Oremus for Thursday, April 7, 2022

Rwandan President Paul Kagame (L) and first lady Jeannette Kagame light the Flame of Remembrance for the 27th commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda, on April 7, 2021. 

Martyrs of Rwanda
In a time span of one hundred days, between April and July 1994, Rwanda’s political arena imploded. The country collapsed into chaos, and violence escalated into the genocide of one million people among members of the Tutsi ethnic group and moderate components of the Hutu ethnic majority in the country. The genocide occurred in one of Africa’s most Christian regions, with ninety per cent of the population identifying itself as part of a Catholic, Protestant, or Seventh-day Adventist Church as of 1991. Inevitably, in the aftershock of the genocide, many questioned the role, and attempted to fathom the association of Rwanda’s Churches with the genocide. As a consequence, the Church has faced numerous criticisms from diverse fronts, and has been repeatedly blamed of culpability in the violence that occurred during those obscure months. However, it was only in 2017 that Pope Francis, upon meeting the Rwandan President Paul Kagame, officially asked for forgiveness for the Catholic Church’s role in the 1994 genocide, stating that, in Rwanda, the “sins and failings of the Church and its members had ultimately disfigured the face of Catholicism”. 1

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/yckpaz6z

I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord.
Should they cry to me in any distress,
I will hear them, and I will be their Lord for ever.

Almighty God,
you love us, but we have not loved you.
You call, but we have not listened.
We walk away from neighbors in need,
wrapped in our own concerns.
We condone evil, prejudice, warfare, and greed.
God of grace, help us to admit our sin,
so that as you come to us in mercy,
we may repent, turn to you, and receive forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen. BCW

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: Michael Forster ©
Tune: Nativity https://tinyurl.com/3uc3r5zu

1 Waken, O sleeper, wake and rise,
salvation’s day is near,
and let the dawn of light and truth
dispel the night of fear.

2 Let us prepare to face the day
of judgement and of grace,
to live as people of the light,
and perfect truth embrace.

3 Watch, then, and pray; we cannot know
the moment or the hour,
when Christ, unheralded, will come
with life-renewing power.

4 Then shall the nations gather round
to learn His ways of peace,
when spears to pruning-hooks are turned,
and all our conflicts cease.

PSALMS

Psalm 37 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tujglrg)
1  Fret not thyself because of the ungodly *
 neither be thou envious against the evil doers.
2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass *
 and be withered even as the green herb.
3  Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good *
 dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4  Delight thou in the Lord *
 and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire.
5  Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him *
 and he shall bring it to pass.
6  He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light *
 and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
7  Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him *
 but grieve not thyself at him, whose way doth prosper,
against the man that doeth after evil counsels.
8  Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure *
 fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.
9  Wicked doers shall be rooted out *
 and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall inherit the land.
10  Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone *
 thou shalt look after his place, and he shall be away.
11  But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth *
 and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.
12  The ungodly seeketh counsel against the just *
 and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13  The Lord shall laugh him to scorn *
 for he hath seen that his day is coming.
14  The ungodly have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow *
 to cast down the poor and needy,
and to slay such as are of a right conversation.
15  Their sword shall go through their own heart *
 and their bow shall be broken.
16  A small thing that the righteous hath *
 is better than great riches of the ungodly.
17  For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken *
 and the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
18  The Lord knoweth the days of the godly *
 and their inheritance shall endure for ever.
19  They shall not be confounded in the perilous time *
 and in the days of dearth they shall have enough.
20  As for the ungodly, they shall perish;
and the enemies of the Lord shall consume as the fat of lambs *
 yea, even as the smoke, shall they consume away.
21  The ungodly borroweth, and payeth not again *
 but the righteous is merciful, and liberal.
22  Such as are blessed of God shall possess the land *
 and they that are cursed of him shall be rooted out.
23  The Lord ordereth a good man’s going *
 and maketh his way acceptable to himself.
24  Though he fall, he shall not be cast away *
 for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
25  I have been young, and now am old *
 and yet saw I never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.
26  The righteous is ever merciful, and lendeth *
 and his seed is blessed.
27  Flee from evil, and do the thing that is good *
 and dwell for evermore.
28  For the Lord loveth the thing that is right *
 he forsaketh not his that be godly, but they are preserved for ever.
29  The unrighteous shall be punished *
 as for the seed of the ungodly, it shall be rooted out.
30  The righteous shall inherit the land *
 and dwell therein for ever.
31  The mouth of the righteous is exercised in wisdom *
 and his tongue will be talking of judgement.
32  The law of his God is in his heart *
 and his goings shall not slide.
33  The ungodly seeth the righteous *
 and seeketh occasion to slay him.
34  The Lord will not leave him in his hand *
 nor condemn him when he is judged.
35  Hope thou in the Lord, and keep his way,
and he shall promote thee, that thou shalt possess the land *
 when the ungodly shall perish, thou shalt see it.
36  I myself have seen the ungodly in great power *
 and flourishing like a green bay tree.
37  I went by, and lo, he was gone *
 I sought him, but his place could no where be found.
38  Keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right *
 for that shall bring a man peace at the last.
39  As for the transgressors, they shall perish together *
 and the end of the ungodly is, they shall be rooted out at the last.
40  But the salvation of the righteous cometh of the Lord *
 who is also their strength in the time of trouble.
41  And the Lord shall stand by them, and save them *
 he shall deliver them from the ungodly,
and shall save them, because they put their trust 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.

