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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daily Prayer, Thursday, March 29, 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 38
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
  or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
  and your hand has come down on me.
There is no soundness in my flesh
  because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.
My wounds grow foul and fester
  because of my foolishness;
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all day long I go around mourning.
For my loins are filled with burning,
  and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am utterly spent and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
  and my neighbors stand far off.
Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin,
  and meditate treachery all day long.
But I am like the deaf, I do not hear;
  like the mute, who cannot speak.
Truly, I am like one who does not hear,
  and in whose mouth is no retort.
But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me,
  those who boast against me when my foot slips.”
For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.
Those who are my foes without cause are mighty,
  and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries
  because I follow after good.
Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, do not be far from me;
make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.

Psalm 19
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
   and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out
   like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
   and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hid from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever;

the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is your servant warned;
   in keeping them there is great reward.

But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
   be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 20
The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! 

The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary, 

and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings, 

and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah

May he grant you your heart’s desire, 

and fulfill all your plans.
May we shout for joy over your victory, 

and in the name of our God set up our banners. 
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; 

he will answer him from his holy heaven 
with mighty victories by his right hand.

Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, 

but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall, 

but we shall rise and stand upright.
Give victory to the king, O Lord; 

answer us when we call.

Psalm 21
In your strength the king rejoices, O Lord,
   and in your help how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire,
   and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
you set a crown of fine gold on his head.
He asked you for life;
you gave it to him— length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your help;
splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
You bestow on him blessings forever;
you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord,
   and through the steadfast love of the Most High
   he shall not be moved.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! 

We will sing and praise your power.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Mark 14:51-72

51 One young man, a disciple, was wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They grabbed him, 52 but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked. 53 They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders, and legal experts gathered. 54 Peter followed him from a distance, right into the high priest’s courtyard. He was sitting with the guards, warming himself by the fire. 55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they couldn’t find any. 56 Many brought false testimony against him, but they contradicted each other. 57 Some stood to offer false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him saying, ‘I will destroy this temple, constructed by humans, and within three days I will build another, one not made by humans.’” 59 But their testimonies didn’t agree even on this point. 60 Then the high priest stood up in the middle of the gathering and examined Jesus. “Aren’t you going to respond to the testimony these people have brought against you?” 61 But Jesus was silent and didn’t answer. Again, the high priest asked, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed one?” 62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Human One (p) sitting on the right side of the Almighty (q) and coming on the heavenly clouds.” 63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we need any more witnesses? 64 You’ve heard his insult against God. What do you think?” They all condemned him. “He deserves to die!” 65 Some began to spit on him. Some covered his face and hit him, saying, “Prophesy!” Then the guards took him and beat him.

66 Meanwhile, Peter was below in the courtyard. A woman, one of the high priest’s servants, approached 67 and saw Peter warming himself by the fire. She stared at him and said, “You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t understand what you’re saying.” And he went outside into the outer courtyard. A rooster crowed. 69 The female servant saw him and began a second time to say to those standing around, “This man is one of them.” 70 But he denied it again. A short time later, those standing around again said to Peter, “ You must be one of them, because you are also a Galilean.” 71 But he cursed and swore, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” 72 At that very moment, a rooster crowed a second time. Peter remembered what Jesus told him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down, sobbing. _________________________________________________ p Or Son of Man q Or the Power
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O Lord, we confess that we have not acknowledged you many times. Too often when we knew what you had told us to do, but fear or merely embarrassment stopped us. We worried about what others would think not what you wanted. We worried about what we wanted not what someone else needed. Strengthen our resolve to follow you, to obey you so our lives and actions will show to the world what you are like. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:25-32
My soul clings to the dust;
revive me according to your word.
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
   and I will meditate on your wondrous works.

My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
Put false ways far from me;
   and graciously teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your ordinances before me.
I cling to your decrees, O Lord;
   let me not be put to shame.
I run the way of your commandments,
   for you enlarge my understanding.

Psalm 22
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, f
   rom the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
   and by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted,
   and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved;
in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm, and not human;
   scorned by others, and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me;
they make mouths at me,
they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord;
let him deliver—
    let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
On you I was cast from my birth,
   and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

Do not be far from me,
   for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
Many bulls encircle me,
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
   like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water,
   and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
   and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.

For dogs are all around me;
a company of evildoers encircles me.
My hands and feet have shriveled;
I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;
they divide my clothes among themselves,
   and for my clothing they cast lots.

But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
O my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
   my life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!

From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.

From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

Psalm 28
To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
   for if you are silent to me,
   I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my supplication,
   as I cry to you for help,
   as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.
Do not drag me away with the wicked,
   with those who are workers of evil,
   who speak peace with their neighbors,
   while mischief is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their work,
   and according to the evil of their deeds;
repay them according to the work of their hands;
render them their due reward.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
   or the work of his hands,
he will break them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord,
   for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
   in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
   and with my song I give thanks to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
O save your people, and bless your heritage;
be their shepherd, and carry them forever.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
   and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
   shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,
   and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
   and I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
   and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
   saying that he has done it.

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