Oremus for Saturday, January 7, 2023

John the Baptist and the Pharisees, James Tissot, 1886-1894

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/bdz28pwk

The brightness of God illumined the holy city Jerusalem,
and the nations will walk by its light. Revelation 21

Almighty God,
you have poured upon us
the new light of your incarnate Word:
Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts,
may shine forth in our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. 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: James Lewis Milligan ©
Tune: Ascension https://tinyurl.com/2627ubmd

1 There’s a voice in the wilderness crying,
a call from the ways untrod:
Prepare in the desert a highway,
a highway for our God!
The valleys shall be exalted,
the lofty hills brought low;
make straight all the crooked places
where the Lord, our God, may go!

2 O Christians, you bring good tidings;
get up to the heights and sing!
Proclaim to a desolate people
the coming of their King.
Like the flow’rs of the field they perish;
like grass our works decay.
The pow’r and pomp of nations
shall pass like a dream away.

3 But the Word of our God is eternal;
the arm of our God is strong.
He stands in the midst of the nations,
and he shall right the wrong.
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd,
the lambs shall gently hold,
to pastures of peace shall lead them,
and bring them to his fold.

PSALMS

Psalm 35 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y8onefhr)
1  Plead thou my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me *
 and fight thou against them that fight against me.
2  Lay hand upon the shield and buckler *
 and stand up to help me.
3  Bring forth the spear, and stop the way
against them that persecute me *
 say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4  Let them be confounded, and put to shame, that seek after my soul *
 let them be turned back, and brought to confusion,
that imagine mischief for me.
5  Let them be as the dust before the wind *
 and the angel of the Lord scattering them.
6  Let their way be dark and slippery *
 and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
7  For they have privily laid their net to destroy me without a cause *
 yea, even without a cause have they made a pit for my soul.
8  Let a sudden destruction come upon him unawares,
and his net, that he hath laid privily, catch himself *
 that he may fall into his own mischief.
9  And, my soul, be joyful in the Lord *
 it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10  All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee,
who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him *
 yea, the poor, and him that is in misery, from him that spoileth him?
11  False witnesses did rise up *
 they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12  They rewarded me evil for good *
 to the great discomfort of my soul.
13  Nevertheless, when they were sick, I put on sackcloth,
and humbled my soul with fasting *
 and my prayer shall turn into mine own bosom.
14  I behaved myself as though it had been my friend, or my brother *
 I went heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15  But in mine adversity they rejoiced,
and gathered themselves together *
 yea, the very abjects came together against me unawares,
making mouths at me, and ceased not.
16  With the flatterers were busy mockers *
 who gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17  Lord, how long wilt thou look upon this *
 O deliver my soul from the calamities which they bring on me,
and my darling from the lions.
18  So will I give thee thanks in the great congregation *
 I will praise thee among much people.
19  O let not them that are mine enemies triumph over me ungodly *
 neither let them wink with their eyes that hate me without a cause.
20  And why? their communing is not for peace *
 but they imagine deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land.
21  They gaped upon me with their mouths, and said *
 Fie on thee, fie on thee, we saw it with our eyes.
22  This thou hast seen, O Lord *
 hold not thy tongue then, go not far from me, O Lord.
23  Awake, and stand up to judge my quarrel *
 avenge thou my cause, my God, and my Lord.
24  Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness *
 and let them not triumph over me.
25  Let them not say in their hearts, There, there, so would we have it *
 neither let them say, We have devoured him.
26  Let them be put to confusion and shame together,
that rejoice at my trouble *
 let them be clothed with rebuke and dishonour,
that boast themselves against me.
27  Let them be glad and rejoice, that favour my righteous dealing *
 yea, let them say alway, Blessed be the Lord,
who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28  And as for my tongue, it shall be talking of thy righteousness *
 and of thy praise all the day long.
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 36 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y82f3wv5)
1  My heart sheweth me the wickedness of the ungodly *
