OREMUS: 3 January 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jan 2 17:00:00 GMT 2007


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OREMUS for Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah, Bishop in South India, Evangelist, 1945

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. 

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

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,*
 a very present help in trouble;
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,*
 and though the mountains be toppled
   into the depths of the sea;
Though its waters rage and foam,*
 and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.
The Lord of hosts is with us;*
 the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
There is a river whose streams
   make glad the city of God,*
 the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her;
   she shall not be overthrown;*
 God shall help her at the break of day.
The nations make much ado
   and the kingdoms are shaken;*
 God has spoken and the earth shall melt away.
The Lord of hosts is with us;*
 the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come now and look upon the works of the Lord,*
 what awesome things he has done on earth.
It is he who makes war to cease in all the world;*
 he breaks the bow and shatters the spear
   and burns the shields with fire.
'Be still, then, and know that I am God;*
 I will be exalted among the nations;
   I will be exalted in the earth.'
The Lord of hosts is with us;*
 the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

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.

A Song of God's Chosen One (Isaiah 11.1-4a,6,9)

There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear,

But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

The calf, the lion and the fatling together,
with a little child to lead them.

They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Psalm 147:13-end

Alleluia!
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.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 31:7-14]:

For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
   and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
   'Save, O Lord, your people,
   the remnant of Israel.'
See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
   and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
   those with child and those in labour, together;
   a great company, they shall return here.
With weeping they shall come,
   and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
   in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
   and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
   and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him,
   and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.'
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
   and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
   and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
   and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
   and they shall never languish again.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
   and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
   I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
   and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,
says the Lord. 

HYMN 
Words: Louis Fitzgerald Benson, 1899
Tune: Kingsfold
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O sing a hymn of Bethlehem,
of shepherds watching there,
and of the news that came to them
from angels in the air:
the light that shone on Bethlehem
fills all the world today;
of Jesus' birth and peace on earth
the angels sing alway.

O sing a song of Nazareth,
of sunny days of joy;
O sing of fragrant flowers' breath,
and of the sinless Boy:
for now the flowers of Nazareth
in every heart may grow;
now spreads the fame of his dear Name
on all the winds that blow.

O sing a song of Galilee,
of lake and woods and hill,
of him who walked upon the sea
and bade the waves be still:
for though like waves on Galilee,
dark seas of trouble roll,
when faith has heard the Master's word,
falls peace upon the soul.

O sing a song of Calvary,
its glory and dismay,
of him who hung upon the tree,
and took our sins away.
for he who died on Calvary
is risen from the grave,
and Christ, our Lord, by heaven adored,
is mighty now to save.

SECOND READING [Ephesians 1:3-14]:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every
spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the
world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children
through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace
that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all
wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good
pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him,
things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been
destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel
and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his
glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and
had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of
our inheritance towards redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.

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

Prayer:
Father, your Son our Savior 
was born as a child among us. 
Renew your Church as the Body of Christ.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

There was no room for your Son in the inn.
Protect with your love those who have no home 
and all who live in poverty.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Mary, in the pain of labor, brought your Son to birth. 
Hold in your hand all who are in pain or distress.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Your Christ came as a light shining in the darkness. 
Bring comfort to all who suffer 
in the sadness of our world.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

The angels sang 'Peace to God's people on earth'. 
Strengthen those who work 
for peace and justice in all the world.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Shepherds in the fields heard good tidings of joy. 
Give us grace to preach the gospel of Christ's redemption.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Heaven is come down to earth 
and earth is raised to heaven. 
Keep in safety all those who have passed through death
in the hope of heaven.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Christians the world over celebrate his birth. 
Open our hearts that he may be born in us today.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Angels and shepherds worshiped at the manger throne. 
Receive the worship we offer in fellowship 
with Mary, Joseph and all the saints.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

O God the Word and Son of God,
exalted is your name in all creation,
yet you have stooped to become one with us:
as you have ordained humanity the steward of your creation,
so minister through us the mystery of your salvation;
to the glory of your holy Name. Amen.

Eternal God,
you called Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah to proclaim your glory
in a life of prayer and pastoral zeal:
keep the leaders of your Church faithful
and bless your people through their ministry,
that the Church may grow into the full stature
of your Son Jesus Christ 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

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

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The psalms and the first 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
permission.

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

Samuel Azariah was born in 1874 in a small village in South India, his father,
Thomas Vedanayagam being a simple village priest and his mother Ellen
having a deep love and understanding of the Scriptures. Samuel became a
YMCA evangelist whilst still only nineteen, and secretary of the organisation
throughout South India a few years later. He saw that, for the Church in India
to grow and attract ordinary Indians to the Christian faith, it had to have an
indigenous leadership and reduce the strong western influences and almost
totally white leadership that pervaded it. He was ordained priest at the age of
thirty-five and bishop just three years later, his work moving from primary
evangelism to forwarding his desire for more Indian clergy and the need to
raise their educational standards. He was an avid ecumenist and was one of the
first to see the importance to mission of a united Church. He died on 1 January
1945, just two years before the creation of a united Church of South India.


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