OREMUS: 23 October 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Oct 22 20:37:32 GMT 2007


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OREMUS for Tuesday, October 23, 2007 
James of Jerusalem, Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, c. 62

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

Blessed are you, tireless Guardian of your people,
you are always ready to hear the cry of your chosen ones;
you teach us to rely day and night on your care.
You impel us to seek your enduring justice
and your ever-present help
revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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. 

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Psalm 119:145-168

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.

Rulers have persecuted me without a cause,*
 but my heart stands in awe of your word.
I am as glad because of your promise*
 as one who finds great spoils.
As for lies, I hate and abhor them,*
 but your law is my love.
Seven times a day do I praise you,*
 because of your righteous judgements.
Great peace have they who love your law;*
 for them there is no stumbling block.
I have hoped for your salvation, O Lord,*
 and I have fulfilled your commandments.
I have kept your decrees*
 and I have loved them deeply.
I have kept your commandments and decrees,*
 for all my ways are before you.

A Song of the Word of the Lord (Isaiah 55:6-11)

Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;

Let the wicked abandon their ways,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;

Return to the Lord,
who will have mercy;
to our God, who will richly pardon.

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways', says the Lord.

'For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

'As the rain and the snow come down from above,
and return not again but water the earth,

'Bringing forth life and giving growth,
seed for sowing and bread to eat,

'So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;
it will not return to me fruitless,

'But it will accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the task I gave it.'

Psalm 146

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 11:18-23]:

It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew;
   then you showed me their evil deeds.
But I was like a gentle lamb
   led to the slaughter.
And I did not know it was against me
   that they devised schemes, saying,
'Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
   let us cut him off from the land of the living,
   so that his name will no longer be remembered!'
But you, O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously,
   who try the heart and the mind,
let me see your retribution upon them,
   for to you I have committed my cause.

Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the people of
Anathoth, who seek your life, and say, 'You shall not
prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our
hand'  therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: I am going
to punish them; the young men shall die by the sword;
their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; and
not even a remnant shall be left of them. For I will
bring disaster upon the people of Anathoth, the year of
their punishment. 

HYMN 
Words: John Oxenham, 1908
Tune: McKee
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In Christ there is no East or West,
in him no South or North,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.

In him shall true hearts everywhere
their high communion find,
his service is the golden cord
close-binding all mankind.

Join hands, disciples of the faith,
whate'er your race may be!
Who serves my Father as a son
is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West,
in him meet South and North,
all Christly souls are one in him,
throughout the whole wide earth.

SECOND READING [Acts 15:12-22a]:

The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas
and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that
God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they
finished speaking, James replied, 'My brothers, listen to
me. Simeon has related how God first looked favourably on
the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his
name. This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it
is written,
"After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
   from its ruins I will rebuild it,and I will set it up,
so that all other peoples may seek the Lord 
   even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called.Thus says
the Lord, who has been making these things known from long ago."
Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not
trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we
should write to them to abstain only from things polluted
by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been
strangled and from blood. For in every city, for
generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him,
for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the
synagogues.'
Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the
whole church, decided to choose men from among their
members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and
Barnabas.

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

Prayer:
Holy Father,
you have reconciled us to yourself in Christ;
by your Spirit
you enable us to live as your children.

We pray for personal relationships
the home, and family life....
children deprived of home....
friends, relations and neighbours....
relationships in daily life and work....
those who are estranged....
ministries of care and healing...

Holy Father, we give you thanks
for the obedience of Christ fulfilled in the cross,
his bearing of the sin of the world,
his mercy for the world, which never fails....

for the joy of human love and friendship,
the lives to which our own are bound,
the gift of peace with you and each other....

for the communities in whose life we share
and all relationships
in which reconciliation may be known....

Help us to share in Christ's ministry
and to love and serve one another in peace;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who in the unity of the Spirit
is one with you for ever. Amen.

Lord God of peace: 
Grant that, after the example of your servant 
Saint James the brother of our Lord, 
your Church may give itself continually to prayer 
and to the reconciliation of all 
who are caught up in hatred or enmity; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen.
       
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant us boldness to desire a place in your kingdom,
the courage to drink the cup of suffering,
and the grace to find in service
the glory you promise. Amen.

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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
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 prayer use phrases from a
prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

James of Jerusalem is referred to in the New Testament as the brother of Our
Lord Jesus Christ. He was for many years the leader of the Christian
congregation in Jerusalem, and is generally supposed to be the author of the
Epistle of James, although the Epistle itself does not state this explicitly. James
is mentioned briefly in connection with Jesus' visit to Nazareth.
We are told that Jesus' brothers did not believe in him, and from this, and from
references in early Christian writers, it is inferred that James was not a disciple
of the Lord until after the Resurrection. Paul, listing appearances of the Risen
Lord (1 Cor 15:3-8), includes an appearance to James.
Peter, about to leave Jerusalem after escaping from Herod, leaves a message
for James and the Apostles. When a council meets at Jerusalem to consider
what rules Gentile Christians should be required to keep, James formulates the
final consensus. Paul speaks of going to Jerusalem three years after his
conversion and conferring there with Peter and James, and speaks again of a
later visit (perhaps the one described in Acts 15) on which Peter, James, and
John, "the pillars," placed their stamp of approval on the mission to the
Gentiles .
A few verses later (G 2:11-14), he says that messengers from James coming to
Antioch discouraged Jewish Christians there from eating with Gentile
Christians. (If this is refers to the same event as A 15:1-2, then Paul takes a
step back chronologically in his narration at G 2:11, which is not improbable,
since he is dictating and mentioning arguments and events that count as
evidence for his side as they occur to him.)
On his last recorded visit to Jerusalem, Paul visits James (others are present,
but no other names are given) and speaks of his ministry to the Gentiles (A
21:18).
Outside the New Testament, James is mentioned by the Jewish historian
Josephus, who calls him "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ," and reports
that he was much respected even by the Pharisees for his piety and strict
observance of the Law, but that his enemies took advantage of an interval
between Roman governors in 62 AD to have him put to death. His death is
also reported by the second-century Christian writer Hegesippus. Numerous
references in early Christian documents show the esteem in which he was held
in the early Church. [James Kiefer]


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