OREMUS: 15 October 2010
steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Oct 14 17:00:01 GMT 2010
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OREMUS for October 15
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, Bishop of Shanghai, 1906
Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are you, Lord of the feast,
you have prepared a table before all peoples
and poured out life with such abundance
that death cannot claim the triumph over your universe.
You call us again to your banquet
where we may may receive your holy food,
and, strengthened by what is honorable, just, and pure,
be transformed into a people of righteousness and peace.
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.
Hear my teaching, O my people;*
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;*
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
That which we have heard and known,
and what our forebears have told us,*
we will not hide from their children.
We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord,*
and the wonderful works he has done.
He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel,*
which he commanded them to teach their children;
That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn;*
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
So that they might put their trust in God,*
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;
And not be like their forebears,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,*
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow,*
turned back in the day of battle;
They did not keep the covenant of God,*
and refused to walk in his law;
They forgot what he had done,*
and the wonders he had shown them.
He worked marvels in the sight of their forebears,*
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
He split open the sea and let them pass through;*
he made the waters stand up like walls.
He led them with a cloud by day,*
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
He split the hard rocks in the wilderness*
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
He brought streams out of the cliff,*
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
But they went on sinning against him,*
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
They tested God in their hearts,*
demanding food for their craving.
They railed against God and said,*
'Can God set a table in the wilderness?
'True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out,
and the gullies overflowed;*
but is he able to give bread
or to provide meat for his people?'
When the Lord heard this, he was full of wrath;*
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
and his anger mounted against Israel;
For they had no faith in God,*
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
So he commanded the clouds above*
and opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down manna upon them to eat*
and gave them grain from heaven.
So mortals ate the bread of angels;*
he provided for them food enough.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens*
and led out the south wind by his might.
He rained down flesh upon them like dust*
and winged birds like the sand of the sea.
He let it fall in the midst of their camp*
and round about their dwellings.
So they ate and were well filled,*
for he gave them what they craved.
But they did not stop their craving,*
though the food was still in their mouths.
So God's anger mounted against them;*
he slew their strongest men
and laid low the youth of Israel.
In spite of all this, they went on sinning*
and had no faith in his wonderful works.
So he brought their days to an end like a breath*
and their years in sudden terror.
Whenever he slew them, they would seek him,*
and repent and diligently search for God.
They would remember that God was their rock,*
and the Most High God their redeemer.
But they flattered him with their mouths*
and lied to him with their tongues.
Their heart was not steadfast towards him,*
and they were not faithful to his covenant.
But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins
and did not destroy them;*
many times he held back his anger
and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
For he remembered that they were but flesh,*
a breath that goes forth and does not return.
How often the people disobeyed God in the wilderness*
and offended him in the desert!
Again and again they tempted God*
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power*
in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
How he wrought his signs in Egypt*
and his omens in the field of Zoan.
He turned their rivers into blood,*
so that they could not drink of their streams.
He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up,*
and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave their crops to the caterpillar,*
the fruit of their toil to the locust.
He killed their vines with hail*
and their sycamores with frost.
He delivered their cattle to hailstones*
and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
He poured out upon them his blazing anger:*
fury, indignation and distress,
a troop of destroying angels.
He gave full rein to his anger;
he did not spare their souls from death;*
but delivered their lives to the plague.
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt,*
the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
He led out his people like sheep*
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them to safety and they were not afraid;*
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
He brought them to his holy land,*
the mountain his right hand had won.
He drove out the Canaanites before them
and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot;*
he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
But they tested the Most High God and defied him,*
and did not keep his commandments.
They turned away and were disloyal like their forebears;*
they were undependable like a warped bow.
They grieved him with their hillaltars*
and provoked his displeasure with their idols.
When God heard this, he was angry*
and utterly rejected Israel.
He forsook the shrine at Shiloh,*
the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
He delivered the ark into captivity,*
his glory into the adversary's hand.
He gave his people to the sword*
and was angered against his inheritance.
The fire consumed their young men;*
there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
Their priests fell by the sword,*
and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord woke as though from sleep,*
like a warrior refreshed with wine.
He struck his enemies from behind*
and put them to perpetual shame.
He rejected the tent of Joseph*
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
He chose instead the tribe of Judah*
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven,*
like the earth which he founded for ever.
He chose David his servant,*
and took him away from the sheepfolds.
He brought him from following the ewes,*
to be a shepherd over Jacob his people
and over Israel his inheritance.
So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart*
and guided them with the skilfulness of his hands.
