OREMUS: 20 March 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Mar 19 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for March 20
Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687

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

Blessed are you, God of the covenant, 
long ago you embraced your people
and promised them your blessing. 
You called Abraham to trust your promise
and you gave him the faith to follow that call. 
You call us in our baptism to serve you, 
trusting that Christ will transform us
in the glory of the eternal Easter. 
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 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 [Genesis 16:1–9, 15—17:22]:

Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, and Sarai said to Abram, 'You see that the Lord has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.' And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived for ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, 'May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!' But Abram said to Sarai, 'Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please.' Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her. 

The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, 'Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?' She said, 'I am running away from my mistress Sarai.' The angel of the Lord said to her, 'Return to your mistress, and submit to her.' 

Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael. 

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.' Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 'As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God.' 

God said to Abraham, 'As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring. Both the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money must be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.' 

God said to Abraham, 'As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.' Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, 'Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?' And Abraham said to God, 'O that Ishmael might live in your sight!' God said, 'No, but your wife Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will bless him and make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.' And when he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 

HYMN 
Words: Fred Kaan (1929-2009) © 1985 Stainer & Bell Ltd 
Meter: 11 10 11 10

God calls us to the fellowship of living!
Heaven exceeds the things we understand, 
and here below our feet are firmly planted
on the good earth, our greening motherland.

God is our future, God is Lord and Father, 
who causes on our days his light to shine,
whose grace has kept our earthy world together;
he gave us space, he gives the span of time.

The Word he gave to Abraham, our father,
came as a seed to blossom in his seed,
ready to face the times that are approaching,
when the great harvest ripens on the field.

Yes, we are sons and daughters of the promise, 
the children of the day that is to come,
when he, the Son, the Sun, descends proclaiming 
his peace and justice to each human home.
SECOND READING [Mark 6:1–13]:

Jesus left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, 'Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?' And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, 'Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.' And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. 

Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, 'Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.' So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. 

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

Prayer:
Father God, during this time of great human suffering we bring our prayers before you knowing you are at work in every situation.

Let us pray for the people of Libya: that a peaceful resolution will bring an end to the violence and protect them from further loss of life.

Let us pray for the suffering people of Japan amid continuing fears of nuclear fallout; that the Lord will grant wisdom, skill and speed to those working for their protection.

Let us pray for the people of New Zealand, as the clear-up operation continues; that they will know the strength of the Lord in the days ahead.

Let us pray for all who have died in recent natural disasters: that the Lord will welcome them into his eternal embrace and that those who mourn will find the comfort the need.

Let us pray for the people of Bahrain: that fruitful dialogue will replace violent confrontation.

Heavenly Father, accept our prayers for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, 
you have given your only Son
to be for us a sacrifice for sin, 
and also an example of godly life: 
Give us grace that we may always thankfully receive 
the benefits of his sacrifice, 
and also daily endeavor to follow 
the blessed steps of his most holy life; 
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
		
Almighty God,
who called your servant Cuthbert from following the flock
to follow your Son and to be a shepherd of your people:
in your mercy, grant that we, following his example,
may bring those who are lost home to your fold;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May your presence bless our souls, O God, 
and shed a joyful light; 
that the sorrows of the night
may be chased away by the hallowed morn to come. 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
prayers in _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster
/ John Knox Press. 

The closing sentence is adapted from Paraphrase 30 of the Scottish Paraphrases, 1781.

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

Cuthbert was probably born in the Scottish lowlands around the year 640. At the age of eight a prophetic remark from a playmate turned his mind to sober and godly thoughts, and his upbringing as a shepherd gave him ample time for prayer. One night he saw in the sky a dazzling light and angels carrying a soul up to heaven, and resolved to dedicate his life to God. Some years later Cuthbert came to Melrose Abbey asking to be admitted as a monk. It was from here that he began his missionary work, which he continued from Lindisfarne when he became abbot there. Consecrated bishop in 685 he remained an indefatigable traveller and preacher, walking all over his diocese, and spending time as a hermit on Farne Island in between. After only a year however, he felt his end coming and resigned his office, dying on Farne in the company of a few of his monks. [Exciting Holiness]


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