OREMUS: 2 September 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Sep 1 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1901 and 1942

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

Blessed are you, O God,
the One whome we seek together,
the Life which is part of us all,
the Truth and the mark of mystery,
the Love and the Joy that makes us whole.
Blessed are you, O God:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 72

Give the king your justice, O God,*
 and your righteousness to the king's son;
That he may rule your people righteously*
 and the poor with justice;
That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,*
 and the little hills bring righteousness.
He shall defend the needy among the people;*
 he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,*
 from one generation to another.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown field,*
 like showers that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish;*
 there shall be abundance of peace
   till the moon shall be no more.
He shall rule from sea to sea,*
 and from the River to the ends of the earth.
His foes shall bow down before him,*
 and his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute,*
 and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.
All kings shall bow down before him,*
 and all the nations do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress,*
 and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor;*
 he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,*
 and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live,
   and may there be given to him gold from Arabia;*
 may prayer be made for him always,
   and may they bless him all the day long.
May there be abundance of grain on the earth,
   growing thick even on the hilltops;*
 may its fruit flourish like Lebanon,
   and its grain like grass upon the earth.
May his name remain for ever
   and be established as long as the sun endures;*
 may all the nations bless themselves in him
   and call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,*
 who alone does wondrous deeds!
And blessed be his glorious name for ever!*
 and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
   Amen. Amen.

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 147:1-12

   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 [Ecclesiasticus 36:1-17]:

Have mercy upon us, O God of all,
   and put all the nations in fear of you.
Lift up your hand against foreign nations
   and let them see your might.
As you have used us to show your holiness to them,
   so use them to show your glory to us.
Then they will know, as we have known,
   that there is no God but you, O Lord.
Give new signs, and work other wonders;
   make your hand and right arm glorious.
Rouse your anger and pour out your wrath;
   destroy the adversary and wipe out the enemy.
Hasten the day, and remember the appointed time,
   and let people recount your mighty deeds.
Let survivors be consumed in the fiery wrath,
   and may those who harm your people meet destruction.
Crush the heads of hostile rulers
   who say, 'There is no one but ourselves.'
Gather all the tribes of Jacob,
   and give them their inheritance, as at the beginning.
Have mercy, O Lord, on the people called by your name,
   on Israel, whom you have named your firstborn.

Words: Words: Francis H. Rowley (1854-1952), 1886
MIDI: Hyfrydol 

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I will sing the wondrous story
of the Christ who died for me;
how he left his home in glory
for the cross of Calvary:
Yes, I'll sing the wondrous story
of the Christ who died for me,
sing it with his saints in glory,
gathered by the crystal sea.

I was lost, but Jesus found me,
found the sheep that went astray,
threw his loving arms around me,
back into the narrow way. Refrain

Faint was I, and fears possessed me,
bruised was I from many a fall;
hope was gone, and shame distressed me,
but his love has pardoned all: Refrain

Days of darkness still come o'er me,
sorrow's path I often tread,
but his presence still is with me;
by his guiding hand I'm led. Refrain

He will keep me till the river
rolls its waters at my feet;
then He'll bear me safely over,
where the loved ones I shall meet. Refrain

SECOND READING [Matthew 7:13-end]:

Jesus said,  'Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy
that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and
the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

'Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are
ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from
thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the
bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear
good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the
fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.

'Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord", will enter the kingdom of heaven, but
only one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me,
"Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name,
and do many deeds of power in your name?" Then I will declare to them, "I never
knew you; go away from me, you evildoers."

'Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise
man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew
and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And
everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a
foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the
winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell and great was its fall!'

Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his
teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. 

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

Lord Jesus,
born in pain, struggling towards life, fighting for breath;
born in shame, 
born to the threat of Herod's sword; 
fleeing to another country, another home;
wrapped in a young girl's love, placed in a borrowed bed;
We pray for those we know and love;
for all who suffer pain of body or anguish of mind;
for all who struggle to live, to live well, to live better;
for all who burn with shame,
for all who face threat and danger,
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for war-ravaged countries and refugees;
for the starving poor;
for battered wives and abused children;
for the homeless, for the mentally ill;
for those who struggle with disability.
Strengthen us to work for peace on the earth 
and peace with the earth.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the Church,
especially the Diocese of
Keep us faithful that we may bear faithful witness in word and work
to your presence among us.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are alone.
May our love reach out to the lonely and broken-hearted,
the bereaved, and all for whom life has become something to be endured.
May we open our minds, hearts and homes to those around us.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

And we pray for our own needs:
seeking the grace of your presence,
firming our resolve to behave as we believe;
seeking your courage to reconcile, heal and make new;
seeking a sure vision of your coming kingdom.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

O God,
bring our nation and all nations
to a sense of justice and equity,
that poverty, oppression, and violence may vanish
and all may know peace and plenty.
We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God, 
we remember before you this day 
the blessed martyrs of New Guinea, 
who, following the example of their Savior, 
laid down their lives for their friends; 
and we pray that we who honor their memory 
may imitate their loyalty and faith; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and 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

Faithful God, hope of the oppressed, source of freedom:
make us strong to witness to your liberating power,
in generosity of life and in humility of spirit,
that all the world may delight in your goodness.  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 uses phrases from a hymn by Colin Gibson.

The closing prayer is based on a prayer from _Revised Common Lectionary
Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

The intercession is by David Bromell and the first collect is from _Daily
Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with
permission. http://www.scottishepiscopal.com
The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

New Guinea (also called Irian), one of the world's largest islands, has a difficult
terrain that discourages travel between districts. Consequently, it is home to
many isolated tribes, with many different cultures and at least 500 languages.
Christian missionaries began work there in the 1860's, but proceeded
When World War II threatened Papua and New Guinea, it was obvious that
missionaries of European origin were in danger. There was talk of leaving.
Bishop Philip Strong wrote to his clergy:
"We must endeavour to carry on our work. God expects this of us. The church
at home, which sent us out, will surely expect it of us. The universal church
expects it of us. The people whom we serve expect it of us. We could never
hold up our faces again if, for our own safety, we all forsook Him and fled,
when the shadows of the Passion began to gather around Him in His spiritual
and mystical body, the Church in Papua."
They stayed. Almost immediately there were arrests. Eight clergymen and two
laymen were executed "as an example" on September 2, 1942. In the next few
years, many Papuan Christians of all Churches risked their own lives to care for
the wounded. [James Kiefer]

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