OREMUS: 4 December 2010
steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 3 17:00:01 GMT 2010
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OREMUS for December 4
Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637
Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
All glory and honour, thanks and praise
be given to you at all times and in all places,
Lord, holy Father, true and living God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For he is your eternal Word
through whom you have created all things
from the beginning
and formed us in your own image.
In him the day of our deliverance has dawned.
We rejoice that through him you make all things new
and we look for his coming in power and majesty to judge the world.
In your great love you gave him
to become human for us and with us and to share our common life.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Blessed be God for ever!
An opening canticle may be sung.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?*
and are so far from my cry
and from the words of my distress?
O my God, I cry in the daytime,
but you do not answer;*
by night as well, but I find no rest.
Yet you are the Holy One,*
enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
Our forebears put their trust in you;*
they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried out to you and were delivered;*
they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
But as for me, I am a worm and no man,*
scorned by all and despised by the people.
All who see me laugh me to scorn;*
they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
'He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him;*
let him rescue him, if he delights in him.'
Yet you are he who took me out of the womb,*
and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;*
you were my God
when I was still in my mother's womb.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near,*
and there is none to help.
Many young bulls encircle me;*
strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
They open wide their jaws at me,*
like a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water;
all my bones are out of joint;*
my heart within my breast is melting wax.
My mouth is dried out like a potsherd;
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;*
and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
Packs of dogs close me in,
and gangs of evildoers circle around me;*
they pierce my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;*
they divide my garments among them;
they cast lots for my clothing.
Be not far away, O Lord;*
you are my strength; hasten to help me.
Save me from the sword,*
my life from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth,*
my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
I will declare your name to my people;*
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
Praise the Lord, you that fear him;*
stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel;
all you of Jacob's line, give glory.
For he does not despise nor abhor
the poor in their poverty;
neither does he hide his face from them;*
but when they cry to him he hears them.
My praise is of him in the great assembly;*
I will perform my vows
in the presence of those who worship him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied,
and those who seek the Lord shall praise him:*
'May your heart live for ever!'
All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the Lord,*
and all the families of the nations
shall bow before him.
For kingship belongs to the Lord;*
he rules over the nations.
To him alone all who sleep in the earth
bow down in worship;*
all who go down to the dust fall before him.
My soul shall live for him;
my descendants shall serve him;*
they shall be known as the Lord's for ever.
They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn*
the saving deeds that he has done.
The Lord is my shepherd;*
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures*
and leads me beside still waters.
He revives my soul*
and guides me along right pathways for his name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil;*
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me;*
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,*
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
FIRST READING [Isaiah 10:1227a, 3334]:
When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride. For he says:
'By the strength of my hand I have done it,
and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
I have removed the boundaries of peoples,
and have plundered their treasures;
like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones.
My hand has found, like a nest,
the wealth of the peoples;
and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,
so I have gathered all the earth;
and there was none that moved a wing,
or opened its mouth, or chirped.'
Shall the axe vaunt itself over the one who wields it,
or the saw magnify itself against the one who handles it?
As if a rod should raise the one who lifts it up,
or as if a staff should lift the one who is not wood!
Therefore the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts,
will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
like the burning of fire.
The light of Israel will become a fire,
and his Holy One a flame;
and it will burn and devour
his thorns and briers in one day.
The glory of his forest and his fruitful land
the Lord will destroy, both soul and body,
and it will be as when an invalid wastes away.
The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
that a child can write them down.
On that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on the one who struck them, but will lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in all the earth.
Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: O my people, who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they beat you with a rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. For in a very little while my indignation will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. The Lord of hosts will wield a whip against them, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb; his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt. On that day his burden will be removed from your shoulder, and his yoke will be destroyed from your neck.
He has gone up from Rimmon,
Look, the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts,
will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
the tallest trees will be cut down,
and the lofty will be brought low.
He will hack down the thickets of the forest with an axe,
and Lebanon with its majestic trees will fall.
Words: Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Begin the day with God:
He is the rising Sun,
His is the radiance of thy dawn,
His the fresh day begun.
Sing a new song at morn;
Join the glad woods and hills;
Join the fresh winds and seas and plains;
Join the bright flowers and rills.
Awake, cold lips, and sing;
Arise, dull heart, and pray;
Lift up, O man, thy heart and eyes;
Brush slothfulness away.
Cast every weight aside;
Do battle with each sin;
Fight with the faithless world without,
The faithless heart within.
Look up beyond these clouds,
Thither thy pathway lies;
Mount up, away, and linger not,
Thy goal is yonder skies!
SECOND READING [2 Peter 1:121]:
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ:
May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.
Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, 'This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.' We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
In joyful hope, we pray to you, O Lord:
Come, Lord Jesus!
Come to your Church as Lord and Judge
and give us a longing for your loving rule.
We pray especially for :
Come, Lord Jesus!
Come to your world as King of the nations
and let righteousness and peace prevail:
Come, Lord Jesus!
Come to us as Savior and Comforter,
breaking into our failure and freeing us to serve you:
Come, Lord Jesus!
Come to us with power and great joy,
that our hearts may be lifted to meet you in joy:
Come, Lord Jesus!
you taught us that the night is far spent
and the day is at hand:
Keep us awake and alert,
watching for your kingdom,
and make us strong in faith,
so that when Christ comes in glory to judge the earth,
we may joyfully give him praise;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
God of peace,
make us worthy of your perfect love
that, with your servant Nicholas Ferrar and his household,
we may rule ourselves after your Word
and serve you with our whole heart;
through 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
You have made known to us again
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him
until the day dawns
and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts. 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 a preface in the _Book of Common Prayer 2004_ of the Church of Ireland and the closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_
Born in London in 1592, Nicholas Ferrar was educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge and elected a Fellow there in 1610. From 1613, he travelled extensively on the continent for five years, trying his hand as a businessman and then as a parliamentarian on his return. In 1625, he moved to Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire, then a derelict manor-house with a chapel which was being used as a hay barn. He was joined by his brother and sister and their families and by his mother, and they established together a community life of prayer, using The Book of Common Prayer, and a life of charitable works in the locality. He was ordained to the diaconate by William Laud the year after they arrived. He wrote to his niece in 1631, "I purpose and hope by God's grace to be to you not as a master but as a partner and fellow student." This indicates the depth and feeling of the community life Nicholas and his family strove to maintain. After the death of Nicholas on this day in 1637, the community was broken up in 1646 by the Puritans, who were suspicious of it and referred to it as the Arminian Nunnery. They feared it promoting the return of Romish practices into England, and so all Nicholas's manuscripts were burned. [Exciting Holiness]
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