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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Daily Prayer, Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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

Invitatory Psalm 84
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.


For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
who bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Psalm 36
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts;
there is no fear of God before their eyes.
For they flatter themselves in their own eyes
   that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit;
they have ceased to act wisely and do good.
They plot mischief while on their beds;
they are set on a way that is not good;
they do not reject evil.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
   your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
   and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
   and your salvation to the upright of heart!
Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
   or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Matthew 25:41-46
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you who will receive terrible things. Go into the unending fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 I was hungry and you didn’t give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked and you didn’t give me clothes to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ 44 “ Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t do anything to help you?’ 45 Then he will answer, ‘I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment. But the righteous ones will go into eternal life. ”

Today's Prayer: O Lord, forgive us for those times that we ignored the needs of those people that just did not seem worthy to us. Help us to figure out how to help them, to discern what needs to change so that all people can live the kind of lives that are just and full and comforting. Soothe our fears so that we can see your presence in them. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:49-56

Psalm 55
Give ear to my prayer, O God;
do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
   because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me,
   and in anger they cherish enmity against me.
My heart is in anguish within me,
   the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
   I would fly away and be at rest;
   truly, I would flee far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself from the raging wind and tempest.”
But I call upon God, and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan,
   and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem me unharmed from the battle that I wage,
   for many are arrayed against me.
God, who is enthroned from of old, Selah will hear, and will humble them—
because they do not change, and do not fear God.
My companion laid hands on a friend and violated a covenant with me
with speech smoother than butter, but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil, but in fact were drawn swords.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
But you, O God, will cast them down into the lowest pit; the bloodthirsty and treacherous shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in you.

Psalm 59
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from those who work evil;
from the bloodthirsty save me.
O my strength, I will watch for you;
for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Do not kill them, or my people may forget;
make them totter by your power,
   and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,
   let them be trapped in their pride.
For the cursing and lies that they utter,
consume them in wrath;
consume them until they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. Selah
Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city.
They roam about for food, and growl if they do not get their fill.
But I will sing of your might; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to you,
   for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

Psalm 60
O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
   you have been angry; now restore us!
You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open;
   repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.
You have made your people suffer hard things;
   you have given us wine to drink that made us reel.
You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
    to rally to it out of bowshot. Selah
Give victory with your right hand, and answer us,
   so that those whom you love may be rescued.
Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
O grant us help against the foe, for human help is worthless.
With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.

Psalm 62
For you alone, O God,  my soul waits in silence;
   from you comes my salvation.
You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
    I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,
will you batter your victim, all of you,
as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah

For you alone, God,  my soul waits in silence,
   for my hope is from you.
You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
   I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in God at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before God;
God is a refuge for us. Selah

Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all according to their work.

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