OREMUS: 29 March 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Mar 28 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for March 29
John Keble, Priest, Tractarian, Poet, 1866

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for your ways are higher than our ways
and your thoughts higher than our thoughts.
We will bless you as long as we live
and lift up our hands and call upon your name.
The rich feast of your steadfast love satisfies us
and under the shadow of your wings we rejoice.
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 139

Lord, you have searched me out and known me;*
 you know my sitting down and my rising up;
   you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my restingplaces*
 and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,*
 but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before*
 and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;*
 it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit?*
 where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;*
 if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning*
 and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me*
 and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, 'Surely the darkness will cover me,*
 and the light around me turn to night',
Darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day;*
 darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;*
 you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made;*
 your works are wonderful and I know it well.
My body was not hidden from you,*
 while I was being made in secret
   and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
   all of them were written in your book;*
 they were fashioned day by day,
   when as yet there was none of them.
How deep I find your thoughts, O God!*
 how great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them,
   they would be more in number than the sand;*
 to count them all,
   my life span would need to be like yours.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;*
 try me and know my restless thoughts.
Look well whether there be any wickedness in me*
 and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

Psalm 140

Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers;*
 protect me from the violent,
Who devise evil in their hearts*
 and stir up strife all day long.
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent;*
 adder's poison is under their lips.
Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;*
 protect me from the violent,
   who are determined to trip me up.
The proud have hidden a snare for me
   and stretched out a net of cords;*
 they have set traps for me along the path.
I have said to the Lord, 'You are my God;*
 listen, O Lord, to my supplication.
'O Lord God, the strength of my salvation,*
 you have covered my head in the day of battle.
'Do not grant the desires of the wicked, O Lord,*
 nor let their evil plans prosper.
I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the poor*
 and render justice to the needy.
Surely, the righteous will give thanks to your name,*
 and the upright shall continue in your sight.

FIRST READING [Genesis 35:1–29]:

God said to Jacob, 'Arise, go up to Bethel, and settle there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.' So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, 'Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your clothes; then come, let us go up to Bethel, that I may make an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.' So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak that was near Shechem. 

As they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities all around them, so that no one pursued them. Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because it was there that God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So it was called Allon-bacuth. 

God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and he blessed him. God said to him, 'Your name is Jacob; no longer shall you be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.' So he was called Israel. God said to him, 'I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall spring from you. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.' Then God went up from him at the place where he had spoken with him. Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured out a drink-offering on it, and poured oil on it. So Jacob called the place where God had spoken with him Bethel. 

Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel was in childbirth, and she had a difficult labour. When she was in her difficult labour, the midwife said to her, 'Do not be afraid; for now you will have another son.' As her soul was departing (for she died), she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), and Jacob set up a pillar at her grave; it is the pillar of Rachel's tomb, which is there to this day. Israel journeyed on, and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder. 

While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine; and Israel heard of it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's maid: Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Zilpah, Leah's maid: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram. 
 Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had resided as aliens. Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. And Isaac breathed his last; he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. 

HYMN 
Words: John Keble (1792-1866)
Tune: Martyrs, St Flavian, Southwell, Tallis' Ordinal

There is a book, who runs may read,
which heavenly truth imparts,
and all the lore its scholars need,
pure eyes and Christian hearts.

The works of God above, below,
within us and around,
are pages in that book, to show
how God himself is found.

The glorious sky, embracing all,
is like the Maker's love,
wherewith encompassed, great and small
in peace and order move.

The moon above, the Church below,
a wondrous race they run;
but all their radiance, all their glow,
each borrows of its sun.

The Saviour lends the light and heat
that crowns his holy hill;
the saints, like stars, around his seat
perform their courses still.

The saints above are stars in heaven-
what are the saints on earth?
Like trees they stand whom God has given,
our Eden's happy birth.

Faith is their fixed unswerving root, 
hope their unfading flower,
fair deeds of charity their fruit,
the glory of their bower.

The dew of heaven is like thy grace,
it steals in silence down;
but where it lights, the favoured place
by richest fruits is known.

One name, above all glorious names,
with its ten thousand tongues
the everlasting sea proclaims,
echoing angelic songs.

The raging fire, the roaring wind,
thy boundless power display:
but in the gentler breeze we find
thy Spirit's viewless way.

Two worlds are ours: 'tis only sin
forbids us to descry
the mystic heaven and earth within,
plain as the sea and sky.

Thou who hast given me eyes to see
and love this sight so fair,
give me a heart to find out thee,
and read thee everywhere.

SECOND READING [Mark 9:33–50]:

Then they came to Capernaum; and when Jesus was in the house he asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the way?' But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, 'Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.' Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 'Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.' 

John said to him, 'Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.' But Jesus said, 'Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. 

'If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. 

'For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.' 

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

Prayer:
How is it that the Bible is so full of promises,
The world so full of disappointments? 
The Bible abounds with encouragements to Prayer—
"O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come."
"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you."
Yet who does not seem, somehow, to pray in vain?
The question must strike every one,
But the answer also is quite plain.
People do not fulfil the conditions,
Our Lord's own conditions of Prayer.
They do not pray as He would have them—
"In My Name;"
"Abiding in Me;"
"Believing that they receive them;"
"Nothing wavering;"
"According to His Will;"
"Keeping His Commandments."
So men go on, for a shorter or for a longer time;
But the hour will come, when they will wish it otherwise.
And then, if they are still in this world,
They will cry," Pray for me." 
Were it not better to be wise in time, 
And before it is too late, to seek a good Intercessor, 
Even "Jesus Christ, the Righteous, 
"Who ever liveth to make Intercession for us." 
Let it be so. Amen.

Father of the eternal Word, 
in whose encompassing love 
all things in peace and order move: 
grant that, as your servant John Keble 
adored you in all creation, 
so may we have a humble heart of love 
for the mysteries of your Church
and know your love to be new every morning,
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

Only, O Lord, in Thy dear love,
Fit us for perfect rest above,
And help us, this and every day,
To live more nearly as we pray.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 by Stephen Benner.
The intercession and closing sentence are by John Keble. The 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.

Born in 1792, the son of a priest, John Keble showed early brilliance as a scholar, becoming a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, at the age of nineteen, a few years before his ordination. He won great praise for his collection of poems, The Christian Year, issued in 1827, and was elected Professor of Poetry in Oxford in 1831. A leader of the Tractarian movement, which protested at the threats to the Church from liberal developments in both politics and theology, he nevertheless did not seek preferment and in 1836 became a parish priest near Winchester, a position he held until his death in 1866. He continued to write scholarly books and was praised for his character and spiritual counsel. Yet he is still best remembered for the sermon he preached in Oxford, considered by some the beginning of the Oxford Movement, delivered on July 14, 1833.


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