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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Daily Prayer, Tuesday, March 27, 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 6
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
  or discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me,
  for my bones are shaking with terror.
My soul also is struck with terror,
  while you, O Lord—how long?
Turn, O Lord, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eyes waste away because of grief;
they grow weak because of all my foes.

Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
  for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication;
the Lord accepts my prayer.

Psalm 9
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
When my enemies turned back,
   they stumbled and perished before you.
For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.

You judge the world with righteousness;
you judge the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
   a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
   for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Be gracious to me, O Lord.
See what I suffer from those who hate me;
you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,
so that I may recount all your praises,
   and, in the gates of daughter Zion, rejoice in your deliverance.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
   nor the hope of the poor perish forever.
Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;
let the nations be judged before you.
Put them in fear, O Lord;
   let the nations know that they are only human.

Psalm 10

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor
   — let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.
For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,
  those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.
In the pride of their countenance the wicked say,
   “God will not seek it out”;
        all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”
Their ways prosper at all times;
your judgments are on high, out of their sight;
as for their foes, they scoff at them.
They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved;
throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”
Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.
They sit in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places they murder the innocent.
Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;
they lurk that they may seize the poor;
they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.
They stoop, they crouch, and the helpless fall by their might.
They think in their heart,
   “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

Rise up, O Lord;
O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.
Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts,
   “You will not call us to account”?
But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,
   that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;       
   you have been the helper of the orphan.

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;
seek out their wickedness until you find none.

The Lord is king forever and ever;
the nations shall perish from his land.
O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
   so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Mark 14:1-25

It was two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and legal experts through cunning tricks were searching for a way to arrest Jesus and kill him. 2 But they agreed that it shouldn’t happen during the festival; otherwise, there would be an uproar among the people.

3 Jesus was at Bethany visiting the house of Simon, who had a skin disease. During dinner, a woman came in with a vase made of alabaster and containing very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke open the vase and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some grew angry. They said to each other, “Why waste the perfume? 5 This perfume could have been sold for almost a year’s pay (k) and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her.

6 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me. 7 You always have the poor with you; and whenever you want, you can do something good for them. But you won’t always have me. 8 She has done what she could. She has anointed my body ahead of time for burial. 9 I tell you the truth that, wherever in the whole world the good news is announced, what she’s done will also be told in memory of her.”

10 Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to give Jesus up to them. 11 When they heard it, they were delighted and promised to give him money. So he started looking for an opportunity to turn him in. 12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, the disciples said to Jesus, “ Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal? ” 13 He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city. A man carrying a water jar will meet you. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks, “Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?”’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs already furnished. Prepare for us there.” 16 The disciples left, came into the city, found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal. 17 That evening, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 During the meal, Jesus said, “I assure you that one of you will betray me—someone eating with me.” 19 Deeply saddened, they asked him, one by one, “It’s not me, is it?” 20 Jesus answered, “It’s one of the Twelve, one who is dipping bread with me into this bowl. 21 The Human One (l) goes to his death just as it is written about him. But how terrible it is for that person who betrays the Human One! (m) It would have been better for him if he had never been born” 22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 I assure you that I won’t drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way in God’s kingdom.”
k  Or three hundred denaria ; a denarion was equivalent to a day’s pay.
l Or Son of Man m Or Son of Man
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: God of grace and glory, we thank you that you judge us not by the perfection of our actions, but by our readiness to live boldly by faith. Help us, an individuals and as a congregation, to trust you and follow where you lead, that in Christ your name may be glorified in all the earth. Amen. (Ruth Duck, UMBOW 483).

Midday Psalm 119:9-16
How can young people keep their way pure?
   By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
do not let me stray from your commandments.
I treasure your word in my heart,
   so that I may not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth.
I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.


Psalm 11
In the Lord I take refuge;
   how can you say to me, “Flee like a bird to the mountains;
   for look, the wicked bend the bow,
   they have fitted their arrow to the string,
   to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
   and his soul hates the lover of violence.
For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds;
    the upright shall behold his face.

Psalm 14
Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
    there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
   to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
   there is no one who does good, no, not one.
Have they no knowledge,
   all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread,
   and do not call upon the Lord?
There they shall be in great terror,
   for God is with the company of the righteous.

You would confound the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
   Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

Psalm 15
O Lord, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Those who walk blamelessly,
    and do what is right,
    and speak the truth from their heart;
    who do not slander with their tongue,
    and do no evil to their friends,
    nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
    in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
    but who honor those who fear the Lord;
    who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
    who do not lend money at interest,
     and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

Psalm 16
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.
Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
   or take their names upon my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
  because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
   my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
   or let your faithful one see the Pit.
You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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