OREMUS: 8 March 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Mar 7 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for March 8
Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, 1910

Born in London in 1829, Edward King, both as a priest and then as a bishop, was revered for the holiness of his life and the wisdom of his counsel. He was chaplain, then principal, of Cuddesdon Theological College, followed by a dozen years as a professor of theology in Oxford, during which time he exercised a great influence on a generation of ordinands. In 1885, he was consecrated bishop of the diocese of Lincoln, a position he held until his death. His advocacy of Catholic principles in ritual as well as theology involved him in controversy, but his significant gift to the Church was his example as a pastoral and caring bishop to both clergy and laity.

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

Blessed are they
who, when they hear the word,
hold it fast in an honest and good heart,
and bear fruit with patient endurance.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, God our Shepherd,
you sustain your household
while training us in your Lenten discipline.
You nourish us in holiness
and bestow us the unfailing help of your mercy.
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 38

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;*
 do not punish me in your wrath. 
For your arrows have already pierced me,*
 and your hand presses hard upon me. 
There is no health in my flesh,
because of your indignation;*
 there is no soundness in my body,
 because of my sin. 
For my iniquities overwhelm me;*
 like a heavy burden
 they are too much for me to bear. 
My wounds stink and fester*
 by reason of my foolishness. 
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;*
 I go about in mourning all the day long. 
My loins are filled with searing pain;*
 there is no health in my body. 
I am utterly numb and crushed;*
 I wail, because of the groaning of my heart. 
O Lord, you know all my desires,*
 and my sighing is not hidden from you. 
My heart is pounding,
my strength has failed me,*
 and the brightness of my eyes
 is gone from me. 
My friends and companions
draw back from my affliction;*
 my neighbours stand afar off. 
Those who seek after my life
lay snares for me;*
 those who strive to hurt me
 speak of my ruin
 and plot treachery all the day long. 
But I am like the deaf who do not hear,*
 like those who are mute
 and do not open their mouth. 
I have become like one who does not hear*
 and from whose mouth comes no defence. 
For in you, O Lord, have I fixed my hope;*
 you will answer me, O Lord my God. 
For I said, 'Do not let them
rejoice at my expense,*
 those who gloat over me
 when my foot slips.' 
Truly, I am on the verge of falling,*
 and my pain is always with me. 
I will confess my iniquity*
 and be sorry for my sin. 
Those who are my enemies
without cause are mighty,*
 and many in number
 are those who wrongfully hate me. 
Those who repay evil for good slander me,*
 because I follow the course that is right. 
O Lord, do not forsake me;*
 be not far from me, O my God. 
Make haste to help me,*
 O Lord of my salvation. 

Psalm 39

I said, 'I will keep watch upon my ways,*
 so that I do not offend with my tongue. 
'I will put a muzzle on my mouth*
 while the wicked are in my presence.' 
So I held my tongue and said nothing;*
 I refrained from rash words;
   but my pain became unbearable. 
My heart was hot within me;
while I pondered, the fire burst into flame;*
 I spoke out with my tongue: 
Lord, let me know my end
and the number of my days,*
 so that I may know how short my life is. 
You have given me a mere handful of days,
and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight;*
 truly, even those who stand erect
 are but a puff of wind. 
We walk about like a shadow
 and in vain we are in turmoil;*
 we heap up riches
 and cannot tell who will gather them. 
And now, what is my hope?*
 O Lord, my hope is in you. 
Deliver me from all my transgressions*
 and do not make me the taunt of the fool. 
I fell silent and did not open my mouth,*
 for surely it was you that did it. 
Take your affliction from me;*
 I am worn down by the blows of your hand. 
With rebukes for sin you punish us;
like a moth you eat away
all that is dear to us;*
 truly, everyone is but a puff of wind. 
Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;*
 hold not your peace at my tears. 
For I am but a sojourner with you,*
 a wayfarer, as all my forebears were. 
Turn your gaze from me,
that I may be glad again,*
 before I go my way and am no more. 

Psalm 40

I waited patiently upon the Lord;*
 he stooped to me and heard my cry. 
He lifted me out of the desolate pit,
out of the mire and clay;*
 he set my feet upon a high cliff
 and made my footing sure. 
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God;*
 many shall see and stand in awe
 and put their trust in the Lord. 
Happy are they who trust in the Lord!*
 they do not resort to evil spirits
 or turn to false gods. 
Great things are they that you have done,
O Lord my God!
how great your wonders
and your plans for us!*
 there is none 
 who can be compared with you. 
O that I could make them known
and tell them!*
 but they are more than I can count. 
In sacrifice and offering
you take no pleasure*
 you have given me ears to hear you; 
Burnt-offering and sin-offering
you have not required,*
 and so I said, 'Behold, I come. 
'In the roll of the book
it is written concerning me:*
 "I love to do your will, O my God;
 your law is deep in my heart."' 
I proclaimed righteousness
in the great congregation;*
 behold, I did not restrain my lips;
 and that, O Lord, you know. 
Your righteousness have I not hidden
in my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness
and your deliverance;*
 I have not concealed
 your love and faithfulness
 from the great congregation. 
You are the Lord;
do not withhold your compassion from me;*
 let your love and your faithfulness
 keep me safe for ever, 
For innumerable troubles
have crowded upon me;
my sins have overtaken me
and I cannot see;*
 they are more in number
 than the hairs of my head,
 and my heart fails me. 
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;*
 O Lord, make haste to help me. 
Let them be ashamed
and altogether dismayed
who seek after my life to destroy it;*
 let them draw back and be disgraced
 who take pleasure in my misfortune. 
Let those who say 'Aha!'
and gloat over me be confounded,*
 because they are ashamed. 
Let all who seek you
rejoice in you and be glad;*
 let those who love your salvation
 continually say, 'Great is the Lord!' 
Though I am poor and afflicted,*
 the Lord will have regard for me. 
You are my helper and my deliverer;*
 do not tarry, O my God. 

