OREMUS: 11 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Feb 10 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for February 11

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

The power of the Lord
was with Jesus to heal.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, gracious God, 
we offer you our thanks and praise. 
You have called us into birth
and gifted our youthfulness. 
You have protected our growth
and blessed our maturity. 
You have graced our transitions,
amid the changes of life. 
And you have called us as a people of faith, 
to embrace our world
with faith and new vision
under the leadership
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
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 59

Rescue me from my enemies, O God;*
 protect me from those
 who rise up against me. 
Rescue me from evildoers*
 and save me from those
 who thirst for my blood. 
See how they lie in wait for my life,
how the mighty gather together against me;*
 not for any offence
 or fault of mine, O Lord. 
Not because of any guilt of mine*
 they run and prepare themselves for battle. 
Rouse yourself, come to my side and see;*
 for you, Lord God of hosts,
 are Israel's God. 
Awake, and punish all the ungodly;*
 show no mercy to those
 who are faithless and evil.
The ungodly go to and fro in the evening;*
 they snarl like dogs and run about the city. 
Behold, they boast with their mouths,
and taunts are on their lips;*
 'For who', they say, 'will hear us?' 
But you, O Lord, you laugh at them;*
 you laugh all the ungodly to scorn. 
My eyes are fixed on you, O my Strength;*
 for you, O God, are my stronghold. 
My merciful God comes to meet me;*
 God will let me look 
 in triumph on my enemies. 
Slay them, O God, lest my people forget;*
 send them reeling by your might
 and put them down, O Lord our shield. 
For the sins of their mouths,
for the words of their lips,
for the cursing and lies that they utter,*
 let them be caught in their pride. 
Make an end of them in your wrath;*
 make an end of them
 and they shall be no more.
Let everyone know that God rules in Jacob,*
 and to the ends of the earth. 
They go to and fro in the evening;*
 they snarl like dogs and run about the city. 
They forage for food,*
 and if they are not filled, they howl. 
For my part, I will sing of your strength;*
 I will celebrate your love in the morning; 
For you have become my stronghold,*
 a refuge in the day of my trouble. 
To you, O my Strength, will I sing;*
 for you, O God, are my stronghold
   and my merciful God. 

Psalm 60

O God, you have cast us off and broken us;*
 you have been angry;
 O take us back to you again. 
You have shaken the earth
and split it open;*
 repair the cracks in it, for it totters. 
You have made your people
know hardship;*
 you have given us wine
 that makes us stagger. 
You have set up a banner
for those who fear you,*
 to be a refuge from the power of the bow. 
Save us by your right hand and answer us,*
 that those who are dear to you
 may be delivered. 
God spoke from his holy place and said:*
 'I will exult and parcel out Shechem;
 I will divide the valley of Succoth. 
'Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine;*
 Ephraim is my helmet
 and Judah my sceptre. 
'Moab is my wash-basin,
on Edom I throw down my sandal
to claim it,*
 and over Philistia will I shout in triumph.' 
Who will lead me into the strong city?*
 who will bring me into Edom? 
Have you not cast us off, O God?*
 you no longer go out, O God, 
 with our armies. 
Grant us your help against the enemy,*
 for vain is human help.   
With God we will do valiant deeds,*
 and he shall tread our enemies under foot. 

Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God,*
 and listen to my prayer. 
I call upon you from the ends of the earth
with heaviness in my heart;*
 set me upon the rock that is higher than I. 
For you have been my refuge,*
 a strong tower against the enemy. 
I will dwell in your house for ever;*
 I will take refuge 
 under the cover of your wings. 
For you, O God, have heard my vows;*
 you have granted me the heritage
 of those who fear your name. 
Add length of days to the king's life;*
 let his years extend over many generations. 
Let him sit enthroned before God for ever;*
 bid love and faithfulness watch over him. 
So will I always sing
the praise of your name,*
 and day by day I will fulfil my vows. 
FIRST READING [Numbers 20:2-13]:

Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. The people quarrelled with Moses and said, 'Would that we had died when our kindred died before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.' Then Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting; they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock. 

So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him. Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, 'Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?' Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.' These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarrelled with the Lord, and by which he showed his holiness. 

Words: Brian Wren (born 1936)
© 1993 Stainer & Bell Ltd
Tune: Genevan Psalm 42

Sing and tell our Saviour's story,
starting from creation's birth,
God's design for human glory,
love embracing all the earth.
Joyful news we have to tell,
whispered long in Israel,
then in Jesus clearly spoken,
bread of life from body broken.

Celebrate our founding vision,
simple truth to set us free,
sung, or argued with precision,
carried far by land and sea:
"God in Christ is fully known.
Trust in God's great love alone.
All can meet our Friend and Saviour
in the heart, and in the scripture."

Marvel at the Word, unbounded,
grandly spreading time and space,
gladly then in Jesus grounded,
smiling in a Jewish face,
life surrendered and begun,
freed to live in everyone:
meet the Christ in men and women,
in our elders and our children.

Gather now to pray and listen.
Heed the Word we need to hear,
teaching, touching every person,
easing grief and ending fear.
Singing, bringing heart and mind,
all who seek will fully find
at the pulpit and the table
love to challenge and enable.

Give our thirsty sons and daughters,
not our culture's ebb and flow,
but the Spirit's living waters,
welling from the Rock below.
See and seek the distant gleam,
justice, flowing like a stream.
Move with eager exploration,
ready still for reformation.

SECOND READING [Philippians 3:7-21]:

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 

Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. 

Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. 

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

God of the apostles and martyrs,
we thank you for the hope
that is from the beginning.
We bless you for the good news of Jesus
crucified, risen, and interceding for us
until his coming again in glory.

We commend to your care
all who walk and weep in grief and regret.

We pray in hope of your mercy.

We commend to you
all who live far from your image.
We pray in hope of your salvation.

We commend Holy Church,
We pray in hope of your glory.

We commend to your justice all peoples
who participate in oppression,
strife and domination of others.
We pray in hope of your justice and peace.

We commend to you all who have died.
We pray in hope of your resurrection.

We commend to you our unfinished business.
We pray in hope of rest in you.

Stand, O strong and merciful God,
against all oppression
and with all who are oppressed;
against the triumph of evil
and against the complacency of your people;
establish in Jesus Christ
your new order of generosity and joy. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Bless us, O God of liberation,
to work for the freedom of all,
to bring about a world
where justice can reign and love can flourish. 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 Luke 4:17. The opening prayer of thanksgiving and closing sentence are adapted from a prayer by Diarmuid O'Murcu 

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