OREMUS: 5 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Feb 4 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for February 5
The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
The Third Sunday before Lent

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

Those who wait for the Lord
shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, O God
out of your power and compassion
you sent your Son into our afflicted world
to proclaim the day of salvation.
You heal the brokenhearted;
you bind up our wounds.
You bring us health of body and spirit
and raise us to new life in your service.
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. 

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom then shall I fear?*
 the Lord is the strength of my life;
 of whom then shall I be afraid? 
When evildoers came upon me
to eat up my flesh,*
 it was they, my foes and my adversaries,
 who stumbled and fell. 
Though an army
should encamp against me,*
 yet my heart shall not be afraid; 
And though war should rise up against me,*
 yet will I put my trust in him. 
One thing have I asked of the Lord;
one thing I seek;*
 that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
 all the days of my life; 
To behold the fair beauty of the Lord*
 and to seek him in his temple. 
For in the day of trouble
he shall keep me safe in his shelter;*
 he shall hide me
 in the secrecy of his dwelling
 and set me high upon a rock. 
Even now he lifts up my head*
 above my enemies round about me; 
Therefore I will offer
in his dwelling an oblation
with sounds of great gladness;*
 I will sing and make music to the Lord. 
Hearken to my voice, O Lord, when I call;*
 have mercy on me and answer me. 
You speak in my heart and say,
'Seek my face.'*
 Your face, Lord, will I seek. 
Hide not your face from me,*
 nor turn away your servant in displeasure. 
You have been my helper; 
cast me not away;*
 do not forsake me, O God of my salvation. 
Though my father and my mother
forsake me,*
 the Lord will sustain me. 
Show me your way, O Lord;*
 lead me on a level path,
 because of my enemies. 
Deliver me not
into the hand of my adversaries,*
 for false witnesses
 have risen up against me,
 and also those who speak malice. 
What if I had not believed
that I should see the goodness of the Lord*
 in the land of the living! 
O tarry and await the Lord's pleasure;
be strong and he shall comfort your heart;*
 wait patiently for the Lord. 

Psalm 28

O Lord, I call to you;
my rock, do not be deaf to my cry;*
 lest, if you do not hear me,
 I become like those who go down to the Pit. 
Hear the voice of my prayer
when I cry out to you,*
 when I lift up my hands
 to your holy of holies. 
Do not snatch me away with the wicked
or with the evildoers,*
 who speak peaceably with their neighbours,
 while strife is in their hearts. 
Repay them according to their deeds,*
 and according to the wickedness
 of their actions. 
According to the work
of their hands repay them,*
 and give them their just deserts. 
They have no understanding
of the Lord's doings,
nor of the works of his hands;*
 therefore he will break them down
 and not build them up. 
Blessed is the Lord!*
 for he has heard the voice of my prayer. 
The Lord is my strength and my shield;*
 my heart trusts in him
 and I have been helped; 
Therefore my heart dances for joy,*
 and in my song will I praise him. 
The Lord is the strength of his people,*
 a safe refuge for his anointed. 
Save your people
and bless your inheritance;*
 shepherd them and carry them for ever. 

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, you gods,*
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 
Ascribe to the Lord
the glory due to his name;*
 worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. 
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders;*
 the Lord is upon the mighty waters. 
The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice;*
 the voice of the Lord
 is a voice of splendour. 
The voice of the Lord
breaks the cedar trees;*
 the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon; 
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,*
 and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox. 
The voice of the Lord
splits the flames of fire;
the voice of the Lord
shakes the wilderness;*
 the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 
The voice of the Lord
makes the oak trees writhe*
 and strips the forests bare. 
And in the temple of the Lord*
 all are crying, 'Glory!' 
The Lord sits enthroned above the flood;*
 the Lord sits enthroned
 as king for evermore. 
The Lord shall give strength to his people;*
 the Lord shall give his people
 the blessing of peace. 
FIRST READING [Judges 5:1-13,19-21, 31]:

Then Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying: 'When locks are long in Israel, when the people offer themselves willingly—bless the Lord! 

'Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;
to the Lord I will sing,
I will make melody to the Lord,
the God of Israel. 

'Lord, when you went out from Seir,
when you marched from the region of Edom,
the earth trembled,
and the heavens poured,
the clouds indeed poured water. 
The mountains quaked before the Lord,
the One of Sinai,
before the Lord, the God of Israel. 

'In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, caravans ceased
and travellers kept to the byways. 
The peasantry prospered in Israel,
they grew fat on plunder,
because you arose, Deborah,
arose as a mother in Israel. 
When new gods were chosen,
then war was in the gates.
Was shield or spear to be seen
among forty thousand in Israel? 
My heart goes out
to the commanders of Israel
who offered themselves willingly
among the people.
Bless the Lord. 

'Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
you who sit on rich carpets,
and you who walk by the way. 
To the sound of musicians
at the watering-places,
there they repeat the triumphs of the Lord,
the triumphs of his peasantry in Israel. 

'Then down to the gates
marched the people of the Lord. 

'Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, utter a song!
Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,
O son of Abinoam. 
Then down marched
the remnant of the noble;
the people of the Lord marched
down for him against the mighty. 

'The kings came, they fought;
then fought the kings of Canaan,
at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;
they got no spoils of silver. 
The stars fought from heaven,
from their courses they fought against Sisera. 
The torrent Kishon swept them away,
the onrushing torrent, the torrent Kishon.
March on, my soul, with might! 

'So perish all your enemies, O Lord!
But may your friends be like the sun
as it rises in its might.' 

And the land had rest for forty years. 
Words: Alan Gaunt (born 1935) 
© 1991 Stainer & Bell Ltd
Meter: LM

How can we praise you, living God,
And celebrate this festival,
When millions cry for daily bread
Whose hunger is perpetual?

Why do you let it happen, Lord?
Are we mis-led, to think you good?
Or are you helpless, after all,
To feed them even if you would?

Or is it we, so self-absorbed,
Insensitive to poverty,
Who block love's course and leave your poor
Condemned to die in misery?

How can we praise you, living God?
- Who doubt your power and righteousness;
Whose greed and paucity of love
Must make the earth a wilderness!

Great God, transform our politics;
Restrain our ruthless selfishness;
By Christ's self-sacrifice in us
Display your love's effectiveness.

May we yet reap love's harvest, Lord,
Of justice and sufficiency,
And all be fed and spirit-filled,
With praise increasing endlessly.


Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you. 

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. 
 Above all, my beloved, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your 'Yes' be yes and your 'No' be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. 

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest. 

My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. 

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

We bring our prayers before our Father, in the knowledge that he deeply cares for our needs, and for the needs of all creation.

Let us pray for those who are suffering because of the extreme cold weather, and for those who have died across the world, especially those sleeping on the streets: that those who cannot protect themselves will be offered warmth and sanctuary by others.

Let us pray for those who have died in renewed clashes in Egypt, particularly the seventy plus people who died at a football match last Wednesday; may the Lord grant those who continue to risk everything in the name of justice and peace access to the hearts of people in power.

Let us pray for the Church of England’s General Synod, due to take place this week: that the spirit of the Lord will inspire their discussions and decisions.

Let us pray for those who are unemployed, struggling to provide for families. Let us also remember in our prayers those of our young people who are disaffected in our communities, seeking direction: for all of these groups we pray that they will find, in each of us, their friends and neighbours, guidance and friendship.

Most holy God,
the earth is filled with your glory,
and in your presence angels stand in awe.
Enlarge our vision,
that we may recognize your power
at work in your Son
and join the apostles and prophets
as heralds of your saving word.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Make us agents of healing and wholeness,
that your good news may be made known
to the ends of creation. Amen.

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 sentence is Isaiah 40:31. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999. The petitions are gathered by Redemptorist Publications and are published each Friday on their website: www.rpbooks.co.uk/page.php?page=prayers. The collect is rom _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. The closing sentence is reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

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