OREMUS: 25 November 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Nov 24 17:00:00 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for November 25

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

Blessed are you, Lord.
We give thanks that in the creation of the world, 
when you laid the earth’s foundation 
and set its corner-stone in place, 
the morning stars sang in chorus 
and the angels of God all shouted for joy. 
By the power of your Spirit, 
you made the universe; 
by the might of your Word, 
you gave us life. 
For these and all your mercies, we praise you: 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 
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Psalm 119:33-40

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,*
 and I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding and I shall keep your law;*
 I shall keep it with all my heart.
Make me go in the path of your commandments,*
 for that is my desire.
Incline my heart to your decrees*
 and not to unjust gain.
Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless;*
 give me life in your ways.
Fulfil your promise to your servant,*
 which you make to those who fear you.
Turn away the reproach which I dread,*
 because your judgements are good.
Behold, I long for your commandments;*
 in your righteousness preserve my life.
Let your lovingkindness come to me, O Lord,*
 and your salvation, according to your promise.
Then shall I have a word for those who taunt me,*
 because I trust in your words.
Do not take the word of truth out of my mouth,*
 for my hope is in your judgements.
I shall continue to keep your law;*
 I shall keep it for ever and ever.
I will walk at liberty,*
 because I study your commandments.
I will tell of your decrees before kings*
 and will not be ashamed.
I delight in your commandments,*
 which I have always loved.
I will lift up my hands to your commandments,*
 and I will meditate on your statutes.
Psalm 119:49-56

Remember your word to your servant,*
 because you have given me hope.
This is my comfort in my trouble,*
 that your promise gives me life.
The proud have derided me cruelly,*
 but I have not turned from your law.
When I remember your judgements of old,*
 O Lord, I take great comfort.
I am filled with a burning rage,*
 because of the wicked who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been like songs to me*
 wherever I have lived as a stranger.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,*
 and dwell upon your law.
This is how it has been with me,*
 because I have kept your commandments.
You only are my portion, O Lord;*
 I have promised to keep your words.
I entreat you with all my heart,*
 be merciful to me according to your promise.

I have considered my ways*
 and turned my feet towards your decrees.
I hasten and do not tarry*
 to keep your commandments.
Though the cords of the wicked entangle me,*
 I do not forget your law.
At midnight I will rise to give you thanks,*
 because of your righteous judgements.
I am a companion of all who fear you*
 and of those who keep your commandments.
The earth, O Lord, is full of your love;*
 instruct me in your statutes.
Psalm 119:65-72

O Lord, you have dealt graciously with your servant,*
 according to your word.
Teach me discernment and knowledge,*
 for I have believed in your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,*
 but now I keep your word.
You are good and you bring forth good;*
 instruct me in your statutes.
The proud have smeared me with lies,*
 but I will keep your commandments
   with my whole heart.
Their heart is gross and fat,*
 but my delight is in your law.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,*
 that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is dearer to me*
 than thousands in gold and silver.

FIRST READING [Daniel 5:1–30]:

King Belshazzar made a great festival for a thousand of his lords, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. 

Under the influence of the wine, Belshazzar commanded that they bring in the vessels of gold and silver that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought in the vessels of gold and silver that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. 

Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the wall of the royal palace, next to the lampstand. The king was watching the hand as it wrote. Then the king's face turned pale, and his thoughts terrified him. His limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners; and the king said to the wise men of Babylon, 'Whoever can read this writing and tell me its interpretation shall be clothed in purple, have a chain of gold around his neck, and rank third in the kingdom.' Then all the king's wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king the interpretation. Then King Belshazzar became greatly terrified and his face turned pale, and his lords were perplexed. 

The queen, when she heard the discussion of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting-hall. The queen said, 'O king, live for ever! Do not let your thoughts terrify you or your face grow pale. There is a man in your kingdom who is endowed with a spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father he was found to have enlightenment, understanding, and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and diviners, because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.' 

Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king said to Daniel, 'So you are Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? I have heard of you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that enlightenment, understanding, and excellent wisdom are found in you. Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and tell me its interpretation, but they were not able to give the interpretation of the matter. But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you are able to read the writing and tell me its interpretation, you shall be clothed in purple, have a chain of gold around your neck, and rank third in the kingdom.' 

Then Daniel answered in the presence of the king, 'Let your gifts be for yourself, or give your rewards to someone else! Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and let him know the interpretation. O king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar kingship, greatness, glory, and majesty. And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. He killed those he wanted to kill, kept alive those he wanted to keep alive, honoured those he wanted to honour, and degraded those he wanted to degrade. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he acted proudly, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and his glory was stripped from him. He was driven from human society, and his mind was made like that of an animal. His dwelling was with the wild asses, he was fed grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until he learned that the Most High God has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals, and sets over it whomsoever he will. And you, Belshazzar his son, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this! You have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven! The vessels of his temple have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from them. You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know; but the God in whose power is your very breath, and to whom belong all your ways, you have not honoured. 

'So from his presence the hand was sent and this writing was inscribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: mene, mene, tekel, and parsin. This is the interpretation of the matter: mene, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; tekel, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.' 

Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed in purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made concerning him that he should rank third in the kingdom.  That very night Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was killed. 

HYMN 
Words: Mildred B Duff (1860-1932)
Meter: CMD

The heart that once has Jesus known
And turned away again,
Finds soon the joys of sin are flown
Though sharp the sting remain.
The soul that once has walked with him,
Then left his guiding light,
Can only find earth's glitter dim,
Its promise quenched in night.

In vain you strive to drown the thought
Of what you might have been;
Earth's pleasures are too dearly bought,
Its sorrows all too keen!
Backslider, hear! God speaks your name,
It is not yet too late;
The Lord in mercy tarries yet,
He has not closed the gate.

We do believe that Jesus can
Restore his work in you.
His touch will full salvation give;
He maketh all things new.
O rise at once! delay no more,
Nor hesitate, nor doubt,
If you but leave your sin and come,
He will not cast you out.

SECOND READING [Revelation 21:9–27]:

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, 'Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.' And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 

The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. 
The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth cornelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass. 

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. 

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

Prayer:
United in the company of all the faithful 
and looking for the coming of the kingdom, 
let us offer our prayers to God, the source of all life and holiness.

Merciful Lord, strengthen all Christian people by your Holy Spirit 
that we may live as a royal priesthood 
and a holy nation to the praise of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Empower us by the gift of your Holy and lifegiving Spirit
that we may be transformed into the likeness of Christ 
from glory to glory.
Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Hold in your embrace all who witness to your love 
in the service of the poor and needy;
all who minister to the sick and dying;
and all who bring light to those in darkness.
Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Remember in your mercy all those gone before us 
who have been wellpleasing to you from eternity;
preserve in your faith your servants on earth,
guide us to your kingdom,
and grant us your peace at all times.
Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

We give you thanks 
for the whole company of your saints in glory,
with whom in fellowship we join our prayers and praises;
by your grace may we, like them, be made perfect in your love.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Vast and immense God, 
your actions are beyond our imagination, 
the wonders of your grace are infinite: 
May your Holy Spirit help us to recognize in the scriptures
certain drops of this vast ocean of your revelation, 
that we may discern the multitude of ways
in which your Son Jesus Christ is present with us. 
We ask this through him whose love
was revealed on the cross and beyond, Jesus Christ. Amen.
		
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

God the Father keep us in the heart of God.
Christ Jesus, Son of God, seal our inheritance.
The Spirit mark us with the sign of salvation
and the glory of God. 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 is from _Common Order_ and the closing prayer is from _Uniting in Worship 2_.


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