OREMUS: 15 February 2010
steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Feb 14 17:00:00 GMT 2010
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OREMUS for Monday, February 15, 2010
Thomas Bray, Priest, Founder of the SPCK and the SPG, 1730
Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are you, God of majesty,
you brought light out of darkness
and set the sun to brighten the day.
We thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord,
whose human body was transfigured on a lonely mountain.
In his face, we have glimpsed your glory.
In his life, we see your love.
You lead us by the light of your truth
into the way of righteousness and peace.
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.
Hear my teaching, O my people;*
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;*
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
That which we have heard and known,
and what our forebears have told us,*
we will not hide from their children.
We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord,*
and the wonderful works he has done.
He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel,*
which he commanded them to teach their children;
That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn;*
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
So that they might put their trust in God,*
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;
And not be like their forebears,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,*
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow,*
turned back in the day of battle;
They did not keep the covenant of God,*
and refused to walk in his law;
They forgot what he had done,*
and the wonders he had shown them.
He worked marvels in the sight of their forebears,*
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
He split open the sea and let them pass through;*
he made the waters stand up like walls.
He led them with a cloud by day,*
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
He split the hard rocks in the wilderness*
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
He brought streams out of the cliff,*
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
But they went on sinning against him,*
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
They tested God in their hearts,*
demanding food for their craving.
They railed against God and said,*
'Can God set a table in the wilderness?
'True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out,
and the gullies overflowed;*
but is he able to give bread
or to provide meat for his people?'
When the Lord heard this, he was full of wrath;*
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
and his anger mounted against Israel;
For they had no faith in God,*
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
So he commanded the clouds above*
and opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down manna upon them to eat*
and gave them grain from heaven.
So mortals ate the bread of angels;*
he provided for them food enough.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens*
and led out the south wind by his might.
He rained down flesh upon them like dust*
and winged birds like the sand of the sea.
He let it fall in the midst of their camp*
and round about their dwellings.
So they ate and were well filled,*
for he gave them what they craved.
But they did not stop their craving,*
though the food was still in their mouths.
So God's anger mounted against them;*
he slew their strongest men
and laid low the youth of Israel.
In spite of all this, they went on sinning*
and had no faith in his wonderful works.
So he brought their days to an end like a breath*
and their years in sudden terror.
Whenever he slew them, they would seek him,*
and repent and diligently search for God.
They would remember that God was their rock,*
and the Most High God their redeemer.
But they flattered him with their mouths*
and lied to him with their tongues.
Their heart was not steadfast towards him,*
and they were not faithful to his covenant.
But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins
and did not destroy them;*
many times he held back his anger
and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
For he remembered that they were but flesh,*
a breath that goes forth and does not return.
How often the people disobeyed God in the wilderness*
and offended him in the desert!
Again and again they tempted God*
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power*
in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
How he wrought his signs in Egypt*
and his omens in the field of Zoan.
He turned their rivers into blood,*
so that they could not drink of their streams.
He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up,*
and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave their crops to the caterpillar,*
the fruit of their toil to the locust.
He killed their vines with hail*
and their sycamores with frost.
He delivered their cattle to hailstones*
and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
He poured out upon them his blazing anger:*
fury, indignation and distress,
a troop of destroying angels.
He gave full rein to his anger;
he did not spare their souls from death;*
but delivered their lives to the plague.
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt,*
the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
He led out his people like sheep*
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them to safety and they were not afraid;*
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
He brought them to his holy land,*
the mountain his right hand had won.
He drove out the Canaanites before them
and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot;*
he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
But they tested the Most High God and defied him,*
and did not keep his commandments.
They turned away and were disloyal like their forebears;*
they were undependable like a warped bow.
They grieved him with their hillaltars*
and provoked his displeasure with their idols.
When God heard this, he was angry*
and utterly rejected Israel.
He forsook the shrine at Shiloh,*
the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
He delivered the ark into captivity,*
his glory into the adversary's hand.
He gave his people to the sword*
and was angered against his inheritance.
The fire consumed their young men;*
there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
Their priests fell by the sword,*
and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord woke as though from sleep,*
like a warrior refreshed with wine.
