OREMUS: 7 December 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Dec 6 17:00:01 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for December 7
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Teacher of the Faith, 397

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

Blessed are you, Lord God:
You are the source of mercy and compassion,
you desire to pardon sinners, not to punish.
In the human nature of your Son
you have refashioned our humanity
that death might not blot out
the divine likeness imprinted in our humanity.
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/advocant.html

Psalm 37

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;*
 do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass,*
 and like the green grass fade away.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good;*
 dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord,*
 and he shall give you your heart's desire.
Commit your way to the Lord
   and put your trust in him,*
 and he will bring it to pass.
He will make your righteousness as clear as the light*
 and your just dealing as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord*
 and wait patiently for him.
Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers,*
 the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
Refrain from anger, leave rage alone;*
 do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off,*
 but those who wait upon the Lord
   shall possess the land.
In a little while the wicked shall be no more;*
 you shall search out their place,
   but they will not be there.
But the lowly shall possess the land;*
 they will delight in abundance of peace.
The wicked plot against the righteous*
 and gnash at them with their teeth.
The Lord laughs at the wicked,*
 because he sees that their day will come.
The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
   to strike down the poor and needy,*
 to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
Their sword shall go through their own heart,*
 and their bow shall be broken.
The little that the righteous have*
 is better than great riches of the wicked.
For the power of the wicked shall be broken,*
 but the Lord upholds the righteous.
The Lord cares for the lives of the godly,*
 and their inheritance shall last for ever.
They shall not be ashamed in bad times,*
 and in days of famine they shall have enough.
As for the wicked, they shall perish,*
 and the enemies of the Lord,
   like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish;
   they shall vanish like smoke.
The wicked borrow and do not repay,*
 but the righteous are generous in giving.
Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land,*
 but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
Our steps are directed by the Lord;*
 he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong,*
 for the Lord holds them by the hand.
I have been young and now I am old,*
 but never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
   or their children begging bread.
The righteous are always generous in their lending,*
 and their children shall be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good,*
 and dwell in the land for ever.
For the Lord loves justice;*
 he does not forsake his faithful ones.
They shall be kept safe for ever,*
 but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
The righteous shall possess the land*
 and dwell in it for ever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,*
 and their tongue speaks what is right.
The law of their God is in their heart,*
 and their footsteps shall not falter.
The wicked spy on the righteous*
 and seek occasion to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their hand,*
 nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
Wait upon the Lord and keep his way;*
 he will raise you up to possess the land,
   and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen the wicked in their arrogance,*
 flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
I went by and, behold, they were not there;*
 I searched for them, but they could not be found.
Mark those who are honest; observe the upright;*
 for there is a future for the peaceable.
Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all;*
 the future of the wicked is cut off.
But the deliverance of the righteous
   comes from the Lord;*
 he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord will help them and rescue them;*
 he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
   because they seek refuge in him.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 45.18–end]:

For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
   (he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
   (he established it;
he did not create it a chaos,
   he formed it to be inhabited!):
I am the Lord, and there is no other. 
I did not speak in secret,
   in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
   'Seek me in chaos.'
I the Lord speak the truth,
   I declare what is right. 

Assemble yourselves and come together,
   draw near, you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge—
   those who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god
   that cannot save. 
Declare and present your case;
   let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
   Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
   There is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Saviour;
   there is no one besides me. 

Turn to me and be saved,
   all the ends of the earth!
   For I am God, and there is no other. 
By myself I have sworn,
   from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness
   a word that shall not return:
'To me every knee shall bow,
   every tongue shall swear.' 

Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
   are righteousness and strength;
all who were incensed against him
   shall come to him and be ashamed. 
In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
   shall triumph and glory. 
 
HYMN 
Words: Ambrose of Milan, circa 397; paraphrased by Martin Luther, 1523;
trans. William Morton Reynolds, 1851.
Tune: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland

Savior of the nations, come;
virgin's Son, here make thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood;
by the Spirit of our God
was the Word of God made flesh,
woman's offspring, pure and fresh.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous child
of the Virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
still to be in heaven enthroned.

>From the Father forth he came
and returneth to the same,
captive leading death and hell
high the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father's only Son,
hast over sin the victory won.
boundless shall thy kingdom be;
when shall we its glories see?

Brightly doth thy manger shine,
glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin overcloud this light;
ever be our faith thus bright.

Praise to God the Father sing,
praise to God the Son, our King,
praise to God the Spirit be
ever and eternally.

SECOND READING [Revelation 22.6-11]:

And the angel said to me, 'These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.' 

 'See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.' 

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, 'You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!' 

And he said to me, 'Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.' 

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

Prayer:
O God, you are filled with possibility and mystery.
You hold our anxieties and our hopes. 

Your faithful forget to praise you, consumed by selfcentered busyness,
O God of stillness, come into our hearts.

Your beloved community is baffled and broken,
O God of healing, come into our churches.

Your people wander in the streets without a place to lay their head,
O God our resting place, come into our neighborhoods.

Your world is torn apart by war and conflict,
O God of Peace, come into our world.

Night and day, we wait and pray, for you, our Emmanuel. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are for me medicine when I am sick;
you are my strength when I need help;
you are life itself when I fear death;
you are the way when I long for heaven;
you are light when all is dark;
you are my food when I need nourishment. Amen.

God of mercy and justice,
in a time of danger and confusion
you called your servant Ambrose
to bring stability to your church;
give us discipline and wisdom in our trials,
that we may affirm with courage
the faith that we believe;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
		
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God the Son
give us grace to live
in the light of his coming as redeemer and judge. 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 adapted from the Ambrosian preface for the Second Sunday of Advent, translated by Alan Griffiths, and the closing sentence are from _New Patterns for Worship_, copyright (c) The Archbishops( Council, 2002. The second collect is from For All the Saints, Anglican Church of New Zealand.

Born in Trier in 339, Ambrose was of an aristocratic family and in the year 374 was governor of northern Italy, with his headquarters in Milan. Whilst trying to bring peace to the Christian community, with Arianism and orthodoxy each trying to gain the election of its man as bishop, Ambrose, known and respected by all, though not yet baptised, found himself being urged to accept the rôle of bishop, the gathered Christian populace taking up the cry, "Ambrose for bishop". He finally accepted and was baptised and consecrated. Ambrose proved his worth, becoming a teacher and preacher of great renown, promoting the essential divinity of Christ as being at the centre of Christian faith. He wrote hymns which gave a clear and comprehendable understanding of orthodox teaching, ensuring that what the people prayed was what they believed, and vice versa. He came up against the imperial powers and, with the support of the whole community, stood firm against the interference of the state in church and faith matters. Ambrose died on this day in the year 397. [Exciting Holiness]



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