OREMUS: 5 January 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jan 4 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for January 5

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

Blessed are you, loving and merciful God:
when peaceful silence lay over all,
and the night had run half of her swift course,
your all-powerful Word leaped down from heaven,
to take our flesh, to restore us to dignity,
and to reveal the power
of the new and everlasting covenant you have made with us:
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. 
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Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it,*
 the world and all who dwell therein.
For it is he who founded it upon the seas*
 and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
'Who can ascend the hill of the Lord?*
 and who can stand in his holy place?'
'Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,*
 who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
   nor sworn by what is a fraud.
'They shall receive a blessing from the Lord*
 and a just reward from the God of their salvation.'
Such is the generation of those who seek him,*
 of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates;
   lift them high, O everlasting doors;*
 and the King of glory shall come in.
'Who is this King of glory?'*
 'The Lord, strong and mighty,
   the Lord, mighty in battle.'
Lift up your heads, O gates;
   lift them high, O everlasting doors;*
 and the King of glory shall come in.
'Who is he, this King of glory?'*
 'The Lord of hosts,
   he is the King of glory.'

Psalm 25

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
   my God, I put my trust in you;*
 let me not be humiliated,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Let none who look to you be put to shame;*
 let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
Show me your ways, O Lord,*
 and teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,*
 for you are the God of my salvation;
   in you have I trusted all the day long.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,*
 for they are from everlasting.
Remember not the sins of my youth
   and my transgressions;*
 remember me according to your love
   and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
Gracious and upright is the Lord;*
 therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
He guides the humble in doing right*
 and teaches his way to the lowly.
All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness*
 to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For your name's sake, O Lord,*
 forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who are they who fear the Lord?*
 he will teach them the way that they should choose.
They shall dwell in prosperity,*
 and their offspring shall inherit the land.
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him*
 and will show them his covenant.
My eyes are ever looking to the Lord,*
 for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and have pity on me,*
 for I am left alone and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart have increased;*
 bring me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery*
 and forgive me all my sin.
Look upon my enemies, for they are many,*
 and they bear a violent hatred against me.
Protect my life and deliver me;*
 let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,*
 for my hope has been in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,*
 out of all his troubles.

Psalm 26

Give judgement for me, O Lord,
   for I have lived with integrity;*
 I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.
Test me, O Lord, and try me;*
 examine my heart and my mind.
For your love is before my eyes;*
 I have walked faithfully with you.
I have not sat with the worthless,*
 nor do I consort with the deceitful.
I have hated the company of evildoers;*
 I will not sit down with the wicked.
I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord,*
 that I may go in procession round your altar,
Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving*
 and recounting all your wonderful deeds.
Lord, I love the house in which you dwell*
 and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,*
 nor my life with those who thirst for blood,
Whose hands are full of evil plots,*
 and their right hand full of bribes.
As for me, I will live with integrity;*
 redeem me, O Lord, and have pity on me.
My foot stands on level ground;*
 in the full assembly I will bless the Lord.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 65:17–25]:

For I am about to create new heavens
   and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
   or come to mind. 
But be glad and rejoice for ever
   in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
   and its people as a delight. 
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
   and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
   or the cry of distress. 
No more shall there be in it
   an infant that lives but a few days,
   or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
   and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. 
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
   they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 
They shall not build and another inhabit;
   they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
   and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 
They shall not labour in vain,
   or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—
   and their descendants as well. 
Before they call I will answer,
   while they are yet speaking I will hear. 
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
   the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
   but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
   on all my holy mountain, 
says the Lord. 

HYMN 
Words: Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810-1876)
Tune: Noel, Carol

It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
'Peace on the earth, good will to men
from heaven's all-gracious King!'
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
with peaceful wings unfurled;
and still their heavenly music floats
o'er all the weary world:
above its sad and lowly plains
they bend on hovering wing;
and ever o'er its Babel-sounds
the blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
the world has suffered long;
beneath the angel-strain have rolled
two thousand years of wrong;
and man, at war with man, hears not
the love-song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
and hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
look, now! for glad and golden hours
come swiflty on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing.

For lo, the days are hastening on,
by prophet-bards foretold,
when, with the ever-circling years,
comes round the age of gold;
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendours fling,
and the whole world give back the song
which now the angels sing.

SECOND READING [Luke 3:1–20]:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
'The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight. 
Every valley shall be filled,
   and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
   and the rough ways made smooth; 
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." ' 

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our ancestor"; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.' 

And the crowds asked him, 'What then should we do?' In reply he said to them, 'Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.' Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, 'Teacher, what should we do?' He said to them, 'Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.' Soldiers also asked him, 'And we, what should we do?' He said to them, 'Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.' 

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, 'I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.' 

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, added to them all by shutting up John in prison. 

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

Prayer:
In this season of shining hope, let us call to mind the prophet's vision:
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noon day.

God of tender compassion: 
Hear the cry of your children whose hope is faint. 
Lord, in mercy, hear our prayer.

Ruler of all nations, prince of peace: 
Bring an end to violence and the starvation linked with war. 
Lord, in mercy, hear our prayer.

Promised Savior, 
who will faithfully bring forth justice: 
Overturn oppression and greed; 
raise up those whom the world has brought low. 
Lord, in mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy child, stable-born: 
Provide warm shelter for the homeless poor, 
and help us to see you in every guest.
Lord, in mercy, hear our prayer.

Infant of Bethlehem, brought in haste to Egypt: 
Console all driven from home by cruel threat, 
and protect all who must wander in search of refuge.
Lord, in mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord God, just and true,
you make your salvation known in the sight of the nations;
let the song of our hearts echo the music of your creation,
as you come among us to judge the earth
in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
		
Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

 The Lord's Prayer

The Eternal Light shine in our hearts.
The Eternal Light deliver us from evil.
The Eternal God grant us a glimpse of glory.  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 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 is by Stephen Benner. The closing prayer is by David Adam. 



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