OREMUS: 14 June 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Jun 13 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Saturday, June 14, 2008
Richard Baxter, Puritan Divine, 1691

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

Blessed are you, O Lord,
full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
You have not dealt with us according to our sins,
your mercy is great upon those who fear you.
In your Son Jesus Christ you have redeemed
our life from the grave and crowned us with mercy and loving-kindness.
You satisfy us with good things,
and our youth is renewed like an eagle's.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 93

The Lord is king; he has put on splendid apparel;*
 the Lord has put on his apparel
   and girded himself with strength.
He has made the whole world so sure*
 that it cannot be moved;
Ever since the world began,
   your throne has been established;*
 you are from everlasting.
The waters have lifted up, O Lord,
   the waters have lifted up their voice;*
 the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the sound of many waters,
   mightier than the breakers of the sea,*
 mightier is the Lord who dwells on high.
Your testimonies are very sure,*
 and holiness adorns your house, O Lord,
   for ever and for evermore.

Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the people tremble;*
 he is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth shake.
The Lord is great in Zion;*
 he is high above all peoples.
Let them confess his name, which is great and awesome;*
 he is the Holy One.
'O mighty King, lover of justice,
   you have established equity;*
 you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.'
Proclaim the greatness of the Lord our God
   and fall down before his footstool;*
 he is the Holy One.
Moses and Aaron among his priests,
   and Samuel among those who call upon his name,*
 they called upon the Lord and he answered them.
He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud;*
 they kept his testimonies
   and the decree that he gave them.
'O Lord our God, you answered them indeed;*
 you were a God who forgave them,
   yet punished them for their evil deeds.'
Proclaim the greatness of the Lord our God
   and worship him upon his holy hill;*
 for the Lord our God is the Holy One.

A Song of Judith (Judith 16.13-16)

I will sing a new song to my God,  
for you are great and glorious, 
truly strong and invincible. 
May your whole creation serve you,  
for you spoke and all things came to be. 
You sent forth your Spirit and they were formed,  
for no one can resist your voice. 
Mountains and seas are stirred to their depths;  
at your presence rocks shall melt like wax. 
But to those who fear you,  
you continue to show mercy. 
No sacrifice, however fragrant, can please you,  
but whoever fears the Lord 
shall stand in your sight for ever.

Psalm 150

   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

FIRST READING [1 Maccabees 1:1,7-15]:

After Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came from the land of Kittim, had
defeated King Darius of the Persians and the Medes, he succeeded him as king. (He
had previously become king of Greece.) And after Alexander had reigned for twelve
years, he died.
Then his officers began to rule, each in his own place. They all put on crowns after his
death, and so did their descendants after them for many years; and they caused many
evils on the earth.
>From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus; he
had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one hundred and thirty-seventh
year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, 'Let us
go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from
them many disasters have come upon us.' This proposal pleased them, and some of the
people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the
Gentiles. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, and
removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined
with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil. 

Words: Richard Baxter (1615-1691)
Tune: Albano, Burford

Lord, it belongs not to my care
whether I die or live;
to love and serve thee is my share,
and this thy grace must give.

If life be long, I will be glad
that I may long obey;
if short, yet why should I be sad
to soar to endless day?

Christ leads me through no darker rooms
than he went through before;
he that into God's kingdom comes
must enter by this door.

Come Lord, when grace hath made me meet
thy blessed face to see;
for if thy work on earth be sweet,
what will thy glory be?

Then I shall end my sad complaints
and weary, sinful days,
and join with the triumphant saints
that sing Jehovah's praise.

My knowledge of that life is small;
the eye of faith is dim;
but 'tis enough that Christ knows all,
and I shall be with him.

SECOND READING [Acts 15:22-35]:

Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the whole church, decided to
choose men from among their members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and
Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers, with
the following letter: 'The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the believers of
Gentile origin in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. Since we have heard that
certain persons who have gone out from us, though with no instructions from us, have
said things to disturb you and have unsettled your minds, we have decided unanimously
to choose representatives and send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and
Paul, who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have
therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of
mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further
burden than these essentials: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and
from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication. If you keep yourselves
from these, you will do well. Farewell.'
So they were sent off and went down to Antioch. When they gathered the congregation
together, they delivered the letter. When its members read it, they rejoiced at the
exhortation. Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, said much to encourage
and strengthen the believers. After they had been there for some time, they were sent off
in peace by the believers to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained
in Antioch, and there, with many others, they taught and proclaimed the word of the

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

God of glory, we praise you for your presence in our
lives, and for all goodness that you shower upon your
children in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank you for
     promises kept and hope for tomorrow...
                         (We thank you, Lord.)
     the enjoyment of friends...
     the wonders of your creation...
     love from our parents, our sisters and brothers,
     our spouses, lovers, and children...
     pleasures of living...

God of grace, we are one with all your children, for we
are sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ, and we offer
our prayers for all whom we love. Especially we pray for
     those we too often forget...
                (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     people who have lost hope...
     victims of tragedy and disaster...
     those who suffer mental anguish...
     ecumenical councils and church agencies...

Blessed are you, Lord God, King of the universe:
in awe and wonder we bow before the mystery
of your power and might,
for you are Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

O heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people, 
we thank you for your servant Richard Baxter, 
who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock; 
and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life, 
we may by your grace grow into the stature of the fullness 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God's holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all that God has done.

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 103.

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

Richard Baxter was born in Shropshire in 1615, and died in London 8
December 1691.
Throughout his life, Baxter worked as a peacemaker between factions. He was
ordained to the priesthood in 1638, but by 1640 had allied himself with the
Puritans, and was calling for the abolition of bishops in the Church of England.
He was a believer in limited monarchy, and attempted to play a mediating role
in the English Civil War. For a short time he was a chaplain to the
Parliamentary Army, but he helped to bring about the restoration of the
monarchy in 1660. After the monarchy was restored, he urged an expansion of
the limits of tolerated dissent within the Church of England. In 1685-6 he was
imprisoned for 18 months. The Revolution of 1688 largely freed him from
further harassment.
Although circumstances thrust him into the political controversies of the day,
his own chief calling, as he saw it, was to the parish ministry. From 1641 to
1660 he served the parish of Kidderminster in Worcestershire, a town where
handloom weaving was the principal industry. Sunday after Sunday, he
preached a doctrine of complete trust in God, and daily Christian obedience.
His church had to be specially enlarged to accomodate the crowds who came
to hear him speak. He was also deeply involved in personal pastoral
counselling, making it his business to speak privately with every one in his
parish on a regular basis.
His best known works are The Saints' Everlasting Rest and The Reformed
Pastor. His autobiography, published after his death and edited by another
hand, is called Reliquiae Baxterianae, or Mr. Richard Baxter's Narrative of the
Most Memorable Passages of His Life and Times. [James Kiefer]

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