OREMUS: 3 February 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Feb 2 17:00:00 GMT 2010

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OREMUS for Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary in Denmark and Sweden, 865

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

Blessed are you, O God of all the prophets,
you knew us and chose us
before you formed us in the womb. 
You fill us with faith that speaks your word,
hope that does not disappoint,
and love that bears all things for your sake,
until that day when we shall know you fully,
even as we are known by you.
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. 


Psalm 18I 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 [Genesis 2:4-9, 16-25]:

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God commanded the man, 'You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.' 

Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.' So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
'This at last is bone of my bones
   and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
   for out of Man this one was taken.' 
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. 

Words: Kirden den er et gammelt hus by N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783-1872) translated by Alan Gaunt (born 1935) from a literal translation by Enid Luff. English translation © 1998 Stainer & Bell Ltd. Used with permission.
Meter: 88 88 88

Ancient and sure, the Church will stand
Even though towers are falling;
Towers come crashing to the ground,
Bells go on pealing and calling:
Hear, young and old in your distress,
Hear, souls weighed down with weariness,
Yearning for rest and salvation.

Houses we build do not contain
God in his holy perfection;
Earth's holiest place will not retain
More than its palest reflection.
And yet God builds a dwelling place,
Wondrously raised by heaven's grace
Out of this earth's dust and ashes.

We are God's house and church today,
Living stones, chosen, well-founded;
Under the cross, baptised, we stay
Built up in faith, firmly grounded.
Were we, on earth, no more than two,
God would still build, and still renew
His life and dwelling place in us.

Meeting our king here face to face,
Finding, with Peter, 'God with us,'
We would not change the humblest place,
Not for the world and its treasures.
God keeps his word and, ever near
Within our hearts, is speaking here,
Present as Lord of creation.

Houses called churches, built on earth,
Honour our Lord, who embraces
Children like us who, from our birth,
Love to come home to these places.
Here such delightful things are heard,
He seals his covenant with his word,
Gives us the Kingdom of Heaven.

Here, at the font, our lives were claimed,
Here at his table he feeds us,
Here we have heard his word proclaimed,
Here his love's mystery leads us.
Present today as yesterday,
God's Son reminds us he will stay
Ever our Christ and Redeemer.

God grant, wherever through the year,
Summoned by bells, we are praying,
That, in their pealing, people hear
This word that Jesus is saying:
'The world does not see me, but you,
You see that all I say comes true:
My peace is with you for ever.' 

SECOND READING [Galatians 2:1-10]:

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. But because of false believers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us— we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you. And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those leaders contributed nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me in sending me to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do.

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

We pray for the use of God's gifts to his Church, saying
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy, hear us

God our Father,
you give us gifts that we may work together
in the service of your Son:
Bless those who lead,
that they may be firm in faith, 
yet humble before you.
We pray especially for the people of the Diocese
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us.

Bless those who teach,
that they may increase our understanding,    

and be open to your word for them:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who minister healing,
that they may bring wholeness to other, 
yet know your healing in themselves:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those through whom you speak,
that they may proclaim your word in power,
yet have their ears open to your gentle whisper:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who work in your world today
that they may live for you, fulfil your purposes,
and seek your kingdom first
in the complexity of their daily lives.
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who feel they have no gifts and are not valued,
and those who are powerless by the world's standards,
that they may share their experience
of the work of your Spirit.
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Guard us, O Lord, with the shield of faith
and fight for us with the sword of the Spirit, 
that in all our spiritual warfare
   against the powers of darkness
we may gain the victory
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, 
you sent your servant Anskar 
as an apostle to the people of Scandinavia, 
and enabled him to lay a firm foundation for their conversion, 
though he did not see the results of his labors: 
Keep your Church from discouragement in the day of small things, 
knowing than when you have begun a good work 
you will bring it to a faithful conclusion; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and 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

Open our imaginations to new dimensions of your love,
and heal us of all that severs us from you and one another;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
prayers reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts.

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