He struck his enemies from behind*
and put them to perpetual shame.
He rejected the tent of Joseph*
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
He chose instead the tribe of Judah*
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven,*
like the earth which he founded for ever.
He chose David his servant,*
and took him away from the sheepfolds.
He brought him from following the ewes,*
to be a shepherd over Jacob his people
and over Israel his inheritance.
So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart*
and guided them with the skilfulness of his hands.
FIRST READING [Genesis 18:1-16]:
The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, 'My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass onsince you have come to your servant.' So they said, 'Do as you have said.' And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, 'Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.' Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to him, 'Where is your wife Sarah?' And he said, 'There, in the tent.' Then one said, 'I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.' And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, 'After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?' The Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh, and say, Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old? Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.' But Sarah denied, saying, 'I did not laugh'; for she was afraid. He said, 'Oh yes, you did laugh.'
Then the men set out from there, and they looked towards Sodom; and Abraham went with them to set them on their way.
Words: Frederick William Faber (1814-1863)
Tune: Chalvey, Westminster, Windsor
My God, how wonderful thou art,
thy majesty how bright,
how beautiful thy mercy-seat,
in depths of burning light!
How dread are thine eternal years,
O everlasting Lord,
by prostrate spirits day and night
How beautiful, how beautiful,
the sight of thee must be,
thine endless wisdom, boundless power,
and aweful purity!
O how I fear thee, living God,
with deepest, tenderest fears,
and worship thee with trembling hope,
and penitential tears!
Yet I may love thee too, O Lord,
almighty as thou art,
for thou hast stooped to ask of me
the love of my poor heart.
No earthly father loves like thee,
no mother, e'er so mild,
bears and forbears as thou hast done
with me thy sinful child.
O then this worse than worthless heart
in pity deign to take,
and make it love thee for thyself,
and for thy glory's sake.
Father of Jesus, love's reward,
what rapture will it be,
prostrate before thy throne to lie,
and gaze and gaze on thee!
SECOND READING [Galatians 6:1-10]:
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one anothers burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbours work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads.
Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.
Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
All-seeing, all-loving God,
you behold the human family as one.
You regard each of us as loved, redeemed, a temple of your Spirit.
Beholding you, we respond in thanks and praise as one Church.
Renew the Church in a dynamic sense of your grace.
Renew us, O Lord.
Work in us a continuing conversion:
Renew us, O Lord.
Give all your disciples eyes to see you in the ordinary:
Renew us, O Lord.
Lift the heavy hands of oppression
from the poor, the abused and the exploited:
Renew us, O Lord.
Kindle in the suffering and desperate
the warmth of your nearness and consolation:
Renew us, O Lord.
Stir up in us attention to the Spirit breathing within us:
Renew us, O Lord.
God of pilgrims, strengthen our faith, we pray. Guide us through the uncertainties of our journey, and hold before us the vision of your eternal kingdom, made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God of compassion,
you opened the eyes of your servant Thomas Bray
to see the needs of the Church in the New World,
and led him to found societies to meet those needs:
Make the Church in this land diligent at all times
to propragate the Gospel among those who have not received it,
and to promote the spread of Christian knowledge;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.
- The Lord's Prayer
Transform us into the likeness of Jesus Christ,
that we may live for you, as he lived,
and love others, as he loved them. 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 in _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster
/ John Knox Press.
The second collect are from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.
In 1696 Thomas Bray, an English country parson, was commissioned to
report on the condition of the Church in the colony of Maryland. He spent only
ten weeks in the colony, but he radically re-organized and renewed the Church
there, providing for the instruction of children and the systematic examination
of candidates for pastoral positions. He founded thirty-nine lending libraries
and numerous schools. Both in Maryland and upon his return to England, he
wrote and preached in defense of the rights of enlaved Africans, and of Indians
deprived of their land. Back in England, he worked for the reform of prison
conditions, and for the establishment of preaching missions to prisoners. He
persuaded General Oglethorpe to found a American colony (Georgia) for the
settlement of debtors as an alternative to debtors' prison. He founded a
missionary society, the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) and an
educational and publishing society, the SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge), both of which are still active today. [James Kiefer]
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