OREMUS: 13 February 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Feb 12 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for February 13
Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818

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

Blessed are you, Almighty God,
to whom, through whom and by whom
all things have their being, 
may praise and honour ever be given
to your great and glorious Name. 
You alone are the one true God, 
Maker of heaven and earth. 
We acknowledge you as Creator
of the invisible orders of the world, 
as well as the visible wonders of the universe, 
the deepest mysteries of time and of space, 
the redeeming purposes of this life and the life to come. 
May the greatness of your being and power
be honoured and praised now and for evermore. 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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

Psalm 69

Save me, O God,*
 for the waters have risen up to my neck.
I am sinking in deep mire,*
 and there is no firm ground for my feet.
I have come into deep waters,*
 and the torrent washes over me.
I have grown weary with my crying;
   my throat is inflamed;*
 my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
Those who hate me without a cause
   are more than the hairs of my head;
   my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty.*
 Must I then give back what I never stole?
O God, you know my foolishness,*
 and my faults are not hidden from you.
Let not those who hope in you
   be put to shame through me, Lord God of hosts;*
 let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me,
   O God of Israel.
Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach,*
 and shame has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my own kindred,*
 an alien to my mother's children.
Zeal for your house has eaten me up;*
 the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
I humbled myself with fasting,*
 but that was turned to my reproach.
I put on sackcloth also,*
 and became a byword among them.
Those who sit at the gate murmur against me,*
 and the drunkards make songs about me.
But as for me, this is my prayer to you,*
 at the time you have set, O Lord:
'In your great mercy, O God,*
 answer me with your unfailing help.
'Save me from the mire; do not let me sink;*
 let me be rescued from those who hate me
   and out of the deep waters.
'Let not the torrent of waters wash over me,
   neither let the deep swallow me up;*
 do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
'Answer me, O Lord, for your love is kind;*
 in your great compassion, turn to me.
'Hide not your face from your servant;*
 be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
'Draw near to me and redeem me;*
 because of my enemies deliver me.
'You know my reproach, my shame and my dishonour;*
 my adversaries are all in your sight.'
Reproach has broken my heart and it cannot be healed;*
 I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
   for comforters, but I could find no one.
They gave me gall to eat,*
 and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
As for me, I am afflicted and in pain;*
 your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
I will praise the name of God in song;*
 I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an offering of oxen,*
 more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
The afflicted shall see and be glad;*
 you who seek God, your heart shall live.
For the Lord listens to the needy,*
 and his prisoners he does not despise.
Let the heavens and the earth praise him,*
 the seas and all that moves in them;
For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah;*
 they shall live there and have it in possession.
The children of his servants will inherit it,*
 and those who love his name will dwell therein.

Psalm 70

Be pleased, O God, to deliver me;*
 O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let those who seek my life
   be ashamed and altogether dismayed;*
 let those who take pleasure in my misfortune
   draw back and be disgraced.
Let those who say to me 'Aha!'
   and gloat over me turn back,*
 because they are ashamed.
Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;*
 let those who love your salvation say for ever,
   'Great is the Lord!'
But as for me, I am poor and needy;*
 come to me speedily, O God.
You are my helper and my deliverer;*
 O Lord, do not tarry.

FIRST READING [1 Maccabees 3:25-41]:

Then Judas and his brothers began to be feared, and terror fell on the Gentiles all around them. His fame reached the king, and the Gentiles talked of the battles of Judas. 

When King Antiochus heard these reports, he was greatly angered; and he sent and gathered all the forces of his kingdom, a very strong army. He opened his coffers and gave a year’s pay to his forces, and ordered them to be ready for any need. Then he saw that the money in the treasury was exhausted, and that the revenues from the country were small because of the dissension and disaster that he had caused in the land by abolishing the laws that had existed from the earliest days. He feared that he might not have such funds as he had before for his expenses and for the gifts that he used to give more lavishly than preceding kings. He was greatly perplexed in mind; then he determined to go to Persia and collect the revenues from those regions and raise a large fund. 

He left Lysias, a distinguished man of royal lineage, in charge of the king’s affairs from the river Euphrates to the borders of Egypt. Lysias was also to take care of his son Antiochus until he returned. And he turned over to Lysias half of his forces and the elephants, and gave him orders about all that he wanted done. As for the residents of Judea and Jerusalem, Lysias was to send a force against them to wipe out and destroy the strength of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem; he was to banish the memory of them from the place, settle aliens in all their territory, and distribute their land by lot. Then the king took the remaining half of his forces and left Antioch his capital in the one hundred and forty-seventh year. He crossed the Euphrates river and went through the upper provinces. 

Lysias chose Ptolemy son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor and Gorgias, able men among the Friends of the king, and sent with them forty thousand infantry and seven thousand cavalry to go into the land of Judah and destroy it, as the king had commanded. So they set out with their entire force, and when they arrived they encamped near Emmaus in the plain. When the traders of the region heard what was said to them, they took silver and gold in immense amounts, and fetters, and went to the camp to get the Israelites for slaves. And forces from Syria and the land of the Philistines joined with them. 

HYMN 
Words: James Johnson, 1899
Tune: Lift Every Voice & Sing

Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered;
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.

SECOND READING [John 4:46–54]:

Then Jesus came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, 'Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.' The official said to him, 'Sir, come down before my little boy dies.' Jesus said to him, 'Go; your son will live.' The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, 'Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.' The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, 'Your son will live.' So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee. 

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

Prayer:
God of all time,
we bless you for the gift of this day
and for our hope in Christ Jesus.
In the midst of all that demands our attention,
free us to love you with all our hearts
and to love the world with your mercy and justice.

Let our love be genuine:
Kyrie eleison

Let our affections be tempered with holiness:
Kyrie eleison

Let our desires be shaped by the vision
of a new heaven and a new earth:
Kyrie eleison

Let our actions reflect the balance of love
for your reign in all things:
Kyrie eleison

Let our perceptions and feelings be ordered
by the hope we have in Christ:
Kyrie eleison

O God, 
you have called us into the fellowship of your dear Son: 
Draw into closer unity
the people of all races in this and every land, 
that in fellowship with you
they may understand and help one another, 
and that, serving you, they may find their perfect freedom; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Set us free, heavenly Father, 
from every bond of prejudice and fear; 
that, honoring the steadfast courage 
of your servant Absalom Jones, 
we may show forth in our lives 
the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, 
which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;
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

Look with compassion on the anguish of the world,
and by your power make whole the life of humankind; 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 from prayers by the Church of Scotland.

In 1786 the membership of St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia included both blacks and whites. However, the white members met that year and decided that thereafter black members should sit only in the balcony. Two black Sunday worshippers, Absalom Jones (1746-1818) and Richard Allen (1760-1831), whose enthusiasm for the Methodist Church had brought many blacks into the congregation, learned of the decision only when, on the following Sunday, ushers tapped them on the shoulder during the opening prayers, and demanded that they move to the balcony without waiting for the end of the prayer. They walked out, followed by the other black members.  

bsalom Jones conferred with William White, Episcopal Bishop of Philadelphia, who agreed to accept the group as an Episcopal parish. Jones would serve as lay reader, and, after a period of study, would be ordained and serve as rector. Allen wanted the group to remain Methodist, and in 1793 he left to form a Methodist congregation. In 1816 he left the Methodists to form a new denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). Jones (ordained deacon and priest in 1795 and 1802) and Allen (ordained deacon and elder in 1799 and 1816) were the first two black Americans to receive formal ordination in any denomination.  [James Kiefer]



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