OREMUS: 31 December 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Dec 30 17:00:01 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Monday, December 31, 2007
John Wyclif, Reformer, 1384

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

Blessed are you, loving and merciful God,
you fill our hearts with joy
as we recognize in Christ the revelation of your love.
No eye can see his glory as our God,
yet now he is seen like one of us.
Christ is your Son before all ages,
yet now he is born in time.
He has come to lift up all things to himself,
to restore unity to creation,
and to lead us from exile into your heavenly kingdom.
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 57

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
   for I have taken refuge in you;*
 in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge
   until this time of trouble has gone by.
I will call upon the Most High God,*
 the God who maintains my cause.
He will send from heaven and save me;
   he will confound those who trample upon me;*
 God will send forth his love and his faithfulness.
I lie in the midst of lions that devour the people;*
 their teeth are spears and arrows,
   their tongue a sharp sword.
They have laid a net for my feet and I am bowed low;*
 they have dug a pit before me
   but have fallen into it themselves.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,*
 and your glory over all the earth.
My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed;*
 I will sing and make melody.
Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp;*
 I myself will waken the dawn.
I will confess you among the peoples, O Lord;*
 I will sing praise to you among the nations.
For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens,*
 and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,*
 and your glory over all the earth.

Psalm 60

O God, you have cast us off and broken us;*
 you have been angry;
   O take us back to you again.
You have shaken the earth and split it open;*
 repair the cracks in it, for it totters.
You have made your people know hardship;*
 you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
You have set up a banner for those who fear you,*
 to be a refuge from the power of the bow.
Save us by your right hand and answer us,*
 that those who are dear to you may be delivered.
God spoke from his holy place and said:*
 'I will exult and parcel out Shechem;
   I will divide the valley of Succoth.
'Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine;*
 Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my sceptre.
'Moab is my wash-basin,
   on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it,*
 and over Philistia will I shout in triumph.'
Who will lead me into the strong city?*
 who will bring me into Edom?
Have you not cast us off, O God?*
 you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
Grant us your help against the enemy,*
 for vain is human help.
With God we will do valiant deeds,*
 and he shall tread our enemies under foot.

A Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2.1,2,3b-5,7,8)
My heart exults in the Lord;  
my strength is exalted in my God. 
My mouth derides my enemies,  
because I rejoice in your salvation. 
There is no Holy One like you, O Lord,  
nor any Rock like you, our God. 
For you are a God of knowledge  
and by you our actions are weighed. 
The bows of the mighty are broken,  
but the feeble gird on strength. 
Those who were full now hire themselves out for bread,  
but those who were hungry are well fed. 
The barren woman has borne sevenfold,  
but she who has many children is forlorn. 
Both the poor and the rich are of your making;  
you bring low and you also exalt. 
You raise up the poor from the dust,  
and lift the needy from the ash heap. 
You make them sit with the rulers  
and inherit a place of honour. 
For the pillars of the earth are yours  
and on them you have set the world.

Psalm 150

   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

READING [1 John 2.18 21]:

Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists
have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not
belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out
they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One,
and all of you have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but
because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth.

Words: (c) Timothy Dudley-Smith
Tune: O perfect love; Lord of the years
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Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided,
urged and inspired us, cheered us on our way,
sought us and saved us, pardoned and provided:
Lord for the years, we bring our thanks today.

Lord, for that word, the word of life which fires us,
speaks to our hearts and sets our souls ablaze,
teaches and trains, rebukes us and inspires us:
Lord of the word, receive your people's praise.

Lord, for our land in this our generation,
spirits oppressed by pleasure, wealth and care:
for young and old, for commonwealth and nation,
Lord of our land, be pleased to hear our prayer.

Lord, for our world where men disown and doubt you,
loveless in strength, and comfortless in pain,
hungry and helpless, lost indeed without you:
Lord of the world, we pray that Christ may reign.

Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us-
self on the cross, and Christ upon the throne,
past put behind us, for the future take us:
Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone.

SECOND READING [John 1.1 18]:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in
the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing
came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the
light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to
the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received
him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of
blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a
father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, 'This was he of
whom I said, "He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me." ') From his
fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace
and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is
close to the Father's heart, who has made him known. 

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

Jesus, born in a human family,
we pray for families.

Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, cradled in a manger,
we pray for the homeless and refugees.
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, sharing the stable with the animals,
we pray for your creation.
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, worshiped by shepherds and kings,
we pray for nations and peoples.
We pray especially for the people of Pakistan.
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, our Emmanuel,
we pray for those in particular need...
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

God of community, 
whose call is more insistent than ties of family or blood: 
May we so respect and love those 
whose lives are linked with ours 
that we fail not in loyalty to you, 
but make choices according to your will; 
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Eternal Word, 
grant that as your servant John Wyclif 
was fired with zeal for the reform of your Church, 
so may we grow in the knowledge and love of your will, 
as revealed to us through holy scripture and the Spirit of truth, 
and so come to be with you in your heavenly kingdom; 
through your incarnate Son Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and 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

May he who by his incarnation gathered into one
things earthly and heavenly,
bestow upon us the fullness of peace and goodwill. Amen.

The psalms and the second collect 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
_The Promise of His Glory_ (Mowbray), (c) The Central
Board of Finance  of the Church of England 1990, 1991, which is used with

Hymn (c) 1969 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this text in all territories except the UK, Europe &
Africa, contact: Hope Publishing Company, 
For UK, Europe & Africa: contact: Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith,
9 Ashlands, Ford, Salisbury, Wiltshire  SP4 6DY  England

The first collect is from _A Prayer Book for Australia_. (c)
1995, The Anglican Church of Australia Trust Corporation.

John Wyclif (also spelled Wycliffe, Wycliff, Wicliffe, or Wiclif) was born in
Yorkshire around 1330, and was educated at Oxford, becoming a doctor of
divinity in 1372.
In 1374, King Edward III appointed him rector of Lutterworth, and later made
him part of a deputation to meet at Brussels with a papal deputation to
negotiate difference between King and Pope. About this time Wyclif began to
argue for "dominion founded on grace." By "dominion" he meant both the right
to exercise authority in church or state and the right to own property. He
maintained that these rights were given to men directly from God, and that
they were not given or continued apart from sanctifying grace. Thus, a man in
a state of mortal sin could not lawfully function as an official of church or
state, nor could he lawfully own property. He argued that the Church had
fallen into sin and that it ought therefore to give up all its property and that the
clergy should live in complete poverty. This disendowment was to be carried
out by the king. From 1376 to 1378 Wyclif was clerical advisor to John of
Gaunt, who effectively governed England until his nephew, Richard II, came of
age in 1381. It is not clear what influence each man had on the other, but it is
conjectured that John of Gaunt, who had his own reasons for opposing the
wealth and power of the clergy, may have used a naive Wyclif as his tool. In
1377, King and Parliament asked his judgement on whether it was lawful to
withhold traditional payments from Rome, and he responded that it was. Pope
Gregory XI issued five bulls against him, but without effect. Wyclif's last
political act was in 1378, when he argued that criminals who had taken
sanctuary in churches might lawfully be dragged out of sanctuary. He then
retired to private life in Lutterworth in 1381.
>From Lutterworth, he published a series of severe attacks on corruption in the
Church. These, although bitterly worded even for the time, might have found
agreement, were it not that he also attacked the doctrine of transubstantiation
(that, once the Eucharist has been consecrated, the bread is no longer present
in reality, but only in appearance). He taught instead that the bread remains,
but that Christ is truly present in the bread, though not in a material manner.
This view cost him the support of John of Gaunt and of many other friends
whose support he could not afford to lose. In all his controversies, he declared
himself a loyal churchman, willing to submit his cause and his opinions to the
judgement of the Pope.
In 1381, disaster struck with the Peasants' Revolt. It is unlikely that Wyclif's
teachings, circulated chiefly among the learned, had any role in instigating the
revolt, but the fact that many peasants were setting out to put to death all
landlords, lay and clerical alike, made Wyclif's "dominion founded on grace"
look extremely dangerous; and Wyclif's movement was bloodily suppressed
along with the Revolt. In 1382, all of his writings were banned. In that year
Wyclif suffered a stroke, and on 31 December 1384 a second stroke killed him.
After his death, his opponents finally succeeded in having him condemned for
heresy, and in 1428 his body was removed from consecrated ground. Later
generations saw him as a precursor of the Protestant Reformation of the
1500's, but his direct influence on the beginnings of that movement appear to
be surprisingly slight. (Only John Hus seems to have read any of his work.)
Wyclif is chiefly remembered and honored for his role in Bible translating. In
the early 1380's he led the movement for a translation of the Bible into English,
and two complete translations (one much more idiomatic than the other) were
made at his instigation. (How much of the translating he did himself, if any,
remains uncertain.) He proposed the creation of a new religious order of Poor
Preachers who would preach to the people from the English Bible. [James

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