OREMUS: 15 June 2011
steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jun 14 17:00:01 GMT 2011
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OREMUS for Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Evelyn Underhill, 1941
O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed be God who has redeemed the world;
Blessed be God who became poor to bring riches to humankind;
Blessed be God who causes creation to resound with praise;
Blessed be God who welcomes the hosannas of pilgrims
and the alleluias of the saints:
Blessed be God for ever!
An opening canticle may be sung.
Hear my teaching, O my people;*
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;*
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
That which we have heard and known,
and what our forebears have told us,*
we will not hide from their children.
We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord,*
and the wonderful works he has done.
He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel,*
which he commanded them to teach their children;
That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn;*
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
So that they might put their trust in God,*
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;
And not be like their forebears,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,*
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow,*
turned back in the day of battle;
They did not keep the covenant of God,*
and refused to walk in his law;
They forgot what he had done,*
and the wonders he had shown them.
He worked marvels in the sight of their forebears,*
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
He split open the sea and let them pass through;*
he made the waters stand up like walls.
He led them with a cloud by day,*
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
He split the hard rocks in the wilderness*
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
He brought streams out of the cliff,*
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
But they went on sinning against him,*
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
They tested God in their hearts,*
demanding food for their craving.
They railed against God and said,*
'Can God set a table in the wilderness?
'True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out,
and the gullies overflowed;*
but is he able to give bread
or to provide meat for his people?'
When the Lord heard this, he was full of wrath;*
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
and his anger mounted against Israel;
For they had no faith in God,*
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
So he commanded the clouds above*
and opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down manna upon them to eat*
and gave them grain from heaven.
So mortals ate the bread of angels;*
he provided for them food enough.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens*
and led out the south wind by his might.
He rained down flesh upon them like dust*
and winged birds like the sand of the sea.
He let it fall in the midst of their camp*
and round about their dwellings.
So they ate and were well filled,*
for he gave them what they craved.
But they did not stop their craving,*
though the food was still in their mouths.
So God's anger mounted against them;*
he slew their strongest men
and laid low the youth of Israel.
In spite of all this, they went on sinning*
and had no faith in his wonderful works.
So he brought their days to an end like a breath*
and their years in sudden terror.
Whenever he slew them, they would seek him,*
and repent and diligently search for God.
They would remember that God was their rock,*
and the Most High God their redeemer.
But they flattered him with their mouths*
and lied to him with their tongues.
Their heart was not steadfast towards him,*
and they were not faithful to his covenant.
But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins
and did not destroy them;*
many times he held back his anger
and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
For he remembered that they were but flesh,*
a breath that goes forth and does not return.
How often the people disobeyed God in the wilderness*
and offended him in the desert!
Again and again they tempted God*
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power*
in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
How he wrought his signs in Egypt*
and his omens in the field of Zoan.
He turned their rivers into blood,*
so that they could not drink of their streams.
He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up,*
and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave their crops to the caterpillar,*
the fruit of their toil to the locust.
He killed their vines with hail*
and their sycamores with frost.
He delivered their cattle to hailstones*
and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
He poured out upon them his blazing anger:*
fury, indignation and distress,
a troop of destroying angels.
He gave full rein to his anger;
he did not spare their souls from death;*
but delivered their lives to the plague.
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt,*
the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
He led out his people like sheep*
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them to safety and they were not afraid;*
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
He brought them to his holy land,*
the mountain his right hand had won.
He drove out the Canaanites before them
and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot;*
he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
But they tested the Most High God and defied him,*
and did not keep his commandments.
They turned away and were disloyal like their forebears;*
they were undependable like a warped bow.
They grieved him with their hillaltars*
and provoked his displeasure with their idols.
When God heard this, he was angry*
and utterly rejected Israel.
He forsook the shrine at Shiloh,*
the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
He delivered the ark into captivity,*
his glory into the adversary's hand.
He gave his people to the sword*
and was angered against his inheritance.
The fire consumed their young men;*
there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
Their priests fell by the sword,*
and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord woke as though from sleep,*
like a warrior refreshed with wine.
He struck his enemies from behind*
and put them to perpetual shame.
He rejected the tent of Joseph*
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
He chose instead the tribe of Judah*
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven,*
like the earth which he founded for ever.
He chose David his servant,*
and took him away from the sheepfolds.
He brought him from following the ewes,*
to be a shepherd over Jacob his people
and over Israel his inheritance.
So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart*
and guided them with the skilfulness of his hands.
FIRST READING [Job 30]:
'But now they make sport of me,
those who are younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
to set with the dogs of my flock.
What could I gain from the strength of their hands?
All their vigour is gone.
