OREMUS: 7 December 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Dec 6 17:00:01 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for December 7
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Teacher of the Faith, 397

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

Blessed are you, Lord God:
We give you thanks
because when he humbled himself
to come among us in human flesh, 
he fulfilled the plan you formed long ago
and opened for us the way of salvation. 
So now we watch for the day
knowing that the salvation promised us will be ours
when Christ our Lord will come again in glory. 
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. 

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

Psalm 37

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;*
 do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass,*
 and like the green grass fade away.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good;*
 dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord,*
 and he shall give you your heart's desire.
Commit your way to the Lord
   and put your trust in him,*
 and he will bring it to pass.
He will make your righteousness as clear as the light*
 and your just dealing as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord*
 and wait patiently for him.
Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers,*
 the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
Refrain from anger, leave rage alone;*
 do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off,*
 but those who wait upon the Lord
   shall possess the land.
In a little while the wicked shall be no more;*
 you shall search out their place,
   but they will not be there.
But the lowly shall possess the land;*
 they will delight in abundance of peace.
The wicked plot against the righteous*
 and gnash at them with their teeth.
The Lord laughs at the wicked,*
 because he sees that their day will come.
The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
   to strike down the poor and needy,*
 to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
Their sword shall go through their own heart,*
 and their bow shall be broken.
The little that the righteous have*
 is better than great riches of the wicked.
For the power of the wicked shall be broken,*
 but the Lord upholds the righteous.
The Lord cares for the lives of the godly,*
 and their inheritance shall last for ever.
They shall not be ashamed in bad times,*
 and in days of famine they shall have enough.
As for the wicked, they shall perish,*
 and the enemies of the Lord,
   like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish;
   they shall vanish like smoke.
The wicked borrow and do not repay,*
 but the righteous are generous in giving.
Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land,*
 but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
Our steps are directed by the Lord;*
 he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong,*
 for the Lord holds them by the hand.
I have been young and now I am old,*
 but never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
   or their children begging bread.
The righteous are always generous in their lending,*
 and their children shall be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good,*
 and dwell in the land for ever.
For the Lord loves justice;*
 he does not forsake his faithful ones.
They shall be kept safe for ever,*
 but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
The righteous shall possess the land*
 and dwell in it for ever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,*
 and their tongue speaks what is right.
The law of their God is in their heart,*
 and their footsteps shall not falter.
The wicked spy on the righteous*
 and seek occasion to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their hand,*
 nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
Wait upon the Lord and keep his way;*
 he will raise you up to possess the land,
   and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen the wicked in their arrogance,*
 flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
I went by and, behold, they were not there;*
 I searched for them, but they could not be found.
Mark those who are honest; observe the upright;*
 for there is a future for the peaceable.
Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all;*
 the future of the wicked is cut off.
But the deliverance of the righteous
   comes from the Lord;*
 he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord will help them and rescue them;*
 he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
   because they seek refuge in him.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 24:14-16a,25:1,4a,6-10a]:

They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
   they shout from the west over the majesty of the Lord. 
Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
   in the coastlands of the sea glorify the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 
>From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
   of glory to the Righteous One.
O Lord, you are my God;
   I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
   plans formed of old, faithful and sure. 
For you have been a refuge to the poor,
   a refuge to the needy in their distress,
   a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
   a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
   of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear. 
And he will destroy on this mountain
   the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
   the 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,
   and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
   for the Lord has spoken. 
It will be said on that day,
   Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
   This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
   let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. 
For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain. 

HYMN 
Words: Ambrose of Milan, circa 397; paraphrased by Martin Luther, 1523;
trans. William Morton Reynolds, 1851.
Tune: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland

Savior of the nations, come;
virgin's Son, here make thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood;
by the Spirit of our God
was the Word of God made flesh,
woman's offspring, pure and fresh.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous child
of the Virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
still to be in heaven enthroned.

>From the Father forth he came
and returneth to the same,
captive leading death and hell
high the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father's only Son,
hast over sin the victory won.
boundless shall thy kingdom be;
when shall we its glories see?

Brightly doth thy manger shine,
glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin overcloud this light;
ever be our faith thus bright.

Praise to God the Father sing,
praise to God the Son, our King,
praise to God the Spirit be
ever and eternally.

SECOND READING [1 John 1:1—2:14]:

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 

Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. Whoever says, 'I have come to know him', but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says, 'I abide in him', ought to walk just as he walked. 

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says, 'I am in the light', while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness. 
I am writing to you, little children,
   because your sins are forgiven on account of his name. 
I am writing to you, fathers,
   because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young people,
   because you have conquered the evil one. 
I write to you, children,
   because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
   because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young people,
   because you are strong
   and the word of God abides in you,
     and you have overcome the evil one. 

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

Prayer:
O God, you are filled with possibility and mystery.
You hold our anxieties and our hopes. 

Your faithful forget to praise you, consumed by selfcentered busyness,
O God of stillness, come into our hearts.

Your beloved community is baffled and broken,
O God of healing, come into our churches.

We pray especially today for the Diocese of 

Your people wander in the streets without a place to lay their head,
O God our resting place, come into our neighborhoods.

Your world is torn apart by war and conflict,
O God of Peace, come into our world.

Night and day, we wait and pray, for you, our Emmanuel. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are for me medicine when I am sick;
you are my strength when I need help;
you are life itself when I fear death;
you are the way when I long for heaven;
you are light when all is dark;
you are my food when I need nourishment. Amen.

God of hosts,
who called Ambrose from the governor's throne
to be a bishop in your Church
and an intrepid champion of your faithful people:
mercifully grant that, as he did not fear to rebuke rulers,
so we, with like courage,
may contend for the faith we have received;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of 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

May God the Son
give you grace to live
in the light of his coming as redeemer and judge. 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 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 from _New Patterns for Worship_, copyright (c) The Archbishops( Council, 2002.

Born in Trier in 339, Ambrose was of an aristocratic family and in the year 374 was governor of northern Italy, with his headquarters in Milan. Whilst trying to bring peace to the Christian community, with Arianism and orthodoxy each trying to gain the election of its man as bishop, Ambrose, known and respected by all, though not yet baptised, found himself being urged to accept the rôle of bishop, the gathered Christian populace taking up the cry, "Ambrose for bishop". He finally accepted and was baptised and consecrated. Ambrose proved his worth, becoming a teacher and preacher of great renown, promoting the essential divinity of Christ as being at the centre of Christian faith. He wrote hymns which gave a clear and comprehendable understanding of orthodox teaching, ensuring that what the people prayed was what they believed, and vice versa. He came up against the imperial powers and, with the support of the whole community, stood firm against the interference of the state in church and faith matters. Ambrose died on this day in the year 397. [Exciting Holiness]



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