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, February 24, 2012

Daily Prayer, Friday, February 24, 2012

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me.

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. 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. You won’t despise a heart, God, that is broken and crushed. 18 Do good things for Zion by your favor. Rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. 19 Then you will again want sacrifices of righteousness— entirely burned offerings and complete offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

[Common English Bible]
Psalms 131
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore.

Psalm 132
O Lord, remember in David’s favor all the hardships he endured;
   how he swore to the Lord and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
   “I will not enter my house or get into my bed;
   I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,
        until I find a place for the Lord,
             a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
We heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.
“Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool.”

Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
   you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
   and let your faithful shout for joy.
For your servant David’s sake
   do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
The Lord swore to David a sure oath
   from which he will not turn back:
   “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.
If your sons keep my covenant and my decrees that I shall teach them,
   their sons also, forevermore, shall sit on your throne.”

For the Lord has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his habitation:
   “This is my resting place forever;
   here I will reside, for I have desired it.
   I will abundantly bless its provisions;
   I will satisfy its poor with bread.
   Its priests I will clothe with salvation,
       and its faithful will shout for joy.
   There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David;
   I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.
   His enemies I will clothe with disgrace,
      but on him, his crown will gleam.”

Psalm 133
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard,
   on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Genesis 9:8-17
8 God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “I am now setting up my covenant with you, with your descendants, 10 and with every living being with you—with the birds, with the large animals, and with all the animals of the earth, leaving the ark with you.( h) 11 I will set up my covenant with you so that never again will all life be cut off by floodwaters. There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God said, “This is the symbol of the covenant that I am drawing up between me and you and every living thing with you, on behalf of every future generation. 13 I have placed my bow in the clouds; it will be the symbol of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember the covenant between me and you and every living being among all the creatures. Floodwaters will never again destroy all creatures. 16 The bow will be in the clouds, and upon seeing it I will remember the enduring covenant between God and every living being of all the earth’s creatures.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the symbol of the covenant that I have set up between me and all creatures on earth.” [Common English Bible]  __________________________________________
 h LXX; MT includes for all the animals of the earth.

Prayer for Today: O God, you have sent reminders to us of the covenant you have established with us, to care for us and for all the earth. You have promised to remember. Help us now to remember to remember what you have done, what you are doing, and what you have promised to do. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:169-176
Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
My lips will pour forth praise,
  because you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your promise,
  for all your commandments are right.
Let your hand be ready to help me,
 for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O Lord,
  and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you,
  and let your ordinances help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek out your servant,
  for I do not forget your commandments.


Psalm 137
By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down
   and there we wept when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there we hung up our harps.
For there our captors asked us for songs,
   and our tormentors asked for mirth,
       saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
   if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

Psalm 138
I give you thanks, O Lord
with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple 
and give thanks to your name
   for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name 
and your word above everything.

On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
   for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
   for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
   but the haughty he perceives from far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
   you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
   you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
   and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord,
   you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before,
   and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
   it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
   and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
   even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light around me become night,”
   even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day, 
for darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
   when I was being made in secret,
   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written all the days
   that were formed for me,
   when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

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