OREMUS: 29 July 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jul 28 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Mary, Martha and Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord

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

Blessed are you, O God,
you are our greatest treasure
and the source of our greatest joy:
Your Spirit continues to form us in the likeness of Christ,
that we may know the freedom of your children
and the assurance that nothing in creation
can separate us from your love,
most fully known in 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. 
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Psalm 80

Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock;*
 shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh,*
 stir up your strength and come to help us.
Restore us, O God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,*
 how long will you be angered
   despite the prayers of your people?
You have fed them with the bread of tears;*
 you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
You have made us the derision of our neighbours,*
 and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Restore us, O God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.
You have brought a vine out of Egypt;*
 you cast out the nations and planted it.
You prepared the ground for it;*
 it took root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered by its shadow*
 and the towering cedar trees by its boughs.
You stretched out its tendrils to the Sea*
 and its branches to the River.
Why have you broken down its wall,*
 so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it,*
 and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it.
Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven;
   behold and tend this vine;*
 preserve what your right hand has planted.
They burn it with fire like rubbish;*
 at the rebuke of your countenance let them perish.
Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand,*
 the son of man you have made so strong for yourself.
And so will we never turn away from you;*
 give us life, that we may call upon your name.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.

A Song of the Bride (Isaiah 61.10,11; 62.13)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,  
my soul shall exult in my God; 
Who has clothed me with the garments of salvation,  
and has covered me with the cloak of integrity, 
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,  
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 
For as the earth puts forth her blossom,  
and as seeds in the garden spring up, 
So shall God make righteousness and praise  
blossom before all the nations. 
For Zion(s sake I will not keep silent,  
and for Jerusalem(s sake I will not rest, 
Until her deliverance shines out like the dawn,  
and her salvation as a burning torch. 
The nations shall see your deliverance,  
and all rulers shall see your glory; 
Then you shall be called by a new name  
which the mouth of God will give. 
You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord,  
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Psalm 147:13-end

Alleluia!
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.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [1 Samuel 9:11-21]:

As they went up the hill to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and said to them, 'Is the seer here?' They answered, 'Yes, there he is just ahead of you. Hurry; he has come just now to the town, because the people have a sacrifice today at the shrine. As soon as you enter the town, you will find him, before he goes up to the shrine to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterwards those eat who are invited. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.' So they went up to the town. As they were entering the town, they saw Samuel coming out towards them on his way up to the shrine. 

Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: 'Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have seen the suffering of my people, because their outcry has come to me.' When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, 'Here is the man of whom I spoke to you. He it is who shall rule over my people.' Then Saul approached Samuel inside the gate, and said, 'Tell me, please, where is the house of the seer?' Samuel answered Saul, 'I am the seer; go up before me to the shrine, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, give no further thought to them, for they have been found. And on whom is all Israel's desire fixed, if not on you and on all your ancestral house?' Saul answered, 'I am only a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel, and my family is the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why then have you spoken to me in this way?' 

HYMN 
Words: Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (1850-1920)
Tune: Song 18

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/l/l350.html
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Lord Jesus, who at Lazarus' tomb
to weeping friends from death's dark womb
didst bring new joy to life,
grant to the friends who stand forlorn
a vision of that larger morn
where peace has conquered strife.

May we behold across the bar
the dear immortals as they are,
empowered in act and will,
with purer eyes to see their King,
with fuller hearts his praise to sing,
with strength to help us still.

Not fettered now by fleshly bond,
but tireless in the great beyond,
and growing day by day.
Can we not make their gladness ours,
and share their thoughts, their added powers,
and follow as we pray?

O Holy Ghost, the strength and guide
of those who to this earth have died,
but live more near to God,
give us thy grace to follow on,
till we with them the crown have won
who duty's paths have trod.

SECOND READING [Luke 13:22-end]:

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, 'Lord, will only a few be saved?' He said to them, 'Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, "Lord, open to us", then in reply he will say to you, "I do not know where you come from." Then you will begin to say, "We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets." But he will say, "I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!" There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.' 

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, 'Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.' He said to them, 'Go and tell that fox for me, "Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem." Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord." ' 

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

Prayer:
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.

Faithful Shepherd of your people,
as we look for the light of your countenance
restore in us the image of your glory
and graft us into the risen life
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
		
God our Father,
whose Son enjoyed the love of his friends
Mary, Martha and Lazarus,
in learning, argument and hospitality:
may we so rejoice in your love
that the world may come to know
the depths of your wisdom,
the wonder of your compassion,
and your power to bring life out of death;
through the merits of Jesus Christ, 
our friend and brother,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of 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

May we instructed by your heavenly law, O Lord,
that we may embrace the example of your Son
and show it forth in deeds and works of love. Amen.

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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 and closing sentence are adapted from prayers by Alan Griffiths..

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

Mary and Martha lived with their brother Lazarus at Bethany, a village not far
from Jerusalem. They are mentioned in several episodes in the Gospels.
On one occasion, when Jesus and His disciples were their guests (Luke
10:38-42), Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to Him while her sister Martha
busied herself with preparing food and waiting on the guests, and when Martha
complained, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better part.
When Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had died, Jesus came to
Bethany. Martha, upon being told that He was approaching, went out to meet
Him, while Mary sat still in the house until He sent for her. It was to Martha
that Jesus said: "I am the Resurrection and the Life." (John 11:1-44)
Again, about a week before the crucifixion, as Jesus reclined at table, Mary
poured a flask of expensive perfume over Jesus' feet. Mary was criticized for
wasting what might have been sold to raise money for the poor, and again
Jesus spoke on her behalf. (John 12:1-8)
On the basis of these incidents, many Christian writers have seen Mary as
representing Contemplation (prayer and devotion), and Martha as representing
Action (good works, helping others); or love of God and love of neighbor
respectively.



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