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 14:1-11]:

Certain elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. And the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and placed their iniquity as a stumbling-block before them; shall I let myself be consulted by them? Therefore speak to them, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Any of those of the house of Israel who take their idols into their hearts and place their iniquity as a stumbling-block before them, and yet come to the prophet—I the Lord will answer those who come with the multitude of their idols, in order that I may take hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, all of whom are estranged from me through their idols. 

Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For any of those of the house of Israel, or of the aliens who reside in Israel, who separate themselves from me, taking their idols into their hearts and placing their iniquity as a stumbling-block before them, and yet come to a prophet to inquire of me by him, I the Lord will answer them myself. I will set my face against them; I will make them a sign and a byword and cut them off from the midst of my people; and you shall know that I am the Lord. 

If a prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. And they shall bear their punishment—the punishment of the inquirer and the punishment of the prophet shall be the same— so that the house of Israel may no longer go astray from me, nor defile themselves any more with all their transgressions. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God, says the Lord God. 

Words: Gott ist gegenwärtig Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769) translated Frederick W Foster (1760-1835), William Mercer (1811-1873) and Johannes Müller (1756-1790)
Tune: Arnsberg

God reveals His presence;
Let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him;
God is in His temple;
All within keep silence,
Prostrate lie with deepest reverence;
Him alone
God we own,
Him our God and Saviour:
Praise His name for ever.

God reveals His presence:
Hear the harps resounding,
See the crowds the throne surrounding:
'Holy, holy, holy'
Hear the hymn ascending,
Angels, saints, their voices blending;
Bow Thine ear
To us here;
Hear, O Christ, the praises
That Thy church now raises.

O Thou fount of blessing,
Purify my spirit,
Trusting only in Thy merit;
Like the holy angels
Who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee;
Let Thy will,
Ever still
Rule Thy church terrestrial,
As the hosts celestial.

SECOND READING [Romans 4:1-12]:

What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. So also David speaks of the blessedness of those to whom God reckons righteousness irrespective of works: 'Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.' 

Is this blessedness, then, pronounced only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? We say, 'Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.' How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised. 

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

We rejoice in your generous goodness, O God, and celebrate your lavish gifts to us this day, for you have shown your love in giving Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world. Especially we give thanks for

the labors of those who have served us today...
(We thank you, Lord)
friends with whom we have shared...
those whom we love and have loved us...
opportunities for our work to help others...
all beauty that delights us...

Gracious God, we know you are close to all in need, and by our prayers for others we come closer to you. We are bold to claim for others your promises of new life in Jesus Christ, as we claim them for ourselves. Especially we pray for
those in dangerous occupations...
(Lord, hear our prayer.)
physicians and nurses...
those who are ill or confined to nursing homes...
for those whom we love
and for those who love us...
those who mourn...
the Roman Catholic Church…

It is not necessary to be always thinking directly of God. Indeed, it is not possible. Sometimes, of course, we ought to, and can do this, but at other times we must give our minds to what we are doing, even if it is playing and amusement. We may, of course, commit the chief periods of our time and of our occupation to God by a short prayer, as we do before and after meals, and before reading the Bible. So also before any study, and after any study, and such a word of prayer to bless our games that they may be innocent and refreshing to us, and those with whom we play. In this way we can carry out the words "I have set God always before me," and adopt the motto, "Laborare est orare (to work is to pray)". A brief prayer is also possible during work and play, but in the main you should be satisfied with commending your work or play to God, and then yourself into it heartily. Amen.

God of all creation,
who made your servant Edward King
a faithful steward of your mysteries,
grant us so to dwell in Christ
that in our several callings
we may be vested with his mercy;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.
Trusting in God's compassion,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

God beyond answers,
Lord beyond words,
Spirit beyond imagining,
move us today. 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 biography is from Exciting Holiness © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997. The opening sentence is Luke 15:8. 
The opening prayer uses sentences form _Celebrating the Christian Year_ by Alan Griffiths. The first "collect" is by Edward King. The second collect is from _For All the Saints_, Anglican Church of Canada. The closing prayer is from the Pray Now website, http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship/wpprayer9.htm. The intercession is from _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 

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