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 30, 2012

Daily Prayer, Friday, March 30, 2012

I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.

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.
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.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
   and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Psalm 25
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
   for you are the God of my salvation;
   for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord,
   and of your steadfast love,
   for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins
   of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
   for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
   and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord
   are steadfast love and faithfulness,
   for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

For your name’s sake, O Lord,
   pardon my guilt, for it is great.

Who are they that fear the Lord?
He will teach them the way that they should choose.
They will abide in prosperity,
   and their children shall possess the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
   and he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
   for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
   for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
   and bring me out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
   and forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes,
   and with what violent hatred they hate me.

O guard my life, and deliver me;
do not let me be put to shame,
   for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
   for I wait for you.
Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Mark 15:1-23
At daybreak, the chief priests—with the elders, legal experts, and the whole Sanhedrin—formed a plan. They bound Jesus, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “That’s what you say.” 3 The chief priests were accusing him of many things. 4 Pilate asked him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? What about all these accusations?” 5 But Jesus gave no more answers so that Pilate marveled. 6 During the festival, Pilate released one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 A man named Barabbas was locked up with the rebels who had committed murder during an uprising. 8 The crowd pushed forward and asked Pilate to release someone, as he regularly did. 9 Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” 10 He knew that the chief priests had handed him over because of jealousy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas to them instead. 12 Pilate replied, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done?” They shouted even louder, “Crucify him!” 15 Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd, so he released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified.

16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the courtyard of the palace known as the governor’s headquarters, (r) and they called together the whole company of soldiers. (s) 17 They dressed him up in a purple robe and twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on him. 18 They saluted him, “Hey! King of the Jews!” 19 Again and again, they struck his head with a stick. They spit on him and knelt before him to honor him. 20 When they finished mocking him, they stripped him of the purple robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

21 Simon, a man from Cyrene, Alexander and Rufus’ father, was coming in from the countryside. They forced him to carry his cross.

22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means Skull Place. 23 They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he didn’t take it.

r  Or praetorium
s  Or cohort (approximately six hundred soldiers)
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O God, give us the will and the strength to follow your commands every day in every way. Forgive those times when we have failed to love you or our neighbors. Sustain through our suffering. Comfort us in our losses. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:33-40
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,
   and I will observe it to the end.
Give me understanding,
   that I may keep your law
   and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
   for I delight in it.
Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain.
Turn my eyes from looking at vanities;
give me life in your ways.

Confirm to your servant your promise,
   which is for those who fear you.
Turn away the disgrace that I dread,
   for your ordinances are good.
See, I have longed for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life.

Psalm 30
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
   and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
   and you have healed me.
O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
   restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
   but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”

By your favor, O Lord,
   you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face; I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cried, and to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
   so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Psalm 31
In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
   a strong fortress to save me.
You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
   for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
   but I trust in the Lord.
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
   because you have seen my affliction;
you have taken heed of my adversities,
and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye wastes away from grief,
my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
   and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
   and my bones waste away.
I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
   a horror to my neighbors,
   an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!
   — as they scheme together against me,
   as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.
Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord,
   for I call on you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.
Let the lying lips be stilled that speak insolently
   against the righteous with pride and contempt.

O how abundant is your goodness
   that you have laid up for those who fear you,
   and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
   in the sight of everyone!
In the shelter of your presence
   you hide them from human plots;
   you hold them safe under your shelter
       from contentious tongues.

Blessed be the Lord,
   for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
   when I was beset as a city under siege.
I had said in my alarm, “I am driven far from your sight.”
But you heard my supplications when I cried out to you for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints.
The Lord preserves the faithful,
   but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
   all you who wait for the Lord.

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