OREMUS: 9 February 2011
steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Feb 8 17:00:00 GMT 2011
Visit our website at http://www.oremus.org
OREMUS for February 9
Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are you, holy and gracious Father,
for your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ,
who shared our human condition,
lived as one of us,
and expressed your love to all
by teaching, preaching, healing, leading,
guiding, dying and rising for us.
We thank you for coming to be among us,
for sharing with us the heart
of your transforming love and acceptance,
and for giving us your amazing presence
through the power of your Holy Spirit.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Blessed be God for ever!
An opening canticle may be sung.
Clap your hands, all you peoples;*
shout to God with a cry of joy.
For the Lord Most High is to be feared;*
he is the great king over all the earth.
He subdues the peoples under us,*
and the nations under our feet.
He chooses our inheritance for us,*
the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
God has gone up with a shout,*
the Lord with the sound of the ram'shorn.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;*
sing praises to our king, sing praises.
For God is king of all the earth;*
sing praises with all your skill.
God reigns over the nations;*
God sits upon his holy throne.
The nobles of the peoples have gathered together*
with the people of the God of Abraham.
The rulers of the earth belong to God,*
and he is highly exalted.
Great is the Lord and highly to be praised;*
in the city of our God is his holy hill.
Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth,
is the hill of Zion,*
the very centre of the world
and the city of the great king.
God is in her citadels;*
he is known to be her sure refuge.
Behold, the kings of the earth assembled*
and marched forward together.
They looked and were astounded;*
they retreated and fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there;*
they writhed like a woman in childbirth,
like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.
As we have heard, so have we seen,
in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God;*
God has established her for ever.
We have waited in silence
on your lovingkindness, O God,*
in the midst of your temple.
Your praise, like your name, O God,
reaches to the world's end;*
your right hand is full of justice.
Let Mount Zion be glad
and the cities of Judah rejoice,*
because of your judgements.
Make the circuit of Zion; walk round about her;*
count the number of her towers.
Consider well her bulwarks; examine her strongholds;*
that you may tell those who come after.
This God is our God for ever and ever;*
he shall be our guide for evermore.
Hear this, all you peoples;
hearken, all you who dwell in the world,*
you of high degree and low, rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom,*
and my heart shall meditate on understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb*
and set forth my riddle upon the harp.
Why should I be afraid in evil days,*
when the wickedness of those at my heels surrounds me,
The wickedness of those
who put their trust in their goods,*
and boast of their great riches?
We can never ransom ourselves,*
or deliver to God the price of our life;
For the ransom of our life is so great,*
that we should never have enough to pay it,
In order to live for ever and ever,*
and never see the grave.
For we see that the wise die also;
like the dull and stupid they perish*
and leave their wealth to those who come after them.
Their graves shall be their homes for ever,
their dwelling places from generation to generation,*
though they call the lands after their own names.
Even though honoured, they cannot live for ever;*
they are like the beasts that perish.
Such is the way of those
who foolishly trust in themselves,*
and the end of those who delight in their own words.
Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die;
Death is their shepherd;*
they go down straightway to the grave.
Their form shall waste away,*
and the land of the dead shall be their home.
But God will ransom my life;*
he will snatch me from the grasp of death.
Do not be envious when some become rich,*
or when the grandeur of their house increases;
For they will carry nothing away at their death,*
nor will their grandeur follow them.
Though they thought highly of themselves
while they lived,*
and were praised for their success,
They shall join the company of their forebears,*
who will never see the light again.
Those who are honoured, but have no understanding,*
are like the beasts that perish.
FIRST READING [1 Maccabees 1:41-63]:
Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and that all should give up their particular customs. All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land, to forbid burnt-offerings and sacrifices and drink-offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and festivals, to defile the sanctuary and the priests, to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and other unclean animals, and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane, so that they would forget the law and change all the ordinances. He added, 'And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die.'
In such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people and commanded the towns of Judah to offer sacrifice, town by town. Many of the people, everyone who forsook the law, joined them, and they did evil in the land; they drove Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had.
Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt-offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of Judah, and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire. Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or anyone who adhered to the law, was condemned to death by decree of the king. They kept using violence against Israel, against those who were found month after month in the towns. On the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar that was on top of the altar of burnt-offering. In accordance with the decree, they put to death the women who had their children circumcised, and their families and those who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers' necks.
But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
Words: John Newton (1725-1807)
Does the gospel word proclaim
Rest for those who weary be?
Then, my soul, put in thy claim;
Sure that promise speaks to thee.
Marks of grace I cannot show;
All polluted is my breast;
Yet I weary am, I know,
And the weary long for rest.
Burdened with a load of sin;
Harassed with tormenting doubt;
Hourly conflicts from within;
Hourly crosses from without;
All my little strength is gone;
Sink I must without supply;
Sure upon the earth there's none
Can more weary be than I.
In the ark the weary dove
Found a welcome resting-place;
Thus my spirit longs to prove
Rest in Christ, the Ark of grace.
Tempest-tossed I long have been
And the flood increases fast;
Open, Lord, and take me in
Till the storm be overpast.
SECOND READING [John 3:121]:
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, 'Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.' Jesus answered him, 'Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.' Nicodemus said to him, 'How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above." The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.' Nicodemus said to him, 'How can these things be?' Jesus answered him, 'Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
'Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
'For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
'Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.'
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
Ever-present Spirit of God,
as we abide with you and you with us,
we cry out for our brothers and sisters:
hear our prayer.
For all who suffer want, loneliness or depression:
hear our prayer.
For racial, cultural and national groups
who suffer prejudice, oppressive leaders
or economic exploitation.
hear our prayer.
For the Church in those places where it suffers
blindness, controversy, disorientation,
persecution or change.
hear our prayer.
For those we have to tried to love and serve today.
hear our prayer.
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at your feet;
for you are alive and reign with the Father 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
Keep us from faithless fears
and worldly anxieties,
that no cloud may hide from us
the light of your love
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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 a Eucharistic Prayer by Dr. Gregory S. Neal and the closing sentence is adapted from a prayer by the Lutheran Church of Australia.
More information about the oremus