OREMUS: 16 March 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Mar 15 17:04:52 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for Tuesday, March 16, 2010

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, O God,
whose love leaves none neglected or ignored,
we give you thanks for Jesus of Nazareth
who opened deaf ears and dull minds.
His story is at work in us still,
awakening us to all that is true and beautiful and good.
His words and deeds are one,
yet we crucified him for his integrity
and turned on him for daring to be different.
We praise you for his life which is bolder than death,
that rises undefeated in us yet,
tantalizing with the promise of change and reconciliation.
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 79

O God, the heathen have come into your inheritance;
   they have profaned your holy temple;*
 they have made Jerusalem a heap of rubble.
They have given the bodies of your servants
   as food for the birds of the air,*
 and the flesh of your faithful ones
   to the beasts of the field.
They have shed their blood like water
   on every side of Jerusalem,*
 and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a reproach to our neighbours,*
 an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
How long will you be angry, O Lord?*
 will your fury blaze like fire for ever?
Pour out your wrath upon the heathen
   who have not known you*
 and upon the kingdoms
   that have not called upon your name.
For they have devoured Jacob*
 and made his dwelling a ruin.
Remember not our past sins;
   let your compassion be swift to meet us;*
 for we have been brought very low.
Help us, O God our Saviour, for the glory of your name;*
 deliver us and forgive us our sins, for your name's sake.     [
Why should the heathen say, 'Where is their God?'*
 Let it be known among the heathen and in our sight
   that you avenge the shedding
   of your servants' blood.]
Let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners
   come before you,*
 and by your great might
   spare those who are condemned to die.     [
May the revilings with which
   they reviled you, O Lord,*
 return sevenfold into their bosoms.]
We are your people and the sheep of your pasture;*
 we will give you thanks for ever
   and show forth your praise from age to age.

Psalm 80

Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock;*
 shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh,*
 stir up your strength and come to help us.
Restore us, O God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,*
 how long will you be angered
   despite the prayers of your people?
You have fed them with the bread of tears;*
 you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
You have made us the derision of our neighbours,*
 and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Restore us, O God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.
You have brought a vine out of Egypt;*
 you cast out the nations and planted it.
You prepared the ground for it;*
 it took root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered by its shadow*
 and the towering cedar trees by its boughs.
You stretched out its tendrils to the Sea*
 and its branches to the River.
Why have you broken down its wall,*
 so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it,*
 and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it.
Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven;
   behold and tend this vine;*
 preserve what your right hand has planted.
They burn it with fire like rubbish;*
 at the rebuke of your countenance let them perish.
Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand,*
 the son of man you have made so strong for yourself.
And so will we never turn away from you;*
 give us life, that we may call upon your name.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.

Psalm 81

Sing with joy to God our strength*
 and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song and sound the timbrel,*
 the merry harp and the lyre.
Blow the ram'shorn at the new moon,*
 and at the full moon, the day of our feast.
For this is a statute for Israel,*
 a law of the God of Jacob.
He laid it as a solemn charge upon Joseph,*
 when he came out of the land of Egypt.
I heard an unfamiliar voice saying,*
 'I eased his shoulder from the burden;
   his hands were set free from bearing the load.'
You called on me in trouble and I saved you;*
 I answered you from the secret place of thunder
   and tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you:*
 O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;*
 you shall not worship a foreign god.
I am the Lord your God,
   who brought you out of the land of Egypt and said,*
 'Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.'
And yet my people did not hear my voice,*
 and Israel would not obey me.
So I gave them over to the stubbornness
   of their hearts,*
 to follow their own devices.
O that my people would listen to me!*
 that Israel would walk in my ways!
I should soon subdue their enemies*
 and turn my hand against their foes.
Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,*
 and their punishment would last for ever.
But Israel would I feed with the finest wheat*
 and satisfy him with honey from the rock.

FIRST READING [Genesis 8:13—9:17]:

n the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God said to Noah, 'Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.' So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives. And every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families. 

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. 
As long as the earth endures,
   seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night,
   shall not cease.' 

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life. 
Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
   by a human shall that person's blood be shed;
for in his own image
   God made humankind. 
And you, be fruitful and multiply, abound on the earth and multiply in it.' 

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 'As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.' God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.' God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.' 

HYMN 
Words: Alan Gaunt (born 1935) © 1991 Stainer & Bell Ltd. Used with permission
Meter 76 76 D

The rainbow of God's mercy
Has over-arched the years,
Creating joyful colours
>From human grief and tears;
We see the dark clouds gather,
We hear the thunder roll,
Then, suddenly the rainbow
Elates the fearful soul.

As we approach the future,
Not knowing what we'll find;
Aware that storms of evil
Could swamp all human kind;
The rainbow arches over
Our ignorance and strife:
God's promise of forgiveness, 
Our gateway into Life.

God, let your light in Jesus, 
Love's pure white light ablaze,
Diffracted into rainbows
Through faithfulness and praise,
Shed faith, hope, love and mercy
- The colours of your grace -
With peace, delight and justice, 
On all the human race.

SECOND READING [Mark 4:1–20]:

Again Jesus began to teach beside the lake. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the lake on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 'Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.' And he said, 'Let anyone with ears to hear listen!' 

When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, 'To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that
"they may indeed look, but not perceive,
   and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven." ' 

And he said to them, 'Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.' 

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

Prayer:
God of love
hear the cry of those who yearn for love;
fractured families, broken homes
neglected, unwanted, alone.
God of love,
hear our prayer

God of justice
hear the cry of those who yearn for justice;
persecuted and oppressed,
exploited, ill-treated, broken.
God of justice
hear our prayer

God of peace
hear the cry of those who yearn for peace;
in battle zones and broken states,
frightened, fearful, anxious
God of peace
hear our prayer

God of healing
hear the cry of those who yearn for healing;
physical and spiritual
hurting, weakened, depressed
God of healing
hear our prayer

God of mercy
Hear the cry of those who yearn for mercy;
convicted, in need of your Grace,
contrite, humble, bowed down,
God of mercy
hear our prayer

Journey with us, O holy God, 
as we continue our way to the cross. 
Sharpen our focus, that our attention
may center more on you than ourselves. 
Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, 
that we might be a people of prayer, 
ready to perceive and respond 
to your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Give us, gentle God, a mind forgetful of past injury,
a will to seek the good in others
and a heart of love. 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 adapted from a prayer by David Bromell.

The intercession is by John Birch http://www.faithandworship.com/ 

The closing sentence is from 
_A New Zealand Prayer Book_, (c) The Provincial Secretary, The Church of the Province of New Zealand, 1989.
 



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