OREMUS: 20 January 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Jan 19 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for January 20

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

Blessed are you, God of all mercies, 
you extend forgiveness and aid again and again. 
You confront us with the mystery of your grace, 
beyond all human comprehension; 
you cause us to be merciful in your Name, 
that all whom we serve may see beyond us
and find you there. 
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 102

Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come before you;*
 hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me;*
 when I call, make haste to answer me,
For my days drift away like smoke,*
 and my bones are hot as burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass and withered,*
 so that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning*
 I am but skin and bones.
I have become like a vulture in the wilderness,*
 like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan;*
 I am like a sparrow, lonely on a housetop.
My enemies revile me all day long,*
 and those who scoff at me
   have taken an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes for bread*
 and mingled my drink with weeping.
Because of your indignation and wrath*
 you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days pass away like a shadow,*
 and I wither like the grass.
But you, O Lord, endure for ever,*
 and your name from age to age.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
   for it is time to have mercy upon her;*
 indeed, the appointed time has come.
For your servants love her very rubble,*
 and are moved to pity even for her dust.
The nations shall fear your name, O Lord,*
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion,*
 and his glory will appear.
He will look with favour on the prayer of the homeless;*
 he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,*
 so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord.
For the Lord looked down from his holy place on high;*
 from the heavens he beheld the earth;
That he might hear the groan of the captive*
 and set free those condemned to die;
That they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,*
 and his praise in Jerusalem;
When the peoples are gathered together,*
 and the kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
He has brought down my strength before my time;*
 he has shortened the number of my days;
And I said, 'O my God,
   do not take me away in the midst of my days;*
 your years endure throughout all generations.
'In the beginning, O Lord,
   you laid the foundations of the earth,*
 and the heavens are the work of your hands;
'They shall perish, but you will endure;
   they all shall wear out like a garment;*
 as clothing you will change them,
   and they shall be changed;
'But you are always the same,*
 and your years will never end.
'The children of your servants shall continue,*
 and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.'

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,*
 and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,*
 and forget not all his benefits.
He forgives all your sins*
 and heals all your infirmities;
He redeems your life from the grave*
 and crowns you with mercy and lovingkindness;
He satisfies you with good things,*
 and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
The Lord executes righteousness*
 and judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made his ways known to Moses*
 and his works to the children of Israel.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,*
 slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us,*
 nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,*
 nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,*
 so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,*
 so far has he removed our sins from us.
As a father cares for his children,*
 so does the Lord care for those who fear him.
For he himself knows whereof we are made;*
 he remembers that we are but dust.
Our days are like the grass;*
 we flourish like a flower of the field;
When the wind goes over it, it is gone,*
 and its place shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord
   endures for ever on those who fear him,*
 and his righteousness on children's children;
On those who keep his covenant*
 and remember his commandments and do them.
The Lord has set his throne in heaven,*
 and his kingship has dominion over all.
Bless the Lord, you angels of his,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,*
 and hearken to the voice of his word.

Bless the Lord, all you his hosts,*
 you ministers of his who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of his,
   in all places of his dominion;*
 bless the Lord, O my soul.

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 47:1–14, 21–23]:

Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple towards the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me round on the outside to the outer gate that faces towards the east; and the water was coming out on the south side. 

Going on eastwards with a cord in his hand, the man measured one thousand cubits, and then led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was up to the waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed. He said to me, 'Mortal, have you seen this?'

Then he led me back along the bank of the river. As I came back, I saw on the bank of the river a great many trees on one side and on the other. He said to me, 'This water flows towards the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh. Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes. People will stand fishing beside the sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim; it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of a great many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.' 

Thus says the Lord God: These are the boundaries by which you shall divide the land for inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. You shall divide it equally; I swore to give it to your ancestors, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance. 

So you shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel. You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who reside among you and have begotten children among you. They shall be to you as citizens of Israel; with you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe aliens reside, there you shall assign them their inheritance, says the Lord God. 

HYMN 
Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Tune: Breslau

Happy the man that finds the grace,
The blessing of God's chosen race,
The wisdom coming from above,
The faith that sweetly works by love.

Happy beyond description he
Who knows 'The Saviour died for me',
The gift unspeakable obtains,
And heav'nly understanding gains.

Wisdom divine! Who tells the price
Of wisdom's costly merchandise?
Wisdom to silver we prefer,
And gold is dross compared to her.

Her hands are filled with length of days,
True riches, and immortal praise,
Riches of Christ, on all bestowed,
And honour that descends from God.

To purest joys she all invites,
Chaste, holy, spiritual delights;
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her flowery paths are peace.

Happy the man who wisdom gains,
Thrice happy who his guest retains;
He owns, and shall for ever own,
Wisdom, and Christ, and heaven are one.

SECOND READING [Romans 9:19–33]:

You will say to me then, 'Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?' But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is moulded say to the one who moulds it, 'Why have you made me like this?' Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, 'Those who were not my people I will call "my people",  and her who was not beloved I will call "beloved". ' 'And in the very place where it was said to them, "You are not my people",   there they shall be called children of the living God.' 

And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, 'Though the number of the children of Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth quickly and decisively.' And as Isaiah predicted, 'If the Lord of hosts had not left survivors to us,  we would have fared like Sodom  and been made like Gomorrah.' 

What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling-stone, as it is written, 'See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall,    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.' 

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

Prayer:
Let us pray for the grace to recognize
the presence of God in our lives.

Open our eyes to see your salvation;
reveal yourself to a blind humanity.

Make your face shine upon those who live with disease;
give them your strength and your peace.

Let all who are weighed down by want come to know your bounty;
that they may put their trust in your goodness.

To those who hold power and riches, grant a discerning spirit;
that they may be set free by your freedom and love.

God of love and justice, 
your Son proclaimed your kingdom
and called your people to follow you: 
Help us to accept our mission as the Church, 
to live ordinary lives in an extraordinary awareness
and self-sacrifice for others, 
as seen in the example of your Son, 
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
		
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

May our Lord Jesus Christ,
the One who came with grace and truth,
also fill our hearts with grace and truth,
as we serve him in the days ahead. 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 is by Laurence Hull Stookey
and the closing sentence is reprinted by permission from _The Worship Sourcebook_, (c) 2004 CRC Publications.
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