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, May 18, 2012

Daily Prayer, Friday, May 18, 2012

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.

Invitatory Psalm  118
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
   “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.

With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
What can mortals do to me?
The Lord is on my side to help me;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
   than to put confidence in mortals.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
   than to put confidence in princes.

All nations surrounded me;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me,
   surrounded me on every side;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me like bees;
they blazed like a fire of thorns;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
   but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory
   in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
   and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me severely,
   but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
   that I may enter through them
   and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
   and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.

The Lord is God, and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
   up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
   for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalms 131
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
   too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
   like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
   from this time on and forevermore.

Psalm 132
O Lord, remember in David’s favor
   all the hardships he endured;
   how he swore to the Lord and vowed
       to the Mighty One of Jacob,
   “I will not enter my house or get into my bed;
   I will not give sleep to my eyes
       or slumber to my eyelids,
        until I find a place for the Lord,
             a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
We heard of it in Ephrathah;
we found it in the fields of Jaar.
“Let us go to his dwelling place;
let us worship at his footstool.”

Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
   you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
   and let your faithful shout for joy.
For your servant David’s sake
   do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
The Lord swore to David a sure oath
   from which he will not turn back:
   “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.
If your sons keep my covenant
   and my decrees that I shall teach them,
   their sons also, forevermore, shall sit on your throne.”

For the Lord has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his habitation:
   “This is my resting place forever;
   here I will reside, for I have desired it.
   I will abundantly bless its provisions;
   I will satisfy its poor with bread.
   Its priests I will clothe with salvation,
       and its faithful will shout for joy.
   There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David;
   I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.
   His enemies I will clothe with disgrace,
      but on him, his crown will gleam.”

Psalm 133
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard,
   on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Psalm 1
The truly happy person doesn’t follow wicked advice, 
    doesn’t stand on the road of sinners, 
    and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful. 
2 Instead of doing those things, these persons 
    love the LORD’s Instruction, 
    and they recite God’s Instruction day and night! 
3 They are like a tree replanted by streams of water, 
    which bears fruit at just the right time 
    and whose leaves don’t fade. 
Whatever they do succeeds. 

4 That’s not true for the wicked! 
They are like dust that the wind blows away. 
5 And that’s why the wicked will have no standing 
    in the court of justice— 
neither will sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
 6 The LORD is intimately acquainted 
    with the way of the righteous, 
but the way of the wicked is destroyed. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: Choose one from the Timeless Psalms offered by Joan Stott

Midday Psalm 119:169-176

Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
My lips will pour forth praise,
  because you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your promise,
  for all your commandments are right.
Let your hand be ready to help me,
 for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O Lord,
  and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you,
  and let your ordinances help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek out your servant,
  for I do not forget your commandments.


Psalm 137
By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down
   and there we wept when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there we hung up our harps.
For there our captors asked us for songs,
   and our tormentors asked for mirth,
       saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
   if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

Psalm 138
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name
   for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
   for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
   for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
   but the haughty he perceives from far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
   you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
   you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
   and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord,
   you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before,
   and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
   it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
   and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
   even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light around me become night,”
   even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
   when I was being made in secret,
   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written all the days
   that were formed for me,
   when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

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