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.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Daily Prayer, Sunday, February, 5, 2012

Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to you;
   for you are gracious,
   and a song of praise is fitting. (from Psalm 147:1)

Invitatory Psalm 67
God, be gracious to us and bless us
and make your face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us;
let all the ends of the earth revere you.

Psalm 32
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
   whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
   and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
   through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
  and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
  and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
   whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
   else it will not stay near you.
Many are the torments of the wicked,
   but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
   and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Daily Lectionary Reading, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 

16 If I preach the gospel, I have no reason to brag, since I’m obligated to do it. I’m in trouble if I don’t preach the gospel. 17 If I do this voluntarily, I get rewarded for it. But if I’m forced to do it, then I’ve been charged with a responsibility. 18 What reward do I get? That when I preach, I offer the good news free of charge. That’s why I don’t use the rights to which I’m entitled through the gospel.

19 Although I’m free from all people, I make myself a slave to all people, to recruit more of them. 20 I act like a Jew to the Jews, so I can recruit Jews. I act like I’m under the Law to those under the Law, so I can recruit those who are under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law). 21 I act like I’m outside the Law to those who are outside the Law, so I can recruit those outside the Law (though I’m not outside the law of God but rather under the law of Christ). 22 I act weak to the weak, so I can recruit the weak. I have become all things to all people, so I could save some by all possible means. 23 All the things I do are for the sake of the gospel, so I can be a partner with it. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O Lord, we have heard your word and felt your presence. We are grateful for all that you have done and are doing for us. Help us now to explain to others what you are like, what you have done for us, and what you are doing for them. Give us the words to describe your presence so that they, too, can know you. Amen.

Psalm 44
We have heard with our ears, O God,
our ancestors have told us,
   what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old:
you with your own hand drove out the nations,
   but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples, but them you set free;

for not by their own sword did they win the land,
   nor did their own arm give them victory;
but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your countenance,
   for you delighted in them.

You are my King and my God; you command victories for Jacob.
Through you we push down our foes;
through your name we tread down our assailants.

For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes,
   and have put to confusion those who hate us.

In God we have boasted continually,
   and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah

Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
   and have not gone out with our armies.

You made us turn back from the foe,
   and our enemies have gotten spoil.
You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
   and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a trifle,
   demanding no high price for them.
You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
   the derision and scorn of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the nations,
   a laughingstock among the peoples.
All day long my disgrace is before me,
   and shame has covered my face
at the words of the taunters and revilers,
   at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
All this has come upon us, yet we have not forgotten you,
   or been false to your covenant.
Our heart has not turned back,
   nor have our steps departed from your way,
yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
   and covered us with deep darkness.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
   or spread out our hands to a strange god,
   would not God discover this?
       For he knows the secrets of the heart.
Because of you we are being killed all day long,
   and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Rouse yourself!
Why do you sleep, O Lord?
Awake, do not cast us off forever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
   For we sink down to the dust;
   our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up, come to our help.
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love

Psalm 45
My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
You are the most handsome of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
   therefore God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
    in your glory and majesty.
In your majesty ride on victoriously for the cause of truth
   and to defend the right;
let your right hand teach you dread deeds.
Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.
Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
   with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear;
forget your people and your father’s house,
and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him;
the people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
   the richest of the people with all kinds of wealth.
The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;
in many-colored robes she is led to the king;
   behind her the virgins, her companions, follow.
With joy and gladness they are led along
   as they enter the palace of the king.
In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons;
   you will make them princes in all the earth.
I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations;
therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

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