 that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2  For he flattereth himself in his own sight *
 until his abominable sin be found out.
3  The words of his mouth are unrighteous, and full of deceit *
 he hath left off to behave himself wisely, and to do good.
4  He imagineth mischief upon his bed,
and hath set himself in no good way *
 neither doth he abhor any thing that is evil.
5  Thy mercy, O Lord, reacheth unto the heavens *
 and thy faithfulness unto the clouds.
6  Thy righteousness standeth like the strong mountains *
 thy judgements are like the great deep.
7  Thou, Lord, shalt save both man and beast;
How excellent is thy mercy, O God *
 and the children of men shall put their trust
under the shadow of thy wings.
8  They shall be satisfied with the plenteousness of thy house *
 and thou shalt give them drink of thy pleasures, as out of the river.
9  For with thee is the well of life *
 and in thy light shall we see light.
10  O continue forth thy loving-kindness unto them that know thee *
 and thy righteousness unto them that are true of heart.
11  O let not the foot of pride come against me *
 and let not the hand of the ungodly cast me down.
12  There are they fallen, all that work wickedness *
 they are cast down, and shall not be able to stand.
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 35 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-35-MH.mp3)
1 O Lord, plead my cause against my foes;
fight those who fight me.
2 Take up your buckler and shield;
arise to help me.
3 Take up the javelin and the spear
against those who pursue me.
O Lord, say to my soul:
“I am your salvation.”
4 Let those who seek my life
be shamed and disgraced.
Let those who plan evil against me
be routed in confusion.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind;
let God’s angel scatter them.
6 Let their path be slippery and dark;
let God’s angel pursue them.
7 They have hidden a net for me wantonly;
they have dug a pit.
8 Let ruin fall upon them
and take them by surprise.
Let them be caught in the net they have hidden;
let them fall into their pit.
9 But my soul shall be joyful in the Lord
and rejoice in his salvation.
10 My whole being will say:
“Lord, who is like you
who rescue the weak from the strong
and the poor from the oppressor?”
11 Lying witnesses arise
and accuse me unjustly.
12 They repay me evil for good;
my soul is forlorn.
13 When they were sick I went into mourning,
afflicted with fasting.
My prayer was ever on my lips,
14 as for a brother, a friend.
I went as though mourning a mother,
bowed down with grief.
15 Now that I am in trouble they gather,
they gather and mock me.
They take me by surprise and strike me
and tear me to pieces.
16 They provoke me with mockery on mockery
and gnash their teeth.
17 O Lord, how long will you look on?
Come to my rescue!
Save my life from these raging beasts,
my soul from these lions.
18 I will thank you in the great assembly,
amid the throng I will praise you.
19 Do not let my lying foes
rejoice over me.
Do not let those who hate me unjustly
wink eyes at each other.
20 They wish no peace to the peaceful
who live in the land.
They make deceitful plots
21 and with mouths wide open
their cry against me is: “Yes!”
We saw you do it!”
22 O Lord, you have seen, do not be silent,
do not stand afar off!
23 Awake, stir to my defense,
to my cause, O God!
24 Vindicate me, Lord, in your justice,
do not let them rejoice.
25 Do not let them think: “Yes, we have won,
we have brought you to an end!”
26 Let them be shamed and brought to disgrace
who rejoice at my misfortune.
Let them be covered with shame and confusion
who raise themselves against me.
27 Let there be joy for those who love my cause.
Let them say without end:
“Great is the Lord who delights
in the peace of his servant.”
28 Then my tongue shall speak of your justice,
and all day long of your praise.

Psalm 36 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-36.mp3)
1 There is a voice of rebellion deep in the heart of the wicked; *
there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 He flatters himself in his own eyes *
that his hateful sin will not be found out.
3 The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; *
he has left off acting wisely and doing good.
4 He thinks up wickedness upon his bed
and has set himself in no good way; *
he does not abhor that which is evil.
5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, *
and your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the strong mountains,
your justice like the great deep; *
you save both man and beast, O LORD.
7 How priceless is your love, O God! *
your people take refuge under the
 shadow of your wings.
8 They feast upon the abundance of your house; *
you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the well of life, *
and in your light we see light.
10 Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you, *
and your favor to those who are true of heart.
11 Let not the foot of the proud come near me, *
nor the hand of the wicked push me aside.
12 See how they are fallen, those who work wickedness! *
they are cast down and shall not be able to rise.

