OREMUS: 3 March 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Mar 2 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Tuesday, March 3, 2009
John and Charles Wesley, Evangelists, Hymn Writers, 1791 and 1788

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God, rich in mercy,
you so loved the world 
that when we were dead in our sins,
you sent your only Son for our deliverance.
Lifted up from the earth,
he is light and life;
exalted upon the cross,
he is truth and salvation.
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 46

God is our refuge and strength,*
 a very present help in trouble;
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,*
 and though the mountains be toppled
   into the depths of the sea;
Though its waters rage and foam,*
 and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.
The Lord of hosts is with us;*
 the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
There is a river whose streams
   make glad the city of God,*
 the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her;
   she shall not be overthrown;*
 God shall help her at the break of day.
The nations make much ado
   and the kingdoms are shaken;*
 God has spoken and the earth shall melt away.
The Lord of hosts is with us;*
 the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come now and look upon the works of the Lord,*
 what awesome things he has done on earth.
It is he who makes war to cease in all the world;*
 he breaks the bow and shatters the spear
   and burns the shields with fire.
'Be still, then, and know that I am God;*
 I will be exalted among the nations;
   I will be exalted in the earth.'
The Lord of hosts is with us;*
 the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Psalm 47

Clap your hands, all you peoples;*
 shout to God with a cry of joy.
For the Lord Most High is to be feared;*
 he is the great king over all the earth.
He subdues the peoples under us,*
 and the nations under our feet.
He chooses our inheritance for us,*
 the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
God has gone up with a shout,*
 the Lord with the sound of the ram'shorn.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;*
 sing praises to our king, sing praises.
For God is king of all the earth;*
 sing praises with all your skill.
God reigns over the nations;*
 God sits upon his holy throne.
The nobles of the peoples have gathered together*
 with the people of the God of Abraham.
The rulers of the earth belong to God,*
 and he is highly exalted.

The Song of Christ(s Glory (Philippians 2.511)

Christ Jesus was in the form of God,  
but he did not cling to equality with God. 
He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,  
and was born in our human likeness. 
Being found in human form he humbled himself,  
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 
Therefore God has highly exalted him,  
and bestowed on him the name above every name, 
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  
in heaven and on earth and under the earth; 
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,  
to the glory of God the Father.

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 24:28-38, 49-51, 58-67]:

Then the girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to the man, to the spring. As soon as he had seen the nose-ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, ‘Thus the man spoke to me’, he went to the man; and there he was, standing by the camels at the spring. He said, ‘Come in, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside when I have prepared the house and a place for the camels?’ So the man came into the house; and Laban unloaded the camels, and gave him straw and fodder for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. Then food was set before him to eat; but he said, ‘I will not eat until I have told my errand.’ He said, ‘Speak on.’ 

So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. My master made me swear, saying, “You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.” Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.’ 

Then Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you anything bad or good. Look, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.’ And they called Rebekah, and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ She said, ‘I will.’ So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
‘May you, our sister, become
   thousands of myriads; 
may your offspring gain possession
   of the gates of their foes.’ 

Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 

Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?’ The servant said, ‘It is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. 

HYMN 
Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Tune: Abingdon, Das neugeborne Kindelein, Sagina, Surrey

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Saviour's blood?
Died he for me, who caused his pain?
For me, who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

'Tis mystery all : the Immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds enquire no more.

He left his Father's throne above -
So free, so infinite his grace -
Emptied himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray.
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light,
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine!
Alive in him, my living head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ, my own.

SECOND READING [1 Corinthians 3:18-4:5]:

 Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,
‘He catches the wise in their craftiness’, 
and again, 
‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, 
   that they are futile.’ 
So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. 

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they should be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgement before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God. 

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

Prayer:
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.

O Lord, save our nation;
And teach wisdom to those in authority.

Let your priests be clothed with righteousness;
Let your faithful people sing with joy.

Let your ways be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.

Give your people the blessing of peace
And may all the earth be filled with your glory.

Create in us clean hearts, O God,
And renew a right spirit within us.

We offer up again our souls and bodies to you to be governed, 
not by our will, but yours. 
O let it be ever the ease and joy of our hearts, 
to be under the conduct of your unerring wisdom, 
to follow your counsels, and to be ruled in all things by your holy will. 
And let us never distrust your abundant kindness and tender care over us; 
whatsoever it is you would have us to do
or to suffer in this world; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
		
you inspired your servants John and Charles Wesley 
with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, 
and endowed them with eloquence in speech and song: 
Kindle in your Church, we entreat you, such fervor, 
that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, 
and those who have not known Christ 
may turn to him and be saved;
through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God give us
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next. 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 of thanksgiving adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The first collect is by John Wesley.

Born at Epworth Rectory in Lincolnshire, John Wesley was the son of an
Anglican clergyman and a Puritan mother. He entered Holy Orders and,
following a religious experience on this day in 1738, began an itinerant ministry
which recognised no parish boundaries. This resulted, after his death, in the
development of a world-wide Methodist Church. His spirituality involved an
Arminian affirmation of grace, frequent communion and a disciplined corporate
search for holiness. His open-air preaching, concern for education and for the
poor, liturgical revision, organisation of local societies and training of
preachers provided a firm basis for Christian growth and mission in England.

Charles shared with his brother John the building up of early Methodist
societies, as they travelled the country. His special concern was that early
Methodists should remain loyal to Anglicanism. He married and settled in
Bristol, later in London, concentrating his work on the local Christian
communities. His thousands of hymns established a resource of lyrical piety
which has enabled generations of Christians to re-discover the refining power
of God's love. They celebrate God's work of grace from birth to death, the
great events of God's work of salvation and the rich themes of eucharistic
worship, anticipating the taking up of humanity into the divine life.
John died in 1791 and Charles in 1788. [Exciting Holiness]



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