OREMUS: 4 June 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jun 3 17:51:39 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Wednesday, June 4, 2008
John XXIII, Bishop of Rome, Reformer, 1963

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

Blessed are you, O Lord,
your love reaches to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like teh strong mountains,
your justice like the great deep;
you save your entire creation, O Lord,
in your Son, 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 61

Hear my cry, O God,*
 and listen to my prayer.
I call upon you from the ends of the earth
   with heaviness in my heart;*
 set me upon the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,*
 a strong tower against the enemy.
I will dwell in your house for ever;*
 I will take refuge under the cover of your wings.
For you, O God, have heard my vows;*
 you have granted me the heritage
   of those who fear your name.
Add length of days to the king's life;*
 let his years extend over many generations.
Let him sit enthroned before God for ever;*
 bid love and faithfulness watch over him.
So will I always sing the praise of your name,*
 and day by day I will fulfil my vows.

Psalm 62

For God alone my soul in silence waits;*
 from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,*
 my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will you assail me to crush me,
   all of you together,*
 as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?
They seek only to bring me down
   from my place of honour;*
 lies are their chief delight.
They bless with their lips,*
 but in their hearts they curse.
For God alone my soul in silence waits;*
 truly, my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,*
 my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
In God is my safety and my honour;*
 God is my strong rock and my refuge.
Put your trust in him always, O people,*
 pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath,*
 even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
On the scales they are lighter than a breath,*
 all of them together.
Put no trust in extortion;
   in robbery take no empty pride;*
 though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
God has spoken once, twice have I heard it,*
 that power belongs to God.
Steadfast love is yours, O Lord,*
 for you repay everyone according to his deeds.

A Song of Peace (Isaiah 2.3-5)

Come, let us go up to the mountain of God,  
to the house of the God of Jacob; 
That God may teach us his ways,  
and that we may walk in his paths. 
For the law shall go out from Zion,  
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 
God shall judge between the nations,  
and shall mediate for many peoples. 
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares,  
and their spears into pruning hooks. 
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,  
neither shall they learn war any more. 
O people of Jacob, come:  
let us walk in the light of the Lord. 

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 [Nehemiah 1]:

The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In the month of Chislev, in the twentieth
year, while I was in Susa the capital, one of my brothers, Hanani, came with certain
men from Judah; and I asked them about the Jews that survived, those who had
escaped the captivity, and about Jerusalem. They replied, 'The survivors there in the
province who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is
broken down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.'
When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and
praying before the God of heaven. I said, 'O Lord God of heaven, the great and
awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and
keep his commandments; let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the
prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for your servants the
people of Israel, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned
against you. Both I and my family have sinned. We have offended you deeply, failing
to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances that you commanded
your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses,
"If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to me and
keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are under the farthest
skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place at which I have chosen
to establish my name." They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed
by your great power and your strong hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the
prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your
name. Give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this
At the time, I was cupbearer to the king. 

Words: Fred Pratt Green   1971 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Tune: Dunedin

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The church of Christ in every age,
beset by change but Spirit-led,
must claim and test its heritage
and keep on rising from the dead.

Across the world, across the street,
the victims of injustice cry
for shelter and for bread to eat,
and never live until they die.

The let the servant church arise,
a caring church that longs to be
a partner in Christ's sacrifice,
and clothed in Christ's humanity.

For he alone, whose blood was shed,
can cure the fever in our blood,
and teach us how to share our bread
and feed the starving multitude.

We have no mission but to serve
in full obedience to our Lord:
to care for all, without reserve,
and spread his liberating word.

SECOND READING [Acts 12:1-24]:

About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the
church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it
pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of
Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him
over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people
after the Passover. While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God
for him.
The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two
chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were
keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light
shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, 'Get up quickly.'
And the chains fell off his wrists. The angel said to him, 'Fasten your belt and put on
your sandals.' He did so. Then he said to him, 'Wrap your cloak around you and
follow me.' Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was
happening with the angel's help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they
had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into
the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along
a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, 'Now I
am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and
from all that the Jewish people were expecting.'
As soon as he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose
other name was Mark, where many had gathered and were praying. When he knocked
at the outer gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. On recognizing Peter's voice,
she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the gate, she ran in and announced that
Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, 'You are out of your mind!' But she
insisted that it was so. They said, 'It is his angel.' Meanwhile, Peter continued
knocking; and when they opened the gate, they saw him and were amazed. He
motioned to them with his hand to be silent, and described for them how the Lord had
brought him out of the prison. And he added, 'Tell this to James and to the believers.'
Then he left and went to another place.
When morning came, there was no small commotion among the soldiers over what had
become of Peter. When Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he
examined the guards and ordered them to be put to death. Then he went down from
Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.
Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they came to him in a
body; and after winning over Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for a
reconciliation, because their country depended on the king's country for food. On an
appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat on the platform, and
delivered a public address to them. The people kept shouting, 'The voice of a god, and
not of a mortal!' And immediately, because he had not given the glory to God, an
angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
But the word of God continued to advance and gain adherents. 

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

Let us pray for the grace to recognize
the presence of God in our lives.

Open our eyes to see your salvation;
reveal yourself to a blind humanity.

Make your face shine upon those who live with disease;
give them your strength and your peace.

Let all who are weighed down by want come to know your bounty;
that they may put their trust in your goodness.

To those who hold power and riches, grant a discerning spirit;
that they may be set free by your freedom and love.

O God, we seek security and deliverance
not in money or theft,
not in human ambition or malice,
not in our own ability or power,
but in you, the only God,
our rock and our salvation. Amen.

Almighty God, 
whose will it is to heal all division and discord
among those who call upon the name of your Son:
We thank you for the good will shown in your servant John, 
and we pray that we may always be ready to hear
our fellow Christians with humility and a willingness to learn, 
and may also speak the truth in love, 
to the healing of faction and the renewed witness of your people; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

May we feast at your abundant table, O Lord,
and drink from the river of your delights. 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from Psalm 36.

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