OREMUS: 18 March 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Mar 17 19:11:39 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Sunday, March 18, 2007 
The Fourth Sunday in Lent

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God, rich in mercy,
you so loved the world 
that when we were dead in our sins,
you sent your only Son for our deliverance.
Lifted up from the earth,
he is light and life;
exalted upon the cross,
he is truth and salvation.
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 119:137-160

You are righteous, O Lord,*
 and upright are your judgements.
You have issued your decrees*
 with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
My indignation has consumed me,*
 because my enemies forget your words.
Your word has been tested to the uttermost,*
 and your servant holds it dear.
I am small and of little account,*
 yet I do not forget your commandments.
Your justice is an everlasting justice*
 and your law is the truth.
Trouble and distress have come upon me,*
 yet your commandments are my delight.
The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting;*
 grant me understanding, that I may live.

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.

The Song of Christ's Glory (Philippians 2:5-11)

Christ Jesus was in the form of God,
 but he did not cling to equality with God.

He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,
 and was born in our human likeness.

Being found in human form he humbled himself,
 and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him,
 and bestowed on him the name above every name.

That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow,
 in heaven and on earth and under the earth;

And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
 to the glory of God the Father. 

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.

FIRST READING [Genesis 22:1-14]:

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him,
'Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' He said, 'Take your
son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the
land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering
on one of the mountains that I shall show you.' So
Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey,
and took two of his young men with him, and his son
Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set
out and went to the place in the distance that God had
shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the
place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, 'Stay
here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there;
we will worship, and then we will come back to you.'
Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it
on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the
knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said
to his father Abraham, 'Father!' And he said, 'Here I am,
my son.' He said, 'The fire and the wood are here, but
where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?' Abraham said,
'God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering,
my son.' So the two of them walked on together.
When they came to the place that God had shown him,
Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order.
He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top
of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took
the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord
called to him from heaven, and said, 'Abraham, Abraham!'
And he said, 'Here I am.' He said, 'Do not lay your hand
on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you
fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only
son, from me.' And Abraham looked up and saw a ram,
caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took
the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of
his son. So Abraham called that place 'The Lord will
provide'; as it is said to this day, 'On the mount of the
Lord it shall be provided.'

Words: stanzas 1-2: Moravian, 1832;
stanzas 3-4: James Montgomery, 1825
Tune: St. Agnes
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 Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless
thy chosen pilgrim flock
with manna in the wilderness,
with water from the rock.

We would not live by bread alone,
but by thy word of grace,
in strength of which we travel on
to our abiding place.

Be known to us in breaking bread,
and do not then depart;
Savior, abide with us, and spread
thy table in our heart.

Lord, sup with us in love divine,
thy Body and thy Blood,
that living bread, that heavenly wine,
be our immortal food.

SECOND READING [Luke 23:1-15]:

Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They began to
accuse him, saying, 'We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay
taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.' Then Pilate
asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?' He answered, 'You say so.' Then Pilate
said to the chief priests and the crowds, 'I find no basis for an accusation against this
man.' But they were insistent and said, 'He stirs up the people by teaching throughout
all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.'
When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he
learned that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was
himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had
been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was
hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus
gave him no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing
him. Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he
put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and
Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.
Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to
them, 'You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I
have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your
charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has
done nothing to deserve death. 

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

Lord, we pray for this modern world
in which faith comes hard,
where people find it difficult to raise their eyes
above the material things that are so necessary to life.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who find it hard to believe
because they have too many things,
and for those who find it hard
because they don't have enough.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who have more to eat than they need,
and those who are dying from lack of food.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for parents who, because of their poverty
and a lack of concern on the part of others,
must watch their children die.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who suffer from disease,
from confusion and guilt, from depression and fear.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who face each day with dread
because their lives are so dominated by the power of others.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are so lonely
that life is robbed of all loveliness and hope.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray because our love for you is a love for one
whose compassion embraces all human suffering.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of compassion, 
you are slow to anger, and full of mercy, 
welcoming sinners who return to you with penitent hearts. 
Receive in your loving embrace all who come home to you. 
Seat them at your bountiful table of grace, 
that, with all your children, they may feast with delight 
on all that satisfies the hungry heart. 
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Savior, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, forever and ever. Amen. 
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God give us
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with

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 adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

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

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