OREMUS: 2 September 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Sep 1 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for September 2
The Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1901 and 1942

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, O God,
the One whom we seek together,
the Life which is part of us all,
the Truth and the mark of mystery,
the Love and the Joy that makes us whole.
Blessed are you, O God:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 
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Psalm 9

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart;*
 I will tell of all your marvellous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;*
 I will sing to your name, O Most High.
When my enemies are driven back,*
 they will stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have maintained my right and my cause;*
 you sit upon your throne judging right.
You have rebuked the ungodly and destroyed the wicked;*
 you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
As for the enemy, they are finished, in perpetual ruin,*
 their cities ploughed under,
   the memory of them perished;
But the Lord is enthroned for ever;*
 he has set up his throne for judgement.
It is he who rules the world with righteousness;*
 he judges the peoples with equity.
The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed,*
 a refuge in time of trouble.
Those who know your name will put their trust in you,*
 for you never forsake those who seek you, O Lord.
Sing praise to the Lord who dwells in Zion;*
 proclaim to the peoples the things he has done.
The avenger of blood will remember them;*
 he will not forget the cry of the afflicted.
Have pity on me, O Lord;*
 see the misery I suffer from those who hate me,
   O you who lift me up from the gate of death;
So that I may tell of all your praises
   and rejoice in your salvation*
 in the gates of the city of Zion.
The ungodly have fallen into the pit they dug,*
 and in the snare they set is their own foot caught.
The Lord is known by his acts of justice;*
 the wicked are trapped in the works of their own hands.
The wicked shall be given over to the grave,*
 and also all the peoples that forget God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,*
 and the hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.
Rise up, O Lord,
   let not the ungodly have the upper hand;*
 let them be judged before you.
Put fear upon them, O Lord;*
 let the ungodly know they are but mortal.

Psalm 10

Why do you stand so far off, O Lord,*
 and hide yourself in time of trouble?
The wicked arrogantly persecute the poor,*
 but they are trapped in the schemes they have devised.
The wicked boast of their heart's desire;*
 the covetous curse and revile the Lord.
The wicked are so proud that they care not for God;*
 their only thought is, 'God does not matter.'
Their ways are devious at all times;
   your judgements are far above out of their sight;*
 they defy all their enemies.
They say in their heart, 'I shall not be shaken;*
 no harm shall happen to me ever.'
Their mouth is full of cursing, deceit and oppression;*
 under their tongue are mischief and wrong.
They lurk in ambush in public squares
   and in secret places they murder the innocent;*
 they spy out the helpless.
They lie in wait, like a lion in a covert;
   they lie in wait to seize upon the lowly;*
 they seize the lowly and drag them away in their net.
The innocent are broken and humbled before them;*
 the helpless fall before their power.
They say in their heart, 'God has forgotten;*
 he hides his face; he will never notice.'
Rise up, O Lord;
   lift up your hand, O God;*
 do not forget the afflicted.
Why should the wicked revile God?*
 why should they say in their heart, 'You do not care'?
Surely, you behold trouble and misery;*
 you see it and take it into your own hand.
The helpless commit themselves to you,*
 for you are the helper of orphans.
Break the power of the wicked and evil;*
 search out their wickedness until you find none.
The Lord is king for ever and ever;*
 the ungodly shall perish from his land.
The Lord will hear the desire of the humble;*
 you will strengthen their heart and your ears shall hear;
To give justice to the orphan and oppressed,*
 so that mere mortals may strike terror no more.

Psalm 11

In the Lord have I taken refuge;*
 how then can you say to me,
   'Fly away like a bird to the hilltop;
'For see how the wicked bend the bow
   and fit their arrows to the string,*
 to shoot from ambush at the true of heart.
'When the foundations are being destroyed,*
 what can the righteous do?'
The Lord is in his holy temple;*
 the Lord's throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold the inhabited world;*
 his piercing eye weighs our worth.
The Lord weighs the righteous as well as the wicked,*
 but those who delight in violence he abhors.
Upon the wicked he shall rain coals of fire
   and burning sulphur;*
 a scorching wind shall be their lot.
For the Lord is righteous;
   he delights in righteous deeds;*
 and the just shall see his face.

FIRST READING [Ecclus 4.29–6.1]:

Do not be reckless in your speech,
   or sluggish and remiss in your deeds. 
Do not be like a lion in your home,
   or suspicious of your servants. 
Do not let your hand be stretched out to receive
   and closed when it is time to give. 
Do not rely on your wealth,
   or say, ‘I have enough.’ 
Do not follow your inclination and strength
   in pursuing the desires of your heart. 
Do not say, ‘Who can have power over me?’
   for the Lord will surely punish you. 

Do not say, ‘I sinned, yet what has happened to me?’
   for the Lord is slow to anger. 
Do not be so confident of forgiveness
   that you add sin to sin. 
Do not say, ‘His mercy is great,
   he will forgive the multitude of my sins’,
for both mercy and wrath are with him,
   and his anger will rest on sinners. 
Do not delay to turn back to the Lord,
   and do not postpone it from day to day;
for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will come upon you,
   and at the time of punishment you will perish. 
Do not depend on dishonest wealth,
   for it will not benefit you on the day of calamity. 

