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, May 28, 2012

Daily Prayer, Monday, May 28, 2012

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Invitatory Psalm 95
O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise
   to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God,
   and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land,
   which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
   and we are the people of his pasture,
   and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice!

Psalm 34
I will bless the Lord at all times;
   your praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
   let the humble hear and be glad.

O magnify the Lord with me...
I sought you, O Lord, and you answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;
   happy are those who take refuge in you.
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Which of you desires life,
   and covets many days to enjoy good?

Keep your tongue from evil,
 and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
   and saves the crushed in spirit.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Daily Lectionary Reading, John 3:1-15

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could do these miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, (f) it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.”

4 Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?”

5 Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ 8 God’s Spirit (g) blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus said, “ How are these things possible? ”

10 Jesus answered, “You are a teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things? 11 I assure you that we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you don’t receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Human One. (h) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so must the Human One (h) be lifted up 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life." 
_________________________________________________ f Or from above g Or wind h Or Son of Man
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: God, Nicodemus was religious and faithful but had not been able to grasp the notion of newness. In those occasions in which we already know what we think you want us to do, help us to receive your teaching. Help us to receive your word even in those times that we would rather travel the comfortable route. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:41-48
Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
   your salvation according to your promise.
Then I shall have an answer for those who taunt me,
   for I trust in your word.
Do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
   for my hope is in your ordinances.
I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.
I shall walk at liberty,
   for I have sought your precepts.
I will also speak of your decrees before kings,
   and shall not be put to shame;
I find my delight in your commandments,
   because I love them.
I revere your commandments, which I love,
   and I will meditate on your statutes.

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
   a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
   though the earth should change,
   though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
   though its waters roar and foam,
   though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

There is a river whose streams
   make glad the city of God,
   the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city;
it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar,
the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us; t
he God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Psalm 48
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
   in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
    is the joy of all the earth,  
Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.
Within its citadels God has shown himself a sure defense.

Then the kings assembled, they came on together.
As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
they were in panic, they took to flight;
trembling took hold of them there,
   pains as of a woman in labor,
   as when an east wind shatters the ships of Tarshish.
As we have heard, so have we seen
   in the city of the Lord of hosts,
   in the city of our God,
       which God establishes forever. Selah

We ponder your steadfast love, O God,
   in the midst of your temple.
Your name, O God, like your praise,
   reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with victory.
Let Mount Zion be glad,
let the towns of Judah rejoice
   because of your judgments.
Walk about Zion, go all around it,
count its towers, consider well its ramparts;
go through its citadels,
   that you may tell the next generation
        that this is God,
        our God forever and ever.
He will be our guide forever.

Psalm 49
Hear this, all you peoples;
give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
   both low and high,
   rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.
Why should I fear in times of trouble,
   when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
   those who trust in their wealth
   and boast of the abundance of their riches?
Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,
there is no price one can give to God for it.
For the ransom of life is costly,
    and can never suffice
    that one should live on forever
       and never see the grave.
When we look at the wise, they die;
fool and dolt perish together
   and leave their wealth to others.
Their graves are their homes forever,
their dwelling places to all generations,
    though they named lands their own.
Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
they are like the animals that perish.
Such is the fate of the foolhardy,
  the end of those who are pleased with their lot. Selah

Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
  straight to the grave they descend,
  and their form shall waste away;
Sheol shall be their home.
But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
   for he will receive me. Selah

Do not be afraid when some become rich,
   when the wealth of their houses increases.
For when they die they will carry nothing away;
their wealth will not go down after them.
Though in their lifetime they count themselves happy
   —for you are praised when you do well for yourself—
they will go to the company of their ancestors,
   who will never again see the light.
Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
they are like the animals that perish.

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