Through want and hard hunger
they gnaw the dry and desolate ground,
they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes,
and to warm themselves the roots of broom.
They are driven out from society;
people shout after them as after a thief.
In the gullies of wadis they must live,
in holes in the ground, and in the rocks.
Among the bushes they bray;
under the nettles they huddle together.
A senseless, disreputable brood,
they have been whipped out of the land.
'And now they mock me in song;
I am a byword to them.
They abhor me, they keep aloof from me;
they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
Because God has loosed my bowstring and humbled me,
they have cast off restraint in my presence.
On my right hand the rabble rise up;
they send me sprawling,
and build roads for my ruin.
They break up my path,
they promote my calamity;
no one restrains them.
As through a wide breach they come;
amid the crash they roll on.
Terrors are turned upon me;
my honour is pursued as by the wind,
and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
'And now my soul is poured out within me;
days of affliction have taken hold of me.
The night racks my bones,
and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
With violence he seizes my garment;
he grasps me by the collar of my tunic.
He has cast me into the mire,
and I have become like dust and ashes.
I cry to you and you do not answer me;
I stand, and you merely look at me.
You have turned cruel to me;
with the might of your hand you persecute me.
You lift me up on the wind, you make me ride on it,
and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.
I know that you will bring me to death,
and to the house appointed for all living.
'Surely one does not turn against the needy,
when in disaster they cry for help.
Did I not weep for those whose day was hard?
Was not my soul grieved for the poor?
But when I looked for good, evil came;
and when I waited for light, darkness came.
My inward parts are in turmoil, and are never still;
days of affliction come to meet me.
I go about in sunless gloom;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
I am a brother of jackals,
and a companion of ostriches.
My skin turns black and falls from me,
and my bones burn with heat.
My lyre is turned to mourning,
and my pipe to the voice of those who weep. '
Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Tune: Antwerp, Dove (LM)
Jesus, thy far-extended fame
My drooping soul exults to hear;
Thy name, thy all-restoring name,
Is music in a sinner's ear.
Sinners of old thou didst receive
With comfortable words and kind,
Their sorrows cheer, their wants relieve,
Heal the diseased, and cure the blind.
And art thou not the Saviour still,
In every place and age the same?
Hast thou forgot thy gracious skill,
Or lost the virtue of thy name?
Faith in thy changeless name I have;
The good, the kind physician, thou
Art able now our souls to save,
Art willing to restore them now.
Wouldst thou the body's health restore,
And not regard the sin-sick soul?
The soul thou lovest yet the more,
And surely thou shalt make it whole.
My soul's disease, my every sin,
To thee, O Jesus, I confess;
In pardon, Lord, my cure begin,
And perfect it in holiness.
SECOND READING [Luke 6.1226]:
Now during those days Jesus went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
'Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
'Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
'Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
'Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
'But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
'Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
'Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
'Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.'
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
Ever-present Spirit of God,
as we abide with you and you with us,
we cry out for our brothers and sisters:
hear our prayer.
For all who suffer want, loneliness or depression:
hear our prayer.
For racial, cultural and national groups
who suffer prejudice, oppressive leaders
or economic exploitation.
hear our prayer.
For the Church in those places where it suffers
blindness, controversy, disorientation,
persecution or change.
hear our prayer.
For those we have to tried to love and serve today.
hear our prayer.
Lord, teach us to be
more alert, humble, expectant, than we have been in the past:
ever ready to encounter you in the quiet:
May we recognize you
in every appeal to our compassion,
every act of unselfish love which shows up
and humbles our imperfect love.
Give us that grace of simplicity
which alone can receive your mystery,
you, who entered the stable at Bethlehem,
the workshop of Nazareth
and the cottage of Emmaus. Amen.
O God, Origin, Sustainer, and End of all your creatures: Grant that your Church, taught by your servant Evelyn Underhill, guarded evermore by your power, and guided by your Spirit into the light of truth, may continually offer to you all glory and thanksgiving and attain with your saints to the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have promised by our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 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
Bless and consecrate the material
of our small and ordinary life.
Feed and possess our souls. Amen.
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 Ephrem of Syria. The first collect and closing sentence are adapted by Stephen Benner from a prayer by Evelyn Underhill.
Born in 1875, Evelyn Underhill was in her thirties before she began to explore religion. At first, she wrote on the mystics, most notably in her book Mysticism, published in 1911. Her spiritual journey brought her in 1921 back to the Church of England, in which she had been baptised and confirmed. From the mid-1920s, she became highly-regarded as a retreat conductor and an influential spiritual director. Of her many books, Worship, published in 1936, embodied her approach to what she saw as the mystery of faith. She died on this day in 1941. [Exciting Holiness]
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