OREMUS: 24 February 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Feb 23 17:00:01 GMT 2009

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OREMUS for Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of majesty,
you brought light out of darkness
and set the sun to brighten the day.
We thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord,
whose human body was transfigured on a lonely mountain.
In his face, we have glimpsed your glory.
In his life, we see your love.
You lead us by the light of your truth
into the way of righteousness and peace.
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 18:21-end

The Lord rewarded me because of my righteous dealing;*
    because my hands were clean he rewarded me;
For I have kept the ways of the Lord*
    and have not offended against my God;
  For all his judgements are before my eyes,*
    and his decrees I have not put away from me;
  For I have been blameless with him*
    and have kept myself from iniquity;
  Therefore the Lord rewarded me
   according to my righteous dealing,*
    because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
  With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God;*
    with the forthright you show yourself forthright.
  With the pure you show yourself pure,*
    but with the crooked you are wily.
  You will save a lowly people,*
    but you will humble the haughty eyes.
  You, O Lord, are my lamp;*
    my God, you make my darkness bright.
  With you I will break down an enclosure;*
    with the help of my God I will scale any wall.
  As for God, his ways are perfect;
   the words of the Lord are tried in the fire;*
    he is a shield to all who trust in him.
  For who is God, but the Lord?*
    who is the rock, except our God?
  It is God who girds me about with strength*
    and makes my way secure.
  He makes me sure-footed like a deer*
    and lets me stand firm on the heights.
  He trains my hands for battle*
    and my arms for bending even a bow of bronze.
  You have given me your shield of victory;*
    your right hand also sustains me;
   your loving care makes me great.
  You lengthen my stride beneath me,*
    and my ankles do not give way.
  I pursue my enemies and overtake them;*
    I will not turn back till I have destroyed them.
  I strike them down and they cannot rise;*
    they fall defeated at my feet.
  You have girded me with strength for the battle;*
    you have cast down my adversaries beneath me;
   you have put my enemies to flight.
  I destroy those who hate me;
   they cry out, but there is none to help them;*
    they cry to the Lord, but he does not answer.
  I beat them small like dust before the wind;*
    I trample them like mud in the streets.
  You deliver me from the strife of the peoples;*
    you put me at the head of the nations.
  A people I have not known shall serve me;
   no sooner shall they hear than they shall obey me;*
    strangers will cringe before me.
  The foreign peoples will lose heart;*
    they shall come trembling out of their strongholds.
  The Lord lives! Blessed is my rock!*
    Exalted is the God of my salvation!
  He is the God who gave me victory*
    and cast down the peoples beneath me.
  You rescued me from the fury of my enemies;
   you exalted me above those who rose against me;*
    you saved me from my deadly foe;
  Therefore will I extol you among the nations, O Lord,*
    and sing praises to your name.
  He multiplies the victories of his king;*
    he shows loving-kindness to his anointed,
   to David and his descendants for ever. 

A Song of Peace (Isaiah 2.35)

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 [Genesis 18:20-end]:

Then the Lord said, ‘How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.’ 

So the men turned from there, and went towards Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham came near and said, ‘Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?’ And the Lord said, ‘If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.’ Abraham answered, ‘Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?’ And he said, ‘I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.’ Again he spoke to him, ‘Suppose forty are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of forty I will not do it.’ Then he said, ‘Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.’ He answered, ‘I will not do it, if I find thirty there.’ He said, ‘Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.’ Then he said, ‘Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.’ And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place. 

Words: James Montgomery (1771-1854)
Tune: Bangor, First Mode Melody (Tallis), Saint Hugh, Walsall, Windsor

Lord, teach us how to pray aright,
With reverence and with fear;
Though dust and ashes in thy sight,
We may, we must draw near.

We perish if we cease from prayer;
O grant us power to pray!
And, when to meet thee we prepare,
Lord, meet us by the way.

Give deep humility; the sense
Of godly sorrow give;
A strong desiring confidence
To hear thy voice and live:

Faith in the only sacrifice
That can for sin atone;
To build our hopes, to fix our eyes,
On Christ, on Christ alone;

Patience to watch, and wait, and weep,
Though mercy long delay;
Courage, our fainting souls to keep,
And trust thee, though thou slay.

Give these, and then thy will be done:
Thus strengthened with all might.
We by thy Spirit and thy Son
Shall pray, and pray aright.

SECOND READING [Mark 10:1-16]:

Jesus left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them. 

Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ 

Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’ 

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. 

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

Baptizing God,
you have plunged us into the waters as death to sin
and have raised us to be alive to you in joy and service.

For all whose eager and resolute living in you
makes them saints to us:
We thank you, Lord.

For the community made holy in Christ,
the living and the dead, the near and the far away:
We thank you, Lord.

For an awareness of our kinship

to holy and just men and women:
We thank you, Lord.

For reminding us that perfection in you is a journey
of consistent love to you and to others:
We thank you, Lord.

For sustaining us in the faithful use of means of grace,
that we may resolve to live in your love and peace:
We thank you, Lord.

as we celebrate the end of festival time
and the coming of the Lenten fast, 
may we be prepared to be joyful in our repentance
and festive in our sharing of the Good News
of the love shown to us in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Transform us into the likeness of Jesus Christ,
that we may live for you, as he lived,
and love others, as he loved them. 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
prayers in _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster
/ John Knox Press. 

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 collect is (c) 2009 Stephen Benner.

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