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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Daily Prayer, Saturday, September 17, 2011

Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever. 
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. 


Invitatory Psalm 67
God, be gracious to us and bless us
and make your face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us;
let all the ends of the earth revere you.

Psalm 26
Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, 

and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.
I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I hate the company of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence, and go around your altar, O Lord,
singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all your wondrous deeds.
O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
those in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.
But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? 

The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek.
Do not hide your face from me. 

Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. 
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalm 29
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, theLord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare;

and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord
bless his people with peace!

Daily Lectionary Reading, Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
Give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make his deeds known to all people! 2 Sing to God; sing praises to the Lord; dwell on all his wondrous works! 3 Give praise to God’s holy name! Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the LORD ! 4 Pursue the LORD and his strength; seek his face always! 5 Remember the wondrous works he has done, all his marvelous works 
and the justice he declared— 6 you who are the offspring of Abraham, his servant, and the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

37 Then God brought Israel out, filled with silver and gold; not one of its tribes stumbled. 38 Egypt celebrated when they left because the dread of Israel had come upon them. 39 God spread out clouds as a covering; gave lightning to provide light at night. 40 The people asked, and God brought quail; God filled them full with food from heaven. 41 God opened the rock and out gushed water—flowing like a river through the desert! 42 Because God remembered his holy promise to Abraham his servant, 43 God brought his people out with rejoicing, his chosen ones with songs of joy. 44 God gave them the lands of other nations; they inherited the wealthof many peoples— 45 all so that they would keep his laws and observe his instructions. Praise the LORD !

Prayer for Today (from Timeless Psalms,[25]a_2011.htm)

LORD , argue with those who argue with me, fight with those who fight against me! 2 Grab a shield and armor; stand up and help me! 3 Use your spear and axl against those who are out to get me! Say to me:m “ I’m your salvation! ” 4 Let those who want me dead be humiliated and put to shame. Let those who intend to hurt me be thoroughly frustrated and disgraced. 5 Let them be like dust on the wind— and let the LORD ’s messenger be the one who does the blowing!God of flame and smoke, God of cloud and shelter,
we come to worship and praise you for all you have
been to so many generations of people. In ancient
times, when all was dark and difficult, your bright and
fiery presence gave light in their darkness; when the
power of the sun scorched them in the daytime, the
cloud-shadow of your gentle presence protected them;
and you were never far from away them at any time,
day and night; guiding, blessing, sustaining and
nurturing them as they travelled each day with you.

God of yesterday, in the past, you gave your people
visible signs of your presence with them to guide and
direct them on their journey to their new home in God.
God of today, what are the signs of your presence with
us today? Are our eyes, ears, minds and hearts open
to the signs of your guiding and protecting presence?
We ask that you help us open ourselves to your abiding
presence, so that we can also be guided home to you.

God of tomorrow and the future, we offer you our praises
and our trust! You are the God who has always proved to
be absolutely trustworthy and who always keeps promises.
We praise you for the way you have brought joy in our life,
and look with anticipation to more joy in you in the future.
Praises to the God of our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows. Amen.

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

Psalms 35:1-3, 9-28

LORD , argue with those who argue with me, fight with those who fight against me!
2 Grab a shield and armor; stand up and help me!
3 Use your spear and ax against those who are out to get me!
Say to me: “I’m your salvation! ”

9 But I will rejoice in the LORD; I will celebrate his salvation. 10 All my bones will say, “LORD , who could compare to you? You rescue the weak from those who overpower them; you rescue the weak and the needy from those who plunder them.”
11 Violent witnesses stand up. They question me about things I know nothing about. 12 They pay me back evil for good, leaving me stricken with grief. 13 But when they were sick, I wore clothes for grieving, and I kept a strict fast. When my prayer came back unanswered, 14 I would wander around like I was grieving a friend or a brother. I was weighed down, sad, like I was a mother in mourning. 15 But when I stumbled, they celebrated and gathered together— they gathered together against me! Strangers I didn’t know tore me to pieces and wouldn’t quit. 16 They ridiculed me over and over again, like godless people would do, grinding their teeth at me.
17 How long, my Lord, will you watch this happen? Rescue me from their attacks; rescue my precious life from these predatory lions! 18 Then I will thank you in the great assembly; I will praise you in a huge crowd of people. 19 Don’t let those who are my enemies without cause celebrate over me; don’t let those who hate me for no reason wink at my demise. 20 They don’t speak the truth; instead, they plot false accusations against innocent people in the land. 21 They speak out against me, saying, “ Yes! Oh, yes! We’ve seen it with our own eyes! ” 22 But you’ve seen it too, LORD . Don’t keep quiet about it. Please don’t be far from me, my Lord. 23 Wake up! Get up and do justice for me; argue my case, my Lord and my God! 24 Establish justice for me according to your righteousness, LORD, my God. Don’t let them celebrate over me. 25 Don’t let them say to themselves, Yes! Exactly what we wanted! Don’t let them say, “ We ate him up! ” 26 Let all those who celebrate my misfortune be disgraced and put to shame! Let those who exalt themselves over me be dressed up in shame and dishonor! 27 But let those who want things to be set right for me shout for joy and celebrate! Let them constantly say, “ The LORD is great— God wants his servant to be at peace. ” 28 Then my tongue will talk all about your righteousness; it will talk about your praise all day long.

[Common English Bible]

Psalm 38

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.

For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me.

There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.

For my iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.

My wounds grow foul and fester because of my foolishness;

I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all day long I go around mourning.

For my loins are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.

I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction, and my neighbors stand far off.

Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin, and meditate treachery all day long.

But I am like the deaf, I do not hear; like the mute, who cannot speak.

Truly, I am like one who does not hear, and in whose mouth is no retort.

But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me, those who boast against me when my foot slips.”

For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me.

I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.

Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.

Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good.

Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me;

make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.

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