PRAYER

God our Maker,
you crown the humble with honor
and exalt the faithful who gather in your name.
Because you have favored us with life,
we dance before you in our joy
and praise you with unending song
for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Amos 3:1-8

Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought out of the land of Egypt:

You only have I loved so deeply
        of all the families of the earth.
    Therefore, I will punish you
        for all your wrongdoing.
    Will two people walk together
        unless they have agreed to do so?
    Does a lion roar in the forest
        when it has no prey?
    Does a young lion cry out from its den
        if it has caught nothing?
    Will a bird fall into a trap on the ground
        when there is no bait for it?
    Will a trap spring up from the ground
        when it has taken nothing?
    If a ram’s horn is blown in a city,
        won’t people tremble?
    If disaster falls on a city,
        is it the Lord who has done it?
    Surely the Lord God does nothing
        without revealing his secret
        to his servants the prophets.

    A lion has roared;
        who will not fear?
    The Lord God has spoken;
        who can but prophesy?

HYMN: Joseph Swain
Tune: Downs https://tinyurl.com/4x76xxvh

1. How sweet, how heav’nly is the sight,
When those that love the Lord
In one another’s peace delight,
And thus fulfill His word.

2. When each can feel each brother’s sigh,
And with him bear a part;
When sorrow flows from eye to eye,
And joy from heart to heart.

3. When free from envy, scorn and pride,
Our wishes all above,
Each can his brother’s failings hide,
And show a brother’s love.

4. When love, in one delightful stream
Thro’ ev’ry bosom flows;
And union sweet, and dear esteem,
In ev’ry action glows.

5. Love is a golden chain that binds
The happy souls above,
And he’s an heir of heav’n who finds
His bosom glow with love.

Reading: 2 John 1:1-6

From the elder. To the chosen gentlewoman and her children, whom I truly love (and I am not the only one, but also all who know the truth), because of the truth that remains with us and will be with us forever.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, will be ours who live in truth and love.

I was overjoyed to find some of your children living in the truth, just as we had been commanded by the Father. Now, dear friends, I am requesting that we love each other. It’s not as though I’m writing a new command to you, but it’s one we have had from the beginning. This is love: that we live according to his commands. This is the command that you heard from the beginning: live in love.

HYMN: John L Bell ©
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/2s4fbfv3

Take, O take me as I am;
summon out what I shall be;
set your seal upon my heart
and live in me.

Reading: John 1:19-28

This is John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?” John confessed (he didn’t deny but confessed), “I’m not the Christ.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” John said, “I’m not.” “Are you the prophet?” John answered, “No.” They asked, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

John replied,

I am a voice crying out in the wilderness,
    Make the Lord’s path straight,
    just as the prophet Isaiah said.”

Those sent by the Pharisees asked, “Why do you baptize if you aren’t the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered, “I baptize with water. Someone greater stands among you, whom you don’t recognize. He comes after me, but I’m not worthy to untie his sandal straps.” This encounter took place across the Jordan in Bethany where John was baptizing.

CANTICLE Rory Cooney; based on Luke 1:46-55
(Performed by The Gentle Wolves https://tinyurl.com/ybox4ctg)

1. My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

2. Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me,
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and to those who would for you yearn,
You will show your might, put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn.

3. From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev’ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
There are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.

4. Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God’s mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror’s crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound,
‘Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around.

THE PRAYERS BCW

With joy let us pray to our Savior,
the Son of God who became one of us, saying:
The grace of God be with us all.

O Christ,
let your gospel shine in every place
where the Word of life is not yet received.
Draw the whole creation to yourself
that your salvation may be known through all the earth.
The grace of God be with us all.

O Christ, Savior and Lord,
extend your church to every place.
Make it a place of welcome for people of every race and tongue.
The grace of God be with us all.

O Christ, Ruler of rulers,
direct the work and thoughts of the leaders of nations
that they may seek justice,
and further peace and freedom for all.
The grace of God be with us all.

O Christ, Master of all,
support of the weak and comfort of the afflicted,
strengthen the tempted and raise the fallen.
Watch over the lonely and those in danger.
Give hope to the despairing
and sustain the faith of the persecuted.
The grace of God be with us all.

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.

Lord of light,
who sent the Baptist
to offer hope and face the world’s scorn:
open our ears to hear
the cries from the margins,
exposing our fears,
inciting our vision
and calling us to a step of faith;
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.

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

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

The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language version of Psalm 35 is from The Grail Psalter and are from the Manual Hopper YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/manualhopper/featured. Psalm 36 is from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and is sung by Ryland Angel.

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 © 2023 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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