OREMUS: 30 July 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jul 29 17:00:01 GMT 2008

Visit our website at http://www.oremus.org

OREMUS for Wednesday, July 30, 2008
William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833

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 39

I said, 'I will keep watch upon my ways,*
 so that I do not offend with my tongue.
'I will put a muzzle on my mouth*
 while the wicked are in my presence.'
So I held my tongue and said nothing;*
 I refrained from rash words;
   but my pain became unbearable.
My heart was hot within me;
   while I pondered, the fire burst into flame;*
 I spoke out with my tongue:
Lord, let me know my end and the number of my days,*
 so that I may know how short my life is.
You have given me a mere handful of days,
   and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight;*
 truly, even those who stand erect are but a puff of wind.
We walk about like a shadow
   and in vain we are in turmoil;*
 we heap up riches and cannot tell who will gather them.
And now, what is my hope?*
 O Lord, my hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions*
 and do not make me the taunt of the fool.
I fell silent and did not open my mouth,*
 for surely it was you that did it.
Take your affliction from me;*
 I am worn down by the blows of your hand.
With rebukes for sin you punish us;
   like a moth you eat away all that is dear to us;*
 truly, everyone is but a puff of wind.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry;*
 hold not your peace at my tears.
For I am but a sojourner with you,*
 a wayfarer, as all my forebears were.
Turn your gaze from me, that I may be glad again,*
 before I go my way and am no more.

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.

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 [Micah 6:1-8]:

Hear what the Lord says:
   Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
   and let the hills hear your voice.
Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord,
   and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for the Lord has a controversy with his people,
   and he will contend with Israel.

'O my people, what have I done to you?
   In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
   and redeemed you from the house of slavery;
and I sent before you Moses,
   Aaron, and Miriam.
O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised,
   what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
   that you may know the saving acts of the Lord.'

'With what shall I come before the Lord,
   and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings,
   with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
   with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
   the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?'
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God? 


Hit "Back" in your browser to return to Oremus.             


What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?
By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all
of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ
was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness
of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with
him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that
the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For
whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we
will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die
again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once
for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead
to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey
their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness,
but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and
present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no
dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no
means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,
you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of
obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once
been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to
which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become
slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural
limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to
greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness
for sanctification.
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what
advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end
of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to
God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of
sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

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

Under your holy wings, you gather us, O God,
and you shelter us by your grace.

Together in faith communities, 
you call us share your love and mercy.
Gather us in, O God.

We give you thanks for all that gives shape to life in community:
devotion to apostolic teaching,
sharing in fellowship around your Word and Table,
continuous prayer for the world and the Church.
Gather us in, O God.

Save your Church from formless piety.
Gather us in, O God.

Help families and the leaders of households to pattern faith.
Gather us in, O God.

Choose and renew our leaders for disciple-making.
Gather us in, O God.

Uphold those who seek peace with justice.
Gather us in, O God.

Give light to all who strive to discern what is right.
Gather us in, O God.

Comfort the dying.
Gather us in, O God.

Heal the broken and suffering.
Gather us in, O God.

God our hope,
when we are troubled by fear and uncertainty,
teach us to commit our lives to your care
and to go forward on our pilgrimage,
trusting in the knowledge of your love and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

God our deliverer, 
who sent your Son Jesus Christ 
to set your people free from the slavery of sin: 
grant that, as your servant William Wilberforce 
toiled against the sin of slavery,
so we may bring compassion to all
and work for the freedom of all the children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
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 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 reprinted from _THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours of
Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c) 1997 by The Order
of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 

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.

William Wilberforce was born in 1759 and served in Parliament from 1780 to
1825. A turning point in his religious life was a tour of Europe. In the luggage
of a travelling companion he saw a copy of William Law's book, A Serious Call
to a Devout and Holy Life. He asked his friend, "What is this?" and received
the answer, "One of the best books ever written." The two of them agreed to
read it together on the journey, and Wilberforce embarked on a lifelong
program of setting aside Sundays and an interval each morning on arising for
prayer and religious reading. He considered his options, including the clergy,
and was persuaded by Christian friends that his calling was to serve God
through politics. He was a major supporter of programs for popular education,
overseas missions, parliamentary reform, and religious liberty. He is best
known, however, for his untiring commitment to the abolition of slavery and
the slave trade. He introduced his first anti-slavery motion in the House of
Commons in 1788, in a three-and-a-half hour oration that concluded: "Sir,
when we think of eternity and the future consequence of all human conduct,
what is there in this life that shall make any man contradict the dictates of his
conscience, the principles of justice and the law of God!"
The motion was defeated. Wilberforce brought it up again every year for
eighteen years, until the slave trade was finally abolished on 25 March 1806.
He continued the campaign against slavery itself, and the bill for the abolition
of all slavery in British territories passed its crucial vote just four days before
his death on 29 July 1833. A year later, on 31 July 1834, 800,000 slaves,
chiefly in the British West Indies, were set free. [James Kiefer]

More information about the oremus mailing list