FIRST READING [Deuteronomy 13:1-18]:
If prophets or those who divine by dreams appear among you and promise you omens or portents, and the omens or the portents declared by them take place, and they say, 'Let us follow other gods' (whom you have not known) 'and let us serve them', you must not heed the words of those prophets or those who divine by dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you indeed love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. The Lord your God you shall follow, him alone you shall fear, his commandments you shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast. But those prophets or those who divine by dreams shall be put to death for having spoken treason against the Lord your Godwho brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slaveryto turn you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
If anyone secretly entices youeven if it is your brother, your father's son or your mother's son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friendsaying, 'Let us go and worship other gods', whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, any of the gods of the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other, you must not yield to or heed any such persons. Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them. But you shall surely kill them; your own hand shall be first against them to execute them, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Stone them to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Then all Israel shall hear and be afraid, and never again do any such wickedness.
If you hear it said about one of the towns that the Lord your God is giving you to live in, that scoundrels from among you have gone out and led the inhabitants of the town astray, saying, 'Let us go and worship other gods', whom you have not known, then you shall inquire and make a thorough investigation. If the charge is established that such an abhorrent thing has been done among you, you shall put the inhabitants of that town to the sword, utterly destroying it and everything in iteven putting its livestock to the sword. All of its spoil you shall gather into its public square; then burn the town and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt-offering to the Lord your God. It shall remain a perpetual ruin, never to be rebuilt. Do not let anything devoted to destruction stick to your hand, so that the Lord may turn from his fierce anger and show you compassion, and in his compassion multiply you, as he swore to your ancestors, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God by keeping all his commandments that I am commanding you today, doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.
Words: Andrew Reed, 1829
Music: Nun danket all
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Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
and make this house thy home;
descend with all thy gracious powers,
O come, great Spirit, come!
Come as the light; to us reveal
our emptiness and woe,
and lead us in those paths of life
whereon the righteous go.
Come as the fire and purge our hearts
like sacrificial flame;
let our whole soul an offering be
to our Redeemer's Name.
Come as the dove, and spread thy wings,
the wings of peaceful love;
and let thy Church on earth become
blest as the Church above.
Come as the dew and sweetly bless
this consecrated hour;
may barrenness rejoice to own
thy fertilizing power.
Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
make a lost world thy home;
descend with all thy gracious powers;
O come, great Spirit, come!
SECOND READING [Matthew 13:1-23]:
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: 'Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!'
Then the disciples came and asked him, 'Why do you speak to them in parables?' He answered, 'To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that "seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand." With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says: "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." But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.
'Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.'
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
Most holy and gracious God,
we praise you for the glorious freedom
we have together in Christ Jesus.
You have called us to be brothers and sisters
in the covenant of your Church.
Hear our desire to live in covenant relationships
of binding and loosing,
so that we may truly be your faithful people.
hear our prayer.
Enlarge our understandings of how we can work together
to raise up your Church and your mission
in this technological age.
hear our prayer.
Forgive us for not being sensitive to one another
and for preferring to be loners instead of joining in our common cause.
hear our prayer.
As you have forgiven us, may we forgive one another.
May our love flow like an everlasting river,
making our baptismal covenant a daily reality.
hear our prayer.
God of wisdom and love,
without you neither truth nor holiness can survive:
Show your mighty presence among us,
and make us glad in proclaiming your deliverance
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
your Word is revealed to us in Jesus Christ,
your Son, the Truth Incarnate and the Teacher of the faithful:
Lead us, we pray, to commit our lives and talents to you,
in the confidence that when you give your servants any work to do,
you also supply the strength to do it,
as you did for your servant Joseph Schereschewsky,
who worked to bring your word to China;
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 be mindful of God's call to holiness
and be clothed in the practice of good works,
that we may come to God's banquet prepared
to feast with the whole world.Amen.
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 and the closing prayer are reprinted from _Revised Common
Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts.
The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission.
The second collect is by Stephen Benner.
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky was born in Lithuania in 1831, went to
Germany to study for the rabbinate, there became a Christian, emigrated to
America, trained for the priesthood, and in 1859 was sent by the Episcopal
Church to China, where he devoted himself from 1862 to 1875 to translating
the Bible into Mandarin Chinese. In 1877 he was elected Bishop of Shanghai,
where he founded St. John's University, and began his translation of the Bible
into Wenli (another Chinese dialect). He developed Parkinson's disease, was
largely paralyzed, resigned his position as Bishop of Shanghai, and spent the
rest of his life completing his Wenli Bible, the last 2000 pages of which he
typed with the one finger that he could still move.
Four years before his death in 1906, he said: "I have sat in this chair for over
twenty years. It seemed very hard at first. But God knew best. He kept me for
the work for which I am best fitted."
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