OREMUS: 18 June 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Jun 17 17:00:00 GMT 2011

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OREMUS for June 18
Bernard Mizeki, Apostle of the MaShona, Martyr, 1896

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

Blessed are you, gracious God, 
whose glory is above all our thoughts, 
and whose mercy is over all your works; 
your Holy Spirit inspires our worship
and makes us attentive to your Word. 
We give you thanks that you have created and redeemed us, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 93

The Lord is king; he has put on splendid apparel;*
 the Lord has put on his apparel
   and girded himself with strength.
He has made the whole world so sure*
 that it cannot be moved;
Ever since the world began,
   your throne has been established;*
 you are from everlasting.
The waters have lifted up, O Lord,
   the waters have lifted up their voice;*
 the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the sound of many waters,
   mightier than the breakers of the sea,*
 mightier is the Lord who dwells on high.
Your testimonies are very sure,*
 and holiness adorns your house, O Lord,
   for ever and for evermore.

Psalm 94

O Lord God of vengeance,*
 O God of vengeance, show yourself.
Rise up, O Judge of the world;*
 give the arrogant their just deserts.
How long shall the wicked, O Lord,*
 how long shall the wicked triumph?
They bluster in their insolence;*
 all evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, O Lord,*
 and afflict your chosen nation.
They murder the widow and the stranger*
 and put the orphans to death.
Yet they say, 'The Lord does not see,*
 the God of Jacob takes no notice.'
Consider well, you dullards among the people;*
 when will you fools understand?
He that planted the ear, does he not hear?*
 he that formed the eye, does he not see?
He who admonishes the nations, will he not punish?*
 he who teaches all the world, has he no knowledge?
The Lord knows our human thoughts;*
 how like a puff of wind they are.
Happy are they whom you instruct, O Lord!*
 whom you teach out of your law;
To give them rest in evil days,*
 until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not abandon his people,*
 nor will he forsake his own.
For judgement will again be just,*
 and all the true of heart will follow it.
Who rose up for me against the wicked?*
 who took my part against the evildoers?
If the Lord had not come to my help,*
 I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence.
As often as I said, 'My foot has slipped',*
 your love, O Lord, upheld me.
When many cares fill my mind,*
 your consolations cheer my soul.
Can a corrupt tribunal have any part with you,*
 one which frames evil into law?
They conspire against the life of the just*
 and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,*
 and my God the rock of my trust.
He will turn their wickedness back upon them
   and destroy them in their own malice;*
 the Lord our God will destroy them.


Elihu continued:
'But now, hear my speech, O Job,
   and listen to all my words. 
See, I open my mouth;
   the tongue in my mouth speaks. 
My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
   and what my lips know they speak sincerely. 
The spirit of God has made me,
   and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 
Answer me, if you can;
   set your words in order before me; take your stand. 
See, before God I am as you are;
   I too was formed from a piece of clay. 
No fear of me need terrify you;
   my pressure will not be heavy on you. 

'Surely, you have spoken in my hearing,
   and I have heard the sound of your words. 
You say, "I am clean, without transgression;
   I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me. 
Look, he finds occasions against me,
   he counts me as his enemy; 
he puts my feet in the stocks,
   and watches all my paths." 

'But in this you are not right. I will answer you:
   God is greater than any mortal. 
Why do you contend against him,
   saying, "He will answer none of my words"? 
For God speaks in one way,
   and in two, though people do not perceive it. 
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
   when deep sleep falls on mortals,
   while they slumber on their beds, 
then he opens their ears,
   and terrifies them with warnings, 
that he may turn them aside from their deeds,
   and keep them from pride, 
to spare their souls from the Pit,
   their lives from traversing the River. 
They are also chastened with pain upon their beds,
   and with continual strife in their bones, 
so that their lives loathe bread,
   and their appetites dainty food. 
Their flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen;
   and their bones, once invisible, now stick out. 
Their souls draw near the Pit,
   and their lives to those who bring death. 
Then, if there should be for one of them an angel,
   a mediator, one of a thousand,
   one who declares a person upright, 
and he is gracious to that person, and says,
   "Deliver him from going down into the Pit;
   I have found a ransom; 
let his flesh become fresh with youth;
   let him return to the days of his youthful vigour"; 
then he prays to God, and is accepted by him,
   he comes into his presence with joy,
and God repays him for his righteousness. 
   That person sings to others and says,
"I sinned, and perverted what was right,
   and it was not paid back to me. 
He has redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit,
   and my life shall see the light." 

'God indeed does all these things,
   twice, three times, with mortals, 
to bring back their souls from the Pit,
   so that they may see the light of life. 
Pay heed, Job, listen to me;
   be silent, and I will speak. 
If you have anything to say, answer me;
   speak, for I desire to justify you. 
If not, listen to me;
   be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.' 

Words: Edward Hayes Plumptre (1821-1891)
Tune: Claudius, St Matthew, Old 44th	

Thine arm, O Lord, in days of old
was strong to heal and save;
it triumphed o'er disease and death,
o'er darkness and the grave:
to thee they went, the blind, the dumb,
the palsied and the lame,
the leper with his tainted life,
the sick with fevered frame.

And lo, thy touch brought life and health,
gave speech and strength and sight;
and youth renewed and frenzy calmed
owned thee, the Lord of light:
and now, O Lord, be near to bless,
almighty as of yore,
in crowded street, by restless couch,
as by Gennesareth's shore.

Be thou our great deliverer still,
thou Lord of life and death;
restore and quicken, soothe and bless,
with thine almighty breath:
to hands that work, and eyes that see,
give wisdom's heavenly lore,
that whole and sick, and weak and strong,
may praise thee evermore.

SECOND READING [Luke 7.1–17]:

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, 'He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.' And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, 'Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, "Go", and he goes, and to another, "Come", and he comes, and to my slave, "Do this", and the slave does it.' When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, 'I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.' When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health. 

Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother's only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, 'Do not weep.' Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, 'Young man, I say to you, rise!' The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, 'A great prophet has risen among us!' and 'God has looked favourably on his people!' This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country. 

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

Beginning and End of all things,
we bless you for the present that is ever yielding
to your new heaven and new earth.

For all the means of grace,
we praise you, O Lord.

For every prompting of your Spirit
we praise you, O Lord.

We yield our cares to your unceasing mercy:
Attend the sick and the suffering,
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Touch the dying:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Claim the newborn:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Shelter the homeless:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Sing in the fearful:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Chasten the arrogant and powerful:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Lift up the lowly:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Center the Church:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Grant peace to Jerusalem and every people:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Shape our lives by the mystery 
of Christ crucified, risen and interceding for us:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

O God,
throughout the ages you judge your people with mercy,
and you inspire us to speak your truth.
By your Spirit, anoint us for lives of faith and service,
and bring all people into your forgiveness,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Lord of all nations, 
by the conversion of Bernard Mizeki 
you raised up from the people of Africa 
a missionary faithful even to death: 
Fill your people with love 
in the face of hatred and fear 
and make us ready to live or die 
for the name of Jesus; 
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Lead us, O Lord, in your righteousness,
make your way straight before us. 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 based on a prayer by John Wesley. The first collect is from _Evangelical Lutheran Worship_, (c) 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The closing sentence is Psalm 5:8.

Born in Portuguese East Africa, Bernard Mizeki went to work in Cape Town and there he was converted to the Christian faith by the Cowley Fathers. He then gave his life as a translator and evangelist among the MaShona in what is present-day Zimbabwe. He was murdered on this day in 1896 in a tribal uprising and is revered throughout Central Africa as a witness to the gospel of Christ. [Exciting Holiness]

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