It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Daily Prayer, Friday, September 2, 2011

Praise the Lord! We sing to you a new song. Praise the Lord! (from Psalm 149)

Invitatory Psalm 118
O Lord, we give thanks to to you, for you are good;
your steadfast love endures forever!
Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
What can mortals do to me?
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

Psalms 76, 80

Daily Lectionary Reading, Psalm 149

Praise the LORD !
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing God’s praise
in the assembly of the faithful!
2 Let Israel celebrate its maker;
let Zion’s children rejoice
in their king!
3 Let them praise God’s name with dance;
let them sing God’s praise
with the drum and lyre!
4 Because the LORD is pleased
with his people,
God will beautify the poor
with saving help.
5 Let the faithful celebrate with glory;
let them shout for joy on their beds.c
6 Let the high praises of God
be in their mouths
and a double-edged sword
in their hands,
7 to get revenge against the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
8 binding their rulers in chains
and their officials in iron shackles,
9 achieving the justice
written against them.
That will be an honor
for all God’s faithful people.
Praise the LORD !

Today's Prayer (from Timeless Psalms):

O Lord my God, if only you would not continue to
give me puzzles to work out from your Holy Word!!!!
If only the writers of the Psalms did not challenge me
to look within myself and my hidden agendas! If only
all I had to do was sing and dance in praise and
with joy to the Lord!! How much simpler it would be!

Creative pause: Challenged to look within myself for hidden agendas.

I love it when we can sing and dance with joy before
the Lord, and I delight to do so in our sacred spaces—
or at least I sing and dance with joy in my heart and
mind, because the physical dancing is passed me now!
But even as I sing and dance, I am challenged by the
world in which I live; where mercy, justice and peace are
often words spoken as if in a foreign language for many
leaders, who have no wish to know or deliver to their people
the blessings of mercy, justice, peace, and wholeness.

Creative pause: The foreign language of justice and mercy!

Is it because the songs I sing and celebrate have no
relevance to the world in which I and all humanity live?
Do I need to keep singing new songs about the Lord so
that the message of God is more relevant to the world
and its leaders? I know our God is unchanging, always
present in the lives, hearts and minds of people, even if
they block out that holy presence. However, is it the ever-
new God that I represent each day in my living and loving?
Do I need to update my understanding of God, so that I
can more truly and accurately represent God to the world?

Creative pause: The challenge of updating my understanding of God!

Our God, is a God of mercy, justice, compassion and peace.
May my new songs celebrate that new message every day.

Creative pause: May my new songs about God be heard.

If used in shared worship, please provide an acknowledgement as follows:
© 2011 Joan Stott – "The Timeless Psalms" RCL Psalm Year A, used with permission.

Midday Psalm 119:121-128

Psalm 106

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