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.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Daily Prayer, Monday, March 19, 2012

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a right spirit within me.

Invitatory Psalm 143
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my supplications
  in your faithfulness;
answer me in your righteousness.
Do not enter into judgment with your servant,
  for no one living is righteous before you.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.
I remember the days of old,
I think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

Answer me quickly, O Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me,
  or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
  for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
  for to you I lift up my soul.
Teach me to do your will,
  for you are my God.
Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.
For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life.

Psalms 94
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
   how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words;
all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
   and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the stranger,
they murder the orphan,
  and they say, “The Lord does not see;
   the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people;
fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations,
he who teaches knowledge to humankind,
  does he not chastise?

The Lord knows our thoughts,
   that they are but an empty breath.
Happy are those whom you discipline, O Lord,
   and whom you teach out of your law,
   giving them respite from days of trouble,
   until a pit is dug for the wicked.

For the Lord will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous,
   and all the upright in heart will follow it.
Who rises up for me against the wicked?
Who stands up for me against evildoers?

If the Lord had not been my help,
   my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”
   your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
   your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
   those who contrive mischief by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous,
   and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
   and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will repay them for their iniquity
   and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will wipe them out.

Psalm 96
O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
   his marvelous works among all the peoples.

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
  but the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor;
tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord is king!
The world is firmly established;
it shall never be moved.
He will judge the peoples with equity.”

Let the heavens be glad,
  and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
   before the Lord;
   for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
   and the peoples with his truth.

Daily Lectionary Reading, John 21:20-26
20 Some Greeks were among those who had come up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request, “ Sir, we want to see Jesus. ” 22 Philip told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One (l) to be glorified. 24 I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me. [Common English Bible]
l  Or Son of Man

Prayer for Today: O God, the Source of All Our Being, we praise you for your gifts and your care. Sustain us through our difficult times. Calm our fears. Strengthen us to follow your will. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:129-136
Your decrees are wonderful;
  therefore my soul keeps them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
With open mouth I pant,
  because I long for your commandments.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
  as is your custom toward those who love your name.
Keep my steps steady according to your promise,
  and never let iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from human oppression,
  that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant,
  and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears
  because your law is not kept.

Psalms 110
The Lord says to my lord, “Sit at my right hand
   until I make your enemies your footstool.”
The Lord sends out from Zion your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your foes.
Your people will offer themselves willingly
   on the day you lead your forces on the holy mountains.
From the womb of the morning, like dew,
   your youth will come to you.
The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind,
   “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
He will execute judgment among the nations,
   filling them with corpses;
he will shatter heads over the wide earth.
He will drink from the stream by the path;
therefore he will lift up his head.

Psalm 111
Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
   in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
Full of honor and majesty is his work,
   and his righteousness endures forever.
He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works, i
   n giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established forever and ever,
   to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.

Holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever.

Psalm 112
Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.
Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.
They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in theLord.
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked see it and are angry; they gnash their teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Psalm 113
Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord
praise the name of theLord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations, 
and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust, 
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes, 
with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home, 
making her the joyous mother of children. 
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 114
When Israel went out from Egypt,
   the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
Why is it, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back?
O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
   at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock into a pool of water,
   the flint into a spring of water.

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