OREMUS: 21 February 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Feb 20 17:00:00 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for Sunday, February 21, 2010
The First Sunday in Lent

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God, rich in mercy,
you so loved the world 
that when we were dead in our sins,
you sent your only Son for our deliverance.
Lifted up from the earth,
he is light and life;
exalted upon the cross,
he is truth and salvation.
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. 
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Psalm 106

Alleluia!
   Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,*
 for his mercy endures for ever.
Who can declare the mighty acts of the Lord*
 or show forth all his praise?
Happy are those who act with justice*
 and always do what is right!
Remember me, O Lord,
   with the favour you have for your people,*
 and visit me with your saving help;
That I may see the prosperity of your elect
   and be glad with the gladness of your people,*
 that I may glory with your inheritance.
We have sinned as our forebears did;*
 we have done wrong and dealt wickedly.

In Egypt they did not consider your marvellous works,
   nor remember the abundance of your love;*
 they defied the Most High at the Red Sea.
But he saved them for his name's sake,*
 to make his power known.
He rebuked the Red Sea and it dried up,*
 and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
He saved them from the hand of those who hated them*
 and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
The waters covered their oppressors;*
 not one of them was left.
Then they believed his words*
 and sang him songs of praise.
But they soon forgot his deeds*
 and did not wait for his counsel.
A craving seized them in the wilderness,*
 and they put God to the test in the desert.
He gave them what they asked,*
 but sent leanness into their soul.
They envied Moses in the camp,*
 and Aaron, the holy one of the Lord.
The earth opened and swallowed Dathan*
 and covered the company of Abiram.
Fire blazed up against their company,*
 and flames devoured the wicked.
Israel made a bullcalf at Horeb*
 and worshipped a molten image;
And so they exchanged their Glory*
 for the image of an ox that feeds on grass.
They forgot God their saviour,*
 who had done great things in Egypt,
Wonderful deeds in the land of Ham,*
 and fearful things at the Red Sea.
So he would have destroyed them,
   had not Moses his chosen
   stood before him in the breach,*
 to turn away his wrath from consuming them.

Our forebears refused the pleasant land*
 and would not believe God's promise.
They grumbled in their tents*
 and would not listen to the voice of the Lord.
So he lifted his hand against them,*
 to overthrow them in the wilderness,
To cast out their seed among the nations,*
 and to scatter them throughout the lands.
They joined themselves to BaalPeor*
 and ate sacrifices offered to the dead.
They provoked him to anger with their actions,*
 and a plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and interceded,*
 and the plague came to an end.
This was reckoned to him as righteousness*
 throughout all generations for ever.
Again they provoked his anger at the waters of Meribah,*
 so that he punished Moses because of them;
For they so embittered his spirit*
 that he spoke rash words with his lips.
They did not destroy the peoples*
 as the Lord had commanded them.
They intermingled with the heathen*
 and learned their pagan ways,
So that they worshipped their idols,*
 which became a snare to them.! v37 >
They sacrificed their sons*
 and their daughters to evil spirits.
They shed innocent blood,
   the blood of their sons and daughters,*
 which they offered to the idols of Canaan,
   and the land was defiled with blood.
Thus they were polluted by their actions*
 and went whoring in their evil deeds;
Therefore the wrath of the Lord
   was kindled against his people*
 and he abhorred his inheritance.
He gave them over to the hand of the heathen,*
 and those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,*
 and they were humbled under their hand.
Many a time did he deliver them,
   but they rebelled through their own devices,*
 and were brought down in their iniquity.
Nevertheless, he saw their distress,*
 when he heard their lamentation.
He remembered his covenant with them*
 and relented in accordance with his great mercy.
He caused them to be pitied*
 by those who held them captive.
Save us, O Lord our God,
   and gather us from among the nations,*
 that we may give thanks to your holy name
   and glory in your praise.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
   from everlasting and to everlasting;*
 and let all the people say, 'Amen!'
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Jonah 3]:

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 'Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.' So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days' walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's walk. And he cried out, 'Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!' And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. 

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: 'By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.' 

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. 

HYMN 
Words: Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Tune: Ibstone, Quam dilecta

Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be!
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.
Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best,
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might:
Choose Thou for me, my God;
So shall I walk aright.
The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine; so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.

Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.
Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my Guide, my Strength,
My Wisdom, and my All.

SECOND READING [Luke 18.9-14]:

Jesus also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 'Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, "God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income." But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.'

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

Prayer:
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Let us bring our prayers to him.

We pray for the people of Haiti in their continuing need after the earthquake: that they may receive the help they need to rebuild their country, their homes and their lives.

We pray for a fairer sharing of the world’s resources; especially for those in the developing world who work to produce the food and goods that we consume: may they be freed from the burden of unjust debt, and receive a fair price for their labour.

We pray for those who are unemployed, and particularly those on Teesside facing the loss of their jobs with the closure of the steel plant: may they be enabled to find new work and new opportunities.

We pray for the work of aid agencies that seek to transform the lives of our brothers and sisters living in poverty throughout the world; and we pray that our response to them be may heartfelt and generous.

We pray in this Lenten season for those who are preparing for the sacraments of baptism and confirmation at Easter: that this may be a time of joy and growth in faith.

Heavenly Father, giver of all that is good, as we journey in faith through this season of Lent we ask you to hear the prayers that we offer through your Son, who suffered and died for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God of the new and eternal covenant, 
as the forty days of the great flood 
swept away the world's corruption 
and watered new beginnings of righteousness and life: 
grant to us, who are washed clean and born again 
in the saving flood of baptism, the wellspring of your grace, 
that your gift of new life may flourish once again; 
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God give us comfort and peace, light and joy,
in this world and the next. 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 adapted from
prayers in _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster
/ John Knox Press. 

The opening prayer of thanksgiving adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.



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