OREMUS: 5 February 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Feb 4 17:00:01 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for February 5
The Martyrs of Japan, 1597

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

Blessed are you, holy God,
for calling us into existence by your Word; 
for speaking your words of demand and grace
through teachers and prophets; 
for promising that your words shall be written on our hearts. 
We marvel with gratitude
that your Word became flesh and lived among us in Jesus; 
that he suffered as we suffer
to be with us and die for us; 
that you raised him from the dead
in victory over death and sin. 
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 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 [Jonah 1:1-17a]:

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 'Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.' But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. 

But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. The captain came and said to him, 'What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.' 

The sailors said to one another, 'Come, let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this calamity has come upon us.' So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, 'Tell us why this calamity has come upon us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?' 'I am a Hebrew,' he replied. 'I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.' Then the men were even more afraid, and said to him, 'What is this that you have done!' For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so. 

Then they said to him, 'What shall we do to you, that the sea may quieten down for us?' For the sea was growing more and more tempestuous. He said to them, 'Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quieten down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great storm has come upon you.' Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. Then they cried out to the Lord, 'Please, O Lord, we pray, do not let us perish on account of this man's life. Do not make us guilty of innocent blood; for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.' So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. 

But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. 
 
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 [John 1:19–34]:

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?' He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, 'I am not the Messiah.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the prophet?' He answered, 'No.' Then they said to him, 'Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?' He said, 'I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, "Make straight the way of the Lord"', as the prophet Isaiah said. 

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, 'Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?' John answered them, 'I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.' This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. 

The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, 'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.' And John testified, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.'

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

Prayer:
We pray for the coming of God's kingdom, saying,
Father, by your Spirit:
bring in your kingdom.

You came in Jesus to bring good news to the poor, 
sight to the blind, freedom to the captives, 
and salvation to your people:
anoint us with your Spirit; 
rouse us to work in his name.
Father, by your Spirit,
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor 
and freedom to the oppressed:
Father, by your Spirit,
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world 
the good news of your healing love:
Father, by your Spirit,
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to those who mourn,
to bring joy and gladness instead of grief:
Father, by your Spirit,
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here
for you to save your people:
Father, by your Spirit,
bring in your kingdom.

Holy God, to whom our love rightly belongs,
may we find true wisdom in your presence
and set our hope not on uncertain riches
but on the love that will hold us to the end,
on Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
		
O God, 
source of strength to all your saints, 
you brought the holy martyrs of Japan 
through the suffering of the cross to the joys of eternal life: 
Grant that we, encouraged by their example, 
may hold fast the faith we profess, even to death itself;
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

Teach us, O God of all, to regard the members of all races
as fellow heirs of the kingdom of Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
prayers from _Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission.

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

Almost fifty years after Francis Xavier had arrived in Japan as its first Christian apostle, the presence of several thousand baptised Christians in the land became a subject of suspicion to the ruler Hideyoshi, who soon began a period of persecution. Twenty-six men and women, Religious and lay, were first mutilated then crucified near Nagasaki in 1597. After their martyrdom, their blooded- clothes were kept and held in reverence by their fellow Christians. The period of persecution continued for another thirty-five years, many new witness-martyrs being added to their number. [Exciting Holiness]



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