Do not winnow in every wind,
   or follow every path. 
Stand firm for what you know,
   and let your speech be consistent. 
Be quick to hear,
   but deliberate in answering. 
If you know what to say, answer your neighbour;
   but if not, put your hand over your mouth. 

Honour and dishonour come from speaking,
   and the tongue of mortals may be their downfall. 
Do not be called double-tongued
   and do not lay traps with your tongue;
for shame comes to the thief,
   and severe condemnation to the double-tongued. 
In great and small matters cause no harm, 
1and do not become an enemy instead of a friend;
for a bad name incurs shame and reproach;
   so it is with the double-tongued sinner. 

HYMN 
Words: Alexander Groves (1842-1909) and Mary Artemisia Lathbury (1841-1913)
Tune: Bethsaida (64 64 D)

Break thou the bread of life,
Dear Lord, to me,
as thou didst break the loaves
beside the sea;
beyond the sacred page
I seek thee, Lord;
my spirit pants for thee,
O living word!

Break thou the bread of life,
O Lord, to me,
that hid within my heart
thy word may be:
Mould thou each inward thought,
from self set free,
and let my steps be all
controlled by thee.

Open thy word of truth,
that I may see
thy message written clear
and plain for me;
then in sweet fellowship
walking with thee,
thine image on my life
engraved will be.

O send thy spirit, Lord
now unto me,
that he may touch my eyes,
and make me see:
show me the truth concealed
within thy word,
and in thy book revealed
I see the Lord.

Bless thou the truth, dear Lord,
to me, to me,
as thou didst bless the bread
by Galilee:
Then shall all bondage cease,
all fetters fall;
and I shall find my peace,
my all in all!

SECOND READING [Mark 10.46–end]:

They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' Jesus stood still and said, 'Call him here.' And they called the blind man, saying to him, 'Take heart; get up, he is calling you.' So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' The blind man said to him, 'My teacher, let me see again.' Jesus said to him, 'Go; your faith has made you well.' Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. 

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

Prayer:
Let us pray to God the almighty, the King of creation.

Eternal God, we thank you for your light and your truth.
We praise you for your fatherly care
in creating a universe which proclaims your glory.
Inspire us to worship you, the creator of all,
and let your light shine upon our world.
God of life: hear our prayer.

We thank you for the vastness of the universe
and the mysteries of space.
We pray for all scientists and astronomers
who extend the boundaries of our knowledge.
As we contemplate the wonder of the heavens,
confirm us in the truth that every human being is
known and loved by you.
God of life: hear our prayer.

We thank you for the beauty of the earth,
for the diversity of land and sea,
for the resources of the earth.
Give us the will to cherish this planet
and to use its riches for the good and welfare of all.
God of life: hear our prayer.

We thank you for the warmth of the sun,
the light of the moon, the glory of the stars.
We praise you for the formations of clouds,
the radiance of dawn and sunset.
Save us from wasting or abusing the energy
on which all life depends.
Open our eyes to behold your beauty,
and our lips to praise your name.
God of life: hear our prayer.

We thank you for the teeming life of the seas,
and the flight of the birds.
Help us to protect the environment
so that all life may flourish.
God of life: hear our prayer.

We rejoice in the variety of animal life.
Grant us grace to treat all animals with respect and care;
to protect endangered species,
to preserve the variety of habitats,
and to honour the delicate balance of nature.
God of life: hear our prayer.

We pray for the human family.
We exult in its diversity and giftedness,
we repent of its sins, divisions and violence.
By the power of your Spirit, restore your image within us,
through Christ who came to remake us
by his death and resurrection.
God of life: hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty:
open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works;
that, rejoicing in your whole creation,
we may learn to serve you with gladness;
for the sake of him through whom all things were made,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
		
Almighty God, 
we remember before you this day 
the blessed martyrs of New Guinea, 
who, following the example of their Savior, 
laid down their lives for their friends; 
and we pray that we who honor their memory 
may imitate their loyalty and faith; 
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

Faithful God, hope of the oppressed, source of freedom:
make us strong to witness to your liberating power,
in generosity of life and in humility of spirit,
that all the world may delight in your goodness.  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 uses phrases from a hymn by Colin Gibson.

The closing prayer is based on a prayer from _Revised Common Lectionary
Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts
 The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

The church in Papua New Guinea has been enriched by martyrdom twice in the twentieth century. James Chalmers, Oliver Tomkins and some companions were sent to New Guinea by the London Missionary Society. They met their death by martyrdom in 1901. Forty years later, during the Second World War, New Guinea was occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army and Christians were severely persecuted. Among those who died for the faith were two English priests, Vivian Redlich and John Barge, who remained with their people after the invasion of 1942 but were betrayed and beheaded, together with seven Australians and two Papuan evangelists, Leslie Gariadi and Lucian Tapiedi. [Exciting Holiness]


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