OREMUS: 20 January 2007

Steve Benner oremus at insight.rr.com
Sat Jan 20 15:34:22 GMT 2007

OREMUS for Saturday, January 20, 2007
O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of steadfast love,
turning the mundane into profound
to give us delight and wonder in the unexpected.
You transform our hearts by your Spirit,
that we may use our varied gifts
to show forth the light of your love
as one 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.

Psalm 33
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous;*
  it is good for the just to sing praises.
Praise the Lord with the harp;*
  play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
Sing for him a new song;*
  sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
For the word of the Lord is right,*
  and all his works are sure.
He loves righteousness and justice;*
  the loving-kindness of the Lord fills the whole earth.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,*
  by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
He gathers up the waters of the ocean
    as in a water-skin*
  and stores up the depths of the sea.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;*
  let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
For he spoke and it came to pass;*
  he commanded and it stood fast.
The Lord brings the will of the nations to naught;*
  he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
But the Lord’s will stands fast for ever,*
  and the designs of his heart from age to age.
Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord!*
  happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
The Lord looks down from heaven,*
  and beholds all the people in the world.
 From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze*
  on all who dwell on the earth.
He fashions all the hearts of them*
  and understands all their works.
There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army;*
  the strong are not delivered by great strength.nbsp;
The horse is a vain hope for deliverance;*
  for all its strength it cannot save.
Behold, the eye of the Lord
    is upon those who fear him,*
  on those who wait upon his love,
To pluck their lives from death,*
  and to feed them in time of famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord;*
  he is our help and our shield.
Indeed, our heart rejoices in him,*
  for in his holy name we put our trust.
Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us,*
  as we have put our trust in you.

A Song of the Righteous (Wisdom 3:1,2a,3b-8)

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God
  and no torment will ever touch them.

In the eyes of the foolish, they seem to have died;
  but they are at peace.

For though, in the sight of others, they were punished,
  their hope is of immortality.

Having been disciplined a little,
  they will receive great good,
  because God tested them and found them worthy.

Like gold in the furnace, God tried them
  and, like a sacrificial burnt offering, accepted them.

In the time of their visitation, they will shine forth
  and will run like sparks through the stubble.

They will govern nations and rule over peoples
  and God will reign over them for ever.

Psalm 149
    Sing to the Lord a new song;*
  sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
  let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
  let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
  and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
  let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
  and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
  and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
  and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
  this is glory for all his faithful people.

FIRST READING [Nehemiah 5:1-13]:

Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their 
Jewish kin. For there were those who said, 'With our sons and our 
daughters, we are many; we must get grain, so that we may eat and stay 
alive.' There were also those who said, 'We are having to pledge our 
fields, our vineyards, and our houses in order to get grain during the 
famine.' And there were those who said, 'We are having to borrow money on 
our fields and vineyards to pay the king's tax. Now our flesh is the same 
as that of our kindred; our children are the same as their children; and 
yet we are forcing our sons and daughters to be slaves, and some of our 
daughters have been ravished; we are powerless, and our fields and 
vineyards now belong to others.'

I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these complaints. After 
thinking it over, I brought charges against the nobles and the officials; I 
said to them, 'You are all taking interest from your own people.' And I 
called a great assembly to deal with them, and said to them, 'As far as we 
were able, we have bought back our Jewish kindred who had been sold to 
other nations; but now you are selling your own kin, who must then be 
bought back by us!' They were silent, and could not find a word to say. So 
I said, 'The thing that you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in 
the fear of our God, to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies? 
Moreover, I and my brothers and my servants are lending them money and 
grain. Let us stop this taking of interest. Restore to them, this very day, 
their fields, their vineyards, their olive orchards, and their houses, and 
the interest on money, grain, wine, and oil that you have been exacting 
from them.' Then they said, 'We will restore everything and demand nothing 
more from them. We will do as you say.' And I called the priests, and made 
them take an oath to do as they had promised. I also shook out the fold of 
my garment and said, 'So may God shake out everyone from house and from 
property who does not perform this promise. Thus may they be shaken out and 
emptied.' And all the assembly said, 'Amen', and praised the Lord. And the 
people did as they had promised.

Words: Words, verses 1-2: The Psalms of David in Meeter (The Scottish 
Psalter), 1650;
verses 3-4: Carl P. Daw, Jr. ©
Tune: Brother James' Air

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How lovely is thy dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts, to me!
My thirsty soul desires and longs
within thy courts to be;
my very heart and flesh cry out,
O living God for thee.

Beside thine altars, gracious Lord,
the swallows find a nest;
how happy they who dwell with thee
and praise thee without rest,
and happy they whose hearts are set
upon the pilgrim's quest.

They who go through the desert vale
will find it filled with springs,
and they shall climb from height to height
till Zion's temple rings
with praise to thee, in glory throned,
Lord God, great King of kings.

One day within thy courts excels
a thousand spent away;
how happy they who keep thy laws
nor from thy precepts stray,
for thou shalt surely bless all those
who live the words they pray.

SECOND READING [Luke 2:39-52]:

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they 
returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and 
became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the 
Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the 
festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy 
Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming 
that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day's journey. Then 
they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they 
did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three 
days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to 
them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his 
understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were 
astonished; and his mother said to him, 'Child, why have you treated us 
like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great 
anxiety.' He said to them, 'Why were you searching for me? Did you not know 
that I must be in my Father's house?' But they did not understand what he 
said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was 
obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.

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

Loving God, in Jesus Christ you teach us to pray:

Guide us by your Holy Spirit
that our prayers for others may serve your will
and show your steadfast love for all.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
you have called together a people
to be the Church of Jesus Christ,
founded on the apostles.
May your people be one in faith and discipleship,
breaking bread together and telling good news.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

May the world come to believe that you are love,
turn to your ways and live in the light of your truth.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

You made all things and called them good.
May your planet earth be held in reverence by all people,
that its resources may be used wisely
and its fragile balance between life and death respected.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Hear our prayers for those who rule the nations,
that they may learn wisdom and truth,
establish justice and mercy
and seek the ways of peace.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

God our Mover,
fill us with joy
that we may regard all of our tasks
as a gift from you,
who showers delights upon those
who hunger and thirst only for him
and not for the things of the world.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
who followed your will to the cross. Amen.

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

- The Lord's Prayer

Stir us with your voice
and enlighten our lives with your grace
that we may give ourselves fully
to Christ's call to mission and ministry. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from Celebrating 
Common Prayer (Mowbray), © The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used 
with permission.

The canticle is from Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary Edition, 
copyright © The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized 
Edition), copyright © 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 © 
2002 Consultation on Common Texts.

Hymn vv. 3-4 © 1982 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact: Hope Publishing Company, 

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