
God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they
finished speaking, James replied, 'My brothers, listen to
me. Simeon has related how God first looked favourably on
the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his
name. This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it
is written,
"After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
   from its ruins I will rebuild it,and I will set it up,
so that all other peoples may seek the Lord 
   even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called.Thus says
the Lord, who has been making these things known from long ago."
Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not
trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we
should write to them to abstain only from things polluted
by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been
strangled and from blood. For in every city, for
generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him,
for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the
Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the
whole church, decided to choose men from among their
members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and

For another Biblical reading,
Jeremiah 11:18-23

Words: John Oxenham, 1908
Tune: McKee
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In Christ there is no East or West,
in him no South or North,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.

In him shall true hearts everywhere
their high communion find,
his service is the golden cord
close-binding all mankind.

Join hands, disciples of the faith,
whate'er your race may be!
Who serves my Father as a son
is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West,
in him meet South and North,
all Christly souls are one in him,
throughout the whole wide earth.

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

Holy Father,
you have reconciled us to yourself in Christ;
by your Spirit
you enable us to live as your children.

We pray for personal relationships
the home, and family life....
children deprived of home....
friends, relations and neighbours....
relationships in daily life and work....
those who are estranged....
ministries of care and healing...

Holy Father, we give you thanks
for the obedience of Christ fulfilled in the cross,
his bearing of the sin of the world,
his mercy for the world, which never fails....

for the joy of human love and friendship,
the lives to which our own are bound,
the gift of peace with you and each other....

for the communities in whose life we share
and all relationships
in which reconciliation may be known....

Help us to share in Christ's ministry
and to love and serve one another in peace;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who in the unity of the Spirit
is one with you for ever. Amen.

Lord God of peace: 
Grant that, after the example of your servant 
Saint James the brother of our Lord, 
your Church may give itself continually to prayer 
and to the reconciliation of all 
who are caught up in hatred or enmity; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Transform us and our world
into a place of justice, love and peace,
where all are invited to be gathered in
to the wedding feast of the Lamb. 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 is (c) 2000, Stephen T. Benner.

The intercessions are (c) 2000, The Church of Ireland Central
Communications Board. 

The collect is from _An Anglican Prayer Book_, (c) Church of
the Province of Southern Africa, 1989.

The closing prayer uses phrases from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

James of Jerusalem is referred to in the New Testament as the brother of Our
Lord Jesus Christ. He was for many years the leader of the Christian
congregation in Jerusalem, and is generally supposed to be the author of the
Epistle of James, although the Epistle itself does not state this explicitly. James
is mentioned briefly in connection with Jesus' visit to Nazareth.
We are told that Jesus' brothers did not believe in him, and from this, and from
references in early Christian writers, it is inferred that James was not a disciple
of the Lord until after the Resurrection. Paul, listing appearances of the Risen
Lord (1 Cor 15:3-8), includes an appearance to James.
Peter, about to leave Jerusalem after escaping from Herod, leaves a message
for James and the Apostles. When a council meets at Jerusalem to consider
what rules Gentile Christians should be required to keep, James formulates the
final consensus. Paul speaks of going to Jerusalem three years after his
conversion and conferring there with Peter and James, and speaks again of a
later visit (perhaps the one described in Acts 15) on which Peter, James, and
John, "the pillars," placed their stamp of approval on the mission to the
Gentiles .
A few verses later (G 2:11-14), he says that messengers from James coming to
Antioch discouraged Jewish Christians there from eating with Gentile
Christians. (If this is refers to the same event as A 15:1-2, then Paul takes a
step back chronologically in his narration at G 2:11, which is not improbable,
since he is dictating and mentioning arguments and events that count as
evidence for his side as they occur to him.)
On his last recorded visit to Jerusalem, Paul visits James (others are present,
but no other names are given) and speaks of his ministry to the Gentiles (A
Outside the New Testament, James is mentioned by the Jewish historian
Josephus, who calls him "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ," and reports
that he was much respected even by the Pharisees for his piety and strict
observance of the Law, but that his enemies took advantage of an interval
between Roman governors in 62 AD to have him put to death. His death is
also reported by the second-century Christian writer Hegesippus. Numerous
references in early Christian documents show the esteem in which he was held
in the early Church. [James Kiefer]

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