OREMUS: 3 December 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Dec 2 17:00:00 GMT 2010


*******************************************************
Visit our website at http://www.oremus.org 
*******************************************************

OREMUS for December 3
John of Damascus, Monk, Teacher of the Faith, c.749

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

Blessed are you, Lord!
You have come to your people and set them free.
Salvation is your gift
through the gift of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
by whom you will make all things new
when he returns in glory to judge the world.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you: 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

http://www.oremus.org/advocant.html

Psalm 18
I love you, O Lord my strength,*
 O Lord my stronghold, my crag and my haven. 
My God, my rock in whom I put my trust,*
 my shield, the horn of my salvation and my refuge;
   you are worthy of praise. 
I will call upon the Lord,*
 and so shall I be saved from my enemies. 
The breakers of death rolled over me,*
 and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid. 
The cords of hell entangled me,*
 and the snares of death were set for me. 
I called upon the Lord in my distress*
 and cried out to my God for help. 
He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling;*
 my cry of anguish came to his ears. 
The earth reeled and rocked;*
 the roots of the mountains shook;
   they reeled because of his anger. 
Smoke rose from his nostrils
   and a consuming fire out of his mouth;*
 hot burning coals blazed forth from him. 
He parted the heavens and came down*
 with a storm cloud under his feet. 
He mounted on cherubim and flew;*
 he swooped on the wings of the wind. 
He wrapped darkness about him;*
 he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion. 
>From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds,*
 burst hailstones and coals of fire. 
The Lord thundered out of heaven;*
 the Most High uttered his voice. 
He loosed his arrows and scattered them;*
 he hurled thunderbolts and routed them. 
The beds of the seas were uncovered,
   and the foundations of the world laid bare,*
 at your battle cry, O Lord,
   at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. 
He reached down from on high and grasped me;*
 he drew me out of great waters. 
He delivered me from my strong enemies
   and from those who hated me;*
 for they were too mighty for me. 
They confronted me in the day of my disaster;*
 but the Lord was my support. 
He brought me out into an open place;*
 he rescued me because he delighted in me. 

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! Blessèd 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. 
 

FIRST READING [Isaiah 9:8—10:11]:

The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
   and it fell on Israel; 
and all the people knew it—
   Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—
   but in pride and arrogance of heart they said: 
'The bricks have fallen,
   but we will build with dressed stones;
the sycomores have been cut down,
   but we will put cedars in their place.' 
So the Lord raised adversaries against them,
   and stirred up their enemies, 
the Arameans in the east and the Philistines in the west,
   and they devoured Israel with open mouth.
For all this, his anger has not turned away;
   his hand is stretched out still. 

The people did not turn to him who struck them,
   or seek the Lord of hosts. 
So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail,
   palm branch and reed in one day— 
elders and dignitaries are the head,
   and prophets who teach lies are the tail; 
for those who led this people led them astray,
   and those who were led by them were left in confusion. 
That is why the Lord did not have pity on their young people,
   or compassion on their orphans and widows;
for everyone was godless and an evildoer,
   and every mouth spoke folly.
For all this, his anger has not turned away;
   his hand is stretched out still. 

For wickedness burned like a fire,
   consuming briers and thorns;
it kindled the thickets of the forest,
   and they swirled upwards in a column of smoke. 
Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts
   the land was burned,
and the people became like fuel for the fire;
   no one spared another. 
They gorged on the right, but still were hungry,
   and they devoured on the left, but were not satisfied;
they devoured the flesh of their own kindred; 
Manasseh devoured Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,
   and together they were against Judah.
For all this, his anger has not turned away;
   his hand is stretched out still. 
Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees,
   who write oppressive statutes, 
to turn aside the needy from justice
   and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be your spoil,
   and that you may make the orphans your prey! 
What will you do on the day of punishment,
   in the calamity that will come from far away?
To whom will you flee for help,
   and where will you leave your wealth, 
so as not to crouch among the prisoners
   or fall among the slain?
For all this, his anger has not turned away;
   his hand is stretched out still. 

Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger—
   the club in their hands is my fury! 
Against a godless nation I send him,
   and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
   and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 
But this is not what he intends,
   nor does he have this in mind;
but it is in his heart to destroy,
   and to cut off nations not a few. 
For he says:
'Are not my commanders all kings? 
Is not Calno like Carchemish?
   Is not Hamath like Arpad?
   Is not Samaria like Damascus? 
As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols
   whose images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria, 
shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
   what I have done to Samaria and her images?' 

HYMN 
Words:  John of Damascus, eighth century;
trans. John Mason Neale, 1862 
Tune: St. Alban's

Those eternal bowers, man hath never trod,
those unfading flowers round the throne of God:
who may hope to gain them after weary fight?
who at length attain them, clad in robes of white?

He who wakes from slumber at the Spirit's voice,
daring here to number things unseen his choice:
he who casts his burden down at Jesus' cross--
Christ' reproach his guerdon, all beside but loss.

He who gladly barters all on earthly ground;
he who, like the martyrs, says "I will be crowned;"
he whose one oblation is a life of love,
knit in God's salvation to the blest above.

Shame upon you, legions of the heavenly King,
citizens of regions past imagining!
Why with pipe and tabor waste the hours of light,
when he bids you labor, when he tells you, "Fight"?

Jesus, Lord of glory, as we breast the tide,
whisper thou the story of the other side;
where the saints are casting crowns before thy feet,
safe for everlasting, in thyself complete. 

SECOND READING [1 Peter 5:1–14]:

Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' 

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 

Through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, I have written this short letter to encourage you, and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. Your sister church in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

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

Prayer:
O Lord, answer us in the day of trouble,
Send us help from your holy place.

Show us the path of life,
For in your presence is joy.

Give justice to the orphan and oppressed
And break the power of wickedness and evil.

Look upon the hungry and sorrowful
And grant them the help for which they long.

Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad;
May your glory endure for ever.

Your kingship has dominion over all
And with you is our redemption.

God of the future,
help us to live with our eyes open,
and remember your faithfulness;
may we entrust our lives
into the hands of Jesus,
whose coming is certain, 
whose day draws near,
and in whose name we pray. Amen.

Confirm our minds, O Lord, 
in the mysteries of the true faith, 
set forth with power by your servant John of Damascus; 
that we, with him, confessing Jesus 
to be truly God and truly Human, 
and singing the praises of the risen Lord, 
may, by the power of the resurrection, attain to eternal joy;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
		
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Fill our lives with joy
as we go out to welcome your Son at his coming.Amen.
*******************************************************
The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

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 is based on the Benedictus and a preface in the _Book of Common Prayer 2004_ of the Church of Ireland and the closing sentence is adapted from _New Patterns for Worship_
The first collect is from _Uniting in Worship 2</cite, (c) 2005
Uniting Church in Australia. The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser
Feasts and Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

John was born in Damascus in about the year 657. Although the city was already Muslim, his father, though a Christian, was Chief of the Revenue and was the principal representative of Christians in the city. In 716, John, by then well-educated in science and theology, became a monk at the abbey of St Sabas near to Jerusalem and later was ordained priest there. He became a prolific writer of theological works and of hymns. His summary of the teachings of the Greek Fathers, called De Fide Orthodoxa, proved an immense influence in the Church in the following centuries, in both east and west. He died on this day in about the year 749. [Exciting Holiness]


More information about the oremus mailing list