Oremus for Monday, April 4, 2022

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., where he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963, as part of the March on Washington. (AP)

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta. As the son and grandson of Baptist preachers, he was steeped in the Black Church tradition. In 1954, King became pastor of a church in Montgomery, Alabama. There, Black indignation at inhumane treatment on segregated buses culminated in December, 1955, in the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. King was catapulted into national prominence as the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott. He became increasingly the articulate prophet, who could not only rally the Black masses, but could also move the consciences of Whites.
King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to spearhead non-violent mass demonstrations against racism. Many confrontations followed, most notably in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, and in Chicago. King’s campaigns were instrumental to the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968. King then turned his attention to economic empowerment of the poor and opposition to the Vietnam War, contending that racism, poverty and militarism were interrelated.
King lived in constant danger: his home was dynamited, he was almost fatally stabbed, and he was harassed by death threats. He was even jailed 30 times; but through it all he was sustained by his deep faith. In 1957, he received, late at night, a vicious telephone threat. Alone in his kitchen he wept and prayed. He relates that he heard the Lord speaking to him and saying, “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness, stand up for justice,” and promising never to leave him alone—“No, never alone.” King refers to his vision as his “Mountaintop Experience.”
After preaching at Washington Cathedral on March 31, 1968, King went to Memphis in support of sanitation workers in their struggle for better wages. There, he proclaimed that he had been “to the mountain-top” and had seen “the Promised Land,” and that he knew that one day he and his people would be “free at last.” On the following day, April 4, he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet.
HWHM

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/48bst233

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5

Eternal God, our judge and redeemer,
we confess that we have tried to hide from you,
for we have done wrong.
We have lived for ourselves,
and apart from you.
We have turned from our neighbors,
and refused to bear the burdens of others.
We have ignored the pain of the world,
and passed by the hungry, the poor, and the oppressed.
In your great mercy forgive our sins
and free us from selfishness,
that we may choose your will
and obey your commandments;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. AmenBCW

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: Fred Kaan ©
Tune: St Thomas (Wade) https://tinyurl.com/2p8bms5a

1 For the healing of the nations,
Lord, we pray with one accord,
for a just and equal sharing
of the things that earth affords.
To a life of love in action
help us rise and pledge our word.

2 Lead us forward into freedom;
from despair your world release,
that, redeemed from war and hatred,
all may come and go in peace.
Show us how through care and goodness
fear will die and hope increase.

3 All that kills abundant living,
let it from the earth be banned:
pride of status, race, or schooling,
dogmas that obscure your plan.
In our common quest for justice
may we hallow life’s brief span.

4 You, Creator God, have written
your great name on humankind.
For our growing in your likeness,
bring the life of Christ to mind
that by our response and service
earth its destiny may find.

Psalms

Psalm 22 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tcvjnwc)
1 My God, my God, look upon me; why hast thou forsaken me *
and art so far from my health, and from the words of my complaint?
2 O my God, I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not *
and in the night-season also I take no rest.
3 And thou continuest holy *
O thou worship of Israel.
4 Our fathers hoped in thee *
they trusted in thee, and thou didst deliver them.
5 They called upon thee, and were holpen *
they put their trust in thee, and were not confounded.
6 But as for me, I am a worm, and no man *
a very scorn of men, and the out-cast of the people.
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn *
they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying,
8 He trusted in God, that he would deliver him *
let him deliver him, if he will have him.
9 But thou art he that took me out of my mother’s womb *
thou wast my hope, when I hanged yet upon my mother’s breasts.
10 I have been left unto thee ever since I was born *
thou art my God even from my mother’s womb.
11 O go not from me, for trouble is hard at hand *
and there is none to help me.
12 Many oxen are come about me *
fat bulls of Basan close me in on every side.
13 They gape upon me with their mouths *
as it were a ramping and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint *
my heart also in the midst of my body is even like melting wax.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue cleaveth to my gums *
and thou shalt bring me into the dust of death.
16 For many dogs are come about me *
and the council of the wicked layeth siege against me.
17 They pierced my hands and my feet; I may tell all my bones *
they stand staring and looking upon me.
18 They part my garments among them *
and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord *
thou art my succour, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword *
my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth *
thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy Name unto my brethren *
in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 O praise the Lord, ye that fear him *
magnify him, all ye of the seed of Jacob,
and fear him, all ye seed of Israel;
24 For he hath not despised, nor abhorred,
the low estate of the poor *
he hath not hid his face from him,
but when he called unto him he heard him.
25 My praise is of thee in the great congregation *
my vows will I perform in the sight of them that fear him.
26 The poor shall eat, and be satisfied *
they that seek after the Lord shall praise him;
your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember themselves,
and be turned unto the Lord *
and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s *
and he is the Governor among the people.
29 All such as be fat upon earth *
have eaten, and worshipped.
30 All they that go down into the dust shall kneel before him *
and no man hath quickened his own soul.
31 My seed shall serve him *
they shall be counted unto the Lord for a generation.
32 They shall come, and the heavens shall declare his righteousness *
unto a people that shall be born, whom the Lord hath made.
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 22 (Plainsong: https://tinyurl.com/4ketce9t)
2 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
You are far from my plea and the cry of my distress.
3 O my God, I call by day and you give no reply;
I call by night and I find no peace.
4 Yet you, O God, are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
5 In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you set them free.
6 When they cried to you, they escaped.
In you they trusted and never in vain.
7 But I am a worm and no man,
scorned by men, despised by the people.
8 All who see me deride me.
They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
9 “He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;
let him release him if this is his friend.”
10 Yes, it was you who took me from the womb,
entrusted me to my mother’s breast.
11 To you I was committed from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
12 Do not leave me alone in my distress;
Come close, there is none else to help.
13 Many bulls have surrounded me,
fierce bulls of Bashan close me in.
14 Against me they open wide their jaws,
like lions, rending and roaring.
15 Like water I am poured out,
disjointed are all my bones.
My heart has become like wax,
it is melted within my breast.
16 Parched as burnt clay is my throat,
my tongue cleaves to my jaws.
17 Many dogs have surrounded me,
a band of the wicked beset me.
They tear holes in my hands and my feet
16c and lay me in the dust of death.
18 I can count every one of my bones.
These people stare at me and gloat;
19 they divide my clothing among them.
They cast lots for my robe.
20 O Lord, do not leave me alone,
my strength, make haste to help me!
21 Rescue my soul from the sword,
my life from the grip of these dogs.
22 Save my life from the jaws of these lions,
my poor soul from the horns of these oxen.
23 I will tell of your name to my brethren
and praise you where they are assembled.
24 “You who fear the Lord give him praise;
all sons of Jacob, give him glory.
Revere him, Israel’s sons.
25 For he has never despised
nor scorned the poverty of the poor.
From him he has not hidden his face,
but he heard the poor man when he cried.”
26 You are my praise in the great assembly.
My vows I will pay before those who fear him.
27 The poor shall eat and shall have their fill.
They shall praise the Lord, those who seek him.
May their hearts live for ever and ever!
28 All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,
all families of the nations worship before him;
29 for the kingdom is the Lord’s, he is ruler of the nations.
30 They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust.
31 And my soul shall live for him, my children serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come,
32 declare his faithfulness to peoples yet unborn:
“These things the Lord has done.”
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

