Oremus for Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Paul and His Companions, contemporary icon

Timothy, Titus and Silas
Timothy and Silas are mentioned in The Acts of the Apostles. Timothy’s father was Greek and his mother a Jewish believer. Paul chose him as a companion for his mission to Asia Minor but had him circumcised because the “Jews who were in those places” knew that his father was a Greek (Acts 16:1–3). Timothy undertook missions to the Thessalonians, Corinthians and the Ephesians. Eusebius counts him as the first bishop of that city.
Silas is known by his Latinized name Silvanus when Paul cites him as his companion along with Timothy (1 & 2 Thessalonians 1:1). He was a prophet in the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:22–35), but also a Roman citizen (Acts 16:37–8). He went with Paul and Barnabas to deliver the decision of the apostolic council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:1–21) that Gentile believers did not have to observe the law of Moses. Paul chose Silas to accompany him on missions to Asia Minor and Macedonia where he may have remained after Paul left (Acts 15:41–18:5). Tradition has it that he died there after some years of missionary work.
Titus, a Greek, accompanied Paul to Jerusalem for the apostolic council. During Paul’s third missionary journey Titus was sent on missions to Corinth from which he gave Paul encouraging reports (2 Corinthians 7:13–15). Paul, who calls him: “my true child in the common faith”(Titus 1:14) left him to organize the church in Crete (Titus 1:5) and Eusebius reports that he was the first bishop there. These three are celebrated on the day after the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul because of their close connections with him. Though they were all young and inexperienced, they were entrusted with missions and matters that helped form the very life and history of the Church. Faithfulness, love and devotion to Christ saw them through situations they could not have imagined.
HWHM

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/yckjdem9

Holy Father, keep in your name those you have given me,
that they may be one as we are one, says the Lord. John 17

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: Charles W Everest
Tune: Breslau https://tinyurl.com/mvt89fwn

1 Take up thy cross, the Saviour said,
if thou wouldst my disciple be;
deny thyself, the world forsake,
and humbly follow after me.

2 Take up thy cross: let not its weight
fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
his strength shall bear thy spirit up,
and brace thy heart, and nerve thine arm.

3 Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
nor let thy foolish pride rebel:
thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
to save thy soul from death and hell.

4 Take up thy cross then in his strength,
and calmly every danger brave;
’twill guide thee to a better home,
and lead to victory o’er the grave.

5 Take up thy cross, and follow Christ,
nor think till death to lay it down;
for only they who bear the cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown.

6 To thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
all praise for evermore ascend:
O grant us in our home to see
the heavenly life that knows no end.

