OREMUS: 7 July 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jul 6 17:00:18 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Monday, July 7, 2008

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

Blessed are you, Lord, our great God,
for the testimonies of the prophets we bless you.
For the statutes of the law we bless you.
For the gospel of Christ and the witness of the apostles
we bless you, glorious God.
You touch us with the Holy Spirit
and do not let us escape your Word
without being caught by its promises and powerful joy.
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

http://www.oremus.org/ocan.html

Psalm 73

Truly, God is good to Israel,*
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped;*
 I had almost tripped and fallen;
Because I envied the proud*
 and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
For they suffer no pain,*
 and their bodies are sleek and sound;
In the misfortunes of others they have no share;*
 they are not afflicted as others are;
Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace*
 and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from gross minds,*
 and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
They scoff and speak maliciously;*
 out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,*
 and their evil speech runs through the world.
And so the people turn to them*
 and find in them no fault.
They say, 'How should God know?*
 is there knowledge in the Most High?'
So then, these are the wicked;*
 always at ease, they increase their wealth.
In vain have I kept my heart clean,*
 and washed my hands in innocence.
I have been afflicted all day long,*
 and punished every morning.
Had I gone on speaking this way,*
 I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
When I tried to understand these things,*
 it was too hard for me;
Until I entered the sanctuary of God*
 and discerned the end of the wicked.
Surely, you set them in slippery places;*
 you cast them down in ruin.
O how suddenly do they come to destruction,*
 come to an end and perish from terror!
Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord,*
 when you arise you will make their image vanish.
When my mind became embittered,*
 I was sorely wounded in my heart.
I was stupid and had no understanding;*
 I was like a brute beast in your presence.
Yet I am always with you;*
 you hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me by your counsel,*
 and afterwards receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?*
 and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
Though my flesh and my heart should waste away,*
 God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Truly, those who forsake you will perish;*
 you destroy all who are unfaithful.
But it is good for me to be near God;*
 I have made the Lord God my refuge.
I will speak of all your works*
 in the gates of the city of Zion.

A Song of the Blessed (Matthew 5.3-10)

Blessed are the poor in spirit,  
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn,  
for they shall be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek,  
for they shall inherit the earth. 
Blessed are those who hunger 
and thirst after righteousness,  
for they shall be satisfied. 
Blessed are the merciful,  
for they shall obtain mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart,  
for they shall see God. 
Blessed are the peacemakers,  
for they shall be called children of God. 
Blessed are those who suffer persecution 
for righteousness' sake,  
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Rejoice and be glad 
for you are the light of the world, 
and great is your reward in heaven. 

Psalm 146

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Daniel 4:4-5,10-18]:

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living at ease in my home and prospering in my palace. I saw
a dream that frightened me; my fantasies in bed and the visions of my head terrified
me.
Upon my bed this is what I saw;
   there was a tree at the centre of the earth,
   and its height was great.
The tree grew great and strong,
   its top reached to heaven,
   and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth.
Its foliage was beautiful,
   its fruit abundant,
   and it provided food for all.
The animals of the field found shade under it,
   the birds of the air nested in its branches,
   and from it all living beings were fed.

 'I continued looking, in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and there was a holy
watcher, coming down from heaven. He cried aloud and said:
"Cut down the tree and chop off its branches,
   strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit.
Let the animals flee from beneath it
   and the birds from its branches.
But leave its stump and roots in the ground,
   with a band of iron and bronze,
   in the tender grass of the field.
Let him be bathed with the dew of heaven,
   and let his lot be with the animals of the field
   in the grass of the earth.
Let his mind be changed from that of a human,
   and let the mind of an animal be given to him.
   And let seven times pass over him.
The sentence is rendered by decree of the watchers,
   the decision is given by order of the holy ones,
in order that all who live may know
   that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdom of mortals;
he gives it to whom he will
   and sets over it the lowliest of human beings."

'This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare
the interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are unable to tell me the
interpretation. You are able, however, for you are endowed with a spirit of the holy
gods.'

HYMN 
Words:    Marnie Barrell, 1988 
Tune: Abbot's Leigh,  Ton-y-Botel, Nettleton, Blaenwern,  Hyfrydol

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/barrell/mb16d.html
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Great and deep the Spirit's purpose,
hidden now in mystery;
Nature bursts with joyful promise,
ripe with what is yet to be.
In a wealth of rich invention,
still the work of art unfolds -
barely have we seen, and faintly,
what God's great salvation holds.

Great and deep the Spirit's purpose
making Jesus seen and heard.
Every age of God's creation
grasps new meanings from the Word.
Show us, Holy Spirit, show us
your new work begun today;
eyes and ears and hearts are open,
teach us what to do and say.

Great and deep the Spirit's purpose
all God's children brought to birth,
freed from hunger, fear and evil
every corner of the earth.
And a million million voices
speak with joy the Saviour's name;
every face reflects his image,
never any two the same.

Great and deep the Spirit's purpose
nothing shall be left to chance.
All that lives will be united
in the everlasting dance.
All fulfilled and all perfected,
each uniquely loved and known,
Christ in glory unimagined
once for all receives his own. 

SECOND READING [Acts 22:30-23:11]:

Since he wanted to find out what Paul was being accused of by the Jews, the next day
he released him and ordered the chief priests and the entire council to meet. He
brought Paul down and had him stand before them.
While Paul was looking intently at the council he said, 'Brothers, up to this day I have
lived my life with a clear conscience before God.' Then the high priest Ananias
ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth. At this Paul said to him,
'God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me
according to the law, and yet in violation of the law you order me to be struck?' Those
standing nearby said, 'Do you dare to insult God's high priest?' And Paul said, 'I did
not realize, brothers, that he was high priest; for it is written, "You shall not speak evil
of a leader of your people." '
When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out
in the council, 'Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning
the hope of the resurrection of the dead.' When he said this, a dissension began
between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (The
Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit; but the Pharisees
acknowledge all three.) Then a great clamour arose, and certain scribes of the
Pharisees' group stood up and contended, 'We find nothing wrong with this man.
What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?' When the dissension became violent,
the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered the soldiers to go
down, take him by force, and bring him into the barracks.
That night the Lord stood near him and said, 'Keep up your courage! For just as you
have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.' 

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

Prayer:
Almighty God,
maker of all good things and Father of all;
you have shown us in Christ the purpose of your creation
and call us to be responsible in the world.

We pray for the world
all the nations....
our own country....
those in authority....
the peace of the world....
racial harmony....
those who maintain order....

We pray for the Church, especially

Almighty God, we give you thanks
for the order of created things
the resources of the earth
and the gift of human life....

for the continuing work of creation,
man's share in it,
and for creative vision and inventive skill....

for your faithfulness to man in patience and in love,
and for every human response of obedience
and humble achievement....

May we delight in your purpose
and work to bring all things to their true end;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Most High,
you know our faithlessness and our blindness
to the rewards of goodness.
Guide us with your counsel
and be the strength of our hearts,
that we may not fall 
but rejoice in the life of your eternal city;
through Jesus Christ our Mediator. Amen. 
       
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Prepare our hearts and lives
to be strengthened and changed by your Word,
revealed by your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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The psalms 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 and closing sentence are adapted from _The Worship
Soucerbook_.



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