OREMUS: 4 March 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Mar 3 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for March 4
The Second Sunday in Lent

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

Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke? 
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin? 
Then your light
shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, Hidden God, yet revealing.
By ourselves, we could not know you;
no human wisdom can discover you,
no argument leads to you,
no enterprise reveals you.
In the wealth of knowledge
the world fails to find you.
You came to search for us
in the frailty of a human life;
you trusted yourself
to the fragile faith of wavering disciples. 
We praise you
that in our very weakness we can know you;
that stumbling blocks become stepping stones,
and that the foolishness of the cross
is the very truth that quickens us to life.
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 
Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God,*
 and the firmament shows his handiwork. 
One day tells its tale to another,*
 and one night imparts
 knowledge to another. 
Although they have no words or language,*
 and their voices are not heard, 
Their sound has gone out into all lands,*
 and their message to the ends of the world. 
In the deep has he set
a pavilion for the sun;*
 it comes forth like a bridegroom
 out of his chamber;
 it rejoices like a champion
 to run its course. 
It goes forth
from the uttermost edge of the heavens
and runs about to the end of it again;*
 nothing is hidden from its burning heat. 
The law of the Lord is perfect
and revives the soul;*
 the testimony of the Lord is sure
 and gives wisdom to the innocent. 
The statutes of the Lord are just
and rejoice the heart;*
 the commandment of the Lord is clear
 and gives light to the eyes. 
The fear of the Lord is clean
and endures for ever;*
 the judgements of the Lord are true
 and righteous altogether. 
More to be desired are they than gold,
more than much fine gold,*
 sweeter far than honey,
 than honey in the comb. 
By them also is your servant enlightened,*
 and in keeping them there is great reward. 
Who can tell how often he offends?*
 Cleanse me from my secret faults. 
Above all, keep your servant
from presumptuous sins;
let them not get dominion over me;*
 then shall I be whole and sound,
 and innocent of a great offence. 
Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,*
 O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. 

Psalm 20

May the Lord answer you
in the day of trouble,*
 the name of the God of Jacob defend you; 
Send you help from his holy place*
 and strengthen you out of Zion; 
Remember all your offerings*
 and accept your burnt sacrifice; 
Grant you your heart's desire*
 and prosper all your plans. 
We will shout for joy at your victory
and triumph in the name of our God;*
 may the Lord grant all your requests. 
Now I know that the Lord
gives victory to his anointed;*
 he will answer him out of his holy heaven,
 with the victorious strength
 of his right hand. 
Some put their trust in chariots
and some in horses,*
 but we will call upon
 the name of the Lord our God. 
They collapse and fall down,*
 but we will arise and stand upright. 
O Lord, give victory to the king*
 and answer us when we call. 

Psalm 21

The king rejoices in your strength, O Lord;*
 how greatly he exults in your victory! 
You have given him his heart's desire;*
 you have not denied him
 the request of his lips. 
For you meet him
with blessings of prosperity,*
 and set a crown of fine gold upon his head. 
He asked you for life
and you gave it to him;*
 length of days, for ever and ever. 
His honour is great,
because of your victory;*
 splendour and majesty
 have you bestowed upon him. 
For you will give him everlasting felicity*
 and will make him glad
 with the joy of your presence. 
For the king puts his trust in the Lord;*
 because of the loving-kindness
 of the Most High,
 he will not fall. 
Your hand will lay hold
upon all your enemies;*
 your right hand will seize
 all those who hate you. 
You will make them like a fiery furnace*
 at the time of your appearing, O Lord; 
You will swallow them up in your wrath,*
 and fire shall consume them. 
You will destroy their offspring
from the land*
 and their descendants
 from among the peoples of the earth. 
Though they intend evil against you
and devise wicked schemes,*
 yet they shall not prevail. 
For you will put them to flight*
 and aim your arrows at them. 
Be exalted, O Lord, in your might;*
 we will sing and praise your power. 

FIRST READING [Isaiah 51:1-11]:

Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
you that seek the Lord.
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug. 
Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
but I blessed him and made him many. 
For the Lord will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song. 

