Oremus for Monday, January 25, 2021

Conversion of Saint Paul, Artist Unknown,
Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover, Germany

The Conversion of St Paul
The conversion of the anti-Christian zealot, Saul, to the apostle of Christ, Paul, is clearly related in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, but it has to be remembered that this was a beginning: Saul took some time to become Paul and some time to begin to understand that his call to preach — to Jew and to Gentile — the saving power of Jesus, the Son of God, was something that was a whole life’s journey for him. Paul says in his Letter to the Church in Galatia, “God set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace … Three years after (the Damascus Road conversion), I went up to Jerusalem.” The preparation for this moment of his conversion was his whole life. This feast has been celebrated in the Church since the sixth century but became universal in the twelfth century. EH

Antiphon1

Ant. You will turn toward us, O God, *
and restore our life again,
and your people will rejoice in you.
Show us, Lord, your mercy and grant us your salvation.
V. O Lord, you have favored your land, *
and brought back the captives of Jacob.
You forgave the guilt of your people, *
and covered all their sins.
You averted all your rage; *
you turned back the heat of your anger. Psalm 85

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom 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.

Music: https://tinyurl.com/ycn4djk5

O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be 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.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!

HYMN: Martin Opitz; trans. Gerhard Gieschen
Tune: Innsbruck https://tinyurl.com/y2ls4p7h

1 Arise and shine in splendor;
Let night to day surrender.
Your light is drawing near.
Above, the day is beaming,
In matchless beauty gleaming;
The glory of the Lord is here.

2 See earth in darkness lying,
The heathen nations dying
In hopeless gloom and night.
To you the Lord of heaven–
Your life, your hope has given
Great glory, honor, and delight.

3 The world’s remotest races,
Upon whose weary faces
The sun looks from the sky,
Shall run with zeal untiring,
With joy Your light desiring
That breaks upon them from on high.

4 Lift up your eyes in wonder–
See, nations gather yonder
From sin to be set free.
The world has heard Your story;
Her sons come to Your glory;
Her daughters haste Your light to see.

5 Your heart will leap for gladness
When from the realms of sadness
They come from near and far.
Your eyes will wake from slumber
As people without number
Rejoice to see the Morning Star.

PSALMS
For psalms in contemporary language, https://tinyurl.com/y9tjh7rk

Psalm 119:33-72 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/uzj6wj2

33  Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes *
 and I shall keep it unto the end.
34  Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law *
 yea, I shall keep it with my whole heart.
35  Make me to go in the path of thy commandments *
 for therein is my desire.
36  Incline my heart unto thy testimonies *
 and not to covetousness.
37  O turn away mine eyes, lest they behold vanity *
 and quicken thou me in thy way.
38  O stablish thy word in thy servant *
 that I may fear thee.
39  Take away the rebuke that I am afraid of *
 for thy judgements are good.
40  Behold, my delight is in thy commandments *
 O quicken me in thy righteousness.
41  Let thy loving mercy come also unto me, O Lord *
 even thy salvation, according unto thy word.
42  So shall I make answer unto my blasphemers *
 for my trust is in thy word.
43  O take not the word of thy truth utterly out of my mouth *
 for my hope is in thy judgements.
44  So shall I alway keep thy law *
 yea, for ever and ever.
45  And I will walk at liberty *
 for I seek thy commandments.
46  I will speak of thy testimonies also, even before kings *
 and will not be ashamed.
47  And my delight shall be in thy commandments *
 which I have loved.
48  My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved *
 and my study shall be in thy statutes.
49  O think upon thy servant, as concerning thy word *
 wherein thou hast caused me to put my trust.
50  The same is my comfort in my trouble *
 for thy word hath quickened me.
51  The proud have had me exceedingly in derision *
 yet have I not shrinked from thy law.
52  For I remembered thine everlasting judgements, O Lord *
 and received comfort.
53  I am horribly afraid *
 for the ungodly that forsake thy law.
54  Thy statutes have been my songs *
 in the house of my pilgrimage.
55  I have thought upon thy Name, O Lord, in the night-season *
 and have kept thy law.
56  This I had *
 because I kept thy commandments.
57  Thou art my portion, O Lord *
 I have promised to keep thy law.
58  I made my humble petition in thy presence with my whole heart *
 O be merciful unto me, according to thy word.
59  I called mine own ways to remembrance *
 and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60  I made haste, and prolonged not the time *
 to keep thy commandments.
61  The congregations of the ungodly have robbed me *
 but I have not forgotten thy law.
62  At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee *
 because of thy righteous judgements.
63  I am a companion of all them that fear thee *
 and keep thy commandments.
64  The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy *
 O teach me thy statutes.
65  O Lord, thou hast dealt graciously with thy servant *
 according unto thy word.
66  O learn me true understanding and knowledge *
 for I have believed thy commandments.
67  Before I was troubled, I went wrong *
 but now have I kept thy word.
68  Thou art good and gracious *
 O teach me thy statutes.
69  The proud have imagined a lie against me *
 but I will keep thy commandments with my whole heart.
70  Their heart is as fat as brawn *
 but my delight hath been in thy law.
71  It is good for me that I have been in trouble *
 that I may learn thy statutes.
72  The law of thy mouth is dearer unto me *
 than thousands of gold and silver.
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

Guide us, O God,
by your Word and Spirit,
that in your light we may see light,
in your truth find freedom,
and in your will discover your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Jonah 3:10 — 4:11

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.

