OREMUS: 26 September 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Sep 25 19:11:06 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for Sunday, September 26, 2010
The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

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

Blessed are you, God of our salvation,
we falter before the demands of your word
and turn away from your call to life.
Yet you pour out your mercy on us
as you showed mercy to your people of old,
that we may turn from our sinfulness
and walk the path of self-emptying love
made known in Jesus Christ. 
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 119:105-144

Your word is a lantern to my feet*
 and a light upon my path.
I have sworn and am determined*
 to keep your righteous judgements.
I am deeply troubled;*
 preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept, O Lord, the willing tribute of my lips,*
 and teach me your judgements.
My life is always in my hand,*
 yet I do not forget your law.
The wicked have set a trap for me,*
 but I have not strayed from your commandments.
Your decrees are my inheritance for ever;*
 truly, they are the joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart to fulfil your statutes*
 for ever and to the end.

I hate those who have a divided heart,*
 but your law do I love.
You are my refuge and shield;*
 my hope is in your word.
Away from me, you wicked!*
 I will keep the commandments of my God.
Sustain me according to your promise, that I may live,*
 and let me not be disappointed in my hope.
Hold me up and I shall be safe,*
 and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.
You spurn all who stray from your statutes;*
 their deceitfulness is in vain.

In your sight all the wicked of the earth are but dross;*
 therefore I love your decrees.
My flesh trembles with dread of you;*
 I am afraid of your judgements.

I have done what is just and right;*
 do not deliver me to my oppressors.
Be surety for your servant's good;*
 let not the proud oppress me.
My eyes have failed from watching for your salvation*
 and for your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant
   according to your lovingkindness*
 and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; grant me understanding,*
 that I may know your decrees.
It is time for you to act, O Lord,*
 for they have broken your law.
Truly, I love your commandments*
 more than gold and precious stones.
I hold all your commandments to be right for me;*
 all paths of falsehood I abhor.

Your decrees are wonderful;*
 therefore I obey them with all my heart.
When your word goes forth it gives light;*
 it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant;*
 I long for your commandments.

Turn to me in mercy,*
 as you always do to those who love your name.
Steady my footsteps in your word;*
 let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Rescue me from those who oppress me,*
 and I will keep your commandments.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant*
 and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears,*
 because people do not keep your law.

You are righteous, O Lord,*
 and upright are your judgements.
You have issued your decrees*
 with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
My indignation has consumed me,*
 because my enemies forget your words.
Your word has been tested to the uttermost,*
 and your servant holds it dear.
I am small and of little account,*
 yet I do not forget your commandments.
Your justice is an everlasting justice*
 and your law is the truth.
Trouble and distress have come upon me,*
 yet your commandments are my delight.
The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting;*
 grant me understanding, that I may live.

FIRST READING [Nehemiah 2]:

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was served to him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in his presence before. So the king said to me, 'Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.' Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, 'May the king live for ever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my ancestors' graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?' Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour with you, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors' graves, so that I may rebuild it.' The king said to me (the queen also was sitting beside him), 'How long will you be gone, and when will you return?' So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a date. Then I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may grant me passage until I arrive in Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, directing him to give me timber to make beams for the gates of the temple fortress, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.' And the king granted me what I asked, for the gracious hand of my God was upon me. 

Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent officers of the army and cavalry with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel. 

So I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. Then I got up during the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the animal I rode. I went out by night by the Valley Gate past the Dragon's Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King's Pool; but there was no place for the animal I was riding to continue. So I went up by way of the valley by night and inspected the wall. Then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest that were to do the work. 

Then I said to them, 'You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burnt. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.' I told them that the hand of my God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. Then they said, 'Let us start building!' So they committed themselves to the common good. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they mocked and ridiculed us, saying, 'What is this that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?' Then I replied to them, 'The God of heaven is the one who will give us success, and we his servants are going to start building; but you have no share or claim or historic right in Jerusalem.' 

HYMN 
Words: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)
Tune: Birling, Galilee, Gonfalon Royal, Maryton, Uffingham

Lord of all being, throned afar,
thy glory flames from sun and star;
centre and soul of every sphere,
yet to each loving heart how near!

Sun of our life, thy quickening ray
sheds on our path the glow of day;
Star of our hope, thy softened light
cheers the long watches of the night.

Our midnight is thy smile withdrawn,
our noontide is thy gracious dawn,
our rainbow arch thy mercy's sign;
all, save the clouds of sin, are thine.

Lord of all life, below, above,
whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
before thy ever-blazing throne
we ask no lustre of our own.

Grant us thy truth to make us free
and kindling hearts that burn for thee,
till all thy living altars claim
one holy light, one heavenly flame.

SECOND READING [John 8.31-38,48-59]:

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.' They answered him, 'We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, "You will be made free"?' 

Jesus answered them, 'Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father's presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.' 

The Jews answered him, 'Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?' Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon; but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and he is the judge. Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.' The Jews said to him, 'Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, "Whoever keeps my word will never taste death." Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?' Jesus answered, 'If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, "He is our God", though you do not know him. But I know him; if I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him and I keep his word. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.' Then the Jews said to him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.' So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. 

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

Prayer:
My brothers and sisters, let us bring our prayers to the Lord who gives bread to the hungry and sets prisoners free.

We pray for all those preparing for the Commonwealth Games in India: that this may be a time of sporting achievement and fellowship.

We continue to pray for the 33 miners who have now been trapped in the collapsed pit in Chile for more than 50 days: that they may remain strong and healthy, and that the efforts to release them may soon be successful.

We pray for the peoples of the Holy Land: that those of different race and religion may be reconciled and live together in peace.

We pray for all those who are facing the loss of their jobs and income: that they may be enabled to find employment.

We pray for all those who work to provide us with food: that the harvest on land and at sea may be blessed.

Heavenly Father, source of all life, we ask you to hear the prayers that we offer in faith, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Grant, O merciful God, 
that your people may have that mind 
that was in Christ Jesus, who emptied himself, 
and took the form of a servant, 
and in humility became obedient even to death. 
For you have highly exalted him 
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 
Jesus Christ, the Lord; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, in everlasting glory. Amen.

		
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Pour out your Spirit, O God, over all the world,
to inspire every heart with knowledge and love of you. 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 is adapted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts. The closing prayer use phrases from a prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_ (c) Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.



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