OREMUS: 15 February 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Feb 14 17:00:02 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Friday, February 15, 2008
Thomas Bray, Priest, Founder of the SPCK and the SPG, 1730

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 38

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;*
 do not punish me in your wrath.
For your arrows have already pierced me,*
 and your hand presses hard upon me.
There is no health in my flesh,
   because of your indignation;*
 there is no soundness in my body, because of my sin.
For my iniquities overwhelm me;*
 like a heavy burden they are too much for me to bear.
My wounds stink and fester*
 by reason of my foolishness.
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;*
 I go about in mourning all the day long.
My loins are filled with searing pain;*
 there is no health in my body.
I am utterly numb and crushed;*
 I wail, because of the groaning of my heart.
O Lord, you know all my desires,*
 and my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart is pounding, my strength has failed me,*
 and the brightness of my eyes is gone from me.
My friends and companions draw back from my affliction;*
 my neighbours stand afar off.
Those who seek after my life lay snares for me;*
 those who strive to hurt me speak of my ruin
   and plot treachery all the day long.
But I am like the deaf who do not hear,*
 like those who are mute and do not open their mouth.
I have become like one who does not hear*
 and from whose mouth comes no defence.
For in you, O Lord, have I fixed my hope;*
 you will answer me, O Lord my God.
For I said, 'Do not let them rejoice at my expense,*
 those who gloat over me when my foot slips.'
Truly, I am on the verge of falling,*
 and my pain is always with me.
I will confess my iniquity*
 and be sorry for my sin.
Those who are my enemies without cause are mighty,*
 and many in number are those who wrongfully hate me.
Those who repay evil for good slander me,*
 because I follow the course that is right.
O Lord, do not forsake me;*
 be not far from me, O my God.
Make haste to help me,*
 O Lord of my salvation.

A Song of Christ the Servant 1 Peter 2.21b-25 

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,  
that you should follow in his steps. 
He committed no sin, no guile was found on his lips,  
when he was reviled, he did not revile in turn. 
When he suffered, he did not threaten,  
but he trusted himself to God who judges justly. 
Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,  
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. 
By his wounds, you have been healed, 
for you were straying like sheep,  
but have now returned 
to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Psalm 147:1-12

How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 18.21 28]:

If the wicked turn away from all their sins that they have committed and keep all my
statutes and do what is lawful and right, they shall surely live; they shall not die. None
of the transgressions that they have committed shall be remembered against them; for
the righteousness that they have done they shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death
of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that they should turn from their ways
and live? But when the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit
iniquity and do the same abominable things that the wicked do, shall they live? None
of the righteous deeds that they have done shall be remembered; for the treachery of
which they are guilty and the sin they have committed, they shall die.
Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is unfair.' Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way
unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their
righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have
committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they
have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they
considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they
shall surely live; they shall not die. 

Words: ong of Thanksgiving (Isaiah 12:2-6); para. Carl P. Daw. Jr.
(c) 1982 by Hope Publishing Co.
Tune: In Babilone, College of Preachers, Thomas Merton

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Surely it is God who saves me;
I shall trust and have no fear.
For the Lord defends and shields me
and his saving help is near.
So rejoice as you draw water
from salvation's healing spring;
in the day of your deliverance
thank the Lord, his mercies sing.

Make God's deeds known to the peoples:
tell our his exalted name.
Praise the Lord, who has done great things;
all his works God's might proclaim.
Zion, lift your voice in singing;
for with you has come to dwell,
in your very midst, the great and
Holy One of Israel.

SECOND READING [Matthew 5.20 26]:

Jesus said, 'Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you
will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
'You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, "You shall not murder";
and "whoever murders shall be liable to judgement." But I say to you that if you are
angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement; and if you insult a
brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, "You fool", you will
be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you
remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there
before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and
offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to
court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the
guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until
you have paid the last penny.' 

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

Send forth your strength, O God,
Establish what you have wrought in us.

Uphold all those who fall
And raise up those who are bowed down.

Open the eyes of the blind
And set the prisoners free.

Sustain the orphan and widow
And give food to those who hunger.

Grant them the joy of your help again
And sustain them with your Spirit.

O Lord, judge the peoples
And take all nations for your own.

God of compassion,
when we are weighed down by the burden of our sins,
help us to remember that you do not forsake us,
but show mercy through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

O God of compassion, 
you opened the eyes of your servant Thomas Bray 
to see the needs of the Church in the New World,
and led him to found societies to meet those needs: 
Make the Church in this land diligent at all times 
to propragate the Gospel among those who have not received it, 
and to promote the spread of Christian knowledge;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever 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.

The second collect are from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

 In 1696 Thomas Bray, an English country parson, was commissioned to
report on the condition of the Church in the colony of Maryland. He spent only
ten weeks in the colony, but he radically re-organized and renewed the Church
there, providing for the instruction of children and the systematic examination
of candidates for pastoral positions. He founded thirty-nine lending libraries
and numerous schools. Both in Maryland and upon his return to England, he
wrote and preached in defense of the rights of enlaved Africans, and of Indians
deprived of their land. Back in England, he worked for the reform of prison
conditions, and for the establishment of preaching missions to prisoners. He
persuaded General Oglethorpe to found a American colony (Georgia) for the
settlement of debtors as an alternative to debtors' prison. He founded a
missionary society, the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) and an
educational and publishing society, the SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge), both of which are still active today. [James Kiefer]

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