PSALMS

Psalm 119:105-144 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/v825pov)
105  Thy word is a lantern unto my feet *
 and a light unto my paths.
106  I have sworn, and am stedfastly purposed *
 to keep thy righteous judgements.
107  I am troubled above measure *
 quicken me, O Lord, according to thy word.
108  Let the free-will offerings of my mouth please thee, O Lord *
 and teach me thy judgements.
109  My soul is alway in my hand *
 yet do I not forget thy law.
110  The ungodly have laid a snare for me *
 but yet I swerved not from thy commandments.
111  Thy testimonies have I claimed as mine heritage for ever *
 and why? they are the very joy of my heart.
112  I have applied my heart to fulfil thy statutes alway *
 even unto the end.
113  I hate them that imagine evil things *
 but thy law do I love.
114  Thou art my defence and shield *
 and my trust is in thy word.
115  Away from me, ye wicked *
 I will keep the commandments of my God.
116  O stablish me according to thy word, that I may live *
 and let me not be disappointed of my hope.
117  Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe *
 yea, my delight shall be ever in thy statutes.
118  Thou hast trodden down all them that depart from thy statutes *
 for they imagine but deceit.
119  Thou puttest away all the ungodly of the earth like dross *
 therefore I love thy testimonies.
120  My flesh trembleth for fear of thee *
 and I am afraid of thy judgements.
121  I deal with the thing that is lawful and right *
 O give me not over unto mine oppressors.
122  Make thou thy servant to delight in that which is good *
 that the proud do me no wrong.
123  Mine eyes are wasted away with looking for thy health *
 and for the word of thy righteousness.
124  O deal with thy servant according unto thy loving mercy *
 and teach me thy statutes.
125  I am thy servant, O grant me understanding *
 that I may know thy testimonies.
126  It is time for thee, Lord, to lay to thine hand *
 for they have destroyed thy law.
127  For I love thy commandments *
 above gold and precious stone.
128  Therefore hold I straight all thy commandments *
 and all false ways I utterly abhor.
129  Thy testimonies are wonderful *
 therefore doth my soul keep them.
130  When thy word goeth forth *
 it giveth light and understanding unto the simple.
131  I opened my mouth, and drew in my breath *
 for my delight was in thy commandments.
132  O look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me *
 as thou usest to do unto those that love thy Name.
133  Order my steps in thy word *
 and so shall no wickedness have dominion over me.
134  O deliver me from the wrongful dealings of men *
 and so shall I keep thy commandments.
135  Shew the light of thy countenance upon thy servant *
 and teach me thy statutes.
136  Mine eyes gush out with water *
 because men keep not thy law.
137  Righteous art thou, O Lord *
 and true is thy judgement.
138  The testimonies that thou hast commanded *
 are exceeding righteous and true.
139  My zeal hath even consumed me *
 because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
140  Thy word is tried to the uttermost *
 and thy servant loveth it.
141  I am small, and of no reputation *
 yet do I not forget thy commandments.
142  Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness *
 and thy law is the truth.
143  Trouble and heaviness have taken hold upon me *
 yet is my delight in thy commandments.
144  The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting *
 O grant me understanding, and I shall live.
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 119:105-112 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119n.mp3)
Your word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my pathway.
I have taken an oath and I’ve confirmed it,
that I will keep your righteous laws.
I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord,
according to your Word.
Accept, O Lord, the willing praises of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
I’ve inclined my heart to do your statutes,
forever,  even to the end.
Your word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my pathway.

Psalm 109:113-120 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119o.mp3)
I hate the thoughts of doubleminded men,
but I love your law.
You are my refuge and you are my shield;
I’ve put my hope in your Word.
Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
Sustain me according to your promise, and I’ll live;
don’t let my hopes be dashed.
Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I’ll always have regard for your decrees.
You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their deceitfulness is in vain.
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
therefore I love your testimonies.
My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws.

Psalm 119:121-128 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119p.mp3)
I have done what is righteous and just;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
Ensure your servant’s wellbeing;
let not the arrogant oppress me.
My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,
looking for your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant according to your love
and teach me your decrees.
I’m your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your testimonies.
It is time for you to act, O Lord;
your law is being broken.
Because I love your commands more than gold,
more than pure gold,
and because I consider all your precepts right,
I hate every wrong path.

Psalm 119:129-136 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119q.mp3)
Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul has obeyed them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
Direct my footsteps according to your Word;
let no sin rule over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of men,
that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant
and teach me your decrees.
Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law, for your law is not obeyed.

Psalm 119:137-144 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119r.mp3)
Righteous are you, O Lord,
and your laws are right.
The statutes you have laid down are righteous;
fully worthy of trust.
My zeal wears me out
for my foes ignore your words.
your promises have been thoroughly tested,
and your servant loves them.
Though I am small and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me,
yet your commands delight me.
Your statutes are forever right;
give me understanding,
give me understanding that I may live.

PRAYER

Holy God,
you are just in all your ways
and your commandments are the greatest of treasures.
Give us understanding of your law
and direct us according to your will
that we may be faithful in serving you
for the sake of Jesus our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Genesis 16:1-14

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, and Sarai said to Abram, ‘You see that the Lord has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived for ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!’ But Abram said to Sarai, ‘Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please.’ Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her.

