OREMUS: 3 March 2010

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


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OREMUS for Wednesday, March 3, 2010
John and Charles Wesley, Evangelists, Hymn Writers, 1791 and 1788

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

Blessed are you, God of the covenant, 
long ago you embraced your people
and promised them your blessing. 
You called Abraham to trust your promise
and you gave him the faith to follow that call. 
You call us in our baptism to serve you, 
trusting that Christ will transform us
in the glory of the eternal Easter. 
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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http://www.oremus.org/lentocan.html
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Psalm 15

Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?*
 who may abide upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right,*
 who speaks the truth from his heart.
There is no guile upon his tongue;
   he does no evil to his friend;*
 he does not heap contempt upon his neighbour.
In his sight the wicked is rejected,*
 but he honours those who fear the Lord.
He has sworn to do no wrong*
 and does not take back his word.
He does not give his money in hope of gain,*
 nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things*
 shall never be overthrown.

Psalm 16

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;*
 I have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord,
   my good above all other.'
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,*
 upon those who are noble among the people.
But those who run after other gods*
 shall have their troubles multiplied.
Their libations of blood I will not offer,*
 nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;*
 it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;*
 indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;*
 my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;*
 because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad and my spirit rejoices;*
 my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,*
 nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;*
 in your presence there is fullness of joy,
   and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 17

Hear my plea of innocence, O Lord;
   give heed to my cry;*
 listen to my prayer,
   which does not come from lying lips.
Let my vindication come forth from your presence;*
 let your eyes be fixed on justice.
Weigh my heart, summon me by night,*
 melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
I give no offence with my mouth as others do;*
 I have heeded the words of your lips.
My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law;*
 in your paths my feet shall not stumble.
I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me;*
 incline your ear to me and hear my words.
Show me your marvellous lovingkindness,*
 O Saviour of those who take refuge at your right hand
   from those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;*
 hide me under the shadow of your wings,
>From the wicked who assault me,*
 from my deadly enemies who surround me.
They have closed their heart to pity,*
 and their mouth speaks proud things.
They press me hard,
   now they surround me,*
 watching how they may cast me to the ground,
Like a lion, greedy for its prey,*
 and like a young lion lurking in secret places.
Arise, O Lord; confront them and bring them down;*
 deliver me from the wicked by your sword.
Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand*
 from those whose portion in life is this world;
Whose bellies you fill with your treasure,*
 who are well supplied with children
   and leave their wealth to their little ones.
But at my vindication I shall see your face;*
 when I awake, I shall be satisfied,
   beholding your likeness.

FIRST READING [Gen. 27:46-28:4,10-22]:

 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, 'I am weary of my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women such as these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?' 
Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, 'You shall not marry one of the Canaanite women. Go at once to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel, your mother's father; and take as wife from there one of the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and numerous, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give to you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with you, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien—land that God gave to Abraham.' 

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, 'I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.' Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!' And he was afraid, and said, 'How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.' 

So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, 'If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.' 

HYMN 
Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Tune: Abingdon, Das neugeborne Kindelein, Sagina, Surrey

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Saviour's blood?
Died he for me, who caused his pain?
For me, who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

'Tis mystery all : the Immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds enquire no more.

He left his Father's throne above -
So free, so infinite his grace -
Emptied himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray.
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light,
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine!
Alive in him, my living head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ, my own.

SECOND READING [John 11:1-16]:

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, 'Lord, he whom you love is ill.' But when Jesus heard it, he said, 'This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.' Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 

Then after this he said to the disciples, 'Let us go to Judea again.' The disciples said to him, 'Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?' Jesus answered, 'Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.' After saying this, he told them, 'Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.' The disciples said to him, 'Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.' Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, 'Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.' Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, 'Let us also go, that we may die with him.' 

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

Prayer:
Teach us, O Lord, the way of your statutes:
And lead us in the path of your commandments.

Keep our nation under your care:
And guide us in justice and truth.

O Lord, deal graciously with your servants;
teach us discernment and knowledge.

Let not the needy be forgotten:
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Guide the meek in judgement:
And teach your ways to the gentle.

Lord, remember your people:
Whom you have purchased and redeemed of old.

We offer up again our souls and bodies to you to be governed, 
not by our will, but yours. 
O let it be ever the ease and joy of our hearts, 
to be under the conduct of your unerring wisdom, 
to follow your counsels, and to be ruled in all things by your holy will. 
And let us never distrust your abundant kindness and tender care over us; 
whatsoever it is you would have us to do
or to suffer in this world; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
		
Almighty God, you inspired your servants John and Charles Wesley 
with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, 
and endowed them with eloquence in speech and song: 
Kindle in your Church, we entreat you, such fervor, 
that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, 
and those who have not known Christ 
may turn to him and be saved;
through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

- The Lord's Prayer

May your presence bless our souls, O God, 
and shed a joyful light; 
that the sorrows of the night
may be chased away by the hallowed morn to come. 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 closing sentence is adapted from Paraphrase 30 of the Scottish Paraphrases, 1781.

The first collect is by John Wesley.

Born at Epworth Rectory in Lincolnshire, John Wesley was the son of an
Anglican clergyman and a Puritan mother. He entered Holy Orders and,
following a religious experience on this day in 1738, began an itinerant ministry
which recognised no parish boundaries. This resulted, after his death, in the
development of a world-wide Methodist Church. His spirituality involved an
Arminian affirmation of grace, frequent communion and a disciplined corporate
search for holiness. His open-air preaching, concern for education and for the
poor, liturgical revision, organisation of local societies and training of
preachers provided a firm basis for Christian growth and mission in England.



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