OREMUS: 25 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Feb 24 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for February 25

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes
from the mouth of God.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, God our Saviour,
by the free gift of your grace in Christ
you have brought new life
to the children of Adam and Eve.
Your Spirit recalls for us
the story of your mercy,
and renews our faith in your salvation.
Your Spirit teaches us to live by your word,
trust in your protection
and worship you alone.
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 119:73-104

Your hands have made me and fashioned me;*
 give me understanding,
 that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you will be glad
when they see me,*
 because I trust in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your judgements are right*
 and that in faithfulness
 you have afflicted me.
Let your lovingkindness be my comfort*
 as you have promised to your servant.
Let your compassion come to me,
that I may live,*
 for your law is my delight.
Let the arrogant be put to shame,
 for they wrong me with lies;*
 but I will meditate on your commandments.
Let those who fear you turn to me,*
 and also those who know your decrees.
Let my heart be sound in your statutes,*
 that I may not be put to shame.
My soul has longed for your salvation;*
 I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes have failed from watching for your promise,*
 and I say, 'When will you comfort me?'
I have become like a leather flask in the smoke,*
 but I have not forgotten your statutes.
How much longer must I wait?*
 when will you give judgement
 against those who persecute me?
The proud have dug pits for me;*
 they do not keep your law.
All your commandments are true;*
 help me, for they persecute me with lies.
They had almost made an end of me on earth,*
 but I have not forsaken your commandments.
In your lovingkindness, revive me,*
 that I may keep the decrees of your mouth.
O Lord, your word is everlasting;*
 it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness remains
 from one generation to another;*
 you established the earth and it abides.
By your decree these continue to this day,*
 for all things are your servants.
If my delight had not been in your law,*
 I should have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your commandments,*
 because by them you give me life.
I am yours; O that you would save me!*
 for I study your commandments.
Though the wicked lie in wait for me to destroy me,*
 I will apply my mind to your decrees.
I see that all things come to an end,*
 but your commandment has no bounds.
O how I love your law!*
 all the day long it is in my mind.
Your commandment has made me wiser
 than my enemies,*
 and it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,*
 for your decrees are my study.
I am wiser than the elders,*
 because I observe your commandments.
I restrain my feet from every evil way,*
 that I may keep your word.
I do not shrink from your judgements,*
 because you yourself have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste!*
 they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
Through your commandments I gain understanding;*
 therefore I hate every lying way.

FIRST READING [Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7]:

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, 'You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.' 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God say, "You shall not eat from any tree in the garden"?' The woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, "You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die." ' But the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. 

Words: William Cowper (1731-1800)
Music: Dundee, London New, Irish, St Anne, St David, Wiltshire

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

SECOND READING [Luke 13:31-35]:

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to Jesus, 'Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.' He said to them, 'Go and tell that fox for me, "Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem." Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord." ' 

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

For the Church: that the prayer, fasting and almsgiving of Lent may bring forth a new springtime of faith in our lives. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the grace of conversion: that we may be led by the Spirit to confront the demons in our lives and society. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the grace to live as daughters and sons of God: that the Spirit will renew our identity as God’s beloved and help us to live as God’s children each day. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all believers: that we may be nourished by the Word of God each day and strengthened for our life’s journey by the Bread of Life. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who have been chosen for the Easter sacraments: that God will draw them closer and help them to turn toward all that is holy and good. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who are alienated from the Church: that God will touch their hearts and lead them to a renewal of faith and a reconnection with the community of faith. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who struggle with attractions to wealth, power, and control: that God will free their hearts and guide them to a life of faith and trust. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For those who face powerful temptations to drugs, alcohol, violence, lying or stealing: that the Spirit of God will help them recognize the harm that follows these actions and give them strength to make life-giving choices. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who must fast every day, for homeless children, refugees, and victims of war and natural disasters: that our fasting may make us more aware of them and our hearts more generous towards them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For our legislators: that the Spirit will lead them to new insights concerning the poor and powerless as they prepare budgets and reorganize programs. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who are away from home and loved ones, especially members of the military: that God will protect and guide them along all their activities. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the growth of peace in our world: that God will guide those working to renew their nations and establish new structures of government as they confront challenges and resistance. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord God, our strength,
the struggle between good and evil
rages within and around us,
and the devil and all the forces that defy you
tempt us with empty promises.
Keep us steadfast in your word,
and when we fall, raise us again
and restore us through your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Embrace us with your mercy,
that with you as our ruler and guide,
we may live through what is temporary
without losing what is eternal. 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 collect is  from _Evangelical Lutheran Worship_, (c) 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The opening prayer and closing prayer are by Alan Griffiths, _Celebrating the Christian Year.  The intercession is by Joe Milner at Saint Louis University (liturgy.slu.edu). 

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