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, March 16, 2012

Daily Prayer, Friday, March 16, 2012

We thank you, Lord,  for your steadfast love,
for your wonderful works to humankind.


Invitatory Psalm 51
Have mercy on me, O God,
  according to your steadfast love;
  according to your abundant mercy
      blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
  and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
  and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
  and done what is evil in your sight,
  so that you are justified in your sentence
  and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty,
  a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
  and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
  and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
  and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
  and sustain in me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
  and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodshed,
  O God, O God of my salvation,
  and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
O Lord, open my lips,
  and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt offering,
  you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
then you will delight in right sacrifices,
  in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Psalm 76
In Judah God is known, his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah

Glorious are you, more majestic than the everlasting mountains.
The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil;
they sank into sleep; none of the troops was able to lift a hand.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned.
But you indeed are awesome!
Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?

From the heavens you uttered judgment;
the earth feared and was still when God rose up
   to establish judgment, to save all the oppressed of the earth. Selah
Human wrath serves only to praise you,
   when you bind the last bit of your wrath around you.

Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;
let all who are around him bring gifts to the one who is awesome,
who cuts off the spirit of princes, who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.

Psalm 80
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim,
   shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might, and come to save us!
Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,
   how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
   and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
   so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
   and all that move in the field feed on it.
Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted.
They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
   the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Psalm 107:17-22
17 Some of the redeemed were fools because of their sinful ways. They suffered because of their wickedness. 18 They had absolutely no appetite for food; they had arrived at death’s gates. 19 So they cried out to the LORD in their distress, and God saved them from their desperate circumstances. 20 God gave the order and healed them; he rescued them from their pit. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O Lord, we confess that we have not always followed your commands. We have found ourselves in difficulties caused by others and in difficulties caused by our own failures and missteps. We call on you to give us aid during our time of distress. Save us. Heal us. Rescue us. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:121-128
I have done what is just and right;
   do not leave me to my oppressors.
Guarantee your servant’s well-being;
   do not let the godless oppress me.
My eyes fail from watching for your salvation,
   and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
   and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; give me understanding,
   so that I may know your decrees.
It is time for the Lord to act,
   for your law has been broken.
Truly I love your commandments more than gold,
   more than fine gold.
Truly I direct my steps by all your precepts;
I hate every false way.

Psalm 106
Praise the Lord!
  O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
  for his steadfast love endures for ever.
Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord,
  or declare all his praise?
Happy are those who observe justice,
  who do righteousness at all times.

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favour to your people;
  help me when you deliver them;
that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
  that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
  that I may glory in your heritage.

Both we and our ancestors have sinned;
  we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly.
Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt,
  did not consider your wonderful works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
  but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea.
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
  so that he might make known his mighty power.
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry;
  he led them through the deep as through a desert.
So he saved them from the hand of the foe,
  and delivered them from the hand of the enemy.
The waters covered their adversaries;
  not one of them was left.
Then they believed his words;
  they sang his praise.

But they soon forgot his works;
  they did not wait for his counsel.
But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
  and put God to the test in the desert;
he gave them what they asked,
  but sent a wasting disease among them.

They were jealous of Moses in the camp,
  and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord.
The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
  and covered the faction of Abiram.
Fire also broke out in their company;
  the flame burned up the wicked.

They made a calf at Horeb
  and worshipped a cast image.
They exchanged the glory of God
  for the image of an ox that eats grass.
They forgot God, their Saviour,
  who had done great things in Egypt,
wondrous works in the land of Ham,
  and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
Therefore he said he would destroy them—
  had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
  to turn away his wrath from destroying them.

Then they despised the pleasant land,
  having no faith in his promise.
They grumbled in their tents,
  and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them
  that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
and would disperse their descendants among the nations,
  scattering them over the lands.

Then they attached themselves to the Baal of Peor,
  and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,
  and a plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and interceded,
  and the plague was stopped.
And that has been reckoned to him as righteousness
  from generation to generation for ever.

They angered the Lord at the waters of Meribah,
  and it went ill with Moses on their account;
for they made his spirit bitter,
  and he spoke words that were rash.

They did not destroy the peoples
  as the Lord commanded them,
but they mingled with the nations
  and learned to do as they did.
They served their idols,
  which became a snare to them.
They sacrificed their sons
  and their daughters to the demons;
they poured out innocent blood,
  the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
  and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they became unclean by their acts,
  and prostituted themselves in their doings.

Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
  and he abhorred his heritage;
he gave them into the hand of the nations,
  so that those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,
  and they were brought into subjection under their power.
Many times he delivered them,
  but they were rebellious in their purposes,
  and were brought low through their iniquity.
Nevertheless, he regarded their distress
  when he heard their cry.
For their sake he remembered his covenant,
  and showed compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
He caused them to be pitied
  by all who held them captive.

Save us, O Lord our God,
  and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
  and glory in your praise.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  from everlasting to everlasting.
And let all the people say, ‘Amen.’
  Praise the Lord!

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