Oremus for Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,
it remains that and nothing more;
but if it dies, it bears a rich harvest. John 12:24

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

HYMN, Jeremy Young Music: https://tinyurl.com/vjgvsgh

1 Come to me, all you weary, 
with your burdens and pain.
Take my yoke on your shoulders and learn from me:
I am gentle and humble, and your soul will find rest,
For my yoke is easy 
and my burden is light.

Refrain:
We shall rise again on the last day 
with the faithful, rich and poor.
Coming to the house of Lord Jesus, 
we will find an open door there,
we will find an open door.

2 Though we walk through the darkness, 
evil we do not fear.
You are walking beside us with your rod and your staff.
Only goodness and kindness follow us all our lives.
We shall dwell in the Lord’s house 
for so many years to come! [Refrain]

3 We depend on God’s mercy, 
mercy which never fades.
We remember our covenant and the promise Jesus made:
If we die with Christ Jesus, we shall live with him,
And if we are faithful, 
we shall reign with him! [Refrain]

4 Do not fear death’s dominion, 
look beyond earth and grave.
See the brightness of Jesus shining out to light our way.
Loving Father and Spirit, loving Jesus the Son,
All God’s people together,
we shall live on as one! [Refrain]

5 At the door there to greet us, 
martyrs, angels, and saints,
And our fam’ly and loved ones, ev’ry one freed from their chains.
We shall feel their acceptance, and the joy of new life.
We shall join in the gathering, 
reunited in God’s love! [Refrain]

PSALMS

Psalm 90 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/uzj6wj2

1  Lord, thou hast been our refuge *
 from one generation to another.
2  Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever the earth and the world were made *
 thou art God from everlasting, and world without end.
3  Thou turnest man to destruction *
 again thou sayest, Come again, ye children of men.
4  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday *
 seeing that is past as a watch in the night.
5  As soon as thou scatterest them they are even as a sleep *
 and fade away suddenly like the grass.
6  In the morning it is green, and groweth up *
 but in the evening it is cut down, dried up, and withered.
7  For we consume away in thy displeasure *
 and are afraid at thy wrathful indignation.
8  Thou hast set our misdeeds before thee *
 and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
9  For when thou art angry all our days are gone *
 we bring our years to an end, as it were a tale that is told.
10  The days of our age are threescore years and ten;
and though men be so strong that they come to fourscore years *
 yet is their strength then but labour and sorrow;
so soon passeth it away, and we are gone.
11  But who regardeth the power of thy wrath *
 for even thereafter as a man feareth, so is thy displeasure.
12  So teach us to number our days *
 that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
13  Turn thee again, O Lord, at the last *
 and be gracious unto thy servants.
14  O satisfy us with thy mercy, and that soon *
 so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
15  Comfort us again now after the time that thou hast plagued us *
 and for the years wherein we have suffered adversity.
16  Shew thy servants thy work *
 and their children thy glory.
17  And the glorious Majesty of the Lord our God be upon us *
 prosper thou the work of our hands upon us, O prosper thou our handy-work.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalm 91 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/w5pwhvg)

1  Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the most High *
 shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2  I will say unto the Lord, Thou art my hope, and my strong hold *
 my God, in him will I trust.
3  For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter *
 and from the noisome pestilence.
4  He shall defend thee under his wings, and thou shalt be safe under his feathers *
 his faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5  Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night *
 nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6  For the pestilence that walketh in darkness *
 nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noon-day.
7  A thousand shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand *
 but it shall not come nigh thee.
8  Yea, with thine eyes shalt thou behold *
 and see the reward of the ungodly.
9  For thou, Lord, art my hope *
 thou hast set thine house of defence very high.
10  There shall no evil happen unto thee *
 neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee *
 to keep thee in all thy ways.
12  They shall bear thee in their hands *
 that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone.
13  Thou shalt go upon the lion and adder *
 the young lion and the dragon shalt thou tread under thy feet.
14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him *
 I will set him up, because he hath known my Name.
15  He shall call upon me, and I will hear him *
 yea, I am with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and bring him to honour.
16  With long life will I satisfy him *
 and shew him my salvation.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalm 92 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/v6sub7d)

