OREMUS: 9 July 2008

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

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OREMUS for Wednesday, July 9, 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. 


Psalm 81

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.

A Song of the New Jerusalem (Isaiah 60.1-3,11a,18,19,14b)

Arise, shine out, for your light has come,  
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you. 
Though night still covers the earth,  
and darkness the peoples; 
Above you the Holy One arises,  
and above you God's glory appears. 
The nations will come to your light,  
and kings to your dawning brightness. 
Your gates will lie open continually,  
shut neither by day nor by night. 
The sound of violence shall be heard no longer in your land,  
or ruin and devastation within your borders. 
You will call your walls, Salvation,  
and your gates, Praise. 
No more will the sun give you daylight,  
nor moonlight shine upon you; 
But the Lord will be your everlasting light,  
your God will be your splendour. 
For you shall be called the city of God,  
the dwelling of the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 147:13-end

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 [Daniel 4:28-end]:

All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was
walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king said, 'Is this not
magnificent Babylon, which I have built as a royal capital by my mighty power and for
my glorious majesty?' While the words were still in the king's mouth, a voice came
from heaven: 'O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: The kingdom has
departed from you! You shall be driven away from human society, and your dwelling
shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like oxen, and
seven times shall pass over you, until you have learned that the Most High has
sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals and gives it to whom he will.' Immediately
the sentence was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven away from human
society, ate grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until his
hair grew as long as eagles' feathers and his nails became like birds' claws.

 When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my
reason returned to me.
I blessed the Most High,
   and praised and honoured the one who lives for ever.
For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty,
   and his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
   and he does what he wills with the host of heaven
   and the inhabitants of the earth.
There is no one who can stay his hand
   or say to him, 'What are you doing?'
At that time my reason returned to me; and my majesty and splendour were restored to
me for the glory of my kingdom. My counsellors and my lords sought me out, I was
re-established over my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I,
Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven,
for all his works are truth,
   and his ways are justice;
and he is able to bring low
   those who walk in pride. 

Words:  Shirley Erena Murray, alt.   1992 by Hope Publishing Co Used with
Tune: Rhuddlan

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God of freedom, God of justice,
God whose love is strong as death,
God who saw the dark of prison,
God who knew the price of faith:
touch our world of sad oppression
with your Spirit's healing breath.

Rid the earth of torture's terror,
God whose hands were nailed to wood;
hear the cries of pain and protest,
God who shed the tears and blood;
move in us the power of pity,
restless for the common good.

Make in us a captive conscience
quick to hear, to act, to plead;
make us truly sisters, brothers,
of whatever race or creed:
teach us to be fully human,
open to each other's need. 

SECOND READING [Acts 23:25-24:9]:

He wrote a letter to this effect:

'Claudius Lysias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. This man was seized
by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, but when I had learned that he was a
Roman citizen, I came with the guard and rescued him. Since I wanted to know the
charge for which they accused him, I had him brought to their council. I found that he
was accused concerning questions of their law, but was charged with nothing
deserving death or imprisonment. When I was informed that there would be a plot
against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before
you what they have against him.'

So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him during the
night to Antipatris. The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, while they
returned to the barracks. When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the
governor, they presented Paul also before him. On reading the letter, he asked what
province he belonged to, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia, he said, 'I will
give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.' Then he ordered that he be kept under
guard in Herod's headquarters.

Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an attorney, a
certain Tertullus, and they reported their case against Paul to the governor. When Paul
had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying:

'Your Excellency, because of you we have long enjoyed peace, and reforms have been
made for this people because of your foresight. We welcome this in every way and
everywhere with utmost gratitude. But, to detain you no further, I beg you to hear us
briefly with your customary graciousness. We have, in fact, found this man a pestilent
fellow, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the
sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, and so we seized him. By
examining him yourself you will be able to learn from him concerning everything of
which we accuse him.'

 The Jews also joined in the charge by asserting that all this was true.

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

Holy Father,
you have reconciled us to yourself in Christ;
by your Spirit
you enable us to live as your children.

We pray for personal relationships
the home, and family life....
children deprived of home....
friends, relations and neighbours....
relationships in daily life and work....
those who are estranged....
ministries of care and healing...

Holy Father, we give you thanks
for the obedience of Christ fulfilled in the cross,
his bearing of the sin of the world,
his mercy for the world, which never fails....

for the joy of human love and friendship,
the lives to which our own are bound,
the gift of peace with you and each other....

for the communities in whose life we share
and all relationships
in which reconciliation may be known....

Help us to share in Christ's ministry
and to love and serve one another in peace;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who in the unity of the Spirit
is one with you for ever. Amen.

Father of mercy,
keep us joyful in your salvation
and faithful to your covenant;
and, as we journey to your kingdom,
ever feed us with the bread of life,
your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. 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.

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

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