OREMUS: 9 April 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Apr 8 17:00:01 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran Pastor, Martyr, 1945

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessed are you, God of glory,
by the Spirit of the risen Christ
you gather us together;
for Christ is the one who walks with us,
who opens the scriptures
and breaks the bread of life.
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/eastocan.html

Psalm 65

You are to be praised, O God, in Zion;*
 to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.
To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come,*
 because of their transgressions.
Our sins are stronger than we are,*
 but you will blot them out.
Happy are they whom you choose
   and draw to your courts to dwell there!*
 they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house,
   by the holiness of your temple.
Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness,
   O God of our salvation,*
 O Hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the seas that are far away.
You make fast the mountains by your power;*
 they are girded about with might.
You still the roaring of the seas,*
 the roaring of their waves,
   and the clamour of the peoples.
Those who dwell at the ends of the earth
   will tremble at your marvellous signs;*
 you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.
You visit the earth and water it abundantly;
   you make it very plenteous;*
 the river of God is full of water.
You prepare the grain,*
 for so you provide for the earth.
You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges;*
 with heavy rain you soften the ground
   and bless its increase.
You crown the year with your goodness,*
 and your paths overflow with plenty.
May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing,*
 and the hills be clothed with joy.
May the meadows cover themselves with flocks
   and the valleys cloak themselves with grain;*
 let them shout for joy and sing.

A Song of the New Creation (Isaiah 43.15,16,18,19,20c,21)

'I am the Lord, your Holy One,  
the Creator of Israel, your King.' 
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea,  
a path in the mighty waters, 
'Remember not the former things,  
nor consider the things of old. 
'Behold, I am doing a new thing;  
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? 
'I will make a way in the wilderness 
and rivers in the desert,  
to give drink to my chosen people, 
'The people whom I formed for myself,  
that they might declare my praise.' 

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 [Isaiah 44:6-8,21-23]:

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
   and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
   besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
   let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
   Let them tell us what is yet to be.
Do not fear, or be afraid;
   have I not told you from of old and declared it?
   You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
   There is no other rock; I know not one.

Remember these things, O Jacob,
   and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you, you are my servant;
   O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,
   and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.

Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
   shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
   O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
   and will be glorified in Israel. 

HYMN 
Words: Alan Gaunt Words   1991 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. Used with permission
Tune: Donne secours

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/a/a349.html
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As powers of good so wonderfully hide us,
we face the future boldly, come what may;
at dawn or dusk our God is still beside us,
to whom we trust, completely, each new day.

Yet still old torments cause consternation;
through days of fear and grief we have despaired.
O, give our tortured souls, Lord, your salvation:
the healing you have promised and prepared.

Then offer us the cup of desolation,
brimfull of bitterness, and we will stand
and drink with thanks, in spite of trepidation,
from such a dearly loved and gracious hand.

Yet should you bring us back to share the gladness
of this bright world, your sunshine breaking through,
we would remember times of pain and sadness
and offer up the whole of life to you.

As evening falls, the candles we have lighted
will point us through the darkness to your light;
we long to be with loved ones, reunited;
we know your love outshines the darkest night.
As silence deepens, let us hear the chorus
that harmonizes earth's discordant days,
poured out from the unseen that lies before us:
your children's soaring song of endless praise.

By powers of good so faithfully surrounded,
secure and comforted in spite of fear,
we live each day with you Lord, unconfounded,
and go with you to meet the coming year.

SECOND READING [1 Peter 4:7-11]:

The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake
of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a
multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good
stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of
you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God;
whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be
glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power for
ever and ever. Amen.

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

Prayer:
To Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
and who now lives in the glory of the Father,
let us raise the voice of praise, saying: 
Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you are the Amen, the faithful witness,
the first of God's creation:
Lord, have mercy

You are Alpha and Omega,
the one who is, and was, and who is to come:
Lord, have mercy

You search into the thoughts and affections
of all people:
Lord, have mercy

You reprove and chasten
those whom you love:
Lord, have mercy

You open the eyes of the blind
and set the prisoners free:
Lord, have mercy

In your paschal victory,
you have proclaimed the coming of the kingdom: 
Lord, have mercy

In me there is darkness, but with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.

Gracious God, 
the Beyond in the midst of our life, 
who gave grace to your servant Dietrich Bonhoeffer 
to know and teach the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, 
and to bear the cost of following him: 
Grant that we, strengthened by his teaching and example, 
may receive your word and embrace its call with an undivided heart; 
through Jesus Christ our Savior, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
       
Rejoicing in the God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Make our hearts burn to go back to the world
and speak your word of life in Jesus' Name. 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 sentence are adapted from a prayer by
Alan Griffiths.

The first collect is by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts
and Fasts_,.

Bonhoeffer was born in 1906, son of a professor of psychiatry and neurology
at the University of Berlin. He was an outstanding student, and at the age of 25
became a lecturer in systematic theology at the same University. When Hitler
came to power in 1933, Bonhoeffer became a leading spokesman for the
Confessing Church, the center of Protestant resistance to the Nazis. He
organized and for a time led the underground seminary of the Confessing
Church. His book Life Together describes the life of the Christian community
in that seminary, and his book The Cost Of Discipleship attacks what he calls
"cheap grace," meaning grace used as an excuse for moral laxity. Bonhoeffer
had been taught not to "resist the powers that be," but he came to believe that
to do so was sometimes the right choice. In 1939 his brother-in-law introduced
him to a group planning the overthrow of Hitler, and he made significant
contributions to their work. (He was at this time an employee of the Military
Intelligence Department.) He was arrested in April 1943 and imprisoned in
Berlin. After the failure of the attempt on Hitler's life in April 1944, he was
sent first to Buchenwald and then to Schoenberg Prison. His life was spared,
because he had a relative who stood high in the government; but then this
relative was himself implicated in anti-Nazi plots. On Sunday 8 April 1945, he
had just finished conducting a service of worship at Schoenberg, when two
soldiers came in, saying, "Prisoner Bonhoeffer, make ready and come with us,"
the standard summons to a condemned prisoner. As he left, he said to another
prisoner, "This is the end -- but for me, the beginning -- of life." He was
hanged the next day, less than a week before the Allies reached the camp.
[James Kiefer, abridged]



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