Oremus for Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Conversion of Saint Paul, Artist Unknown Niedersaechsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover, Germany

The Conversion of Paul
The conversion of Saul, the zealous Jewish Pharisee of Tarsus, into Paul, the passionate apostle to the Gentiles, occurred on the road to Damascus. Saul was on an expedition to hunt out and arrest all those he could find in the synagogues who believed in Jesus. A blinding light and a voice from heaven stopped him in his tracks and convinced him that the message of the good news of Jesus Christ was indeed from God, and that henceforth he must proclaim Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God.
FATS

Antiphon1

Ant. You will turn toward us, O God, *
and restore our life again,
and your people will rejoice in you.
Show us, Lord, your mercy and grant us your salvation.
V. O Lord, you have favored your land, *
and brought back the captives of Jacob.
You forgave the guilt of your people, *
and covered all their sins.
You averted all your rage; *
you turned back the heat of your anger. Psalm 85

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: George B Timms
Tune: St Petersburg (LM) https://tinyurl.com/y232z9ao

1 A heavenly splendour from on high,
A light too great for mortal eye,
Deprives the hunter of his prey
And turns his threatening wrath away.

2 In darkened eyes, an inward light
Begins to shine upon his sight,
As in his heart he hears the call
To follow, and surrender all.

3 The Christ, for sinners crucified,
Whose risen power he had denied,
Now claims this servant for his own,
And bids him make the gospel known.

4 The nations listen to his voice,
And in the peace of Christ rejoice;
The Church on earth his praises sing,
Who led the Gentiles to their King.

5 Blest Paul, the convert of the Lord,
May heaven’s light to us afford
A blindness to the lures of sin,
That we with thee a crown may win

6 To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
From saints on earth and saints in heaven,
Let everlasting praise be given. Amen.

PSALMS

Psalm 119:33-72 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/uzj6wj2)
33  Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes *
 and I shall keep it unto the end.
34  Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law *
 yea, I shall keep it with my whole heart.
35  Make me to go in the path of thy commandments *
 for therein is my desire.
36  Incline my heart unto thy testimonies *
 and not to covetousness.
37  O turn away mine eyes, lest they behold vanity *
 and quicken thou me in thy way.
38  O stablish thy word in thy servant *
 that I may fear thee.
39  Take away the rebuke that I am afraid of *
 for thy judgements are good.
40  Behold, my delight is in thy commandments *
 O quicken me in thy righteousness.
41  Let thy loving mercy come also unto me, O Lord *
 even thy salvation, according unto thy word.
42  So shall I make answer unto my blasphemers *
 for my trust is in thy word.
43  O take not the word of thy truth utterly out of my mouth *
 for my hope is in thy judgements.
44  So shall I alway keep thy law *
 yea, for ever and ever.
45  And I will walk at liberty *
 for I seek thy commandments.
46  I will speak of thy testimonies also, even before kings *
 and will not be ashamed.
47  And my delight shall be in thy commandments *
 which I have loved.
48  My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved *
 and my study shall be in thy statutes.
49  O think upon thy servant, as concerning thy word *
 wherein thou hast caused me to put my trust.
50  The same is my comfort in my trouble *
 for thy word hath quickened me.
51  The proud have had me exceedingly in derision *
 yet have I not shrinked from thy law.
52  For I remembered thine everlasting judgements, O Lord *
 and received comfort.
53  I am horribly afraid *
 for the ungodly that forsake thy law.
54  Thy statutes have been my songs *
 in the house of my pilgrimage.
55  I have thought upon thy Name, O Lord, in the night-season *
 and have kept thy law.
56  This I had *
 because I kept thy commandments.
57  Thou art my portion, O Lord *
 I have promised to keep thy law.
58  I made my humble petition in thy presence with my whole heart *
 O be merciful unto me, according to thy word.
59  I called mine own ways to remembrance *
 and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60  I made haste, and prolonged not the time *
 to keep thy commandments.
61  The congregations of the ungodly have robbed me *
 but I have not forgotten thy law.
62  At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee *
 because of thy righteous judgements.
63  I am a companion of all them that fear thee *
 and keep thy commandments.
64  The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy *
 O teach me thy statutes.
65  O Lord, thou hast dealt graciously with thy servant *
 according unto thy word.
66  O learn me true understanding and knowledge *
 for I have believed thy commandments.
67  Before I was troubled, I went wrong *
 but now have I kept thy word.
68  Thou art good and gracious *
 O teach me thy statutes.
69  The proud have imagined a lie against me *
 but I will keep thy commandments with my whole heart.
70  Their heart is as fat as brawn *
 but my delight hath been in thy law.
71  It is good for me that I have been in trouble *
 that I may learn thy statutes.
72  The law of thy mouth is dearer unto me *
 than thousands of gold and silver.
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 119:33-40 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119e.mp3)
Refrain: Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
and I’ll obey with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your com-mands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word. [Refrain]

