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.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Daily Prayer, Monday, November 7, 2011

To you I lift up my eyes,
   O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

Invitatory Psalm 95
O come, let us sing to the Lord:
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
We come into your presence with thanksgiving;
we make a joyful noise to you with songs of praise.
You, Lord, are a great God,

In your hands are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you have made it,
and the dry land, which your hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us we kneel before our Maker!
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture,
and the sheep of your hand.

Psalm 1
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on it,  they meditate day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Psalm 2
Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”
The One who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you.
Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.

Psalm 3
O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me;
many are saying to me, “There is no help for you in God.”
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy hill.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
Rise up, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! ...
Deliverance belongs to the Lord; may your blessing be on your people!

Psalm 5
Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.
For there is no truth in their mouths; their hearts are destruction; their throats are open graves; they flatter with their tongues.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover them with favor as with a shield.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Matthew 25:14-30
14 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was leaving on a trip. He called his servants and handed his possessions over to them. 15 To one he gave five valuable coins,  and to another he gave two, and to another he gave one. He gave to each servant according to that servant’s ability. Then he left on his journey. 16 “After the man left, the servant who had five valuable coins took them and went to work doing business with them. He gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two valuable coins gained two more. 18 But the servant who had received the one valuable coin dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. 

19 “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received five valuable coins came forward with five additional coins. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’ 22 “The second servant also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained two more.’ 23 “His master replied, ‘Well done! You are a good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’ 

24 “Now the one who had received one valuable coin came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest grain where you haven’t sown. You gather crops where you haven’t spread seed. 25 So I was afraid. And I hid my valuable coin in the ground. Here, you have what’s yours.’ 

26 “His master replied, ‘You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven’t sown and that I gather crops where I haven’t spread seed? 27 In that case, you should have turned my money over to the bankers so that when I returned, you could give me what belonged to me with interest. 28 Therefore take from him the valuable coin and give it to the one who has ten coins. 

29 Those who have much will receive more, and they will have more than they need. But as for those who don’t have much, even the little bit they have will be taken away from them. 30 Now take the worthless servant and throw him outside into the darkness.’ “People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. [Common English Bible]

Today's Prayer: O Lord, give us the courage to use the gifts entrusted to us to serve your purposes. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:1-8

Psalm 6
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord—how long?
Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

Psalm 7
O Lord my God, in you I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
or like a lion they will tear me apart; they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous, you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God.
God is my shield, who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day.
I will give you the thanks due to your righteousness, and sing praise to your name, O Lord, the Most High.

Psalm 8
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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