OREMUS: 5 April 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Apr 4 22:02:03 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for April 5
The Martyrs of Japan, 1597

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

Blessed are you, Lord God of truth,
for by the breath of your mouth
you have spoken your Word,
and all things have come into being.
You fashioned us in your image
and placed us in the garden of your delight.
Though we chose the path of rebellion
you would not abandon your own.
Again and again you drew us into your covenant of grace.
You gave your people the law and taught us by your prophets
to look for your reign of justice, mercy and peace.
As we watch for the signs of your kingdom on earth,
we praise you: Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 
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Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom then shall I fear?*
 the Lord is the strength of my life;
   of whom then shall I be afraid?
When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh,*
 it was they, my foes and my adversaries,
   who stumbled and fell.
Though an army should encamp against me,*
 yet my heart shall not be afraid;
And though war should rise up against me,*
 yet will I put my trust in him.
One thing have I asked of the Lord;
   one thing I seek;*
 that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life;
To behold the fair beauty of the Lord*
 and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
   he shall keep me safe in his shelter;*
 he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling
   and set me high upon a rock.
Even now he lifts up my head*
 above my enemies round about me;
Therefore I will offer in his dwelling an oblation
   with sounds of great gladness;*
 I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hearken to my voice, O Lord, when I call;*
 have mercy on me and answer me.
You speak in my heart and say, 'Seek my face.'*
 Your face, Lord, will I seek.
Hide not your face from me,*
 nor turn away your servant in displeasure.
You have been my helper;
   cast me not away;*
 do not forsake me, O God of my salvation.
Though my father and my mother forsake me,*
 the Lord will sustain me.
Show me your way, O Lord;*
 lead me on a level path, because of my enemies.
Deliver me not into the hand of my adversaries,*
 for false witnesses have risen up against me,
   and also those who speak malice.
What if I had not believed
   that I should see the goodness of the Lord*
 in the land of the living!
O tarry and await the Lord's pleasure;
   be strong and he shall comfort your heart;*
 wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 28

O Lord, I call to you;
   my rock, do not be deaf to my cry;*
 lest, if you do not hear me,
   I become like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you,*
 when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.
Do not snatch me away with the wicked
   or with the evildoers,*
 who speak peaceably with their neighbours,
   while strife is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their deeds,*
 and according to the wickedness of their actions.
According to the work of their hands repay them,*
 and give them their just deserts.
They have no understanding of the Lord's doings,
   nor of the works of his hands;*
 therefore he will break them down
   and not build them up.
Blessed is the Lord!*
 for he has heard the voice of my prayer.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;*
 my heart trusts in him and I have been helped;
Therefore my heart dances for joy,*
 and in my song will I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people,*
 a safe refuge for his anointed.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;*
 shepherd them and carry them for ever.

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, you gods,*
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name;*
 worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
   the God of glory thunders;*
 the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice;*
 the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendour.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees;*
 the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,*
 and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire;
   the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;*
 the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe*
 and strips the forests bare.
And in the temple of the Lord*
 all are crying, 'Glory!'
The Lord sits enthroned above the flood;*
 the Lord sits enthroned as king for evermore.
The Lord shall give strength to his people;*
 the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 24]:

The Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. This was after King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, together with the officials of Judah, the artisans, and the smiths, and had brought them to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten. And the Lord said to me, 'What do you see, Jeremiah?' I said, 'Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.' 

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. I will set my eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. 

But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who live in the land of Egypt. I will make them a horror, an evil thing, to all the kingdoms of the earth—a disgrace, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they are utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their ancestors. 
 
HYMN 
Words: Michael Hare Duke (born 1925)	
© 1992 Stainer & Bell Ltd Used with permission
Meter: 87 87 87

Sons and daughters of creation
By God's will we came to be.
Like a poet dreaming marvels
He has spun our history,
Working, till from shapeless chaos
He evoked humanity.

Dark within our first conceiving
Run the rifts that still divide:
Envy splits and anger hardens,
Colour, gender, wealth collide:
Sov'reign nations arm for conflict,
Violence thrusting peace aside.

Yet God holds his steadfast purpose
Of humanity made one.
Walls were breached and bounds transcended
By the death of his own Son:
And the way for love's encounter
Through the Spirit's power begun.

Down the restless generations,
Called of God, his church has grown.
Martyrs' heirs and prophets' children 
Penetrated lands unknown,
Challenged by unlikeness, finding
Gifts to complement their own.

Now as partners in one mission,
We must share across the earth
Hope of what God will accomplish,
Faith that promises new birth
To the selves that sin has shattered,
Love restoring each life's worth.

Rich from all that we inherit,
Strong with skills new worlds devise,
Father, may we serve your Kingdom;
Under crisis-clouded skies,
Confidently reaffirming
Where the morning's glory lies.

SECOND READING [Romans 5.12–end]:

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come. 

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man's trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man's sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man's trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 

Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
 
The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Prayer:
Good Shepherd, within your embrace we are safe and secure. Within your embrace we know that we are precious in your sight. Within your embrace we feel the warmth of family and belonging. Within your embrace we grow and are nurtured together as one flock, the people of your pasture under your loving care and protection.
Come, let us bow down 
 Before the LORD our Maker.

Good Shepherd, within your embrace we find comfort and healing. We bring to you those who are weak, or struggling with physical, mental or spiritual health. You are the great healer, and we pray for healing of mind and body for those we now name in the silence of our hearts.
Come, let us bow down 
 Before the LORD our Maker.

Good Shepherd, within your embrace we find justice. We bring to you the brave voices who cry out for freedom, those prepared to stand up and be heard without counting the cost. We pray for those who have been imprisoned or tortured for their race, colour, caste or faith. For all Christians who have taken up the Cross and know its weight and pain.
Come, let us bow down 
 Before the LORD our Maker.

Good Shepherd, within your embrace we find peace. We bring to you those orphaned, crippled or dispossessed by war, for refugees wandering this earth in search of a home, for all victims of strife and warfare, and for all those who have dedicated their lives for the search for peace and reconciliation.
Come, let us bow down 
 Before the LORD our Maker.

Bend your ears to our prayers, Lord Christ,
and come among us.
By your gracious life and death for us,
bring light into the darkness of our hearts,
and anoint us with your Spirit,
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Come let us follow Jesus, the light of the world;
whoever follows Jesus will have the light of life. 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 closing sentence is based on John 8:12.


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