Fulfill your pro-mise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
Preserve my life in your righteousness. [Refrain]

Psalm 119:41-48 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119f.mp3)
May your unfailing love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise;
then I will answer the one who taunts me,
for I trust in your Word.
Do not take the word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.

Refrain:
I will always obey your law,
forever and forever.
I will walk about in your freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
I will talk about your statutes before kings
and I will not be put to shame.

For I delight in your commands, O Lord,
because I love them.
I lift up my hands to your commands,
which I love, and I meditate
and I meditate, meditate on your decrees. [Refrain]

Psalm 119:49-56 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119g.mp3)
Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
your promise has given me life.
The arrogant mock me without restraint,
but I do not turn from your law.
I remember your ancient laws, O Lord,
and I find comfort in them.

Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
who have forsaken your law.
Your decrees are the theme of my song
wherever, wherever I lodge.
In the night I remember your name, O Lord,
and I will keep your law.
This has been my practice
This has been my way:
I obey your precepts. I obey your precepts.

Psalm 119:57-64 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119h.mp3)
You are my portion, O Lord;
I have promised to obey your words.
You are my portion, O Lord;
I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
you are my portion, O Lord;

I have considered my ways
and I have turned my steps toward your statutes.
I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.

Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
At midnight I will arise
to give you thanks for your righteous laws.

I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
The earth is filled with your love,
O Lord; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119: 65-72 (http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119i.mp3)
Do good to your servant
according to your word, O Lord.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I believe in your commands.

Before I was afflicted, I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.

Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.

It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and of gold.

You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and of gold.

PRAYER

Guide us, O God,
by your Word and Spirit,
that in your light we may see light,
in your truth find freedom,
and in your will discover your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Nehemiah 2:1-10

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, the king was about to be served wine. I took the wine and gave it to the king. Since I had never seemed sad in his presence, the king asked me, “Why do you seem sad? Since you aren’t sick, you must have a broken heart!” I was very afraid and replied, “May the king live forever! Why shouldn’t I seem sad when the city, the place of my family’s graves, is in ruins and its gates destroyed by fire?”

The king asked, “What is it that you need?” I prayed to the God of heaven and replied, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, please send me to Judah, to the city of my family’s graves so that I may rebuild it.” With the queen sitting beside him, the king asked me, “How long will you be away and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I told him how long I would be gone.

I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may letters be given me addressed to the governors of the province Beyond the River to allow me to travel to Judah. May the king also issue a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, directing him to supply me with timber for the beams of the temple fortress gates, for the city wall, and for the house in which I will live.” The king gave me what I asked, for the gracious power of my God was with me.

So I went to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. The king had sent officers of the army and cavalry with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard this, they were very angry that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

HYMN: John Newton
Tune: Vienna https://tinyurl.com/54wmaxp5

1 Come, my soul, thy suit prepare,
Jesus loves to answer pray’r.
He Himself has bid thee pray,
rise and ask without delay.

2 Thou art coming to a King,
large petitions with thee bring,
for his grace and pow’r are such,
none can ever ask too much.

3 With my burden I begin,
Lord, remove this load of sin!
Let Thy blood, for sinners spilt,
set my conscience free from guilt.

4 Lord! I come to Thee for rest,
take possession of my breast;
there Thy blood-bought right maintain,
and without a rival reign.

5 While I am a pilgrim here,
let Thy love my spirit cheer;
as my Guide, my Guard, my Friend,
lead me to my journey’s end.

