OREMUS: 3 January 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Jan 2 17:06:37 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Thursday, January 3, 2008
Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah, Bishop in South India, Evangelist, 1945

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

Blessed are you, loving and merciful God,
you fill our hearts with joy
as we recognize in Christ the revelation of your love.
No eye can see his glory as our God,
yet now he is seen like one of us.
Christ is your Son before all ages,
yet now he is born in time.
He has come to lift up all things to himself,
to restore unity to creation,
and to lead us from exile into your heavenly kingdom.
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/chrocant.html

Psalm 56

Have mercy on me, O God,
   for my enemies are hounding me;*
 all day long they assault and oppress me.
They hound me all the day long;*
 truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
Whenever I am afraid,*
 I will put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
   in God I trust and will not be afraid,*
 for what can flesh do to me?
All day long they damage my cause;*
 their only thought is to do me evil.
They band together; they lie in wait;*
 they spy upon my footsteps; because they seek my life.
Shall they escape despite their wickedness?*
 O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.
You have noted my lamentation;
   put my tears into your bottle;*
 are they not recorded in your book?
Whenever I call upon you,
   my enemies will be put to flight;*
 this I know, for God is on my side.
In God the Lord, whose word I praise,
   in God I trust and will not be afraid,*
 for what can mortals do to me?
I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God;*
 I will present to you thank-offerings;
For you have rescued my soul from death
   and my feet from stumbling,*
 that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

Psalm 58
Do you indeed decree righteousness, you rulers?*
 do you judge the peoples with equity?
No; you devise evil in your hearts,*
 and your hands deal out violence in the land.
The wicked are perverse from the womb;*
 liars go astray from their birth.
They are as venomous as a serpent,*
 they are like the deaf adder which stops its ears,
Which does not heed the voice of the charmer,*
 no matter how skilful his charming.
O God, break their teeth in their mouths;*
 pull the fangs of the young lions, O Lord.
Let them vanish like water that runs off;*
 let them wither like trodden grass.
Let them be like the snail that melts away,*
 like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
Before they bear fruit, let them be cut down like a brier;*
 like thorns and thistles let them be swept away.
The righteous will be glad when they see the vengeance;*
 they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
And they will say,
   'Surely, there is a reward for the righteous;*
 surely, there is a God who rules in the earth.'

A Song of God's Love (1 John 4.7-11,12b)
Beloved, let us love one another, 
for love is of God;  
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 
Whoever does not love does not know God,  
for God is love. 
In this the love of God was revealed among us,  
that God sent his only Son into the world, 
so that we might live through him. 
In this is love, 
not that we loved God but that he loved us,  
and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. 
Beloved, since God loved us so much,  
we ought also to love one another. 
For if we love one another, God abides in us,  
and God's love will be perfected in us. 
Psalm 148
Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
   Alleluia!
 
FIRST READING [1 John 2.29   3.6]:

If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has
been born of him. See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called
children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is
that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has
not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like
him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves,
just as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that
he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in
him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 

HYMN 
Words: Charles Wesley, 1747   
Tune: Hyfrydol, Love Divine, Blaenwern

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/l/l531.html
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Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee:
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

SECOND READING [John 1.29 34]:

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, 'Here is the Lamb of
God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, "After me comes
a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me." I myself did not know him;
but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.'
And John testified, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it
remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with
water said to me, "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who
baptizes with the Holy Spirit." And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the
Son of God.'

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

Prayer:
Father, your Son our Savior 
was born as a child among us. 
Renew your Church as the Body of Christ.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

There was no room for your Son in the inn.
Protect with your love those who have no home 
and all who live in poverty.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Mary, in the pain of labor, brought your Son to birth. 
Hold in your hand all who are in pain or distress.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Your Christ came as a light shining in the darkness. 
Bring comfort to all who suffer 
in the sadness of our world.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

The angels sang 'Peace to God's people on earth'. 
Strengthen those who work 
for peace and justice in all the world.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Shepherds in the fields heard good tidings of joy. 
Give us grace to preach the gospel of Christ's redemption.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Heaven is come down to earth 
and earth is raised to heaven. 
Keep in safety all those who have passed through death
in the hope of heaven.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Christians the world over celebrate his birth. 
Open our hearts that he may be born in us today.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Angels and shepherds worshiped at the manger throne. 
Receive the worship we offer in fellowship 
with Mary, Joseph and all the saints.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Do not face us, O living God,
with the choice of a world without justice
or a future without mercy;
in your mercy, establish justice
and in your justice, remember your overflowing mercy
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Eternal God,
you called Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah to proclaim your glory
in a life of prayer and pastoral zeal:
keep the leaders of your Church faithful
and bless your people through their ministry,
that the Church may grow into the full stature
of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
       
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

May the Christ who by becoming incarnate gathered into one
things earthly and heavenly,
bestow upon us the fullness of peace and goodwill. 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
_The Promise of His Glory_ (Mowbray), (c) The Central
Board of Finance  of the Church of England 1990, 1991, which is used with
permission.

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

Samuel Azariah was born in 1874 in a small village in South India, his father,
Thomas Vedanayagam being a simple village priest and his mother Ellen
having a deep love and understanding of the Scriptures. Samuel became a
YMCA evangelist whilst still only nineteen, and secretary of the organisation
throughout South India a few years later. He saw that, for the Church in India
to grow and attract ordinary Indians to the Christian faith, it had to have an
indigenous leadership and reduce the strong western influences and almost
totally white leadership that pervaded it. He was ordained priest at the age of
thirty-five and bishop just three years later, his work moving from primary
evangelism to forwarding his desire for more Indian clergy and the need to
raise their educational standards. He was an avid ecumenist and was one of the
first to see the importance to mission of a united Church. He died on 1 January
1945, just two years before the creation of a united Church of South India.



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