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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Daily Prayer, February 22, 2012, Ash Wednesday

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

Invitatory Psalm 51

  •  Have mercy on me, God,
  • according to your faithful love!
  • Wipe away my wrongdoings
  • according to your great compassion!
  • 2 Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
  • purify me from my sin!
  • 3 Because I know my wrongdoings,
  • my sin is always right in front of me.
  • 4 I’ve sinned against you—you alone.
  • I’ve committed evil in your sight.
  • That’s why you are justified
  • when you render your verdict,
  • completely correct
  • when you issue your judgment.
  • 5 Yes, I was born in guilt, in sin,
  • from the moment my mother conceived me.
  • 6 And yes, you want truth
  • in the most hidden places;
  • you teach me wisdom
  • in the most secret space.r
  • 7 Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean;
  • wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
  • 8 Let me hear joy and celebration again;
  • let the bones you crushed
  • rejoice once more.
  • 9 Hide your face from my sins;
  • wipe away all my guilty deeds!
  • 10 Create a clean heart for me, God;
  • put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!
  • 11 Please don’t throw me
  • out of your presence;
  • please don’t take your holy spirit
  • away from me.
  • 12 Return the joy of your salvation to me
  • and sustain me with a willing spirit.
  • 13 Then I will teach wrongdoers your ways,
  • and sinners will come back to you.
  • 14 Deliver me from violence, God,
  • God of my salvation,
  • so that my tongue can sing
  • of your righteousness.
  • 15 Lord, open my lips,
  • and my mouth
  • will proclaim your praise.
  • 16 You don’t want sacrifices.
  • If I gave an entirely burned offering,
  • you wouldn’t be pleased.
  • 17 A broken spirit is my sacrifice, God.s
  • You won’t despise a heart, God,
  • that is broken and crushed.
________________________________________________ r Heb uncertain
s Correction
[Common English Bible]

Psalm 120
“Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.”
Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.
I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

Psalm 122
I was glad when they said to me,
   “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,
   as was decreed for Israel,
   to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
   the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
   “May they prosper who love you.
   Peace be within your walls,
      and security within your towers.”

For the sake of my relatives and friends
   I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
   I will seek your good.

Psalm 123
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
   as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
   so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
   for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease,
   of the contempt of the proud.

Psalm 124
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side—let Israel now say—
if it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when our enemies attacked us,
then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us;
then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us;
then over us would have gone the raging waters.

Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken, and we have escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Daily Lectionary Reading: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Blow the horn in Zion; give a shout on my holy mountain! Let all the people of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is near— 2 a day of darkness and no light, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread out upon the mountains, a great and powerful army (f) comes, unlike any that has ever come before them, or will come after them in centuries ahead.

12 Yet even now, says the LORD ,
return to me with all your hearts,
with fasting, with weeping,
and with sorrow;
13 tear your hearts
and not your clothing.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
very patient, full of faithful love,
and ready to forgive.
14 Who knows whether he will have a change of heart
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the LORD your God?
15 Blow the horn in Zion;
demand a fast;
request a special assembly.
16 Gather the people;
prepare a holy meeting;
assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the groom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
17 Between the porch and the altar
let the priests,
the LORD ’s ministers, weep.
Let them say, “ Have mercy, LORD ,
on your people,
and don’t make your inheritance a disgrace,
an example of failure
among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ” [Common English Bible]
f  Or a great and strong people

Prayer for Today: O God, you have already given your grace to us. We ask you now for your continued help in using that gift in the way you intend. Help us to observe a holy Lent by repentance, by prayer, and by reading and meditating on your Holy Word. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:153-160
Look on my misery and rescue me,
  for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;
  give me life according to your promise.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
  for they do not seek your statutes.
Great is your mercy, O Lord;
  give me life according to your justice.
Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
  yet I do not swerve from your decrees.
I look at the faithless with disgust,
  because they do not keep your commands.
Consider how I love your precepts;
  preserve my life according to your steadfast love.
The sum of your word is truth;
  and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.

Psalm 130
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
   Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
   so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
   and in your word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
   more than those who watch for the morning,
   more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
   and with him is great power to redeem.

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