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.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Daily Prayer, Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, 2011

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Invitatory Psalm 150
Praise the Lord!
We praise you in your sanctuary;
we praise you in your mighty firmament!
We praise you for your mighty deeds;
We praise you according to your surpassing greatness!
We praise you with trumpet sound;
We praise you with tambourine and dance;
We praise you with strings and pipe!
We praise you with clanging cymbals;
We praise you with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 73
Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pain; their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are; they are not plagued like other people.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes swell out with fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues range over the earth.
Therefore the people turn and praise them, and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Such are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain I have kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued, and am punished every morning.
If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,” I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes; on awaking you despise their phantoms.
When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you.
Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Indeed, those who are far from you will perish; you put an end to those who are false to you.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.

Daily Lectionary Readings (Thanksgiving):
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6 What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop. 7 Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver. 8 God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work. 9 As it is written, He scattered everywhere; he gave to the needy; his righteousness remains forever. (i) 10 The one who supplies seed for planting and bread for eating will supply and multiply your seed and will increase your crop, which is righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every way. Such generosity produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 Your ministry of this service to God’s people isn’t only fully meeting their needs but it is also multiplying in many expressions of thanksgiving to God. 13 They will give honor to God for your obedience to your confession of Christ’s gospel. They will do this because this service provides evidence of your obedience, and because of your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 They will also pray for you, and they will care deeply for you because of the outstanding grace that God has given to you. 15 Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe! 
[Common English Bible] _________________________________________________ i Ps 112:9

Luke 17:11-19
11 On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men with skin diseases approached him. Keeping their distance from him, 13 they raised their voices and said, “ Jesus, Master, show us mercy! ” 14 When Jesus saw them, he said, “ Go, show yourselves to the priests. ” As they left, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. 16 He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus replied, “ Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 No one returned to praise God except this foreigner? ” 19 Then Jesus said to him, “ Get up and go. Your faith has healed you. ”

Today's Prayer: Most gracious God, you crown the year with your goodness. We praise you that you have ever fulfilled your promise that, while earth remains, seedtime and harvest shall not cease. We bless you for the order and constancy of nature, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea, an for the providence that year by year supplies our need We thank you for your blessing on the work of those who plowed the soil and sowed the see, and have gathered in the fruits of the earth. and with our thanksgiving for these blessings, accept our praise... Amen. (from UMH 418).

Midday Psalm 119:113-120
I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
Go away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
   and let me not be put to shame in my hope.
Hold me up, that I may be safe
   and have regard for your statutes continually.
You spurn all who go astray from your statutes;
  for their cunning is in vain.
All the wicked of the earth you count as dross;
  therefore I love your decrees.
My flesh trembles for fear of you,
  and I am afraid of your judgments.    

Psalm 105
O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of his servant Abraham, children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
He is mindful of his covenant forever, of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,
which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.”
When they were few in number, of little account, and strangers in it,
wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,
he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account,
saying, “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”
When he summoned famine against the land, and broke every staff of bread,
he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
His feet were hurt with fetters, his neck was put in a collar of iron;
until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord kept testing him.
The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions,
to instruct his officials at his pleasure, and to teach his elders wisdom.
Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.
And the Lord made his people very fruitful, and made them stronger than their foes,
whose hearts he then turned to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants.
He sent his servant Moses, and Aaron whom he had chosen.
They performed his signs among them, and miracles in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness, and made the land dark; they rebelled against his words.
He turned their waters into blood, and caused their fish to die.
Their land swarmed with frogs, even in the chambers of their kings.
He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country.
He gave them hail for rain, and lightning that flashed through their land.
He struck their vines and fig trees, and shattered the trees of their country.
He spoke, and the locusts came, and young locusts without number;
they devoured all the vegetation in their land, and ate up the fruit of their ground.
He struck down all the firstborn in their land, the first issue of all their strength.
Then he brought Israel out with silver and gold, and there was no one among their tribes who stumbled.
Egypt was glad when they departed, for dread of them had fallen upon it.
He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light by night.
They asked, and he brought quails, and gave them food from heaven in abundance.
He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river.
For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant.
So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing.
He gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the wealth of the peoples,
that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise the Lord!

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