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.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Daily Prayer, Sunday, September 16, 2012

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

Invitatory Psalm 24
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
  and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
  who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
  and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
  and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
  who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Lift up your heads, O gates!
  and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
  that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
  the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
  and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
  that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah

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.

Daily Lectionary Reading, James 3:1-12

My brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers, because we know that we teachers will be judged more strictly. 2 We all make mistakes often, but those who don’t make mistakes with their words have reached full maturity. Like a bridled horse, they can control themselves entirely. 3 When we bridle horses and put bits in their mouths to lead them wherever we want, we can control their whole bodies.

4 Consider ships: they are so large that strong winds are needed to drive them. But pilots direct their ships wherever they want with a little rudder. 5 In the same way, even though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts wildly.

Think about this: a small flame can set a whole forest on fire. 6 The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell.

7 People can tame and already have tamed every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish. 8 No one can tame the tongue, though. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we both bless the Lord and Father and curse human beings made in God’s likeness. 10 Blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, it just shouldn’t be this way!

11 Both fresh water and salt water don’t come from the same spring, do they? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives? Can a grapevine produce figs? Of course not, and fresh water doesn’t flow from a saltwater spring either. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O God, help me to just stay quiet in those circumstances when what I was thinking would not have been helpful but would have harmed others. And help me to speak when an appropriate word would be kind. Amen.
Psalm 44
We have heard with our ears, O God,
our ancestors have told us,
   what deeds you performed in their days,
   in the days of old:

For not in my bow do I trust,
   nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes,
   and have put to confusion those who hate us.

In God we have boasted continually,
   and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah

Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
   and have not gone out with our armies.

You made us turn back from the foe,
   and our enemies have gotten spoil.
You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
   and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a trifle,
   demanding no high price for them.
You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
   the derision and scorn of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the nations,
   a laughingstock among the peoples.
All day long my disgrace is before me,
   and shame has covered my face
at the words of the taunters and revilers,
   at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
All this has come upon us, yet we have not forgotten you,
   or been false to your covenant.
Our heart has not turned back,
   nor have our steps departed from your way,
yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
   and covered us with deep darkness.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
   or spread out our hands to a strange god,
   would not God discover this?
       For he knows the secrets of the heart.
Because of you we are being killed all day long,
   and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Rouse yourself!
Why do you sleep, O Lord?
Awake, do not cast us off forever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
   For we sink down to the dust;
   our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up, come to our help.
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love

Psalm 45
My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
You are the most handsome of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
   therefore God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
    in your glory and majesty.
In your majesty ride on victoriously for the cause of truth
   and to defend the right;
let your right hand teach you dread deeds.
Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.
Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
   with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear;
forget your people and your father’s house,
and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him;
the people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
   the richest of the people with all kinds of wealth.
The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;
in many-colored robes she is led to the king;
   behind her the virgins, her companions, follow.
With joy and gladness they are led along
   as they enter the palace of the king.
In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons;
   you will make them princes in all the earth.
I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations;
therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

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