OREMUS: 31 July 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Jul 30 19:39:24 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for Saturday, July 31, 2010
Joseph of Arimathea

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, O God,
you are our greatest treasure
and the source of our greatest joy:
Your Spirit continues to form us in the likeness of Christ,
that we may know the freedom of your children
and the assurance that nothing in creation
can separate us from your love,
most fully known in Jesus Christ our Lord.
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/ocan.html

Psalm 147

Alleluia!
   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

Psalm 147:1-12

How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

Psalm 148

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you seamonsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
   Alleluia!

Psalm 149

Alleluia!
   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a twoedged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.
   Alleluia!

Psalm 150

Alleluia!
   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram'shorn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loudclanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [1 Sam. 15:24-34]:

Saul said to Samuel, 'I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25Now therefore, I pray, pardon my sin, and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord.' 26Samuel said to Saul, 'I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.' 27As Samuel turned to go away, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28And Samuel said to him, 'The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this very day, and has given it to a neighbour of yours, who is better than you. 29Moreover, the Glory of Israel will not recant* or change his mind; for he is not a mortal, that he should change his mind.' 30Then Saul* said, 'I have sinned; yet honour me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.' 31So Samuel turned back after Saul; and Saul worshipped the Lord. 

32Then Samuel said, 'Bring Agag king of the Amalekites here to me.' And Agag came to him haltingly.* Agag said, 'Surely this is the bitterness of death.'* 33But Samuel said, 'As your sword has made women childless, so your mother shall be childless among women.' And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 

HYMN 
Words: Erik Routley (c) Used with permission.
Tune: Birabus

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/a/a185.html
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All who love and serve your city,
all who bear its daily stress,
all who cry for peace and justice,
all who curse and all who bless,

In your day of loss and sorrow,
in your day of helpless strife,
honor, peace, and love retreating,
seek the Lord, who is your life.

In your day of wrath and plenty,
wasted work and wasted play,
call to mind the word of Jesus,
"I must work while it is day."

For all days are days of judgment,
and the Lord is waiting still,
drawing near a world that spurns him,
offering peace from Calvary's hill.

Risen Lord! shall yet the city
be the city of despair?
Come today, our Judge, our Glory;
be its name, "The Lord is there!" 

SECOND READING [Acts 28:16-end]:

When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him. 
 Three days later he called together the local leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, 'Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, yet I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. When they had examined me, the Romans wanted to release me, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to the emperor—even though I had no charge to bring against my nation. For this reason therefore I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is for the sake of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.' They replied, 'We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken anything evil about you. But we would like to hear from you what you think, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.' 

After they had fixed a day to meet him, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. Some were convinced by what he had said, while others refused to believe. So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: 'The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah, 
"Go to this people and say,
You will indeed listen, but never understand,
   and you will indeed look, but never perceive. 
For this people's heart has grown dull,
   and their ears are hard of hearing,
     and they have shut their eyes;
     so that they might not look with their eyes,
   and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
   and I would heal them." 

Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.' 
He lived there for two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. 

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

Prayer:
Great and wonderful God, we praise and thank you for the
gift of renewal in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank you
for
     opportunities for rest and recreation...
                         (We thank you, Lord.)
     the regenerating gifts of the Holy Spirit...
     activities shared by young and old...
     fun and laughter...
     every service that proclaims your love...

You make all things new, O God, and we offer our prayers
for the renewal of the whole world and the healing of its
wounds. Especially we pray for
     those who have no leisure...
                         (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     people enslaved by addictions...
     those who entertain and enlighten...
     those confronted with temptation...
     the church in North America...

O God, you desire mercy and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of you rather than burnt offerings:
rule and direct our hearts in the way of true religion
and save us in the day of your appearing;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Merciful God, 
whose servant Joseph of Arimathea 
with reverence and godly fear 
prepared the body of our Lord and Savior for burial, 
and laid it in his own tomb: 
Grant to us, your faithful people, 
grace and courage to love and serve Jesus 
with sincere devotion all the days of our life; 
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

May we instructed by your heavenly law, O Lord,
that we may embrace the example of your Son
and show it forth in deeds and works of love. 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 and closing sentence are adapted from prayers by Alan Griffiths.

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

The Gospels tell us that after the death of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathaea,
wealthy, a member of the Council, asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and
buried it with honor in the tomb he had intended for himself. This is our only
information about him from writers of his own century.
Later tradition has embellished this account. It is said that Joseph was a distant
relative of the family of Jesus; that he derived his wealth from tin mines in
Cornwall, which he visited from time to time; and that Jesus as a teenager
accompanied Joseph on one such visit. This is the background of the poem
"Jerusalem," by William Blake.
After the Crucifixion, we are told, Joseph returned to Cornwall, bringing the
chalice of the Last Supper, known as the Holy Grail. Reaching Glastonbury, he
planted his staff, which took root and blossomed into a thorn tree. The Grail
was hidden, and part of the great national epic ("the matter of Britain") deals
with the unsuccessful quest of the knights of King Arthur to find the Grail. The
Thorn Tree remained at Glastonbury, flowering every year on Christmas day,
and King Charles I baited the Roman Catholic chaplain of his queen by
pointing out that, although Pope Gregory had proclaimed a reform of the
calendar, the Glastonbury Thorn ignored the Pope's decree and continued to
blossom on Christmas Day according to the Old Calendar. The Thorn was cut
down by one of Cromwell's soldiers on the grounds that it was a relic of
superstition, and it is said that as it fell, its thorns blinded the axeman in one
eye. A tree allegedly grown from a cutting from the original Thorn survives
today in Glastonbury (and trees propagated from it stand on the grounds of the
Cathedral in Washington, DC, and presumably elsewhere) and leaves from it
are sold in all the tourist shops in Glastonbury.
Has the Glastonbury legend any basis at all in history? Two facts and some
speculations follow:
Tin, an essential ingredient of bronze, was highly valued in ancient times, and
Phoenician ships imported tin from Cornwall. It is a pretty safe guess that in
the first century the investors who owned shares in the Cornwall tin trade
included at least a few Jewish Christians.
Christianity gained a foothold in Britain very early, probably earlier than in
Gaul. It may have been brought there by the traffic of the Cornwall tin trade. If
so, then the early British Christians would have a tradition that they had been
evangelized by a wealthy Jewish Christian. If they had forgotten his name, it
would be natural to consult the Scriptures to see what mention was made of
early wealthy Jewish converts. Joseph and Barnabas are almost the only ones
named, and much of the life of Barnabas is already accounted for by the book
of Acts, which makes him an unsatisfactory candidate. Hence, those who do
not like to be vague would say, not, "We were evangelized by some wealthy
Jewish Christian whose name we have forgotten," but, "We were evangelized
by Joseph of Arimathaea."
Why spend time on any of the above? Because the folk-tales of a community
are part of the heritage of a community. Someone wishing to understand the
United States will be well advised to familiarize himself with the stories of
George Washington's cherry tree and Paul Revere's ride, although he ought not
to confuse them with history. [James Kiefer]



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