OREMUS: 29 July 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Jul 28 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Mary, Martha and Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord

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

Blessed are you, O God,
you are our greatest treasure
and the source of our greatest joy:
Your Spirit continues to form us in the likeness of Christ,
that we may know the freedom of your children
and the assurance that nothing in creation
can separate us from your love,
most fully known in Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 37:26-end

I have been young and now I am old,*
 but never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
   or their children begging bread.
The righteous are always generous in their lending,*
 and their children shall be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good,*
 and dwell in the land for ever.
For the Lord loves justice;*
 he does not forsake his faithful ones.
They shall be kept safe for ever,*
 but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
The righteous shall possess the land*
 and dwell in it for ever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,*
 and their tongue speaks what is right.
The law of their God is in their heart,*
 and their footsteps shall not falter.
The wicked spy on the righteous*
 and seek occasion to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their hand,*
 nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
Wait upon the Lord and keep his way;*
 he will raise you up to possess the land,
   and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen the wicked in their arrogance,*
 flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
I went by and, behold, they were not there;*
 I searched for them, but they could not be found.
Mark those who are honest; observe the upright;*
 for there is a future for the peaceable.
Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all;*
 the future of the wicked is cut off.
But the deliverance of the righteous
   comes from the Lord;*
 he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord will help them and rescue them;*
 he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
   because they seek refuge in him.

A Song of the Messiah (Isaiah 9.2,3b,4a,6,7)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;  
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, 
upon them the light has dawned. 
You have increased their joy and given them great gladness;  
they rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest. 
For you have shattered the yoke that burdened them;  
the collar that lay heavy on their shoulders. 
For to us a child is born and to us a son is given,  
and the government will be upon his shoulder. 
And his name will be called: Wonderful Counsellor; 
the Mighty God;  
the Everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace. 
Of the increase of his government and of peace  
there will be no end, 
Upon the throne of David and over his kingdom,  
to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness. 
>From this time forth and for evermore;  
the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Psalm 147:1-12

   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

FIRST READING [Micah 4:9-5:1]:

Now why do you cry aloud?
   Is there no king in you?
Has your counsellor perished,
   that pangs have seized you like a woman in labour?
Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion,
   like a woman in labour;
for now you shall go forth from the city
   and camp in the open country;
   you shall go to Babylon.
There you shall be rescued,
   there the Lord will redeem you
   from the hands of your enemies.

Now many nations
   are assembled against you,
saying, 'Let her be profaned,
   and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.'
But they do not know
   the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
   that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing-floor.
Arise and thresh,
   O daughter Zion,
for I will make your horn iron
   and your hoofs bronze;
you shall beat in pieces many peoples,
   and shall devote their gain to the Lord,
   their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

Now you are walled around with a wall;
   siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the ruler of Israel
   upon the cheek. 

Words: Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (1850-1920)
Tune: Song 18

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Lord Jesus, who at Lazarus' tomb
to weeping friends from death's dark womb
didst bring new joy to life,
grant to the friends who stand forlorn
a vision of that larger morn
where peace has conquered strife.

May we behold across the bar
the dear immortals as they are,
empowered in act and will,
with purer eyes to see their King,
with fuller hearts his praise to sing,
with strength to help us still.

Not fettered now by fleshly bond,
but tireless in the great beyond,
and growing day by day.
Can we not make their gladness ours,
and share their thoughts, their added powers,
and follow as we pray?

O Holy Ghost, the strength and guide
of those who to this earth have died,
but live more near to God,
give us thy grace to follow on,
till we with them the crown have won
who duty's paths have trod.


Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand;
and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also
boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance
produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us,
because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has
been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed,
rarely will anyone die for a righteous person though perhaps for a good person
someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we
still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been
justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if
while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than
that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have
now received reconciliation.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through
sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned  sin was indeed in the world
before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised
dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the
transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man's
trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the
one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of
the one man's sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation,
but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one
man's trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will
those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise
dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of
righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man's
disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many
will be made righteous. But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied;
but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised
dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading
to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

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

We seek you daily, O Father,
and you are there daily to be found.

Wherever we seek you,
at home, at work, on the highway,
you are there, O Lord.

Whatever we do,
eating and drinking,
writing or working,
readings, meditating or praying,
you are there, O Lord.

If we are oppressed,
you defend us, O Lord.

If we hunger,
you feed us, O Lord.

Whatever we need,
you give us, O Lord.

Blessed and holy God,
ever merciful and forgiving:
may we turn from what is evil
and do what is good in your sight,
that we might be saved by the cross
of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

God our Father,
whose Son enjoyed the love of his friends
Mary, Martha and Lazarus,
in learning, argument and hospitality:
may we so rejoice in your love
that the world may come to know
the depths of your wisdom,
the wonder of your compassion,
and your power to bring life out of death;
through the merits of Jesus Christ, 
our friend and brother,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

May we instructed by your heavenly law, O Lord,
that we may embrace the example of your Son
and show it forth in deeds and works of love. Amen.

The psalms and first collect 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 prayers by Alan Griffiths..

The intercession is by Stephen Benner.

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

Mary and Martha lived with their brother Lazarus at Bethany, a village not far
from Jerusalem. They are mentioned in several episodes in the Gospels.
On one occasion, when Jesus and His disciples were their guests (Luke
10:38-42), Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to Him while her sister Martha
busied herself with preparing food and waiting on the guests, and when Martha
complained, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better part.
When Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had died, Jesus came to
Bethany. Martha, upon being told that He was approaching, went out to meet
Him, while Mary sat still in the house until He sent for her. It was to Martha
that Jesus said: "I am the Resurrection and the Life." (John 11:1-44)
Again, about a week before the crucifixion, as Jesus reclined at table, Mary
poured a flask of expensive perfume over Jesus' feet. Mary was criticized for
wasting what might have been sold to raise money for the poor, and again
Jesus spoke on her behalf. (John 12:1-8)
On the basis of these incidents, many Christian writers have seen Mary as
representing Contemplation (prayer and devotion), and Martha as representing
Action (good works, helping others); or love of God and love of neighbor

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