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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Daily Prayer, Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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

Invitatory Psalm 32
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
  whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
  and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
  through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
  and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
  and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
  whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
  else it will not stay near you.

Many are the torments of the wicked,
  but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
  and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Psalm 71
In you, O Lord, I take refuge; 

let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness 
deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge, 
a strong fortress, to save me,
   for you are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, 
from the hand of the wicked,
   from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, 
O Lord, from my youth.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
   and with your glory all day long.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me,
   and those who watch for my life consult together.
They say, “Pursue and seize that person 
whom God has forsaken,
   for there is no one to deliver.”

O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
let those who seek to hurt me 
be covered with scorn and disgrace.

But I will hope continually, 
and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
   of your deeds of salvation all day long,
   though their number is past my knowledge.
I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God,
I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, from my youth you have taught me,
   and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.

So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come.

Your power and your righteousness,
   O God, reach the high heavens.
You who have done great things, 
O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
   will revive me again;
   from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again.

I will also praise you with the harp
   for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you;
   my soul also, which you have rescued.
All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help,

Psalm 72
Give the king your justice, O God,
   and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
   and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
   and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
  give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures,
  and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
  like showers that water the earth.

In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound,
   until the moon is no more.
May he have dominion from sea to sea,
  and from the River to the ends of the earth.

For he delivers the needy when they call,
  the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
  and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
  and precious is their blood in his sight.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
   who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be your glorious name forever;
may your glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Numbers 21:4-9
4 They marched from Mount Hor on the Reed Sea (e) road around the land of Edom. The people became impatient on the road. 5 The people spoke against God and Moses: “Why did you bring us up from Egypt to kill us in the desert, where there is no food or water. And we detest this miserable bread!” 6 So the LORD sent poisonous (f) snakes among the people and they bit the people. Many of the Israelites died. 7 The people went to Moses and said, “We’ve sinned, for we spoke against the LORD and you. Pray to the LORD so that he will send the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a poisonous snake and place it on a pole. Whoever is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 Moses made a bronze snake and placed it on a pole. If a snake bit someone, that person could look at the bronze snake and live.
e Or Red Sea f Heb uncertain
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O Lord, you rescued them from slavery and they complained about the menu.  They finally were able to turn to you for help and asked for forgiveness. We, too, have received much help from you and have in returned complained much. Forgive us. Help us to look toward you for rescue. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:105-112
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
   to observe your righteous ordinances.
I am severely afflicted;
   give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord,
   and teach me your ordinances.
I hold my life in my hand continually,
   but I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
  but I do not stray from your precepts.
Your decrees are my heritage forever;
   they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

Psalm 104
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
    wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
  you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
  you make the clouds your chariot,
  you ride on the wings of the wind,
   you make the winds your messengers,
       fire and flame your ministers.

You set the earth on its foundations,
   so that it shall never be shaken.
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they flee;
at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
They rose up to the mountains,
   ran down to the valleys to the place
   that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
   so that they might not again cover the earth.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills,
   giving drink to every wild animal;
the wild asses quench their thirst.
By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
  and plants for people to use,
  to bring forth food from the earth,
  and wine to gladden the human heart,
  oil to make the face shine,
  and bread to strengthen the human heart.

The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has its home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.

You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night,
   when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.

The young lions roar for their prey,
   seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises,
   they withdraw and lie down in their dens.
People go out to their work
   and to their labor until the evening.
O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
  the earth is full of your creatures.

Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
  creeping things innumerable are there,
  living things both small and great.
There go the ships,
   and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

These all look to you
  to give them their food in due season;
  when you give to them, they gather it up;
  when you open your hand,
  they are filled with good things.

When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
  when you take away their breath,
  they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
  and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
   who looks on the earth and it trembles,
   who touches the mountains and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
   for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
   and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

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