The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, ‘Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?’ She said, ‘I am running away from my mistress Sarai.’ The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Return to your mistress, and submit to her.’ The angel of the Lord also said to her, ‘I will so greatly multiply your offspring that they cannot be counted for multitude.’ And the angel of the Lord said to her,
‘Now you have conceived and shall bear a son;
   you shall call him Ishmael,
   for the Lord has given heed to your affliction.
He shall be a wild ass of a man,
with his hand against everyone,
   and everyone’s hand against him;
and he shall live at odds with all his kin.’
So she named the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are El-roi’; for she said, ‘Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?’ Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

HYMN: David D Bjorlin ©
Tune: Leoni https://tinyurl.com/2p83dbv6

1 The God of Sarah praise,
the God of dreams long dead,
who brings forth unexpected life,
disarming dread.
Though grief lasts through the night,
joy rises with the sun;
God leaves us laughing in surprise
at death undone.

2 The God of Abraham praise,
the God of all who roam,
who guides us into foreign lands
and makes our home.
When darkness shrouds our path,
the stars, as pledges, shine.
God’s covenant will be fulfilled
by love’s design.

3 The God of Hagar praise,
the God of those oppressed—
who sees the lost and overlooked
and calls them blessed.
Though wandering alone
through deserts of despair,
God leads us to a well of hope
and meets us there.

Reading: Acts 15:22–26,30–33,16:1–5

Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the whole church, decided to choose men from among their members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers, with the following letter: ‘The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the believers of Gentile origin in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. Since we have heard that certain persons who have gone out from us, though with no instructions from us, have said things to disturb you and have unsettled your minds, we have decided unanimously to choose representatives and send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So they were sent off and went down to Antioch. When they gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. When its members read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation. Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. After they had been there for some time, they were sent off in peace by the believers to those who had sent them.

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

HYMN: John Pantry ©
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/yc33rx9e

1 He came to earth, not to be served,
but gave his life to be a ransom for many.
The Son of God, the Son of Man —
he shared our pain and bore our sins in his body.

[Refrain:]
King of kings and Lord of lords,
I lift my voice in praise: such amazing love!
But I do believe this King has died for me.

2 And so I stand, a broken soul,
to see the pain that I have brought to Jesus;
a yielding heart will be consoled,
and be made new, the joy of all believers. [Refrain]

3 And from now on, through all my days,
I vow to live each moment here for Jesus;
not looking back, but giving praise
for all my Lord has done for this believer.T

Reading: Mark 4:1-20

Again Jesus began to teach beside the lake. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the lake on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’

When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that
“they may indeed look, but not perceive,
   and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” 

And he said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’

CANTICLE Song of the Three Young Men 29-34
(Setting by Timothy R. Smith: https://tinyurl.com/ycrdhlqc)

Refrain:
Glory and praise, glory and praise, glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
and blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all ages. Refrain

Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Refrain

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Refrain

Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Refrain

THE PRAYERS PWC

Creator of all, open a path for your Word
to declare the mystery of Christ.
Turn now, O God of hosts;
behold and tend the vine you have planted.
May your people rejoice and sing,
and your ministers be clothed with salvation.
May they stand and feed your flock
in the strength of your name.
Keep from trouble all those who trust in you
and forget not the poor for ever.
Have mercy upon us,
as we have put our hope in you.

Setting: Sanford Dole https://tinyurl.com/y7ldq7h5

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.

Just and merciful God, in every generation you raise up prophets, teachers and witnesses to summon the world to honor and praise your holy Name: We thank you for sending Timothy, Titus and Silas, whose gifts built up your Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Grant that we too may be living stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen. HWHM

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

HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © 2010 The Church Pension Fund.

PWC PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: Morning and Evening Prayer for the Seasons of the Church Year Prepared by The Rev’d Dr Richard Geoffrey Leggett on behalf of The Liturgy Task Force of the Anglican Church of Canada, May 2016.

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 traditional version of the psalms is from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern versions of Psalm 119 are © 2007-2019 Tom Quinlan. http://www.zcpress.org/music/psalm-119/

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 © 2021 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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