OREMUS: 3 January 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jan 2 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for January 3
Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah, Bishop in South India, Evangelist, 1945

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, loving and merciful God,
you fill our hearts with joy
as we recognize in Christ the revelation of your love.
No eye can see his glory as our God,
yet now he is seen like one of us.
Christ is your Son before all ages,
yet now he is born in time.
He has come to lift up all things to himself,
to restore unity to creation,
and to lead us from exile into your heavenly kingdom.
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/chrocant.html

Psalm 15

Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?*
 who may abide upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right,*
 who speaks the truth from his heart.
There is no guile upon his tongue;
   he does no evil to his friend;*
 he does not heap contempt upon his neighbour.
In his sight the wicked is rejected,*
 but he honours those who fear the Lord.
He has sworn to do no wrong*
 and does not take back his word.
He does not give his money in hope of gain,*
 nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things*
 shall never be overthrown.

Psalm 16

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;*
 I have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord,
   my good above all other.'
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,*
 upon those who are noble among the people.
But those who run after other gods*
 shall have their troubles multiplied.
Their libations of blood I will not offer,*
 nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;*
 it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;*
 indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;*
 my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;*
 because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad and my spirit rejoices;*
 my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,*
 nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;*
 in your presence there is fullness of joy,
   and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 17

Hear my plea of innocence, O Lord;
   give heed to my cry;*
 listen to my prayer,
   which does not come from lying lips.
Let my vindication come forth from your presence;*
 let your eyes be fixed on justice.
Weigh my heart, summon me by night,*
 melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
I give no offence with my mouth as others do;*
 I have heeded the words of your lips.
My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law;*
 in your paths my feet shall not stumble.
I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me;*
 incline your ear to me and hear my words.
Show me your marvellous lovingkindness,*
 O Saviour of those who take refuge at your right hand
   from those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;*
 hide me under the shadow of your wings,
>From the wicked who assault me,*
 from my deadly enemies who surround me.
They have closed their heart to pity,*
 and their mouth speaks proud things.
They press me hard,
   now they surround me,*
 watching how they may cast me to the ground,
Like a lion, greedy for its prey,*
 and like a young lion lurking in secret places.
Arise, O Lord; confront them and bring them down;*
 deliver me from the wicked by your sword.
Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand*
 from those whose portion in life is this world;
Whose bellies you fill with your treasure,*
 who are well supplied with children
   and leave their wealth to their little ones.
But at my vindication I shall see your face;*
 when I awake, I shall be satisfied,
   beholding your likeness.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 63:7-9]:

I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord,
   the praiseworthy acts of the Lord,
because of all that the Lord has done for us,
   and the great favour to the house of Israel
that he has shown them according to his mercy,
   according to the abundance of his steadfast love. 
For he said, ‘Surely they are my people,
   children who will not deal falsely’;
and he became their saviour 
   in all their distress.
It was no messenger or angel
   but his presence that saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
   he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. 

HYMN 
Words: Charles Wesley, 1747   
Tune: Hyfrydol, Love Divine, Blaenwern

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee:
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

SECOND READING [Luke 2:21–40]:

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, 'Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord'), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, 'a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.' 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 
'Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
   according to your word; 
for my eyes have seen your salvation, 
   which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
   and for glory to your people Israel.' 

And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, 'This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.' 

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. 

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him. 
 
The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Prayer:
Father, your Son our Savior 
was born as a child among us. 
Renew your Church as the Body of Christ.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

There was no room for your Son in the inn.
Protect with your love those who have no home 
and all who live in poverty.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Mary, in the pain of labor, brought your Son to birth. 
Hold in your hand all who are in pain or distress.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Your Christ came as a light shining in the darkness. 
Bring comfort to all who suffer 
in the sadness of our world.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

The angels sang 'Peace to God's people on earth'. 
Strengthen those who work 
for peace and justice in all the world.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Shepherds in the fields heard good tidings of joy. 
Give us grace to preach the gospel of Christ's redemption.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Heaven is come down to earth 
and earth is raised to heaven. 
Keep in safety all those who have passed through death
in the hope of heaven.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Christians the world over celebrate his birth. 
Open our hearts that he may be born in us today.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Angels and shepherds worshiped at the manger throne. 
Receive the worship we offer in fellowship 
with Mary, Joseph and all the saints.
Holy God, 
hear our prayer.

Do not face us, O living God,
with the choice of a world without justice
or a future without mercy;
in your mercy, establish justice
and in your justice, remember your overflowing mercy
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
       
Eternal God,
you called Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah to proclaim your glory
in a life of prayer and pastoral zeal:
keep the leaders of your Church faithful
and bless your people through their ministry,
that the Church may grow into the full stature
of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

May the Christ who by becoming incarnate gathered into one
things earthly and heavenly,
bestow upon us the fullness of peace and goodwill. Amen.

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The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with
permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

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
_The Promise of His Glory_ (Mowbray), (c) The Central
Board of Finance  of the Church of England 1990, 1991, which is used with
permission.

The intercession is from _New Patterns for Worship_, copyright
(c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

Samuel Azariah was born in 1874 in a small village in South India, his father,
Thomas Vedanayagam being a simple village priest and his mother Ellen
having a deep love and understanding of the Scriptures. Samuel became a
YMCA evangelist whilst still only nineteen, and secretary of the organisation
throughout South India a few years later. He saw that, for the Church in India
to grow and attract ordinary Indians to the Christian faith, it had to have an
indigenous leadership and reduce the strong western influences and almost
totally white leadership that pervaded it. He was ordained priest at the age of
thirty-five and bishop just three years later, his work moving from primary
evangelism to forwarding his desire for more Indian clergy and the need to
raise their educational standards. He was an avid ecumenist and was one of the
first to see the importance to mission of a united Church. He died on 1 January
1945, just two years before the creation of a united Church of South India.



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