OREMUS: 21 June 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jun 20 21:05:01 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

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

Blessed are you, merciful God;
for your Son, our Messiah and Lord,
who did not turn aside from the path of suffering
and did not spare his disciples the prospect of rejection.
You call us through your Spirit
to abandon the security of the easy way
and to follow in Christ's footsteps towards the cross and true life.
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 125

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,*
 which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever.
The hills stand about Jerusalem;*
 so does the Lord stand round about his people,
   from this time forth for evermore.
The sceptre of the wicked shall not hold sway
   over the land allotted to the just,*
 so that the just shall not put their hands to evil.
Show your goodness, O Lord, to those who are good*
 and to those who are true of heart.
As for those who turn aside to crooked ways,
   the Lord will lead them away with the evildoers;*
 but peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,*
 then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,*
 and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,*
 'The Lord has done great things for them.'
The Lord has done great things for us,*
 and we are glad indeed.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,*
 like the watercourses of the Negev.
Those who sowed with tears*
 will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,*
 will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house,*
 their labour is in vain who build it.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,*
 in vain the guard keeps vigil.
It is in vain that you rise so early
   and go to bed so late;*
 vain, too, to eat the bread of toil,
   for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,*
 and the fruit of the womb is a gift.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior*
 are the children of one's youth.
Happy are they who have their quiver full of them!*
 they shall not be put to shame
   when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

A Song of the Bride (Isaiah 61.10,11; 62.1-3)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my soul shall exult in my God;

Who has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
and has covered me with the cloak of integrity,

As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth puts forth her blossom,
and as seeds in the garden spring up,

So shall God make righteousness and praise
blossom before all the nations.

For Zion's sake, I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest,

Until her deliverance shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation as a burning torch.

The nations shall see your deliverance,
and all rulers shall see your glory;

Then you shall be called by a new name
which the mouth of God will give.

You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

READING [Ezra 4:7, 11-24]:

And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and Mithredath and
Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to King
Artaxerxes of Persia; the letter was written in Aramaic
and translated. this is a copy of the letter that they
'To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the people of the
province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now may it
be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you
to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that
rebellious and wicked city; they are finishing the walls
and repairing the foundations. Now may it be known to the
king that, if this city is rebuilt and the walls
finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and
the royal revenue will be reduced. Now because we share
the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to
witness the king's dishonour, therefore we send and
inform the king, so that a search may be made in the
annals of your ancestors. You will discover in the annals
that this is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and
provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from
long ago. On that account this city was laid waste. We
make known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and
its walls finished, you will then have no possession in
the province Beyond the River.'
The king sent an answer: 'To Rehum the royal deputy and
Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their associates who
live in Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond
the River, greeting. And now the letter that you sent to
us has been read in translation before me. So I made a
decree, and someone searched and discovered that this
city has risen against kings from long ago, and that
rebellion and sedition have been made in it. Jerusalem
has had mighty kings who ruled over the whole province
Beyond the River, to whom tribute, custom, and toll were
paid. Therefore issue an order that these people be made
to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until I make
a decree. Moreover, take care not to be slack in this
matter; why should damage grow to the hurt of the
Then when the copy of King Artaxerxes' letter was read
before Rehum and the scribe Shimshai and their
associates, they hurried to the Jews in Jerusalem and by
force and power made them cease. At that time the work on
the house of God in Jerusalem stopped and was
discontinued until the second year of the reign of King
Darius of Persia. 

For another Biblical reading,
Luke 11:37-54

Words: James Montgomery, 1822
Tune: Trust     
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Call Jehovah thy salvation,
rest beneath the Almighty's shade.
in his secret habitation dwell,
and never be dismayed.

There no tumult shall alarm thee,
thou shalt dread no hidden snare.
guile nor violence can harm thee,
in eternal safeguard there.

God shall charge his angel legions
watch and ward over thee to keep.
though thou walk through hostile regions,
though in desert wilds thou sleep.

Since, with pure and firm affection,
thou on God hast set thy love,
with the wings of his protection,
he will shield thee from above.

Thou shalt call on him in trouble,
he will hearken, he will save.
here for grief reward thee double,
crown with life beyond the grave.

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

There is one body and one spirit,
one hope in God's call to us;
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism,
One God and Father of all.

Let us pray for the Church, responding "Lord, hear our prayer."

For the leaders of the Church in these unsettled times, 
that they may be among us as examples:
as leaders who love what is true, honor what is just, and belong to all.
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all the people of the Church, 
that our Lord Jesus Christ may live out in us 
the full mystery of his death and resurrection, 
that we may be stretched and transformed by his love 
and find ourselves in him, 
as leaders who love what is true, honor what is just, and belong to all.
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

For forgiveness of our pride, contentiousness and factionalism, 
our stubbornness and party spirit, 
our insisting on our own way rather than seeking your purpose, 
that you will give us the mind of Christ 
and by your Holy Spirit lead us into all truth, 
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

In thanksgiving for all those 
who in constant faithfulness and quiet confidence 
work, pray and give for the spread of your kingdom, 
often without recognition or fanfare, 
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

For us, that we will be raised up as instruments of healing and reconciliation
that we may maintain constant love for one another 
and be connected to that larger community 
where Christ most fully is to be found, 
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

O God,
you create order out of our chaos,
you turn over our neatly-ordered plans:
Send your revolutionary Holy Spirit into our lives,
that in all we do we may follow you;
through Jesus Christ, the giver of true freedom. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

In your great power,
transform all our fear
into faith and awe in your saving presence; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

The canticle, the opening thanksgiving and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer
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 prayer are adapted from
prayers in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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