OREMUS: 30 September 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Sep 29 17:00:01 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Sunday, September 30, 2007 
The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

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

Blessed are you, O God of justice,
you hear our cry and save us.
You call us to heed your word to the prophets,
you rouse us to the demand of the gospel
and impel us to carry it out.
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 96

Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.
Sing to the Lord and bless his name;*
 proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations*
 and his wonders among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;*
 he is more to be feared than all gods.
As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols;*
 but it is the Lord who made the heavens.
O the majesty and magnificence of his presence!*
 O the power and the splendour of his sanctuary!
Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples;*
 ascribe to the Lord honour and power.
Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name;*
 bring offerings and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;*
 let the whole earth tremble before him.
Tell it out among the nations: 'The Lord is king!*
 he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;
   he will judge the peoples with equity.'
Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad;
   let the sea thunder and all that is in it;*
 let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
   before the Lord when he comes,*
 when he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness*
 and the peoples with his truth.

Psalm 97

The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice;*
 let the multitude of the isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,*
 righteousness and justice
   are the foundations of his throne.
A fire goes before him*
 and burns up his enemies on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;*
 the earth sees it and is afraid.
The mountains melt like wax
   at the presence of the Lord,*
 at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare his righteousness,*
 and all the peoples see his glory.
Confounded be all who worship carved images
   and delight in false gods!*
 Bow down before him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad and the cities of Judah rejoice,*
 because of your judgements, O Lord.
For you are the Lord: most high over all the earth;*
 you are exalted far above all gods.
The Lord loves those who hate evil;*
 he preserves the lives of his saints
   and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light has sprung up for the righteous,*
 and joyful gladness for those who are true-hearted.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,*
 and give thanks to his holy name.

Bless the Lord (Song of the Three 29-34)
Blessed are you, the God of our ancestors,
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.

Blessed is your holy and glorious name,
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.

Blessed are you, in your holy and glorious temple,
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.

Blessed are you who look into the depths,
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.

Blessed are you, enthroned on the cherubim,
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.

Blessed are you in the heights of heaven,
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.

Bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.

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 [Nehemiah 2]:

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King
Artaxerxes, when wine was served to him, I carried the
wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad
in his presence before. So the king said to me, 'Why is
your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be
sadness of the heart.' Then I was very much afraid. I
said to the king, 'May the king live for ever! Why should
my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my
ancestors' graves, lies waste, and its gates have been
destroyed by fire?' Then the king said to me, 'What do
you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. Then I
said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your
servant has found favour with you, I ask that you send me
to Judah, to the city of my ancestors' graves, so that I
may rebuild it.' The king said to me (the queen also was
sitting beside him), 'How long will you be gone, and when
will you return?' So it pleased the king to send me, and
I set him a date. Then I said to the king, 'If it pleases
the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the
province Beyond the River, that they may grant me passage
until I arrive in Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the
keeper of the king's forest, directing him to give me
timber to make beams for the gates of the temple
fortress, and for the wall of the city, and for the house
that I shall occupy.' And the king granted me what I
asked, for the gracious hand of my God was upon me.
Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the
River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had
sent officers of the army and cavalry with me. When
Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official
heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had
come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.
So I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. Then
I got up during the night, I and a few men with me; I
told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for
Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the animal I rode.
I went out by night by the Valley Gate past the Dragon's
Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of
Jerusalem that had been broken down and its gates that
had been destroyed by fire. Then I went on to the
Fountain Gate and to the King's Pool; but there was no
place for the animal I was riding to continue. So I went
up by way of the valley by night and inspected the wall.
Then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so
returned. The officials did not know where I had gone or
what I was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the
priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest that
were to do the work.
Then I said to them, 'You see the trouble we are in, how
Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burnt. Come, let
us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no
longer suffer disgrace.' I told them that the hand of my
God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that
the king had spoken to me. Then they said, 'Let us start
building!' So they committed themselves to the common
good. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the
Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they
mocked and ridiculed us, saying, 'What is this that you
are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?' Then I
replied to them, 'The God of heaven is the one who will
give us success, and we his servants are going to start
building; but you have no share or claim or historic
right in Jerusalem.' 

