OREMUS: 23 January 2008
steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jan 22 17:00:01 GMT 2008
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OREMUS for Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, 1893
O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are you, O God,
in the One you have declared
to be your servant and your Son.
Blessed are you, O God,
in those called to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Blessed are you, O God,
in your Creator Spirit
who calls us to renew and fashion our lives
into a joyful announcement of your good news.
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.
Sing with joy to God our strength*
and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song and sound the timbrel,*
the merry harp and the lyre.
Blow the ram's-horn at the new moon,*
and at the full moon, the day of our feast.
For this is a statute for Israel,*
a law of the God of Jacob.
He laid it as a solemn charge upon Joseph,*
when he came out of the land of Egypt.
I heard an unfamiliar voice saying,*
'I eased his shoulder from the burden;
his hands were set free from bearing the load.'
You called on me in trouble and I saved you;*
I answered you from the secret place of thunder
and tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you:*
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;*
you shall not worship a foreign god.
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt and said,*
'Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.'
And yet my people did not hear my voice,*
and Israel would not obey me.
So I gave them over to the stubbornness
of their hearts,*
to follow their own devices.
O that my people would listen to me!*
that Israel would walk in my ways!
I should soon subdue their enemies*
and turn my hand against their foes.
Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,*
and their punishment would last for ever.
But Israel would I feed with the finest wheat*
and satisfy him with honey from the rock.
God takes his stand in the council of heaven;*
he gives judgement in the midst of the gods:
'How long will you judge unjustly,*
and show favour to the wicked?
'Save the weak and the orphan;*
defend the humble and needy;
'Rescue the weak and the poor;*
deliver them from the power of the wicked.
'They do not know, neither do they understand;
they go about in darkness;*
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
'Now I say to you, "You are gods,*
and all of you children of the Most High;
'"Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,*
and fall like any prince."'
Arise, O God, and rule the earth,*
for you shall take all nations for your own.
A Song of Praise (Revelation 4.11; 5.9b,10)
You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power.
For you have created all things,
and by your will they have their being.
You are worthy, O Lamb, for you were slain,
and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests
serving our God,
and they will reign with you on earth.
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.
FIRST READING [1 Samuel 17.32 33, 37, 40 51]:
David said to Saul, 'Let no one's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and
fight with this Philistine.' Saul said to David, 'You are not able to go against this
Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his
youth.' David said, 'The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the
paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.' So Saul said to David,
'Go, and may the Lord be with you!' Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five
smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd's bag, in the pouch; his
sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.
The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him.
When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth,
ruddy and handsome in appearance. The Philistine said to David, 'Am I a dog, that
you come to me with sticks?' And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The
Philistine said to David, 'Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air
and to the wild animals of the field.' But David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me
with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This very day the Lord will
deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will
give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to
the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in
Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and
spear; for the battle is the Lord's and he will give you into our hand.'
When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly towards the battle
line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and
struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face
down on the ground.
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the
Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David's hand. Then David ran and
stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed
him; then he cut off his head with it.
When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Words: William Cowper, 1779
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Sometimes a light surprises
the Christian while he sings;
it is the Lord who rises
with healing in his wings:
when comforts are declining,
he grants the soul again
a season of clear shining,
to cheer it after rain.
In holy contemplation
we sweetly then pursue
the theme of God's salvation,
and find it ever new;
set free from present sorrow,
we cheerfully can say,
let the unknown tomorrow
bring with it what it may,
It can bring with it nothing
but he will bear us through:
who gives the lilies clothing
will clothe his people, too:
beneath the spreading heavens
no creature but is fed;
and he who feeds the ravens
will give his children bread.
Though vine nor fig tree neither
their wonted fruit should bear,
though all the fields should wither,
nor flocks nor herds be there;
yet, God the same abiding,
his praise shall tune my voice;
for, while in him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.
SECOND READING [Mark 3.1 6]:
Again Jesus entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.
They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they
might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, 'Come
forward.' Then he said to them, 'Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath,
to save life or to kill?' But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he
was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He
stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately
conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
Let us pray for the grace to recognize
the presence of God in our lives.
Open our eyes to see your salvation;
reveal yourself to a blind humanity.
Make your face shine upon those who live with disease;
give them your strength and your peace.
Let all who are weighed down by want come to know your bounty;
that they may put their trust in your goodness.
To those who hold power and riches, grant a discerning spirit;
that they may be set free by your freedom and love.
Strength of the weak,
Defender of the needy,
Rescuer of the poor,
deliver us from the power of wickedness,
that we may rejoice in your justice now and for ever,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O everlasting God,
you revealed truth to your servant Phillips Brooks,
and so formed and molded his mind and heart
that he was able to mediate the truth with grace and power:
Grant, we pray, that all whom you call to preach the Gospel
may steep themselves in your Word,
and conform their lives to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Believing the promises of God,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:
- The Lord's Prayer
Equip us, your Church, to serve the human family
as a life-giving leaven,
by drawing men and women
into a new birth as your beloved children,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 sentence are adapted from
_Celebrating the Christian Year_ (c) Canterbury Press, Norwich.
The intercession is based on a prayer in _In Spirit and In Truth_, (c) World
Council of Churches, 1991.
The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission.
The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.
Phillips Brooks is best known today as the author of "O Little Town of
Bethlehem." Former generations, however, accounted him the greatest
American preacher of the nineteenth century (and not for lack of other
candidates). His sermons are still read.
He was born in Boston in 1835 and educated at Harvard and at Virginia
Theological Seminary. After ten years of ministry at two churches in
Philadelphia, he returned to Boston in 1869 and was rector of Trinity Church
there until 1891. He was then elected Bishop of Massachusetts, and died two
years later. [James Kiefer]
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