OREMUS: 3 July 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Jul 2 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for July 3
Saint Thomas the Apostle

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is truly risen from the dead.
We give you thanks for Thomas,
the one who admitted to his doubts,
and yet became a faithful witness to the resurrection
after touching the body of his Lord and his God.
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 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 [Jeremiah 33.1–13]:

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard: Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defence against the siege-ramps and before the sword: The Chaldeans are coming in to fight and to fill them with the dead bodies of those whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their wickedness. I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them; they shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it. 

Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, 'It is a waste without human beings or animals', in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without inhabitants, human or animal, there shall once more be heard the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank-offerings to the house of the Lord:
'Give thanks to the Lord of hosts,
   for the Lord is good,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever!'
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord. 

Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without human beings or animals, and in all its towns there shall again be pasture for shepherds resting their flocks. In the towns of the hill country, of the Shephelah, and of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places around Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the Lord. 

HYMN 
Words: John Mason Neale (1818-1866)
Tune: Beulah (CM)

We have not seen, we cannot see,
The happy land above,
>From sin and death and suffering free,
Where all is peace and love;

We only see the path is long
By which we have to go;
We only feel the foes are strong
Who seek to work us woe.

We have not seen, we cannot see
The Cross our Master bore,
With all its pains, that we might be
The slaves of sin no more;

We only think it hard to part
With every pleasant sin,
And give to God a perfect heart,
And make Him Lord within.

We walk by faith, and not by sight;
And, blessèd Saint, like thee,
We sometimes doubt if faith tells right,
Because we cannot see.

Upon the promise we would lean
Thy doubting heart received;
Blessèd are they that have not seen,
And that have yet believed.

SECOND READING [John 20:24-29]:

Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.' 

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.' Thomas answered him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.' 

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

Prayer:
Believing without seeing, 
we offer our prayers to God.

For the governments and nations of our world, 
that they might use all the resources at their disposal 
to feed their people.  
Hear us, O Lord. 

For the sick and dying,
that they might know joy in the midst of sorrow, 
and trust in the power of the resurrection.
Hear us, O Lord. 

For all children in our church families, 
that they might continue to witness to the love of Jesus Christ.
Hear us, O Lord. 

For all catechumens,
as they explore their unique ministries as servants of Christ, 
that they might be filled with wisdom and grace. 
Hear us, O Lord. 

For the Church,
that it may proclaim the faith to all who doubt.
Hear us, O Lord. 

For trust in you and delight in the abundance 
that already fills our lives.
Hear us, O Lord. 

God of all truth,
who brought your Apostle Thomas
from doubt into faith
as he set eyes on the body of the risen Christ;
grant that we, who have not seen,
may share the wonder and joy
of his faith in Christ as Lord and God.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
the name that brings salvation
for ever and ever. Amen.
       
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

May we acknowledge Jesus Christ
as our Lord and God,
and, believing, may have life in his name.  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 collect and closing sentence are by Alan Griffiths.

Thomas is mentioned among the number of the Apostles in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke but it is in John's gospel that his significance is revealed. Firstly, he is heard encouraging the other disciples to go to Judæa with Jesus; then, not knowing what Jesus meant when he talked about where he was to go elicited the answer that Jesus was himself the Way. But probably most famously he was the Apostle notably unconvinced by reports of the resurrection of Jesus, causing Jesus to show him the marks in his hands and feet and side. Thomas then proclaims the words that have been described as the great climax to John's gospel by saying to Jesus, "My Lord and my God!" [Exciting Holiness]



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