OREMUS: 14 March 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Mar 13 17:00:01 GMT 2012


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OREMUS for March 14

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

Religion that is pure and undefiled
before God, the Father, is this:
to care for orphans and widows
in their distress, and to keep oneself
unstained by the world.
Let us worship God.

Glory to you, O Champion of all Loves,
who for our sake endured the cross,
encountered the enemy and tasted death.
Glory be to you, O King of all kings,
who for our salvation
wrestled with principalities and powers,
subdued the forces of hell
and won the greatest of all victories.
To you be all praise, all glory and all love;
now and for ever. Amen.

An opening canticle may be sung. 

Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;*
 let me never be ashamed. 
In your righteousness,
deliver me and set me free;*
 incline your ear to me and save me. 
Be my strong rock,
a castle to keep me safe;*
 you are my crag and my stronghold. 
Deliver me, my God,
from the hand of the wicked,*
 from the clutches
 of the evildoer and the oppressor. 
For you are my hope, O Lord God,*
 my confidence since I was young. 
I have been sustained by you
ever since I was born;
from my mother’s womb
you have been my strength;*
 my praise shall be always of you. 
I have become a portent to many;*
 but you are my refuge and my strength. 
Let my mouth be full of your praise*
 and your glory all the day long. 
Do not cast me off in my old age;*
 forsake me not when my strength fails. 
For my enemies are talking against me,*
 and those who lie in wait for my life
 take counsel together. 
They say, ‘God has forsaken him;
go after him and seize him;*
 because there is none who will save.’ 
O God, be not far from me;*
 come quickly to help me, O my God. 
Let those who set themselves against me
be put to shame and be disgraced;*
 let those who seek to do me evil
 be covered with scorn and reproach. 
But I shall always wait in patience,*
 and shall praise you more and more. 
My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
and saving deeds all day long;*
 though I cannot know the number of them. 
I will begin
with the mighty works of the Lord God;*
 I will recall your righteousness,
 yours alone. 
O God, you have taught me
since I was young,*
 and to this day I tell
 of your wonderful works. 
And now that I am old
and grey-headed, O God, 
do not forsake me,*
 till I make known your strength
 to this generation
 and your power
 to all who are to come. 
Your righteousness, O God,
reaches to the heavens;*
 you have done great things;
 who is like you, O God? 
You have showed me
great troubles and adversities,*
 but you will restore my life
 and bring me up again
 from the deep places of the earth. 
You strengthen me more and more;*
 you enfold and comfort me, 
Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre
for your faithfulness, O my God;*
 I will sing to you with the harp,
 O Holy One of Israel. 
My lips will sing with joy
when I play to you,*
 and so will my soul,
 which you have redeemed. 
My tongue will proclaim
your righteousness all day long,*
 for they are ashamed and disgraced
 who sought to do me harm. 

Psalm 72

Give the king your justice, O God,*
 and your righteousness to the king’s son; 
That he may rule your people righteously*
 and the poor with justice; 
That the mountains
may bring prosperity to the people,*
 and the little hills bring righteousness. 
He shall defend the needy
among the people;*
 he shall rescue the poor
 and crush the oppressor. 
He shall live as long
as the sun and moon endure,*
 from one generation to another. 
He shall come down like rain
upon the mown field,*
 like showers that water the earth. 
In his time shall the righteous flourish;*
 there shall be abundance of peace
 till the moon shall be no more. 
He shall rule from sea to sea,*
 and from the River to the ends of the earth. 
His foes shall bow down before him,*
 and his enemies lick the dust. 
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
shall pay tribute,*
 and the kings of Arabia and Saba
 offer gifts.   
All kings shall bow down before him,*
 and all the nations do him service. 
For he shall deliver the poor
who cries out in distress,*
 and the oppressed who has no helper. 
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor;*
 he shall preserve the lives of the needy. 
He shall redeem their lives
from oppression and violence,*
 and dear shall their blood be in his sight. 
Long may he live, 
and may there be given to him
gold from Arabia;*
 may prayer be made for him always, 
 and may they bless him
 all the day long. 
May there be abundance of grain
on the earth, 
growing thick even on the hilltops;*
 may its fruit flourish like Lebanon, 
 and its grain like grass upon the earth. 
May his name remain for ever
and be established as long as the sun endures;*
 may all the nations bless themselves in him
 and call him blessed. 
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,*
 who alone does wondrous deeds! 
And blessed be his glorious name for ever!*
 and may all the earth
 be filled with his glory. 
 Amen. Amen. 
FIRST READING [Ezekiel 18:1-9]:

The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, 'The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die. 

If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right— if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbour's wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not take advance or accrued interest, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between contending parties, follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfully—such a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God. 

HYMN 
Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Tune: Breslau, Erhalt uns Herr

My dear Redeemer, and my Lord,
I read my duty in thy word;
But in thy life the law appears
Drawn out in living characters.

Such was thy truth, and such thy zeal,
Such deference to thy Father's will,
Such love, and meekness so divine,
I would transcribe and make them mine.

Cold mountains and the midnight air
Witnessed the fervour of thy prayer;
The desert thy temptations knew,
Thy conflict and thy victory too.

Be thou my pattern; make me bear
More of thy gracious image here;
Then God the Judge shall own my name
Among the followers of the Lamb.

SECOND READING [Romans 7:1-12]:

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person's lifetime? Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress. 

In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. 

What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, 'You shall not covet.' But sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died, and the very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. 

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

Prayer:
Loving God, you have shown your church the immeasurable riches of your grace: Let your light shine through our deeds, that Christ's love may be known throughout the world. 

Saving God, you give us the true bread which gives life to the world and you raise up signs of hope in our suffering: Send your word into our community that we may be healed and tell of your acts with shouts of joy.

Compassionate and healing God, you are light for those who live in darkness and your saving love extends through all the earth: Let everyone who suffers throughout the world feel your presence.

Let your gift of eternal life be manifest in all who turn to you for help, especially those for whom we pray, ___. Let all give thanks to you for your mercy and the wonders you do for your children.

God of all grace,
train us by Lenten observance
and nourish us by your word,
so that we may be bound to each other
in holy self-discipline
and united to you in steadfast prayer.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Receive, O God, the prayers of your people
and this our sacrifice of praise,
our selves, our souls and bodies. Amen.
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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 James 1:27. The opening prayer of thanksgiving adapts phrases from _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999. The intercession is adapted from a prayer by Lowell Grisham, http://www.textweek.com/yearb/Grisham%20POP.htm. The collect and closing sentence are from _Celebrating the Christian Year_ by Alan Griffiths.


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