1  It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord *
 and to sing praises unto thy Name, O most Highest;
2  To tell of thy loving-kindness early in the morning *
 and of thy truth in the night-season;
3  Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the lute *
 upon a loud instrument, and upon the harp.
4  For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy works *
 and I will rejoice in giving praise for the operations of thy hands.
5  O Lord, how glorious are thy works *
 thy thoughts are very deep.
6  An unwise man doth not well consider this *
 and a fool doth not understand it.
7  When the ungodly are green as the grass,
and when all the workers of wickedness do flourish *
 then shall they be destroyed for ever;
but thou, Lord, art the most Highest for evermore.
8  For lo, thine enemies, O Lord, lo, thine enemies shall perish *
 and all the workers of wickedness shall be destroyed.
9  But mine horn shall be exalted like the horn of an unicorn *
 for I am anointed with fresh oil.
10  Mine eye also shall see his lust of mine enemies *
 and mine ear shall hear his desire of the wicked that arise up against me.
11  The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree *
 and shall spread abroad like a cedar in Libanus.
12  Such as are planted in the house of the Lord *
 shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God.
13  They also shall bring forth more fruit in their age *
 and shall be fat and well-liking.
14  That they may shew how true the Lord my strength is *
 and that there is no unrighteousness in him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

PRAYER

God of the Wilderness, God of the Journey,
soften our hearts and open our ears
that we might heed Wisdom’s call.
Stir us to vision and action,
that we may extend your love
wherever there is need for hope or healing. Amen.

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Exodus 13:17-14:14

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God thought, ‘If the people face war, they may change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness towards the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt prepared for battle. And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, who had required a solemn oath of the Israelites, saying, ‘God will surely take notice of you, and then you must carry my bones with you from here.’ They set out from Succoth, and camped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Then the Lord said to Moses: ‘Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall camp opposite it, by the sea. Pharaoh will say of the Israelites, “They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has closed in on them.” I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, so that I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.’ And they did so.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the minds of Pharaoh and his officials were changed towards the people, and they said, ‘What have we done, letting Israel leave our service?’ So he had his chariot made ready, and took his army with him; he took six hundred picked chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out boldly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his chariot drivers and his army; they overtook them camped by the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, “Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians”? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’ But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.’

HYMN, African-American Spiritual https://tinyurl.com/smtvrwl

1 When Israel was in Egypt’s land, 
Let my people go, 
oppressed so hard they could not stand, 
Let my people go. 

Refrain: 
Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land, 
tell old Pharaoh: Let my people go. 

2 The Lord told Moses what to do, 
Let my people go, 
to lead the Hebrew children through, 
Let my people go. [Refrain]

3 As Israel stood by the waterside, 
Let my people go, 
at God’s command it did divide, 
Let my people go. [Refrain]

4 When they had reached the other shore, 
Let my people go, 
they let the song of triumph soar, 
Let my people go. [Refrain] 

5 Lord, help us all from bondage flee, 
Let my people go, 
and let us all in Christ be free, 
Let my people go. [Refrain] 

Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.

Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘no idol in the world really exists’, and that ‘there is no God but one.’ Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. ‘Food will not bring us close to God.’ We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

HYMN 8th century Irish hymn; Translator: Mary E. Byrne; Versifier: Eleanor H. Hull

Slane

1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art–
thou my best thought by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

2 Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou my great Father, I thy true son;
thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

3 Be thou my battle shield, sword for my fight;
be thou my dignity, thou my delight,
thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tow’r:
raise thou me heav’n-ward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.

4 Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
thou mine inheritance, now and always:
thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

5 High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Reading: John 11:32-44

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’

THE CANTICLE (Chant: https://tinyurl.com/u2po7pd)

In thy kingdom remember us, O Lord, when thou comest in thy kingdom.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men shall revile and persecute you,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven!

PRAYER

Give us your peace, O God, that we may rejoice in your goodness to us and to all
your children, and be thankful for your love revealed in Jesus Christ. Especially
we thank you for
people who reveal your truth and righteousness . . .
courage to be bold disciples . . .
those who show hospitality . . .
surprises that have blessed us . . .
the unity of the church of Jesus Christ. . . .
Give us your peace, O God, that we may be confident of your care for us and all
your children, as we remember the needs of others. Especially we pray for
friends and relatives who are far away . . .
neighbors in special need . . .
those who suffer hunger and thirst . . .
those who work at night while others sleep . . .
Episcopal and Methodist churches. . . .

https://tinyurl.com/yx297u58
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Creator God, you have planted your word in our hearts
that you might gather the harvest of justice.
Root us so firmly in your love that we may always flourish,
yielding the fruits of the Spirit from youth to old age;
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

https://tinyurl.com/uubfbgd
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.

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