OREMUS: 11 December 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Dec 10 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for December 11

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

Blessed are you, Lord, and great,
we rejoice because you come to save us. 
You are the unchanging one
steadfast through all generations, 
and now are present with power, 
in the coming of the Christ. 
In your coming those who are powerful
meet the eternal Power
and know how small they are. 
and those who are rich meet the riches of grace. 
For these and all your mercies, we praise you: 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

http://www.oremus.org/advocant.html

Psalm 59

Rescue me from my enemies, O God;*
 protect me from those who rise up against me.
Rescue me from evildoers*
 and save me from those who thirst for my blood.
See how they lie in wait for my life,
   how the mighty gather together against me;*
 not for any offence or fault of mine, O Lord.
Not because of any guilt of mine*
 they run and prepare themselves for battle.
Rouse yourself, come to my side and see;*
 for you, Lord God of hosts, are Israel's God.
My eyes are fixed on you, O my Strength;*
 for you, O God, are my stronghold.
My merciful God comes to meet me;*
 God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Let everyone know that God rules in Jacob,*
 and to the ends of the earth.
For my part, I will sing of your strength;*
 I will celebrate your love in the morning;
For you have become my stronghold,*
 a refuge in the day of my trouble.
To you, O my Strength, will I sing;*
 for you, O God, are my stronghold
   and my merciful God.

Psalm 60

O God, you have cast us off and broken us;*
 you have been angry;
   O take us back to you again.
You have shaken the earth and split it open;*
 repair the cracks in it, for it totters.
You have made your people know hardship;*
 you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
You have set up a banner for those who fear you,*
 to be a refuge from the power of the bow.
Save us by your right hand and answer us,*
 that those who are dear to you may be delivered.
God spoke from his holy place and said:*
 'I will exult and parcel out Shechem;
   I will divide the valley of Succoth.
'Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine;*
 Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my sceptre.
'Moab is my washbasin,
   on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it,*
 and over Philistia will I shout in triumph.'
Who will lead me into the strong city?*
 who will bring me into Edom?
Have you not cast us off, O God?*
 you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
Grant us your help against the enemy,*
 for vain is human help.
With God we will do valiant deeds,*
 and he shall tread our enemies under foot.

Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God,*
 and listen to my prayer.
I call upon you from the ends of the earth
   with heaviness in my heart;*
 set me upon the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,*
 a strong tower against the enemy.
I will dwell in your house for ever;*
 I will take refuge under the cover of your wings.
For you, O God, have heard my vows;*
 you have granted me the heritage
   of those who fear your name.
Add length of days to the king's life;*
 let his years extend over many generations.
Let him sit enthroned before God for ever;*
 bid love and faithfulness watch over him.
So will I always sing the praise of your name,*
 and day by day I will fulfil my vows.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 49:1-7]:

Listen to me, O coastlands,
   pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
   while I was in my mother's womb he named me. 
He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
   in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
   in his quiver he hid me away. 
And he said to me, 'You are my servant,
   Israel, in whom I will be glorified.' 
But I said, 'I have laboured in vain,
   I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
   and my reward with my God.' 

And now the Lord says,
   who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
   and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord,
   and my God has become my strength— 
he says,
'It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
   to raise up the tribes of Jacob
   and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
   that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.' 

Thus says the Lord,
   the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
   the slave of rulers,
'Kings shall see and stand up,
   princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
   the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.' 

HYMN 
Words: Michael Forster (born 1946) © 1995 Kevin Mayhew Ltd
Metre: SMD

Called from the very womb,
and marked by holy grace,
behold the servant of the Lord,
revealed in time and space.
He calls his people home
to life and liberty,
and all the nations of the earth
his glorious light will see.

Mystery all divine,
from angels once concealed,
now to the waiting human race,
in flesh and blood, revealed!
In Jesus Christ we see
the Father's holy face,
interpreting to mortal sight
the purposes of grace!

Now to the Presence come,
by hope and promise drawn,
to see creation's perfect light
of grace and beauty born.
Such simple gifts we bring,
yet greater far than gold,
the meagre love and falt'ring trust
our mortal hearts can hold!

SECOND READING [1 Thessalonians 2.1–12]:

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully maltreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. 

You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was towards you believers. As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you should lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. 

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

Prayer:
To the poor and exploited;
to lives overshadowed by conflict, 
come with your message of justice and peace
Come, reveal yourself within our world, Lord.

To the lonely and unloved; 
to lives overshadowed by suffering, 
come with your friendship and concern
Come, reveal yourself in our community, Lord.

To both young and old on the journey of faith; 
to lives overshadowed by doubt, 
come with the gift of your Holy Spirit
Come, reveal yourself to the church, Lord.

To the sinner and the seeker; 
to lives overshadowed by emptiness, 
come with the offering of salvation
Come, reveal yourself in human lives, Lord.

To the sick and anxious; 
to lives overshadowed by sorrow, 
come with all-sufficient love
Come, that we may know you with us in our need, Lord.

God of hope, 
you call us home from the exile of selfish oppression 
to the freedom of justice, 
the balm of healing, 
and the joy of sharing. 
Make us strong to join you in your holy work, 
as friends of strangers and victims,  
companions of those whom others shun, 
and as the happiness of those whose hearts are broken. 
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
		
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Strengthen our hearts to believe your advent promise 
that one day we will walk in the holy way of Christ, 
where sorrow and sighing will be no more 
and the journey of God's people will be joy. 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 _Worship from the United Reformed Church_. The collect and closing sentence are reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts



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