OREMUS: 25 July 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Jul 24 17:00:20 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Friday, July 25, 2008
Saint James the Apostle

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

Blessed are you, God of love,
for you have established our paths
and proclaimed the truth of your love and salvation
through your holy Church,
giving us that which is more precious than anything
we could ever experience or dare to imagine.
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 33

Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous;*
 it is good for the just to sing praises.
Praise the Lord with the harp;*
 play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
Sing for him a new song;*
 sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
For the word of the Lord is right,*
 and all his works are sure.
He loves righteousness and justice;*
 the loving-kindness of the Lord fills the whole earth.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,*
 by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
He gathers up the waters of the ocean
   as in a water-skin*
 and stores up the depths of the sea.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;*
 let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
For he spoke and it came to pass;*
 he commanded and it stood fast.
The Lord brings the will of the nations to naught;*
 he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
But the Lord's will stands fast for ever,*
 and the designs of his heart from age to age.
Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord!*
 happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
The Lord looks down from heaven,*
 and beholds all the people in the world.
>From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze*
 on all who dwell on the earth.
He fashions all the hearts of them*
 and understands all their works.
There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army;*
 the strong are not delivered by great strength.nbsp;
The horse is a vain hope for deliverance;*
 for all its strength it cannot save.
Behold, the eye of the Lord
   is upon those who fear him,*
 on those who wait upon his love,
To pluck their lives from death,*
 and to feed them in time of famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord;*
 he is our help and our shield.
Indeed, our heart rejoices in him,*
 for in his holy name we put our trust.
Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us,*
 as we have put our trust in you.

A Song of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:24-26,28b)

I will take you from the nations,
and gather you from all the countries.

I will sprinkle clean water upon you,
and you shall be clean from all your impurities.

A new heart I will give you,
and put a new spirit within you,

And I will remove from your body the heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.

You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.

Psalm 149

   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 26:8-15]:

When Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak
to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him,
saying, 'You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying,
"This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant"?'
And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.
When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to
the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of
the Lord. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people,
'This man deserves the sentence of death because he has prophesied against this city,
as you have heard with your own ears.'
Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, 'It is the Lord who
sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now
therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your
God, and the Lord will change his mind about the disaster that he has pronounced
against you. But as for me, here I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and
right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will be bringing
innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the
Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.' 

Words: Scottish Paraphrase, 1745;
as altered in the Hymnal of 1826 
Tune: St. Fulbert, St. Flavian

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Lo! what a cloud of witnesses
encompass us around!
Men once like us with suffering tried,
but now with glory crowned.

Let us, with zeal like theirs inspired,
strive in the Christian race;
and, freed from every weight of sin,
their holy footsteps trace.

Behold a Witness nobler still,
who trod affliction's path:
Jesus, the author, finisher,
rewarder of our faith.

He, for the joy before him set,
and moved by pitying love,
endured the cross, despised the shame,
and now he reigns above.

Thither, forgetting things behind,
press we to God's right hand;
there, with the Savior and his saints,
triumphantly to stand. 

SECOND READING [Matthew 10:16-32]:

Jesus said, 'See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise
as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to
councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors
and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you
over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you
are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit
of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father
his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you
will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be
saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you
will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
'A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the
disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the
master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his
'So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and
nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the
light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those
who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul
and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall
to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all
counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
'Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge
before my Father in heaven.'

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

Let us pray to God, 
whose word was entrusted to the Apostles
and has spread to all the world.

Empower your Church
to proclaim the saving message of Jesus Christ.
Lord of mercy,
spread your word.

Give us courage and strength
to spread the Gospel in places
where it has not been preached.
Lord of mercy,
spread your word.

Bless us in our personal lives
that we may live fully according to Jesus' example.
Lord of mercy,
spread your word.

Open our eyes to your Word in the Holy Scriptures
that we find new paths of understanding.
Lord of mercy,
spread your word.

Remember, in your mercy, those who have gone before
marked with the sign of faith and led by the Gospel.
Lord of mercy,
spread your word.

O gracious God, 
whose apostle James left his father 
and all that he had, 
and without delay obeyed the call 
of your Son Jesus Christ: 
Pour out upon the leaders of your Church 
the same spirit of self-denying service 
by which alone they may have true authority 
among your people; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Enrich us abundantly with your grace, O Lord,
that, firm in faith, secure in hope, and constant in love,
we may keep your commandments with watchful care. 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 of thanksgiving is by Stephen Benner and is loosely based
on a prayer by Leslie Brandt.

The collect is from _A Prayer Book for Australia_. (c) 1995,
The Anglican Church of Australia Trust Corporation.

The intercession is by Stephen Benner, and is based loosely on a prayer by
Raymond Chapman in _Leading Intercessions_, (c) 2000,
Canterbury Press.

The closing prayer uses a sentence from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

James the son of Zebedee and his brother John were among the twelve
disciples of Our Lord. They, together with Peter, were privileged to behold the
Transfiguration , to witness the healing of Peter's mother-in-law (P 1:29) and
the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and to be called aside to watch and pray
with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane on the night before His death.
James and John were apparently from a higher social level than the average
fisherman. Their father could afford hired servants, and John (assuming him to
be identical with the "beloved disciple") had connections with the high priest.
Jesus nicknamed the two brothers "sons of thunder", perhaps meaning that
they were headstrong, hot-tempered, and impulsive; and so they seem to be in
two incidents reported in the Gospels. On one occasion, Jesus and the disciples
were refused the hospitality of a Samaritan village, and James and John
proposed to call down fire from heaven on the offenders. On another occasion
, they asked Jesus for a special place of honor in the Kingdom, and were told
that the place of honor is the place of suffering.
Finally, about AD 42, shortly before Passover (Acts 12), James was beheaded
by order of King Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great (who tried to
kill the infant Jesus--Matthew 2), nephew of Herod Antipas (who killed John
the Baptist--Mark 6--and examined Jesus on Good Friday--Luke 23), and
father of Herod Agrippa II (who heard the defence of Paul before Festus--Acts
25). James was the first of the Twelve to suffer martyrdom, and the only one of
the Twelve whose death is recorded in the New Testament.
James is often called James Major (= greater or elder) to distinguish him from
other New Testament persons called James. Tradition has it that he made a
missionary journey to Spain, and that after his death his body was taken to
Spain and buried there. at Compostela. His supposed burial place there was a
major site of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. [James Kiefer, abridged]

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