Words: John Marriott, 1813
Tune: Moscow

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Thou, whose almighty word
chaos and darkness heard,
and took their flight;
hear us, we humbly pray,
and, where the Gospel day
sheds not its glorious ray,
let there be light!

Thou who didst come to bring
on thy redeeming wing
healing and sight,
heal to the sick in mind,
sight to the in-ly blind,
now to all humankind,
let there be light!

Spirit of truth and love,
life-giving holy Dove,
speed forth thy flight!
Move on the waters' face
bearing the gifts of grace,
and, in earth's darkest place,
let there be light!

Holy and bless d Three,
glorious Trinity,
Wisdom, Love, Might;
boundless as ocean's tide,
rolling in fullest pride,
through the world far and wide,
let there be light!

SECOND READING [John 8:31-38,48-59]:

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you continue in my word, you are
truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.' They
answered him, 'We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone.
What do you mean by saying, "You will be made free"?'
Jesus answered them, 'Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to
sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place
there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you
are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there
is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father's presence; as
for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.'
The Jews answered him, 'Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have
a demon?' Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon; but I honour my Father, and you
dishonour me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and he is the
judge. Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.' The Jews
said to him, 'Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the
prophets; yet you say, "Whoever keeps my word will never taste death." Are you
greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you
claim to be?' Jesus answered, 'If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father
who glorifies me, he of whom you say, "He is our God", though you do not know
him. But I know him; if I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like
you. But I do know him and I keep his word. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he
would see my day; he saw it and was glad.' Then the Jews said to him, 'You are not
yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell
you, before Abraham was, I am.' So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus
hid himself and went out of the temple. 

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

O God Our Creator, 
you have graced us with the gift of life and a world to live in. 
Empower and strengthen the witness of your church 
that, true to its calling, it may proclaim 
your radical and boundless love, in word and deed. 
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. 

Saving God, 
you nourish and sustain us by Word and Sacrament. 
Strengthen all the people of our church, 
especially our bishops, priests and deacons. 
Grant that, sustained in you, our service and witness in this land 
may be full of faith and love. 
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. 

O God, Source of our life, 
you have adopted us in the waters of baptism 
and made us your own in love. 
We pray that we may embrace our lives and the lives of others 
with courage and compassion, unafraid of joy and pain, sickness and health. 
May your care be made known in our care. 
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. 

God of Justice, 
you revealed your power in the servanthood of Jesus. 
May those who govern the nations use their authority
in wisdom, kindness and peace. 
Awaken in all who govern a thirst for justice 
that embodies your care for this earth and the human community. 
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. 

Liberating God, 
you are the hope of the weak and the needy. 
Rescue those who suffer poverty, injustice or oppression when they cry out. 
Open the ears of our hearts to hear 
and quicken in us the fire to respond in love. 
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. 

Compassionate One, 
you are a well-spring of comfort and healing. 
Grant comfort, healing and release 
to those who suffer illness, distress or grief. 
Awaken in us boundless compassion 
and use us as agents of lovingkindness. 
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. 

God of all generations, 
we thank you for the gift of the lives 
and the loving service of all who have died. 
Keep us in the bonds of love with all the saints throughout the ages 
and bring us to the fullness of your reign. 
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. 

O God of Love, 
hear the prayers of your people. 
Enliven us by your Spirit, to live into the fullness of your reign. 
We pray through Jesus, our life and our hope. Amen. 

Grant, O merciful God, 
that your Church, being gathered by your Holy Spirit into one, 
may show forth your power among all peoples, 
to the glory of your name;
 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

Pour out your Spirit, O God, over all the world,
to inspire every heart with knowledge and love of you. 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 and the closing prayer use phrases from a
prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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