Psalm 37 (The Psalms Project: https://tinyurl.com/3pdyn7su)
Don’t worry about evildoers
Don’t be envious of those who do wrong
For they will soon fade like the grass
And they will wither like a flower without rain
Trust in the LORD and do good
Dwell in the land and feast on the truth
Delight yourself in Yahweh
And He will give you the desires of your heart

Commit your way to the LORD
Trust in Him, and He will act
He will bring your vindication like the dawn
And your justice like the noonday
Be still before the LORD and wait with expectation

Chorus:
Delight yourself in the LORD
And He’ll give you the desires of your heart
The desires of your heart (x2)

Don’t worry about those who prosper
Nor the one who carries out evil schemes
Refrain from anger and flee from wrath
And do not worry, for it only leads to sin
The wicked will be cut off
But those who wait for the LORD
Will inherit and receive the land
But in just a little while
The wicked will be no more
Though you look closely at his place, he won’t be there [Chorus]

O, the meek will inherit the land
And delight themselves in abundant peace (x2)
The wicked plots against the just
And gnashes his teeth at him
But the LORD laughs at the wicked
For He sees that his day is near
The wicked draw the sword
And bend their bow to bring down the poor
To slay those whose way is right

But their sword shall enter into their own heart
And their bow shall be broken
Better is the little that the righteous have
Than the riches of many wicked
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken
But the LORD upholds the just
And day by day the LORD watches over His saints
And their inheritance is forever
They will not be ashamed when the dark trials come
In the famine they will be fed (x2)

But the wicked will pass away
The enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the meadows
They’re here, then one day they’re gone
They vanish into nothingness, like smoke, they disappear
And no trace of them are left [Chorus]

The wicked borrow, but do not pay back
But the righteous give and give and give
Those blessed by God will receive the land
But those cursed by Him will be cut off
The steps of man are made sure
By the LORD when He delights in his way
Though he fall, he will not be ruined
For the LORD is the one who holds him up
I have been young, and now and am old
I haven’t seen His saints disowned
Nor seen His children begging for a scrap of bread
Always he is gracious and giving
And his children are a blessing for generations

Turn yourself away from evil and do good
And you will dwell forever
For Yahweh loves justice, He will not forsake His saints
They’re preserved forever
But the seed of the wicked shall not prosper
The righteous will receive the land
And they will dwell upon it forever and ever
Their inheritance is forever
The mouth of the righteous pours out wisdom
His tongue declares justice
The law of his God is in his heart
His steps do not slip
They do not slip, They will not slip
They do not slip, They will not slip