Psalm 23 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/swfdhyk)
1  The Lord is my shepherd *
 therefore can I lack nothing.
2  He shall feed me in a green pasture *
 and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.
3  He shall convert my soul *
 and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness, for his Name’s sake.
4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil *
 for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
5  Thou shalt prepare a table before me against them that trouble me *
 thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full.
6  But thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life *
 and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
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 23 (Plainsong: https://tinyurl.com/hvjzp9x5)
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
2 Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
3 to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
4 If I should walk in the valley of darkness
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort.
5 You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.
6 Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, our good shepherd,
in the waters of Baptism you give us birth,
and at your table you nourish us with heavenly food.
In your goodness and mercy,
lead us along safe paths,
beyond the terrors of evil and death,
to the house of the Lord
where we may rest securely in you forever. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Exodus 4:10-20

But Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.’ But he said, ‘O my Lord, please send someone else.’ Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, ‘What of your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him. Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.’

Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, ‘Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace.’ The Lord said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.’ So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.

HYMN: John Wesley
Tune: Festal Song https://tinyurl.com/2p88z9dj

1 Give to the winds thy fears;
hope, and be undismayed.
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God shall lift up thy head.

2 Through waves and clouds and storms
God gently clears the way.
Wait patiently; so shall this night
soon end in joyous day.

3 Leave to God’s sovereign sway
to choose and to command.
So shalt thou, wondering, own God’s way,
how wise, how strong God’s hand!

4 Let us in life, in death,
thy steadfast truth declare,
and publish with our final breath
thy love and guardian care.

Reading: Romans 12:1-8

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

HYMN: Charles Wesley
Tune: Song 34 https://tinyurl.com/2cad65n4

1 Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go,
my daily labour to pursue;
thee, only thee, resolved to know,
in all I think or speak or do.

2 The task thy wisdom hath assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfil;
in all my works thy presence find,
and prove thy good and perfect will.

3 Preserve me from my calling’s snare,
and hide my simple heart above,
above the thorns of choking care,
the gilded baits of worldly love.

4 Thee may I set at my right hand,
whose eyes my inmost substance see,
and labour on at thy command,
and offer all my works to thee.

5 Give me to bear thy easy yoke,
and every moment watch and pray,
and still to things eternal look,
and hasten to thy glorious day;

6 For thee delightfully employ
whate’er thy bounteous grace hath given,
and run my course with even joy,
and closely walk with thee to heaven.

Reading: Mark 13:21-23

Jesus continued, ‘And if anyone says to you at that time, “Look! Here is the Messiah!” or “Look! There he is!”—do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be alert; I have already told you everything.’

CANTICLE Isaiah 55:6-11
(Setting by Gregory Wilbur: https://tinyurl.com/yawmg8fp)

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
Call ye upon him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:

And let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
My ways and thoughts are higher than yours.

And let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

For as the rain cometh down, and snow from heaven,
And maketh it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to sow,
that it may give bread to eat.

So shall my world be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
It shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please it shall prosper
in the thing whereunto I sent it.

THE PRAYERS BCW

In penitence and faith let us make our prayer to the Father
and ask for his mercy and grace.

For your holy people,
that they may triumph over evil and grow in grace:
We pray to you, O Lord.

For candidates for baptism and confirmation,
that they may live by every word that proceeds from your mouth:
We pray to you, O Lord.

For the leaders of the nations,
that you will guide them in the ways of mercy and truth:
We pray to you, O Lord.

For the needy,
that they may not be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor be taken away:
We pray to you, O Lord.

For the sick in body, mind and spirit,
that they may know your power to heal:
We pray to you, O Lord.

For the poor in spirit,
that they may inherit the kingdom of heaven
and see you face to face: :
We pray to you, O Lord.

Let us commend the world, for which Christ suffered,
to the mercy and protection of God. Amen.

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 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 hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 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


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.

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

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 version of the psalms is from The Grail Psalter and the recordings are linked to the Manual Hopper YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/manualhopper/featured.

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 © 2022 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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