The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’

But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?’ And he said, ‘Yes, angry enough to die.’ Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’’

HYMN: Herbert O’Driscoll ©
Tune: Beach Spring https://tinyurl.com/y9qolqz4

1 Come and journey with a Savior
Who has called us from our birth,
Who has washed us in the waters,
And who loved us on the earth.

Refrain:
Come and journey, come and journey,
With a Savior who has come.
We are all God’s sons and daughters.
In the Spirit we are one.

2 Come and journey, journey inward,
Come and seek him deep within,
Where he meets us in our living,
In our striving and our sin. [Refrain]

3 Come and journey, journey outward,
Telling others of his name,
Telling others of his glory,
Of his cross and of the shame. [Refrain]

4 Come and journey, journey outward,
Where that cross calls us to care,
Where injustice and where hunger
And the poor call us to share. [Refrain]

5 Come and journey, journey upward.
Sing his praises, offer prayer.
In the storm and in the stillness,
Find his presence ev’rywhere. [Refrain]

6 Come and journey, journey onward,
All out gifts we now shall bring,
To the building of a city
That is holy, Christ its king. [Refrain]

Reading: Acts 26.9–23

Paul said, ‘Indeed, I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; with authority received from the chief priests, I not only locked up many of the saints in prison, but I also cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death. By punishing them often in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme; and since I was so furiously enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.

‘With this in mind, I was travelling to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, when at midday along the road, your Excellency, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.” I asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and testify to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

‘After that, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout the countryside of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do deeds consistent with repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had help from God, and so I stand here, testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place: that the Messiah must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.’

HYMN: George B Timms
Tune: St Petersburg (LM) https://tinyurl.com/y232z9ao

1 A heavenly splendour from on high,
A light too great for mortal eye,
Deprives the hunter of his prey
And turns his threatening wrath away.

2 In darkened eyes, an inward light
Begins to shine upon his sight,
As in his heart he hears the call
To follow, and surrender all.

3 The Christ, for sinners crucified,
Whose risen power he had denied,
Now claims this servant for his own,
And bids him make the gospel known.

4 The nations listen to his voice,
And in the peace of Christ rejoice;
The Church on earth his praises sing,
Who led the Gentiles to their King.

5 Blest Paul, the convert of the Lord,
May heaven’s light to us afford
A blindness to the lures of sin,
That we with thee a crown may win

6 To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
From saints on earth and saints in heaven,
Let everlasting praise be given. Amen.

Reading: Matthew 7:1-12

Jesus continued, ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.

‘Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.

‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.’

CANTICLE Te Deum
(Chant by Joe Cox: https://tinyurl.com/ybzyundx)

We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud,
the Heavens and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry:
    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
    Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world
                              doth acknowledge thee,
    the Father, of an infinite majesty,
    thine adorable, true, and only Son,
    also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.

Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man,
thou didst humble thyself to be born of a Virgin.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our judge.
    We therefore pray thee, help thy servants,
    whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
    Make them to be numbered with thy saints,
    in glory everlasting.

THE PRAYERS WS2

O God, the heavens are yours and the earth is yours.
All our life belongs to you.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

May all injustice, violence, and oppression give way
to fairness, mercy, and goodwill.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

Teach us to use the manifold resources of the earth
so that none may waste and none may want.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

In all our labors, may cooperation triumph over conflict;
may all people find their reward in work that serves the good of all.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

Keep alive the holy fire within the hearts
of all who dare to be the voices of unwelcome wisdom.
Make us willing to hear hard demands.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

Fill us with a passion for righteousness
and a zeal to serve where there is need.
Fill us with a purpose that is holy and right and just.
Help us to love the noblest and best.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

Unto you, O God, be all might and majesty,
dominion and power, both now and evermore. Amen.

(Plainsong Mode 2: https://tinyurl.com/yctqq8cf)DL

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the bread of life;
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God,
by the preaching of your servant Paul
you caused the light of the gospel
to shine throughout the world.
May we who celebrate his wonderful conversion
follow him in bearing witness to your truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. FAS

Music: https://tinyurl.com/y9efvwm5
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. 2 Cor. 13:14


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Since 1993, Oremus has been sent daily to hundreds of people around the world. It is done entirely on a volunteer basis and the resources are purchased by Steve with his own funds. If you could support this ministry, I would appreciate it. Thank you advance.

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BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.

EH Exciting Holiness, Ed. Brother Tristram SSF © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997

RCLP Revised Common Lectionary Prayers. © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.

DL © Daniel Lawson; used with permission.

FAS For All the Saints, Revised Ed. © Anglican Church of Canada

WS2 The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd edition, © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources

1 Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers; audio from https://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/sep-practice-videos/ ©

The main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662).

Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.

Compilation © 2020 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.

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