Oremus for Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, Jan van Hemessen, ca. 1556

Antiphon1

Ant. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;
and your youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s.
V. Bless the Lord, O my soul, *
and all within me, his holy name.
It is the Lord who forgives all your sins, *
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave, *
who crowns you with mercy and compassion. Psalm 103

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/ufxekitx

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
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: Ruth C Duck ©
Tune: Leoni https://tinyurl.com/a7u7hczj

1 God, how can we forgive
when bonds of love are torn?
How can we rise and start anew,
our trust reborn?
When human loving fails
and every hope is gone,
your love gives strength beyond our own
to face the dawn.

2 When we have missed the mark,
and tears of anguish flow,
how can you still release our guilt,
the debt we owe?
The ocean depth of grace
surpasses all our needs.
A priest who shares our human pain,
Christ intercedes.

3 Who dares to throw the stone
to damn another’s sin,
when you, while knowing all our past,
forgive again?
No more we play the judge,
for by your grace we live.
As you, O God, forgive our sin,
may we forgive.

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

Psalm 119: 73-104 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y8qj25yx)

73  Thy hands have made me and fashioned me *
 O give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74  They that fear thee will be glad when they see me *
 because I have put my trust in thy word.
75  I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right *
 and that thou of very faithfulness hast caused me to be troubled.
76  O let thy merciful kindness be my comfort *
 according to thy word unto thy servant.
77  O let thy loving mercies come unto me, that I may live *
 for thy law is my delight.
78  Let the proud be confounded, for they go wickedly about to destroy me *
 but I will be occupied in thy commandments.
79  Let such as fear thee, and have known thy testimonies *
 be turned unto me.
80  O let my heart be sound in thy statutes *
 that I be not ashamed.
81  My soul hath longed for thy salvation *
 and I have a good hope because of thy word.
82  Mine eyes long sore for thy word *
 saying, O when wilt thou comfort me?
83  For I am become like a bottle in the smoke *
 yet do I not forget thy statutes.
84  How many are the days of thy servant *
 when wilt thou be avenged of them that persecute me?
85  The proud have digged pits for me *
 which are not after thy law.
86  All thy commandments are true *
 they persecute me falsely; O be thou my help.
87  They had almost made an end of me upon earth *
 but I forsook not thy commandments.
88  O quicken me after thy loving-kindness *
 and so shall I keep the testimonies of thy mouth.
89  O Lord, thy word *
 endureth for ever in heaven.
90  Thy truth also remaineth from one generation to another *
 thou hast laid the foundation of the earth, and it abideth.
91  They continue this day according to thine ordinance *
 for all things serve thee.
92  If my delight had not been in thy law *
 I should have perished in my trouble.
93  I will never forget thy commandments *
 for with them thou hast quickened me.
94  I am thine, O save me *
 for I have sought thy commandments.
95  The ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me *
 but I will consider thy testimonies.
96  I see that all things come to an end *
 but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
97  Lord, what love have I unto thy law *
 all the day long is my study in it.
98  Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies *
 for they are ever with me.
99  I have more understanding than my teachers *
 for thy testimonies are my study.
100  I am wiser than the aged *
 because I keep thy commandments.
101  I have refrained my feet from every evil way *
 that I may keep thy word.
102  I have not shrunk from thy judgements *
 for thou teachest me.
103  O how sweet are thy words unto my throat *
 yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth.
104  Through thy commandments I get understanding *
 therefore I hate all evil ways.
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

O God for whom there are no barriers,
no stones too big to remove,
roll away our resistance to you.
Let your words fill us with new life
and bring us out from the tomb of indifference,
alive again in you.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. CGP

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Leviticus 19:26-37

You shall not eat anything with its blood. You shall not practise augury or witchcraft. You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, so that the land may not become prostituted and full of depravity. You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

You shall rise before the aged, and defer to the old; and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

You shall not cheat in measuring length, weight, or quantity. You shall have honest balances, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. You shall keep all my statutes and all my ordinances, and observe them: I am the Lord.

HYMN: Olive W Spannaus ©
Tune: Angelus https://tinyurl.com/t33pdxzb

1 Lord of all nations, grant me grace
To love all people, ev’ry race,
To see each person as I ought,
My kindred, whom your love has bought.

2 Break down the wall that would divide
Your children, Lord, on ev’ry side.
My neighbor’s good let me pursue;
Let Christian love bind warm and true.

3 Forgive me, Lord, where I have erred
By loveless act and thoughtless word.
Make me to see the wrong I do
Will crucify my Lord anew.

4 Give me your courage, Lord, to speak
Whenever strong oppress the weak.
Should I myself as victim live,
Rememb’ring you, may I forgive.

5 With your own love may I be filled,
And by your Holy Spirit willed,
That all whose live are touched by mine
May know your healing touch divine.

Reading: Hebrews 4:12-16

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

HYMN: Rusty Edwards ©
Tune: Nettleton https://tinyurl.com/wxyt2pzy

1 Praise the One who breaks the darkness
With a liberating light.
Praise the One who frees the pris’ners,
Turning blindness into sight.
Praise the One who preached the gospel,
Healing ev’ry dread disease,
Calming storms and feeding thousands
With the very bread of peace.

2 Praise the One who blessed the children
With a strong yet gentle word.
Praise the One who drove out demons
With a piercing, two-edged sword.
Praise the one who brings cool water
To the desert’s burning sand.
From this well comes living water,
Quenching thirst in ev’ry land.

3 Praise the One true love incarnate:
Christ, who suffered in our place.
Jesus died and rose for many
That we may know God by grace.
Let us sing for joy and gladness,
Seeing what our God has done.
Praise the one redeeming glory;
Praise the One who makes us one.

Reading: Matthew 18:21-35

Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

CANTICLE Prayer of Manasseh
(Setting by Joe Cox https://tinyurl.com/4hqmx4jh)

Ant. Your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
    it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
    God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
    and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
    with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
    they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
    it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
    long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
    you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
    that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
    and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
    and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
    Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
    nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
    and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
    and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
    and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.

THE PRAYERS WS2

God of new birth,
we praise you for being the giver of life and the victor over death,
for the evidence of new life we see in creation . . .
for our baptism, a sign of our union with Christ
in his death and resurrection . . .
for the promise of the coming kingdom . . .

God of new birth,
we acknowledge that all of life is sustained by you, so we pray
for creation and its care . . .
for the nations of the world, especially . . .
for our nation and those in authority . . .
for this community and its leaders . . .
for the church universal, its mission, and those who minister . . .
for our local church and its ministry . . .
for persons with particular needs . . .
We pray all these things in the name of the triune God,
the giver and sustainer of life. Amen.

Setting by Eric Wyse:2

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
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.

Merciful God, your forgiveness transcends
whatever wrong exists between us.
Grant us the courage to forgive others,
and to practice reconciliation
by the kindness of our speaking,
the sharing of our resources,
and the honoring of your desire for good. Amen. RCLP, alt.

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


Donation to Support This Ministry

Since 1993, Oremus has been done on a volunteer basis. If you are able, please consider supporting this work at the PayPal link below. For software reasons, I’ve set the value at $10.00, but feel free to change it. Thank you.

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

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

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

CGP Celebrating God’s Presence. © United Church of Canada.

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

2 Eric Wyse, Lord’s Prayer, ©; audio from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_a40ME7aVk

The three 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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