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, September 18, 2012

Daily Prayer, Tuesday, September 18, 2012

God! Hear my prayer;
listen to the words of my mouth!

Invitatory Psalm 84
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
   and the swallow a nest for herself,
   where she may lay her young, at your altars,
O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
   ever singing your praise. Selah
Happy are those whose strength is in you,
   in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
For a day in your courts is better
   than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper
   in the house of my God
   than live in the tents of wickedness.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord
   withhold from those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Psalm 36
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts;
there is no fear of God before their eyes.
For they flatter themselves in their own eyes
   that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit;
they have ceased to act wisely and do good.
They plot mischief while on their beds;
they are set on a way that is not good;
they do not reject evil.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
   your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
   and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
   and your salvation to the upright of heart!
Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
   or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Wisdom 1:6-2:1, 12-22

6 Wisdom is a spirit that wants only what is best for humans.

Wisdom won’t declare blasphemers to be innocent because their own words convict them. God is witness to their thoughts. Truth examines the heart and hears what is said. 7 The Lord’s Spirit fills the whole world. It holds everything together and knows what everyone says. 8 Therefore, those who utter unjust words don’t escape notice. Justice will expose them and not pass them by. 9 A proper inquiry will be made into the plots of ungodly people. News of their words will reach the Lord and make their lawless deeds known. 10 God’s ear listens intently to everything anyone says. Murmurings can’t be kept secret for long. 11 So guard against useless murmuring. Keep your tongue from speaking ill. Everything you say has some consequence, even if you think that you are speaking in private. A lying mouth destroys the soul.

12 Don’t seek death through the error of your ways. Don’t invite destruction on yourself by what you do. 13 God didn’t make death. God takes no delight in the ruin of anything that lives. 14 God created everything so that it might exist. The creative forces at work in the cosmos are life-giving. There is no destructive poison in them. The underworld (a) doesn’t rule on earth. 15 Doing what is right means living forever.

16 In spite of this, the ungodly called out to death by what they did and said. Thinking that death was their friend, they lost their resolve and made a treaty with death. Let them have each other: death and the ungodly belong together!

2:1 By reasoning in their twisted way, the ungodly said: Our lives are short and painful. There is no antidote for death; no one has come back from the grave.

12 Let’s lie in ambush for the one who does what is right. He’s a nuisance to us. He always opposes our actions. He blames us because we have failed to keep the Law. He condemns us for turning our backs on our upbringing. 13 He boasts of his knowledge of God. He even calls himself the Lord’s servant. (b)14 He exposes our secret plans. Just to look at him makes us sick. 15 His life isn’t like the lives of others. His ways are completely different. 16 He thinks we’re frauds. He avoids us and our actions as though we’re unclean. Instead, he blesses the final days of those who do what’s right. He even boasts that God is his Father. 17 Let’s see if his words are true. Let’s put him to the extreme test and see what happens. 18 If this man who does the right thing is indeed God’s Son, then God will assist him. God will rescue him from the hand of those who oppress him. 19 Let’s test him by assaulting and torturing him. Then we will know just how good he really is. Let’s test his ability to endure pain. 20 Let’s condemn him to a disgraceful death: according to him, God should show up to protect him. 21 This was how the ungodly reasoned, but they were mistaken. Their malice completely blinded them. 22 They didn’t know of God’s secret plan. They didn’t hope for the reward that holiness brings. They didn’t consider the prize they would win if they kept their whole beings free from stain.
a  Gk Hades
b Or child

Prayer for Today: O God, you are listening to us, paying attention to us. You know our secret thoughts. You can see our actions. Help us now to discern your will, to follow your ways, to think and live in the way that is wise in your eyes. Keep us focused on the right prize. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:49-56
Remember your word to your servant,
  in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my distress,
   that your promise gives me life.
The arrogant utterly deride me,
   but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your ordinances from of old,
   I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
   those who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
   wherever I make my home.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
   and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
   for I have kept your precepts.

Psalm 55
Give ear to my prayer, O God;
do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
   because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me,
   and in anger they cherish enmity against me.
My heart is in anguish within me,
   the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
   I would fly away and be at rest;
   truly, I would flee far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself from the raging wind and tempest.”
But I call upon God, and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan,
   and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem me unharmed from the battle that I wage,
   for many are arrayed against me.

Cast your burden on the Lord,
   and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 59
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from those who work evil;
from the bloodthirsty save me.
O my strength, I will watch for you;
for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Do not kill them, or my people may forget;
make them totter by your power,
   and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,
   let them be trapped in their pride.
For the cursing and lies that they utter,
consume them in wrath;
consume them until they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
   that God rules over Jacob. Selah
Each evening they come back,
   howling like dogs and prowling about the city.
They roam about for food,
   and growl if they do not get their fill.
But I will sing of your might;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been a fortress for me
   and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to you,
   for you, O God, are my fortress,
   the God who shows me steadfast love.

Psalm 60
O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
   you have been angry; now restore us!
You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open;
   repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.
You have made your people suffer hard things;
   you have given us wine to drink that made us reel.
You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
    to rally to it out of bowshot. Selah
Give victory with your right hand, and answer us,
   so that those whom you love may be rescued.
Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
O grant us help against the foe, for human help is worthless.
With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.

Psalm 62
For you alone, O God,  my soul waits in silence;
   from you comes my salvation.
You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
    I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,
will you batter your victim, all of you,
as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah

For you alone, God,  my soul waits in silence,
   for my hope is from you.
You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
   I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in God at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before God;
God is a refuge for us. Selah

Those of low estate are but a breath,
   those of high estate are a delusion;
   in the balances they go up;
   they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all according to their work.

No comments: