OREMUS: 28 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Feb 27 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for February 28

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

Because Jesus himself has passed
through the test of suffering,
he is able to help those
who are in the midst of their test.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, loving Father,
for your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
By fasting forty days
he gave us the pattern
for this time of self-denial.
By resisting the temptation of the enemy
he taught us to reject
the leaven of malice and wickedness,
that we might celebrate his Passover
in sincerity and truth.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you, 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: 
Blessed be God forever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 
Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,*
 for his mercy endures for ever. 
Give thanks to the God of gods,*
 for his mercy endures for ever. 
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,*
 for his mercy endures for ever. 
Who only does great wonders,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
Who by his wisdom made the heavens,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
Who spread out the earth upon the waters,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
Who created great lights,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
The sun to rule the day,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
The moon and the stars to govern the night,*
 for his mercy endures for ever. 
Who struck down the first-born of Egypt,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
And brought out Israel from among them,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
With a mighty hand
and a stretched-out arm,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
Who divided the Red Sea in two,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
And made Israel to pass
through the midst of it,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
But swept Pharaoh and his army
into the Red Sea,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
Who led his people through the wilderness,*
 for his mercy endures for ever. 
Who struck down great kings,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
And slew mighty kings,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
Sihon, king of the Amorites,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
And Og, the king of Bashan,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
And gave away their lands
for an inheritance,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
An inheritance for Israel his servant,*
 for his mercy endures for ever. 
Who remembered us in our low estate,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
And delivered us from our enemies,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
Who gives food to all creatures,*
 for his mercy endures for ever; 
Give thanks to the God of heaven,*
 for his mercy endures for ever. 

Psalm 137

By the waters of Babylon
we sat down and wept,*
 when we remembered you, O Zion. 
As for our harps, we hung them up*
 on the trees in the midst of that land. 
For those who led us away captive
asked us for a song,
 and our oppressors called for mirth:*
 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.' 
How shall we sing the Lord's song*
 upon an alien soil? 
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,*
 let my right hand forget its skill. 
Let my tongue cleave
to the roof of my mouth
 if I do not remember you,*
 if I do not set Jerusalem
 above my highest joy. 
Remember the day of Jerusalem, O Lord,
 against the people of Edom,*
 who said, 'Down with it! down with it!
 even to the ground!' 
O Daughter of Babylon,
doomed to destruction,*
 happy the one who pays you back
 for what you have done to us! 
Happy shall he be
who takes your little ones,*
 and dashes them against the rock!

Psalm 138
I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
with my whole heart;*
 before the gods I will sing your praise. 
I will bow down towards your holy temple
 and praise your name,*
 because of your love and faithfulness; 
For you have glorified your name*
 and your word above all things. 
When I called, you answered me;*
 you increased my strength within me. 
All the kings of the earth
will praise you, O Lord,*
 when they have heard
 the words of your mouth. 
They will sing of the ways of the Lord,*
 that great is the glory of the Lord. 
Though the Lord be high,
he cares for the lowly;*
 he perceives the haughty from afar. 
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
 you keep me safe;*
 you stretch forth your hand
 against the fury of my enemies;
 your right hand shall save me. 
The Lord will make good
his purpose for me;*
 O Lord, your love endures for ever;
 do not abandon the works of your hands.

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 3:12-27]:

Then the spirit lifted me up, and as the glory of the Lord rose from its place, I heard behind me the sound of loud rumbling; it was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, that sounded like a loud rumbling. The spirit lifted me up and bore me away; I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who lived by the river Chebar. And I sat there among them, stunned, for seven days. 

At the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die', and you give them no warning, and do not speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they shall die for their iniquity; but you will have saved your life. Again, if the righteous turn from their righteousness and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before them, they shall die; because you have not warned them, they shall die for their sin, and their righteous deeds that they have done shall not be remembered; but their blood I will require at your hand. If, however, you warn the righteous not to sin, and they do not sin, they shall surely live, because they took warning; and you will have saved your life. 

Then the hand of the Lord was upon me there; and he said to me, Rise up, go out into the valley, and there I will speak with you. So I rose up and went out into the valley; and the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. The spirit entered into me, and set me on my feet; and he spoke with me and said to me: Go, shut yourself inside your house. As for you, mortal, cords shall be placed on you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people; and I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be speechless and unable to reprove them; for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God'; let those who will hear, hear; and let those who refuse to hear, refuse; for they are a rebellious house. 

Words: James Montgomery (1771-1854)
Tune: Calon Lan (87 87 D)

Call Jehovah thy salvation,
Rest beneath the Almighty's shade,
In His secret habitation
Dwell, and never be dismayed:
There no tumult shall alarm thee,
Thou shalt dread no hidden snare:
Guile nor violence can harm thee,
In eternal safeguard there.

>From the sword at noon-day wasting,
>From the noisome pestilence,
In the depth of midnight blasting,
God shall be thy sure defence.
He shall charge His angel legions
Watch and ward o'er thee to keep,
Though thou walk through hostile regions,
Though in deserts wild thou sleep.

Since, with pure and firm affection,
Thou on God hast set thy love,
With the wings of His protection
He will shield thee from above.
Thou shalt call on Him in trouble,
He will hearken, He will save,
Here for grief reward thee double,
Crown with life beyond the grave.

SECOND READING [Romans 1:8-17]:

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers, asking that by God's will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish — hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, 'The one who is righteous will live by faith.'

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

Almighty God, gracious Father, in the presence of your bounty keep us humble, in the presence of all people’s needs make us compassionate and caring. Give us faith in our praying and love in our serving, knowing that by your power all may find a new balance in living and a new victory in adversity. 

We pray for all unhappy lives, those who are bitter and resentful, feeling life has given them a raw deal, those who are sensitive to criticism and quick to take offense, those who desire their own way, whatever the inconvenience or cost to others. May your judgment and mercy be for their healing. 

We pray for those who are lonely, who are shy and self-conscious, who find it hard to make friends; those who are nervous and timid, who ever feel themselves strangers in a world they can scarcely understand. May your presence inspire confidence and ensure companionship. 

We pray for those who live with bitter regrets, for loving relationships brought to ruin, for opportunities freely given and woefully abused, for the bitterness of defeat or betrayal at another’s hand, or for failure in personal integrity. May your grace give new hope to find victory in the very scene of failure. 

We pray for all in illness and pain, weary of the day and fearful of the night. Grant healing, if it be your will, and at all times through faith the gift of your indwelling peace. 

Bless the company of Christ’s folk, the church in every land. Make us eager in worship, fearless in proclamation of the gospel, and passionate for caring. Bless our country. Bless our leaders. 
Bless our children and grant us peace within our borders. Grant us a nation to be found effective in establishing peace throughout the world. 

Bless us, each one, in the communion of the saints, and keep us ever mindful of the great cloud of witnesses that, following in their steps, as they did in the steps of the Master, we may with them at the last receive the fulfillment promised to your people. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
O God our rock,
you offer us a covenant of mercy,
and you provide the foundation of our lives.
Ground us in your Word,
and strengthen our resolve to be your disciples,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

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

- The Lord's Prayer

Shine like stars in the world,
holding fast to the word of life. 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 Hebrews 2:18. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is from _Celebrating the Christian Year_ by Alan Griffiths. The collect is from _Evangelical Lutheran Worship_, (c) 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The closing sentence is Philippians 2:15-16. The intercession is reprinted by permission from _The Worship Sourcebook_, (c) 2004 CRC Publications.

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