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, November 18, 2011

Daily Prayer, Friday, November 18, 2011

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.

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.

Psalm 41
Happy are those who consider the poor; 
the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
   they are called happy in the land.
You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.

The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;
   in their illness you heal all their infirmities.
As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me;
   heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies wonder in malice when I will die, and my name perish.
And when they come to see me, they utter empty words,
   while their hearts gather mischief;
   when they go out, they tell it abroad.

All who hate me whisper together about me; 
they imagine the worst for me.
They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,
that I will not rise again from where I lie.
Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, 
who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.

But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, 
that I may repay them.
By this I know that you are pleased with me;
because my enemy has not triumphed over me.
But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

Psalm 42
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
   while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?”

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:
   how I went with the throng,
   and led them in procession to the house of God,
       with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
   a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
   therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me?
   Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?”
As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me,
   while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

Psalm 43
Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully because of the oppression of the enemy?
O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

Psalm 47
Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.
God is king over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Psalm 100
Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth! 2 Serve the LORD with celebration! Come before him with shouts of joy! 3 Know that the LORD is God— he made us; we belong to him.(k) We are his people, the sheep of his own pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanks; enter his courtyards with praise! Thank him! Bless his name! 5 Because the LORD is good, his loyal love lasts forever; his faithfulness lasts generation after generation. _________________________________________________ k Qere; Kethib and not we ourselves
[Common English Bible]

Today's Prayer (from Timeless Psalms)
We gather together to celebrate and give thanks for each
other, as we are all a part of God’s own family; and for the
strength and encouragement we can give to each other on
our faith journey. God’s unfailing love always goes with us as
we travel along, and God’s faithfulness is utterly dependable
towards each succeeding generation; and on into all eternity.

Praise, honour, glory and reverent awe are offered to you,
God Almighty, majestic in your power, and generous in your
love and mercy. Sing for joy all creation to God, our Maker. 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.

Midday Psalm 119:78-88

Psalm 74
O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation,
   which you acquired long ago,
   which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.

Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.
Your foes have roared within your holy place;
they set up their emblems there.

At the upper entrance they hacked the wooden trellis with axes.
And then, with hatchets and hammers, they smashed all its carved work.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
they desecrated the dwelling place of your name, bringing it to the ground.

They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our emblems;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is no one among us who knows how long.

How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand;
why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the earth.
You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan; 
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You cut openings for springs and torrents;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.

Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the luminaries and the sun.
You have fixed all the bounds of the earth; 
you made summer and winter.

Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
and an impious people reviles your name.
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals; 
do not forget the life of your poor forever.
Have regard for your covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame
let the poor and needy praise your name.
Rise up, O God, plead your cause; 
remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
Do not forget the clamor of your foes, 
the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

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