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, March 22, 2013

Daily Prayer, Friday, March 22, 2013

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye wastes away from grief,
my soul and body also....
But I trust is you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”

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, Luke 23:13-56

13 Then Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people. 14 He said to them, “You brought this man before me as one who was misleading the people. I have questioned him in your presence and found nothing in this man’s conduct that provides a legal basis for the charges you have brought against him. 15 Neither did Herod, because Herod returned him to us. He’s done nothing that deserves death. 16 Therefore, I’ll have him whipped, then let him go.” [l]

18 But with one voice they shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us.” ( 19 Barabbas had been thrown into prison because of a riot that had occurred in the city, and for murder.)

20 Pilate addressed them again because he wanted to release Jesus.

21 They kept shouting out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time, Pilate said to them, “ Why? What wrong has he done? I’ve found no legal basis for the death penalty in his case. Therefore, I will have him whipped, then let him go. ”

23 But they were adamant, shouting their demand that Jesus be crucified. Their voices won out. 24 Pilate issued his decision to grant their request. 25 He released the one they asked for, who had been thrown into prison because of a riot and murder. But he handed Jesus over to their will.

26 As they led Jesus away, they grabbed Simon, a man from Cyrene, who was coming in from the countryside. They put the cross on his back and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A huge crowd of people followed Jesus, including women, who were mourning and wailing for him. 28 Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Rather, cry for yourselves and your children. 29 The time will come when they will say, ‘Happy are those who are unable to become pregnant, the wombs that never gave birth, and the breasts that never nursed a child.’ 30 Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ [m] 31 If they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 They also led two other criminals to be executed with Jesus. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” They drew lots as a way of dividing up his clothing. 35 The people were standing around watching, but the leaders sneered at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he really is the Christ sent from God, the chosen one.” 36 The soldiers also mocked him. They came up to him, offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you really are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 Above his head was a notice of the formal charge against him. It read “This is the king of the Jews.” 39 One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? 41 We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” 43 Jesus replied, “ I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”

44 It was now about noon, and darkness covered the whole earth until about three o’clock, 45 while the sun stopped shining. Then the curtain in the sanctuary tore down the middle. 46 Crying out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I entrust my life .” [n] After he said this, he breathed for the last time. 47 When the centurion saw what happened, he praised God, saying, “It’s really true: this man was righteous.” 48 All the crowds who had come together to see this event returned to their homes beating their chests after seeing what had happened. 49 And everyone who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance observing these things.

50 Now there was a man named Joseph who was a member of the council. He was a good and righteous man. 51 He hadn’t agreed with the plan and actions of the council. He was from the Jewish city of Arimathea and eagerly anticipated God’s kingdom. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Taking it down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid it in a tomb carved out of the rock, in which no one had ever been buried. 54 It was the Preparation Day for the Sabbath, and the Sabbath was quickly approaching. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph. They saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was laid in it, 56 then they went away and prepared fragrant spices and perfumed oils. They rested on the Sabbath, in keeping with the commandment.
l  Critical editions of the Gk New Testament do not include 23:17 He had to release one prisoner for them because of the festival .
m  Hos 10:8
n  Ps 31:5
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: We have had many opportunities in our lives to acknowledge your will for us. Forgive us for those times that we have behaved as if you were not our Lord, as if we had never known you. Amen.

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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