OREMUS: 26 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Feb 25 17:00:01 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for February 26
The First Sunday in Lent

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

God keeps faith
and will not let you be tested
beyond your powers.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, God, our stronghold,
you brought your people out of slavery
and you desire freedom
for all men and women.
Your word keeps us close to you,
so that both from the lips and from the heart
we may speak of your wonderful deeds,
and let the first-fruits of our liberation
be fulfilled in a rich harvest
of peace for humankind.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you, O God, 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 
Psalm 119:145-176

I call with my whole heart;*
 answer me, O Lord,
 that I may keep your statutes.
I call to you; O that you would save me!*
 I will keep your decrees.
Early in the morning I cry out to you,*
 for in your word is my trust.
My eyes are open in the night watches,*
 that I may meditate upon your promise.
Hear my voice, O Lord,
according to your lovingkindness;*
 according to your judgements,
 give me life.
They draw near who in malice persecute me;*
 they are very far from your law.
You, O Lord, are near at hand,*
 and all your commandments are true.
Long have I known from your decrees*
 that you have established them for ever.
Behold my affliction and deliver me,*
 for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;*
 according to your promise, give me life.
Deliverance is far from the wicked,*
 for they do not study your statutes.
Great is your compassion, O Lord;*
 preserve my life,
 according to your judgements.
There are many who persecute
and oppress me,*
 yet I have not swerved
 from your decrees.
I look with loathing at the faithless,*
 for they have not kept your word.
See how I love your commandments!*
 O Lord, in your mercy, preserve me.
The heart of your word is truth;*
 all your righteous judgements
 endure for evermore.
Rulers have persecuted me without a cause,*
 but my heart stands in awe of your word.
I am as glad because of your promise*
 as one who finds great spoils.
As for lies, I hate and abhor them,*
 but your law is my love.
Seven times a day do I praise you,*
 because of your righteous judgements.
Great peace have they who love your law;*
 for them there is no stumbling block.
I have hoped for your salvation, O Lord,*
 and I have fulfilled your commandments.
 I have kept your decrees*
 and I have loved them deeply.
I have kept your commandments and decrees,*
 for all my ways are before you.
Let my cry come before you, O Lord;*
 give me understanding,
 according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you;*
 deliver me, according to your promise.
My lips shall pour forth your praise,*
 when you teach me your statutes.
My tongue shall sing of your promise,*
 for all your commandments are righteous.
Let your hand be ready to help me,*
 for I have chosen your commandments.
I long for your salvation, O Lord,*
 and your law is my delight.
Let me live and I will praise you,*
 and let your judgements help me.
I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost;*
 search for your servant,
 for I do not forget your commandments.

FIRST READING [Exodus 34:1-10]:

The Lord said to Moses, 'Cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai and present yourself there to me, on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and do not let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; and do not let flocks or herds graze in front of that mountain.' So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the former ones; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name, 'The Lord.' The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children's children,
to the third and the fourth generation.' And Moses quickly bowed his head towards the earth, and worshipped. He said, 'If now I have found favour in your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.' 

He said: I hereby make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform marvels, such as have not been performed in all the earth or in any nation; and all the people among whom you live shall see the work of the Lord; for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you. 

Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Tune: Diademata, Ich halte treulich still, St. George

Spirit of faith, come down,
Reveal the things of God;
And make to us the Godhead known,
And witness with the blood:
'Tis thine the blood to apply,
And give us eyes to see,
Who did for every sinner die,
Hath surely died for me.

No man can truly say
That Jesus is the Lord,
Unless thou take the veil away,
And breathe the living word;
Then, only then, we feel
Our interest in his blood,
And cry, with joy unspeakable:
'Thou art my Lord, my God!'

O that the world might know
The all-atoning Lamb!
Spirit of faith, descend, and show
The virtue of his name;
The grace which all may find,
The saving power, impart,
And testify to all mankind,
And speak in every heart.

Inspire the living faith,
Which whosoe'er receives,
The witness in himself he hath,
And consciously believes;
The faith that conquers all,
And doth the mountain move,
And saves whoe'er on Jesus call,
And perfects them in love.

SECOND READING [Romans 10:8b-13]:

'The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, 'No one who believes in him will be put to shame.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' 

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

For the Church: that we may be led by the Spirit to a fuller living of the Gospel and greater freedom of mind and heart. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the grace of humility: that we may not seek to glorify ourselves but rather offer God glory and honor for all the good that is done. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For true repentance: that we will allow God’s grace to turn our hearts toward God and enable us to put on the mind of Christ in making all our decisions. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all the baptized: that in recognizing how much God loves us and has blessed us, we may respond with faithfulness through lives of virtue and loving service. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For freedom: that God will show us the ideas that hold us from embracing the Gospel and free our minds and hearts to live the Good News. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all humanity: that we may respect and honor God’s covenant with all living creatures and strive toward greater stewardship of the air, land, and water for the good of all and for future generations. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who doubt God's love or feel that their lives do not matter: that they may discover God's unconditional love for them in the Gospel message and in our acceptance and friendship. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who are unemployed: that God will lead them to new opportunities to use their gifts and talents for the good of others. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who are under economic stress: that they may draw strength from God and be open to God’s invitations for "nothing is impossible for God." Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For peace: that God will touch hearts and turn minds from acts of terrorism and guide leaders of nations along new paths of dialogue to resolve conflicts and injustices. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God, our guide,
you have made known to us the way of life.
Guide your Church along this path,
and bring us home to you,
for with you is our lasting peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Trusting in the compassion of our God,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

May our Lent observance<BR
lead us to understand more deeply
the riches hidden in Christ,
and apply that wisdom
to the conduct of our lives. 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 Corinthians 10:13. The opening prayer, collect, and closing sentence are by Alan Griffiths in Celebrating the Christian Year. The intercession is by Joe Milner, liturgy.slu.edu

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