6 Show me what I have to do;
ev’ry hour my strength renew;
let me live a life of faith;
let me die Thy people’s death.

Reading: Acts 26.9–23

Paul recalled, “I really thought that I ought to oppose the name of Jesus the Nazarene in every way possible. And that’s exactly what I did in Jerusalem. I locked up many of God’s holy people in prison under the authority of the chief priests. When they were condemned to death, I voted against them. In one synagogue after another—indeed, in all the synagogues—I would often torture them, compelling them to slander God. My rage bordered on the hysterical as I pursued them, even to foreign cities.

“On one such journey, I was going to Damascus with the full authority of the chief priests. While on the road at midday, King Agrippa, I saw a light from heaven shining around me and my traveling companions. That light was brighter than the sun. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice that said to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me? It’s hard for you to kick against a spear.’ Then I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are harassing. Get up! Stand on your feet! I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you as my servant and witness of what you have seen and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to open their eyes. Then they can turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, and receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are made holy by faith in me.’

“So, King Agrippa, I wasn’t disobedient to that heavenly vision. Instead, I proclaimed first to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, then to the whole region of Judea and to the Gentiles. My message was that they should change their hearts and lives and turn to God, and that they should demonstrate this change in their behavior. Because of this, some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to murder me. God has helped me up to this very day. Therefore, I stand here and bear witness to the lowly and the great. I’m saying nothing more than what the Prophets and Moses declared would happen: that the Christ would suffer and that, as the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to my people and to the Gentiles.”

HYMN: Gracia Grindal ©
Tune: Grosser Gott https://tinyurl.com/2p8ezeua

1 A light from heaven shone around,
and in that light a voice was heard.
Then Saul fell blinded to the ground
and cried aloud, “Who are you, Lord?”
It was the blessed Son come down
to save him from his fearful ways
and free him from the bonds of sin,
a sinner saved by Jesus’ grace.

2 Saint Paul was changed by God’s free love.
The scales fell from his eyes; he saw
the love of God, the cosmos move
in time with grace, beyond the law.
Renew us with your love, O Lord.
Your new creation let us be,
redeemed forever and restored;
with Paul’s new vision let us see.

Reading: John 5:41-47

Jesus said, “I don’t accept praise from people, but I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If others come in their own name, you receive them. How can you believe when you receive praise from each other but don’t seek the praise that comes from the only God?

“Don’t think that I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, the one in whom your hope rests. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, because Moses wrote about me. If you don’t believe the writings of Moses, how will you believe my words?”

CANTICLE Te Deum
(Chant by Joe Cox: https://tinyurl.com/ybzyundx)

We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud,
the Heavens and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry:
    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
    Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world
                              doth acknowledge thee,
    the Father, of an infinite majesty,
    thine adorable, true, and only Son,
    also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.

Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man,
thou didst humble thyself to be born of a Virgin.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our judge.
    We therefore pray thee, help thy servants,
    whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
    Make them to be numbered with thy saints,
    in glory everlasting.

THE PRAYERS WS2

O God, the heavens are yours and the earth is yours.
All our life belongs to you.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

May all injustice, violence, and oppression give way
to fairness, mercy, and goodwill.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

Teach us to use the manifold resources of the earth
so that none may waste and none may want.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

In all our labors, may cooperation triumph over conflict;
may all people find their reward in work that serves the good of all.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

Keep alive the holy fire within the hearts
of all who dare to be the voices of unwelcome wisdom.
Make us willing to hear hard demands.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

Fill us with a passion for righteousness
and a zeal to serve where there is need.
Fill us with a purpose that is holy and right and just.
Help us to love the noblest and best.
Make us your messengers of peace and justice.

Unto you, O God, be all might and majesty,
dominion and power, both now and evermore. Amen.

(Plainsong Mode 2: https://tinyurl.com/yctqq8cf)DL

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is 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.

Convert us,
Jesus the persecuted,
as you converted Paul
and sent him as apostle to the world.
May our love, our prayers, our suffering
carry your gospel at whatever cost
to all who wait to hear it.
Hear this prayer for your name’s sake. Amen. FATS

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.

$10.00

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

FATS For All the Saints, © The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, 2014

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

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

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 © 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: