Oremus for Sunday, December 18, 2022

Zechariah and the Angel, William Blake, 1799-1800

Chant: https://tinyurl.com/yaqpktwa

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

O Lord of might,
master of the universe and ruler of the house of Israel,
your mighty acts have rescued remnants of your people
from the midst of slavery, exile, war, and holocaust:
raise your scepter over us, that your saving rule
may be extended to all people in all places—
for the sake of him who we know as Lord of all,
even Jesus, the Christ. Amen. WS2

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: Henry Burton
Tune: Mt Holyoke https://tinyurl.com/yckhw9eh

1 There’s a light upon the mountains
and the day is at the spring,
When our eyes shall see the beauty
and the glory of the King:
Weary was our heart with waiting,
and the night-watch seemed so long,
But His triumph-day is breaking
and we hail it with a song.

2 In the fading of the starlight
we may see the coming morn;
And the lights of men are paling
in the splendours of the dawn:
For the eastern skies are glowing
as with light of hidden fire,
And the hearts of men are stirring
with the throbs of deep desire.

3 He is breaking down the barriers,
He is casting up the way;
He is calling for His angels
to build up the gates of day:
But His angels here are human,
not the shining hosts above;
For the drum-beats of His army
are the heart-beats of our love.

PSALMS

Psalm 93 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y7tg5urb)
1  The Lord is King, and hath put on glorious apparel *
 the Lord hath put on his apparel, and girded himself with strength.
2  He hath made the round world so sure *
 that it cannot be moved.
3  Ever since the world began hath thy seat been prepared *
 thou art from everlasting.
4  The floods are risen, O Lord, the floods have lift up their voice *
 the floods lift up their waves.
5  The waves of the sea are mighty, and rage horribly *
 but yet the Lord, who dwelleth on high, is mightier.
6  Thy testimonies, O Lord, are very sure *
 holiness becometh thine house 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 94 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y8otscow)
1  O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth *
 thou God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.
2  Arise, thou Judge of the world *
 and reward the proud after their deserving.
3  Lord, how long shall the ungodly *
 how long shall the ungodly triumph?
4  How long shall all wicked doers speak so disdainfully *
 and make such proud boasting?
5  They smite down thy people, O Lord *
 and trouble thine heritage.
6  They murder the widow, and the stranger *
 and put the fatherless to death.
7  And yet they say, Tush, the Lord shall not see *
 neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.
8  Take heed, ye unwise among the people *
 O ye fools, when will ye understand?
9  He that planted the ear, shall he not hear *
 or he that made the eye, shall he not see?
10  Or he that nurtureth the heathen *
 it is he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he punish?
11  The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man *
 that they are but vain.
12  Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord *
 and teachest him in thy law;
13  That thou mayest give him patience in time of adversity *
 until the pit be digged up for the ungodly.
14  For the Lord will not fail his people *
 neither will he forsake his inheritance;
15  Until righteousness turn again unto judgement *
 all such as are true in heart shall follow it.
16  Who will rise up with me against the wicked *
 or who will take my part against the evil-doers?
17  If the Lord had not helped me *
 it had not failed but my soul had been put to silence.
18  But when I said, My foot hath slipt *
 thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.
19  In the multitude of the sorrows that I had in my heart *
 thy comforts have refreshed my soul.
20  Wilt thou have any thing to do with the stool of wickedness *
 which imagineth mischief as a law?
21  They gather them together against the soul of the righteous *
 and condemn the innocent blood.
22  But the Lord is my refuge *
 and my God is the strength of my confidence.
23  He shall recompense them their wickedness, and destroy them in their own malice *
 yea, the Lord our God shall destroy them.
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 93 (LSB Tone A: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-93-LSB.mp3)
The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
Yes, the world is established;
it shall never be moved.
Your throne is established from of old;
you are from everlasting.
The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the Lord on high is mighty.
Your decrees are very trustworthy;
holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.
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.

Psalm 94 (Karl Kohlhase: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-94-KH.mp3)
O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!

Rise up, O Judge of the earth,
give recompense to the proud.
How long shall the wicked, O LORD,
how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour forth words speaking proudly;
and all who do evil boast.
They crush your people, O LORD,
and afflict your inheritance.

O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!

They slay the widow and stranger,
and even murder orphans.
They say, “The LORD does not see us,
nor does Jacob’s God pay heed.”
Pay heed, all fools of the nations;
when will you fools understand?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
he who formed the eye, not see?

O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!

Will he not rebuke who strikes nations,
the One who teaches man knowledge?
The thoughts of man the LORD knows,
that they are merely a breath.
LORD, blessed is the man whom you chasten,
and whom you teach from Your law;
Relieved from days of trouble,
while a pit is dug for the wicked.

O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!

For the LORD won’t abandon his people,
nor will he leave his inheritance.
For judgment will turn for the righteous,
all the upright in heart will follow.
Who will stand with me against evil?
With me against the wicked?
If the LORD had not been my help,
then my soul would soon become mute.

O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!

If I say, “My foot is slipping,”
your love, O LORD, holds me up.
When alarming thoughts grow within me,
then your comfort delights my soul.
Can a throne of ruin be united,
which makes its laws out of mischief?
Set against the life of the righteous,
and condemning the pure to death.

O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!

But the LORD has been my stronghold,
my God the rock of my refuge.
He returns their evil upon them,
they’re destroyed by their own wickedness

The LORD our God. will destroy them!

PRAYER

Omnipotent God,
your glory is incomprehensible,
your majesty infinite,
and your power incomparable.
Found us on the certainty of your promises,
that no matter what happens,
we may be firm in faith
and live uprightly in your church,
bought by the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Genesis 49:8-12

Judah, you are the one your brothers will honor;
        your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
        your father’s sons will bow down to you.
Judah is a lion’s cub;
        from the prey, my son, you rise up.
He lies down and crouches like a lion;
        like a lioness—who dares disturb him?
The scepter won’t depart from Judah,
        nor the ruler’s staff from among his banners.
Gifts will be brought to him;
        people will obey him.
He ties his male donkey to the vine,
        the colt of his female donkey to the vine’s branches.
He washes his clothes in wine,
        his garments in the blood of grapes.
His eyes are darker than wine,
        and his teeth whiter than milk.

HYMN: George Richards
Tune: Arnheim https://tinyurl.com/5se3ez9r

1 Shiloh shall come—the Prophet cries,
As death illumes his closing eyes;
O’er people, kindreds, tongues he sways:
And Judah claims no more, the praise.

2 Thou long foretold—yet great unkonwn,
Shiloh! ascend salvation’s throne.
Gath’rer of nations come, oh come!
Leader! Commander, guide us home!

3 Speak but the word, and light shall be;
That light of life which points to thee;
Where all thy works—ador’d I AM!
Shall glorify thy glorious name.

Reading: Titus 1:1-16

From Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I’m sent to bring about the faith of God’s chosen people and a knowledge of the truth that agrees with godliness.

Their faith and this knowledge are based on the hope of eternal life that God, who doesn’t lie, promised before time began. God revealed his message at the appropriate time through preaching, and I was trusted with preaching this message by the command of God our savior.

To Titus, my true child in a common faith.

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

The reason I left you behind in Crete was to organize whatever needs to be done and to appoint elders in each city, as I told you. Elders should be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, and have faithful children who can’t be accused of self-indulgence or rebelliousness. This is because supervisors should be without fault as God’s managers: they shouldn’t be stubborn, irritable, addicted to alcohol, a bully, or greedy. Instead, they should show hospitality, love what is good, and be reasonable, ethical, godly, and self-controlled. They must pay attention to the reliable message as it has been taught to them so that they can encourage people with healthy instruction and refute those who speak against it.

In fact, there are many who are rebellious people, loudmouths, and deceivers, especially some of those who are Jewish believers. They must be silenced because they upset entire households. They teach what they shouldn’t to make money dishonestly. Someone who is one of their own prophets said, “People from Crete are always liars, wild animals, and lazy gluttons.” This statement is true. Because of this, correct them firmly, so that they can be healthy in their faith. They shouldn’t pay attention to Jewish myths and commands from people who reject the truth. Everything is clean to those who are clean, but nothing is clean to those who are corrupt and without faith. Instead, their mind and conscience are corrupted. They claim to know God, but they deny God by the things that they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified to do anything good.

HYMN: Stuart Hamblen ©
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/4d4ttv8n

1 My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward –
This troubled world is not my final home.

Refrain:
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on –
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

2 The things of earth will dim and lose their value,
If we recall, they’re borrowed for a while;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile. [Refrain]

3 This weary world with all its toil and struggle.
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon –
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies. [Refrain]

Reading: Luke 1:5-25

During the rule of King Herod of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah. His wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron. They were both righteous before God, blameless in their observance of all the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to become pregnant and they both were very old. One day Zechariah was serving as a priest before God because his priestly division was on duty. Following the customs of priestly service, he was chosen by lottery to go into the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense. All the people who gathered to worship were praying outside during this hour of incense offering. An angel from the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw the angel, he was startled and overcome with fear.

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to your son and you must name him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many people will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the Lord’s eyes. He must not drink wine and liquor. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. He will bring many Israelites back to the Lord their God. He will go forth before the Lord, equipped with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will turn the hearts of fathers back to their children, and he will turn the disobedient to righteous patterns of thinking. He will make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? My wife and I are very old.”

The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in God’s presence. I was sent to speak to you and to bring this good news to you. Know this: What I have spoken will come true at the proper time. But because you didn’t believe, you will remain silent, unable to speak until the day when these things happen.”

Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they wondered why he was in the sanctuary for such a long time. When he came out, he was unable to speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he gestured to them and couldn’t speak. When he completed the days of his priestly service, he returned home. Afterward, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant. She kept to herself for five months, saying, “This is the Lord’s doing. He has shown his favor to me by removing my disgrace among other people.”

CANTICLE: Luke 1:68-79
(Consiglio: https://tinyurl.com/ya8y3kqs)

Ant. Blest be the Lord God of Israel; *
who has come to his people and set them free.

God has raiséd up a Savior strong and proud,
born of his servant David.
And through holy prophets God has promised from of old,
to save us from all our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. Ant.

God promised to show mercy to our ancestors
to remember the covenant.
This was the oath sworn to father Abraham,
to set us free from our enemies’ hands,
free to worship God without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. Ant.

You, little child, are the prophet of the Lord,
you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give the people knowledge of salvation
by forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high breaks upon us,
to shine on us who dwell in the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet on the way of peace. Ant.

THE PRAYERS Joe Milner

For the Church: that we, like Joseph, may wholeheartedly live our faith traditions and yet remain open to the mystery of God’s unconventional work in our lives and the world around us

For openness of heart: that, like Mary and Joseph, we may enter into the mystery of God’s loving actions and co-operative with the work of God even when we don not understand how to proceed

For the gift of wisdom: that like Mary, we may perceive the invitation of God in the strange and sometimes unreasonable situations into which God calls us

For a deepening of faith: that through the mystery of Jesus becoming human, we may open ourselves to a fuller sharing in the divine life

For all who are busily preparing for Christmas: that the Holy Spirit will help us to stay aware of whose life we celebrate and to show Christ’s love in all our interactions

For freedom from judging others: that like Joseph, we may hold our judgments so that the work of God may unfold in the hearts and lives of those who are dear to us

For all who are awaiting the birth of a child or who are new parents: that they may recognize God’s presence in their child and nurture the gift of life entrusted to their care

For all who are having an unplanned pregnancy: that they may honor the gift of life entrusted to them and draw strength from God to love and nurture their child

For all who are caught by consumerism: that God will free their minds and hearts so that they may hear God’s call and choose the greater good in their use of their time and resources

For all who are away from home this season: that God will guide those serving in the military, as relief workers, or missionaries, protect them from all danger, and bring them home safely in the new year

For the members of the Jewish community: that as they celebrate Hanukkah, they may grow in their awareness of God’s presence and saving action in their lives

For reconciliation within families: that in our celebrations of God being with us, we may forgive past hurts and strive to renew relationships in our families

For all who will be traveling this week: that their journeys may be safe and their visits with friends and loved ones be renewing and refreshing

For all who are burdened by poverty and for those who seek to assist them:  that God will open new ways to meet their needs and bring them hope and courage

For peace: that the coming of the Prince of Peace may bring healing and safety to those impacted by domestic violence, civil disturbance, and warfare

(Traditional chant: http://oremus.org/chant/LP-1940.mp3)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

God of unexpected birth
and desert waters:
silence our cynicism
and give us a new voice
that with John the Baptist
we may proclaim your overwhelming grace;
through Jesus Christ, the One who is to come. Amen. PIC

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.

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

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

The Lord’s Prayer is the traditional chant as set in The Hymnal 1940 and sung by Kathryn Mannyng https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsJ2TB9pLbU

The three main scripture readings are © 2011 Common English Bible.

The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). Psalm 93 is in the version from Lutheran Service Book © Concordia Publishing House. Sung to LSB Tone A and sourced from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doYQAH0xA6k. Psalms 94 is in the version sung by Karl Kohlhase http://www.k4communications.com/karl/index.html.

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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