OREMUS: 15 October 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Oct 14 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for October 15
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, Bishop of Shanghai, 1906

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. 
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Psalm 78

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 [Ezekiel 12.1–16]:

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, you are living in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, who have ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house. Therefore, mortal, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight; you shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house. You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile; and you shall go out yourself at evening in their sight, as those do who go into exile. Dig through the wall in their sight, and carry the baggage through it. In their sight you shall lift the baggage on your shoulder, and carry it out in the dark; you shall cover your face, so that you may not see the land; for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel. 

I did just as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands; I brought it out in the dark, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight. 

In the morning the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, 'What are you doing?' Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel in it.' Say, 'I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall go into exile, into captivity.' And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage on his shoulder in the dark, and shall go out; he shall dig through the wall and carry it through; he shall cover his face, so that he may not see the land with his eyes. I will spread my net over him, and he shall be caught in my snare; and I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it; and he shall die there. I will scatter to every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops; and I will unsheathe the sword behind them. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries. But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, so that they may tell of all their abominations among the nations where they go; then they shall know that I am the Lord. 

HYMN 
Words: Andrew Reed, 1829
Music: Nun danket all

Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
and make this house thy home;
descend with all thy gracious powers,
O come, great Spirit, come!

Come as the light; to us reveal
our emptiness and woe,
and lead us in those paths of life
whereon the righteous go.

Come as the fire and purge our hearts
like sacrificial flame;
let our whole soul an offering be
to our Redeemer's Name.

Come as the dove, and spread thy wings,
the wings of peaceful love;
and let thy Church on earth become
blest as the Church above.

Come as the dew and sweetly bless
this consecrated hour;
may barrenness rejoice to own
thy fertilizing power.

Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
make a lost world thy home;
descend with all thy gracious powers;
O come, great Spirit, come!

SECOND READING [John 18.1–11]:

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, 'For whom are you looking?' They answered, 'Jesus of Nazareth.' Jesus replied, 'I am he.' Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, 'I am he', they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, 'For whom are you looking?' And they said, 'Jesus of Nazareth.' Jesus answered, 'I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.' This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken, 'I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.' Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, 'Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?' 

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

Prayer:
Most holy and gracious God,
we praise you for the glorious freedom
we have together in Christ Jesus.

You have called us to be brothers and sisters
in the covenant of your Church.
Hear our desire to live in covenant relationships
of binding and loosing,
so that we may truly be your faithful people.
Gracious God,
hear our prayer.

Enlarge our understandings of how we can work together
to raise up your Church and your mission
in this technological age.
Gracious God,
hear our prayer.

Forgive us for not being sensitive to one another
and for preferring to be loners instead of joining in our common cause.
Gracious God,
hear our prayer.

As you have forgiven us, may we forgive one another.
May our love flow like an everlasting river,
making our baptismal covenant a daily reality.
Gracious God,
hear our prayer.

God of wisdom and love,
without you neither truth nor holiness can survive:
Show your mighty presence among us,
and make us glad in proclaiming your deliverance
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, 
your Word is revealed to us in Jesus Christ,
the Truth Incarnate and the Teacher of the faithful:
Lead us, we pray, to commit our lives and talents to you, 
in the confidence that when you give your servants any work to do, 
you also supply the strength to do it,
as you did for your servant Joseph Schereschewsky,
who worked to bring your word to China; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, 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

May we be mindful of God's call to holiness
and be clothed in the practice of good works,
that we may come to God's banquet prepared
to feast with the whole world.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 canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

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 is by Ephrem of Syria. The closing prayer are reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts. The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 
http://www.scottishepiscopal.com The second collect is by Stephen Benner.

Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky was born in Lithuania in 1831, went to
Germany to study for the rabbinate, there became a Christian, emigrated to
America, trained for the priesthood, and in 1859 was sent by the Episcopal
Church to China, where he devoted himself from 1862 to 1875 to translating
the Bible into Mandarin Chinese. In 1877 he was elected Bishop of Shanghai,
where he founded St. John's University, and began his translation of the Bible
into Wenli (another Chinese dialect). He developed Parkinson's disease, was
largely paralyzed, resigned his position as Bishop of Shanghai, and spent the
rest of his life completing his Wenli Bible, the last 2000 pages of which he
typed with the one finger that he could still move.
Four years before his death in 1906, he said: "I have sat in this chair for over
twenty years. It seemed very hard at first. But God knew best. He kept me for
the work for which I am best fitted."



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