OREMUS: 10 January 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Jan 9 17:00:00 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for Sunday, January 10, 2010
The First Sunday after Epiphany

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

Blessed are you, mighty God, Creator of heaven and earth!
When your voice first thundered over the seas
your brooding Spirit brought forth the earth from the void
and breathed life into all your creatures.
You called your people to follow your ways,
and sent your servant, John the Baptist,
to proclaiming a baptism of repentance
for the forgiveness of sins.
He pointed to the one who was to come,
your beloved child, Jesus the Christ.
When he was baptized in the fearful waters of death,
you raised him to life and tore open the heavens
so that all might be baptized with your Holy Spirit
and enter into your presence as your children.
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 50

The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken;*
 he has called the earth
   from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty,*
 God reveals himself in glory.
Our God will come and will not keep silence;*
 before him there is a consuming flame,
   and round about him a raging storm.
He calls the heavens and the earth from above*
 to witness the judgement of his people.
'Gather before me my loyal followers,*
 those who have made a covenant with me
   and sealed it with sacrifice.'
Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause;*
 for God himself is judge.
Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
   'O Israel, I will bear witness against you;*
 for I am God, your God.
'I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices;*
 your offerings are always before me.
'I will take no bullcalf from your stalls,*
 nor hegoats out of your pens;
'For the beasts of the forest are mine,*
 the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
'I know every bird in the sky,*
 and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
'If I were hungry, I would not tell you,*
 for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
'Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls,*
 or drink the blood of goats?
'Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and make good your vows to the Most High.
'Call upon me in the day of trouble;*
 I will deliver you and you shall honour me.'
But to the wicked God says:*
 'Why do you recite my statutes,
   and take my covenant upon your lips;
'Since you refuse discipline,*
 and toss my words behind your back?
'When you see a thief, you make him your friend,*
 and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
'You have loosed your lips for evil,*
 and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
'You are always speaking evil of your brother*
 and slandering your own mother's son.
'These things you have done and I kept still,*
 and you thought that I am like you.
'I have made my accusation;*
 I have put my case in order before your eyes.
'Consider this well, you who forget God,*
 lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
'Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving
   honours me;*
 but to those who keep in my way
   will I show the salvation of God.'

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your lovingkindness;*
 in your great compassion blot out my offences.
Wash me through and through from my wickedness*
 and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,*
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you only have I sinned*
 and done what is evil in your sight.
And so you are justified when you speak*
 and upright in your judgement.
Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth,*
 a sinner from my mother's womb.
For behold, you look for truth deep within me,*
 and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
Purge me from my sin and I shall be pure;*
 wash me and I shall be clean indeed.
Make me hear of joy and gladness,*
 that the body you have broken may rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins*
 and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,*
 and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence*
 and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again*
 and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
I shall teach your ways to the wicked,*
 and sinners shall return to you.
Deliver me from death, O God,*
 and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness,
   O God of my salvation.
Open my lips, O Lord,*
 and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice,*
 but you take no delight in burntofferings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit;*
 a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Be favourable and gracious to Zion,*
 and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with the appointed sacrifices,
   with burntofferings and oblations;*
 then shall they offer young bullocks upon your altar.

Psalm 52

You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness*
 against the godly all day long?
You plot ruin; your tongue is like a sharpened razor,*
 O worker of deception.
You love evil more than good*
 and lying more than speaking the truth.
You love all words that hurt,*
 O you deceitful tongue.
The righteous shall see and tremble,*
 and they shall laugh, saying,
'This is the one who did not take God for a refuge,*
 but trusted in great wealth and relied upon wickedness.'
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;*
 I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
I will give you thanks for what you have done*
 and declare the goodness of your name
   in the presence of the godly.

FIRST READING [Proverbs 8:22-35]:

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of long ago. 
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water. 
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth? 
when he had not yet made earth and fields,
or the world?s first bits of soil. 
When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep, 
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 
then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always, 
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race. 

And now, my children, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways. 
Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it. 
Happy is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors. 
For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favour from the Lord; 

HYMN 
Words: William Williams, 1745; trans. Peter Williams, 1771
Tune: Cwm Rhondda 
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/g/g401.html
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Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim though this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through;
strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer.
be thou still my Strength and Shield,
be thou still my Strength and Shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
bear me through the swelling current,
land me safe on Canaan's side;
songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee,
I will ever give to thee.

SECOND READING [Matthew 18:1-14]:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. 

'If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling-blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling-block comes! 

 'If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire. 

 'Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost. 

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

Prayer:
As God’s children, born of water and the Spirit, let us bring our prayers to the Lord.

We pray for those throughout the world who are persecuted for their faith: may they be protected and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.

We pray for all those who are affected by the winter weather; especially for those who are frail or elderly; for those who have no home or cannot afford heating: may they receive comfort and assistance.

We pray for those who have to travel through difficult conditions: may they be brought safely to their destination.

We pray for the people of Kenya who are suffering as a result of the floods in their country: may they be brought relief and be enabled to return to their homes.

We pray for those who are working to bring peace to the troubled areas of the world, and especially in Afghanistan: may they be kept safe, and may conflict and violence give way to reconciliation and lasting peace. 

Heavenly Father, your Son Jesus Christ came to baptise us with the Holy Spirit and fire, we ask you to hear the prayers we offer through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal God, 
at the baptism of Jesus 
in the River Jordan 
you proclaimed him your beloved Son 
and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: 
Grant that all who are baptized into his Name 
may keep the covenant they have made, 
and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; 
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
		
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

O God, whose voice moves over the waters,
immerse us in your grace,
make us with your image,
and raise us to live our baptismal vows
empowered by the Holy Spirit
and the example of Christ our Lord. 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 canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

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 altered by Stephen Benner from a prayer (c) 2002, Nathan Nettleton at  http://www.laughingbird.net/.

The closing sentence is from a prayer reprinted from _Revised Common
Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common
Texts.

The collect is from _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993
Westminster / John Knox Press. 

The petitions are gathered by Redemptorist Publications and are published each Friday on their website: http://www.rpbooks.co.uk/page.php?page=prayers



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