OREMUS: 20 January 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Jan 19 17:00:00 GMT 2009

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OREMUS for Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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

Blessed are you, Eternal One,
you search us and you know us. 
You surround us and you stay with us. 
You form us, creating us lovingly, 
seeing our mould and pattern, 
the path of our days, 
even before others think of us. 
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 25

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
   my God, I put my trust in you;*
 let me not be humiliated,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Let none who look to you be put to shame;*
 let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
Show me your ways, O Lord,*
 and teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,*
 for you are the God of my salvation;
   in you have I trusted all the day long.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,*
 for they are from everlasting.
Remember not the sins of my youth
   and my transgressions;*
 remember me according to your love
   and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
Gracious and upright is the Lord;*
 therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
He guides the humble in doing right*
 and teaches his way to the lowly.
All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness*
 to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For your name's sake, O Lord,*
 forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who are they who fear the Lord?*
 he will teach them the way that they should choose.
They shall dwell in prosperity,*
 and their offspring shall inherit the land.
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him*
 and will show them his covenant.
My eyes are ever looking to the Lord,*
 for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and have pity on me,*
 for I am left alone and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart have increased;*
 bring me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery*
 and forgive me all my sin.
Look upon my enemies, for they are many,*
 and they bear a violent hatred against me.
Protect my life and deliver me;*

 let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,*
 for my hope has been in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,*
 out of all his troubles.

A Song of the Messiah (Isaiah 9.2,3b,4a,6,7)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;  
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, 
upon them the light has dawned. 
You have increased their joy and given them great gladness;  
they rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest. 
For you have shattered the yoke that burdened them;  
the collar that lay heavy on their shoulders. 
For to us a child is born and to us a son is given,  
and the government will be upon his shoulder. 
And his name will be called: Wonderful Counsellor; 
the Mighty God;  
the Everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace. 
Of the increase of his government and of peace  
there will be no end, 
Upon the throne of David and over his kingdom,  
to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness. 
>From this time forth and for evermore;  
the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

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 [Isaiah 25:1-9; 26:1-4]:

OÿLord, you are my God;
ÿÿÿI will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
ÿÿÿplans formed of old, faithful andÿsure. 
For you have made the city aÿheap,
ÿÿÿthe fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city noÿmore,
ÿÿÿit will never be rebuilt. 
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
ÿÿÿcities of ruthless nations will fearÿyou. 
For you have been a refuge to theÿpoor,
ÿÿÿa refuge to the needy in their distress,
ÿÿÿa shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, 
ÿÿÿthe noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
ÿÿÿthe song of the ruthless wasÿstilled. 

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
ÿÿÿa feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
ÿÿÿof rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear. 
And he will destroy on this mountain
ÿÿÿthe shroud that is cast over all peoples,
ÿÿÿthe sheet that is spread over all nations; 
he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
ÿÿÿand the disgrace of his people he will take away from all theÿearth,
ÿÿÿfor the Lord has spoken. 
It will be said on that day,
ÿÿÿLo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
ÿÿÿThis is the Lord for whom we have waited;
ÿÿÿlet us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. 
On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
ÿÿÿhe sets up victory
ÿÿÿlike walls and bulwarks. 
Open the gates,
ÿÿÿso that the righteous nation that keeps faith
ÿÿÿmay enter in. 
Those of steadfast mind you keep inÿpeace?
ÿÿÿin peace because they trust inÿyou. 
Trust in the Lord for ever,
ÿÿÿfor in the Lord God 
ÿÿÿyou have an everlasting rock. 

Words: James Weldon Johnson, 1899
Tune: http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/l/l117.html

Lift every voice and sing
till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise 
high as the listening skies;
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us;
sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun
of our new day begun,
let us march on, till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
bitter the chastening rod,
felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
yet, with a steady beat,
have not our weary feet
come to the place for which our parents sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears have been watered;
we have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, 
out from the gloomy past,
till now we stand at last
where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
thou who hast by thy might led us into the light;
keep us for ever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee;
lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee;
shadowed beneath thy hand 
may we for ever stand,
true to our God, true to our native land. 

SECOND READING [Hebrews 11:8-16; 12:28-end]:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old?and Sarah herself was barren?because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, ?as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.? 

All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire. 

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

Lord we believe you when you say you will lead us. 
But we have suffered at the hands of those 
who would destroy and scatter your sheep. 
You promised that you would raise up shepherds 
who will gather us together so than no one will have to live in fear.

So we look for those shepherds, Lord. 

We pray for those who will do good and do right, 
for those who will protect the children,
who will school the children, 
who will give the children hope. 

We pray for those shepherds who will pursue peace, 
who will walk humbly, who will reconcile nations. 

We pray for shepherds who will fight injustice, 
who stand on the side of justice. 
We pray for shepherds who will feed the hungry, 
clothe the naked, and set at liberty the captives. 

We pray for shepherds who will spread love, 
show mercy, and practice hospitality. 

Lord we pray for our shepherds, 
we pray for our people, 
we pray for our country, 
we pray for the nations. Amen. 

O God, our help in ages past, 
you brought us this far by faith. 
The journey has been marked with many disappointments, 
great oppression and dehumanization. 
By your right hand you have brought us through. 
The Pharaohs may still be pursuing us, 
but you have already parted the waters and chartered the course. 
The strategists of past times never thought we could get there, 
but from Mount Pisgah we behold the land. 
Help us not to look back with fear or pity. 
Keep our eyes resolutely on the Promised Land. 
 It is our inheritance, freely offered by you. 
How arable, how beautiful, how rich with mineral is that land! 
Give us courage to continue the journey. 
It was not, it is not, and it will never be easy; 
but with you, O God, it is possible. 
Increase our faith, strengthen our feeble knees, 
and give us enthusiasm and zeal  
so that others may be encouraged on the journey. 
We owe it all to you, 
and we shall shout from the mountaintops  
and tell in the valleys that Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Lord. 
In him nothing is impossible. 
Hear us we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Almighty God,
whose actions can make the ears of all who witness them tingle: 
Grant your servant Barack Obama
and the people of the United States
a vision of justice and equality, 
that all those whom you have fearfully and wonderfully made
would be treated with respect and mercy; 
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

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

- The Lord's Prayer

God, who formed us,
continue to shape us as a vessel of the Gospel. 
Christ Jesus, whom we bear, 
mark our life with the good news. 
The Holy Spirit, dwelling within, 
fill us with the healing, liberating power of Christ.  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
from _Uniting in Worship 2_, (c) 2005 Uniting Church in Australia.

The intercessions come from the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church.

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