OREMUS: 18 February 2012

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

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OREMUS for February 18

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

Beloved, we are God's children now;
what we will be has not yet been revealed.
What we do know is this:
When he is revealed,
we will be like him,
for we will see him as he is.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, God, living and true,
dwelling in light inaccessible
from before time and forever. 
Fountain of life and source of all goodness, 
you made all things and fill them with your blessing; 
you created us to rejoice
in the splendor of your radiance.
When our disobedience took us far from you,
you did not abandon us to the power of death.
In your mercy you came to our help,
so that in seeking you we might find you.
Again and again you called us
into covenant with you,
and through the prophets
you taught us to hope for salvation.
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 93

The Lord is king;
he has put on splendid apparel;*
 the Lord has put on his apparel
 and girded himself with strength. 
He has made the whole world so sure*
 that it cannot be moved; 
Ever since the world began,
your throne has been established;*
 you are from everlasting. 
The waters have lifted up, O Lord,
the waters have lifted up their voice;*
 the waters have lifted up
 their pounding waves. 
Mightier than the sound of many waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea,*
 mightier is the Lord who dwells on high. 
Your testimonies are very sure,*
 and holiness adorns your house, O Lord,
 for ever and for evermore. 

Psalm 94

O Lord God of vengeance,*
 O God of vengeance, show yourself. 
Rise up, O Judge of the world;*
 give the arrogant their just deserts. 
How long shall the wicked, O Lord,*
 how long shall the wicked triumph? 
They bluster in their insolence;*
 all evildoers are full of boasting. 
They crush your people, O Lord,*
 and afflict your chosen nation. 
They murder the widow and the stranger*
 and put the orphans to death. 
Yet they say, 'The Lord does not see,*
 the God of Jacob takes no notice.' 
Consider well,
you dullards among the people;*
 when will you fools understand? 
He that planted the ear, does he not hear?*
 he that formed the eye, does he not see? 
He who admonishes the nations,
will he not punish?*
 he who teaches all the world,
 has he no knowledge? 
The Lord knows our human thoughts;*
 how like a puff of wind they are. 
Happy are they
whom you instruct, O Lord!*
 whom you teach out of your law; 
To give them rest in evil days,*
 until a pit is dug for the wicked. 
For the Lord will not abandon his people,*
 nor will he forsake his own. 
For judgement will again be just,*
 and all the true of heart will follow it. 
Who rose up for me against the wicked?*
 who took my part against the evildoers? 
If the Lord had not come to my help,*
 I should soon have dwelt
 in the land of silence. 
As often as I said, 'My foot has slipped',*
 your love, O Lord, upheld me. 
When many cares fill my mind,*
 your consolations cheer my soul. 
Can a corrupt tribunal
have any part with you,*
 one which frames evil into law? 
They conspire against the life of the just*
 and condemn the innocent to death. 
But the Lord has become my stronghold,*
 and my God the rock of my trust. 
He will turn their wickedness
back upon them and destroy them
in their own malice;*
 the Lord our God will destroy them. 
FIRST READING [1 Kings 19:1-16]:

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, 'So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.' Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there. 

But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: 'It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, 'Get up and eat.' He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, 'Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.' He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' He answered, 'I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.' 

He said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.' Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' He answered, 'I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.' Then the Lord said to him, 'Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 

Words: Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1840-1929)
Tune: Eisenach, Melcombe, St Sepulchre, Warrington

Not always on the mount may we
Rapt in the heavenly vision be;
The shores of thought and feeling know
The spirit's tidal ebb and flow.

'Lord, it is good abiding here.'
We cry, the heavenly presence near:
The vision vanishes, our eyes
Are lifted into vacant skies.

Yet hath one such exalted hour
Upon the soul redeeming power,
And in its strength through after days
We travel our appointed ways;

Till all the lowly vale grows bright,
Transfigured in remembered light,
And in untiring souls we bear
The freshness of the upper air.

The mount for vision: but below
The paths of daily duty go,
And nobler life therein shall own
The pattern on the mountain shown.

SECOND READING [2 Peter 1:16-21]:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, 'This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.' We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. 

So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

The Benedictus (Morning), the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
You have caused your Church to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ: Inspire our witness to him that all the earth may be raised to a new vision of your abiding presence and love. Lord, give us the light of Christ. 

Before you, O God, there is a consuming flame and round about you a raging storm: Humble our leaders and all who exercise authority among the nations of the world, that they may keep before them the vision of your peace. Lord, give us the light of Christ.

Let your light shine in the hearts of this community and overshadow us with the cloud of your presence, that this place may be a place of transfiguring grace. Lord, give us the light of Christ.

You see the suffering of people throughout the world who struggle in the face of poverty, violence, injustice, and illness; you know those desperate ones who have no hope or vision for themselves or their loved ones: Let your transfiguring grace bring light and hope to all who yearn for something new, O God. Lord, give us the light of Christ.

You call the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting: Hear our prayers for all who need your light, especially ___. We give you thanks for the light of your blessing, especially for ___.
Hear our prayers for those who have ascended with Elijah and Jesus into your eternal light, especially ___. Lord, give us the light of Christ.

Holy and everliving God, grant us grace to ascend unto your holy mountain and to see the dazzling vision of your transfigured reality in our worship and prayer this day, and then strengthen us to listen to your voice and to follow you in faithful service, even when you are hidden from us, until at last we see you face to face in your eternal and everlasting glory, in the power of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Illumine our lives, O God,
with the radiance of Christ's love,
and inspire us to shine in faith and witness
as his holy disciples. 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 1 John 3:2. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from Eucharistic Prayer D, The Book of Common Prayer According to the Use of The Episcopal Church_. The intercession and collect are by Lowell Grisham http://www.textweek.com/yearb/Grisham%20POP.htm. The closing sentence is from _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 

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