Listen to me, my people,
and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples. 
I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
my salvation has gone out
and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
and for my arm they hope. 
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and those who live on it will die like gnats;
but my salvation will be for ever,
and my deliverance will never be ended. 

Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
you people who have
my teaching in your hearts;
do not fear the reproach of others,
and do not be dismayed when they revile you. 
For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
and the worm will eat them like wool;
but my deliverance will be for ever,
and my salvation to all generations. 

Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago!
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
who pierced the dragon? 
Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep;
who made the depths of the sea a way
for the redeemed to cross over? 
So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 

Words: John N Darby (1800-1882)
Tune: Sharon (87 87)

Rise, my soul! thy God directs thee;
Stranger hands no more impede:
Pass thou on, His hand protects thee -
Strength that has the captive freed.

Is the wilderness before thee -
Desert lands where drought abides?
Heavenly springs shall there restore thee,
Fresh from God's exhaustless tides.

Light divine surrounds thy going;
God Himself shall mark thy way:
Secret blessings, richly flowing,
Lead to everlasting day.

In the desert, God will teach thee
What the God that thou hast found;
Patient, gracious, powerful, holy -
All His grace shall there abound.

Though thy way be long and dreary,
Eagle strength He'll still renew:
Garments fresh and foot unweary
Tell how God hath brought thee through.

When to Canaan's long-loved dwelling,
Love divine thy foot shall bring,
There, with shouts of triumph swelling,
Zion's songs, in rest, to sing:

There no stranger-God shall meet thee,
Stranger thou in courts above!
He who to His rest shall greet thee,
Greets thee with a well-known love.

SECOND READING [Galatians 3:1-9,23-29]:

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 

Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness', so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.' For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed. 

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise. 

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

God, our hope,
we cry out for your saving help,
for without you we can do nothing.
Let us pray,
saying "O Lord, make haste to help us."

For the Church: that our truest selves as beloved daughters and sons of God, may be revealed more and more through our Lenten observances. O Lord, make haste to help us.

For the grace of recognition: that our hearts may be enlightened by and our minds be open to the everyday ways in which God reveals the truth to us. O Lord, make haste to help us.

For all who lead the Church: that they may be transformed by the vision of Christ and help all of us to deepen our faith and grow in love. O Lord, make haste to help us.

For wisdom and insight: that following powerful moments in our lives, we may draw strength from them to live fully our everyday responsibilitiesO Lord, make haste to help us.

For all the children of Abraham: that through our witness to the one True God, we may manifest God’s justice and virtue in our worldO Lord, make haste to help us.

For all who assist us through difficult times, especially sponsors, friends, social workers, and home health care workers: that God will continue to renew them and strengthen themO Lord, make haste to help us.

For all who are caught in violence, particularly the people of Syria: that God will bring an end to violence and relief to all who are sufferingO Lord, make haste to help us.

For peace: that God will inspire the minds and hearts of all leaders to seek the path of negotiation and reconciliation. O Lord, make haste to help us.

Grant, O God, that the prayers we offer
may be your channel for new and abundant life
not only hoped for, but worked for,
through faithful word and deed. Amen.

God of the covenant,
in the mystery of the cross
you promise everlasting life to the world.
Gather all peoples into your arms,
and shelter us with your mercy,
that we may rejoice in the life we share
in your Son, Jesus Christ,
our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
Trusting in God's compassion and mercy,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Give us grace to walk your path
as a pilgrim people, 
that we may be a blessing
for ourselves and all the world. 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 Isaiah 58:6-8a. The opening prayer is from _Starters for Sunday_, The Church of Scotland. The intercession is by Joe Milner, liturgy.slu.edu, framed by an opening sentence from from _Celebrating the Christian Year_ by Alan Griffiths and a closing sentence from reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts. The collect is from _Evangelical Lutheran Worship_, (c) 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The closing sentence is adapted from a prayer in reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

 The collect and closing sentence are from _Evangelical Lutheran Worship_, (c) 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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