The wicked watch for the righteous
And seek a way to take him down
But the LORD will not abandon him to his power
Nor let him be condemned when he is brought to trial
No, the Lord will deliver him
Wait for the LORD
Keep His way and He will exalt you
To inherit the land and you will look on
When the wicked are cut off

I have seen a wicked, ruthless man
Prospering like a laurel tree
But he passed away, and was no more
When I looked for him, he could not be seen
Mark the blameless and behold the just
There’s a future for the man of peace
But the wicked soon will be destroyed
His future suddenly will cease

The salvation of the saints
Is from the LORD, their stronghold
In the time of trouble, He rescues them
Because they trust in Him alone (x2)

PRAYER

God our strength,
give us the humility to trust in your loving care,
and the patience to be faithful in seeking your kingdom,
that we may come to share in the inheritance of your saints;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Exodus 7:25-8:19

Seven days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh and say to him, “Thus says the Lord: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. The river shall swarm with frogs; they shall come up into your palace, into your bedchamber and your bed, and into the houses of your officials and of your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your officials.” ’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, the canals, and the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.” ’ So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their secret arts, and brought frogs up on the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron, and said, ‘Pray to the Lord to take away the frogs from me and my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘Kindly tell me when I am to pray for you and for your officials and for your people, that the frogs may be removed from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.’ And he said, ‘Tomorrow.’ Moses said, ‘As you say! So that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God, the frogs shall leave you and your houses and your officials and your people; they shall be left only in the Nile.’ Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh; and Moses cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs that he had brought upon Pharaoh. And the Lord did as Moses requested: the frogs died in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart, and would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats throughout the whole land of Egypt.” ’ And they did so; Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and gnats came on humans and animals alike; all the dust of the earth turned into gnats throughout the whole land of Egypt. The magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, but they could not. There were gnats on both humans and animals. And the magicians said to Pharaoh, ‘This is the finger of God!’ But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.

HYMN: Reginald Heber
Tune: Nicaea https://tinyurl.com/mryxuc66

1 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

2 Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

3 Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

4 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth, and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Reading: Romans 14:1-12

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.

We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written,
‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
   and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

HYMN: st. 1 Elise S. Eslinger; st. 2-3 Roberto Escamilla, trans. George Lockwood ©
Tune:

1 When we are living, it is in Christ Jesus,
and when we’re dying, it is in the Lord.
Both in our living and in our dying,
we belong to God, we belong to God.

2 ’Mid times of sorrow and in times of pain,
when sensing beauty or in love’s embrace,
whether we suffer, or sing rejoicing,
we belong to God, we belong to God.

3 Across this wide world, we shall always find
those who are crying with no peace of mind;
and when we help them, or when we feed them,
we belong to God, we belong to God.

Spanish:
1 Pues si vivimos, para él vivimos,
y si morimospara él morimos.
Sea que vivamos o que muramos,
somos del Señor, somos del Señor.

2 En la tristeza y en el dolor,
en la belleza y en el amor,
sea que suframos o que gocemos,
somos del Señor, somos del Señor.

3 En este mundo por doquier habra’
gente que llora y sin consolar.
Sea que ayudemos o que alimentemos,
somos del Señor, somos del Señor.

Reading: Mark 13:32-37

Jesus continued, ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’

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.

(Plainsong: https://tinyurl.com/ahnrtv59)ELW

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.

God of new beginnings
you call us from the darkness of denial:
give to your people
leaders who know their wounds
and find their pattern
in Jesus Christ, the Servant King;
we ask this in his name. Amen. PIC, 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


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.

ELW The Lord’s Prayer is from Setting Five in Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

PIC Prayers for An Inclusive Church. Steven Shakespeare © 2008 Canterbury Press.

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

1 Rita Delaperi, https://www.e-ir.info/2020/08/09/accepting-the-unacceptable-christian-churches-and-the-1994-rwandan-genocide/

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 language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language psalm is in a version by Shane Heilman of The Psalms Project https://www.thepsalmsproject.com/

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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