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.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Daily Prayer, Thursday, March 21, 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 150
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 125
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
  which cannot be moved, but abides for ever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
  so the Lord surrounds his people,
  from this time on and for evermore.

Psalm 126
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
  we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
  and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
  ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
The Lord has done great things for us,
  and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
  like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
  reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
  bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
  carrying their sheaves.

Psalm 127
Unless the Lord builds the house,
  those who build it labour in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
  the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
  and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
  for he gives sleep to his beloved.

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
  the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
  are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
  his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
  when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
  who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands;
  you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

Psalm 129

‘Often have they attacked me from my youth’
  —let Israel now say—
‘often have they attacked me from my youth,
  yet they have not prevailed against me.
Those who plough ploughed on my back;
  they made their furrows long.’
The Lord is righteous;
  he has cut the cords of the wicked.
May all who hate Zion
  be put to shame and turned back.
Let them be like the grass on the housetops
  that withers before it grows up,
with which reapers do not fill their hands
  or binders of sheaves their arms,
while those who pass by do not say,
  ‘The blessing of the Lord be upon you!
  We bless you in the name of the Lord!’

Daily Lectionary Reading, Luke 22:47-23:12
47 While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd appeared, and the one called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him. 48 Jesus said to him, “ Judas, would you betray the Human One [i] with a kiss? ” 49 When those around him recognized what was about to happen, they said, “ Lord, should we fight with our swords? ” 50 One of them struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. 51 Jesus responded, “ Stop! No more of this! ” He touched the slave’s ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders who had come to get him, “ Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, as though I were a thief? 53 Day after day I was with you in the temple, but you didn’t arrest me. But this is your time, when darkness rules. ”

54 After they arrested Jesus, they led him away and brought him to the high priest’s house. Peter followed from a distance. 55 When they lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.

56 Then a servant woman saw him sitting in the firelight. She stared at him and said, “ This man was with him too. ”

57 But Peter denied it, saying, “ Woman, I don’t know him! ”

58 A little while later, someone else saw him and said, “ You are one of them too. ”

But Peter said, “ Man, I’m not! ”

59 An hour or so later, someone else insisted, “ This man must have been with him, because he is a Galilean too. ”

60 Peter responded, “ Man, I don’t know what you are talking about! ” At that very moment, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered the Lord’s words: “ Before a rooster crows today, you will deny me three times. ” 62 And Peter went out and cried uncontrollably.

63 The men who were holding Jesus in custody taunted him while they beat him. 64 They blindfolded him and asked him repeatedly, “ Prophesy! Who hit you? ” 65 Insulting him, they said many other horrible things against him.

66 As morning came, the elders of the people, both chief priests and legal experts, came together, and Jesus was brought before their council.

67 They said, “ If you are the Christ, tell us! ”

He answered, “ If I tell you, you won’t believe. 68 And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. 69 But from now on, the Human One [j] will be seated on the right side of the power of God. ” [k]

70 They all said, “ Are you God’s Son, then? ”

He replied, “ You say that I am. ”

71 Then they said, “ Why do we need further testimony? We’ve heard it from his own lips. ”

23:1 The whole assembly got up and led Jesus to Pilate and 2 began to accuse him. They said, “ We have found this man misleading our people, opposing the payment of taxes to Caesar, and claiming that he is the Christ, a king. ”

3 Pilate asked him, “ Are you the king of the Jews? ”

Jesus replied, “ That’s what you say. ”

4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “ I find no legal basis for action against this man.”

5 But they objected strenuously, saying, “ He agitates the people with his teaching throughout Judea—starting from Galilee all the way here. ”

6 Hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he learned that Jesus was from Herod’s district, Pilate sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8 Herod was very glad to see Jesus, for he had heard about Jesus and had wanted to see him for quite some time. He was hoping to see Jesus perform some sign. 9 Herod questioned Jesus at length, but Jesus didn’t respond to him. 10 The chief priests and the legal experts were there, fiercely accusing Jesus. 11 Herod and his soldiers treated Jesus with contempt. Herod mocked him by dressing Jesus in elegant clothes and sent him back to Pilate. 12 Pilate and Herod became friends with each other that day. Before this, they had been enemies.
i Or Son of Man
j  Or Son of Man
k  Ps 110:1
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: Help us now in this season of Lent to look forward to renewal after loss. Help us focus our intentions and our actions on what you wish of us instead of our paying so much allegiance to what we think that other think make us look good or important. Forgive us for those times that our lives have been a denial of your teaching.  Amen.
Midday Psalm 119:161-168
Princes persecute me without cause,
  but my heart stands in awe of your words.
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances.
Great peace have those who love your law;
  nothing can make them stumble.
I hope for your salvation, O Lord,
  and I fulfill your commandments.
My soul keeps your decrees;
I love them exceedingly.
I keep your precepts and decrees,
  for all my ways are before you.

Psalm 135
Praise the Lord!
  Praise the name of the Lord;
  give praise, O servants of the Lord,
you that stand in the house of the Lord,
  in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
  sing to his name, for he is gracious.
Whatever the Lord pleases he does,
  in heaven and on earth,
  in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise
  at the end of the earth;
he makes lightnings for the rain
  and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
Your name, O Lord, endures for ever,
  your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
For the Lord will vindicate his people,
  and have compassion on his servants.

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
  the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
  they have eyes, but they do not see;
they have ears, but they do not hear,
  and there is no breath in their mouths.
Those who make them
  and all who trust them
  shall become like them.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 136
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever.
O give thanks to the God of gods,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever.
O give thanks to the Lord of lords,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who alone does great wonders,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who by understanding made the heavens,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who spread out the earth on the waters,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who made the great lights,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
the sun to rule over the day,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who struck Egypt through their firstborn,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
and brought Israel out from among them,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who divided the Red Sea in two,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
but overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who led his people through the wilderness,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;

It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
and rescued us from our foes,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who gives food to all flesh,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever.

O give thanks to the God of heaven,
  for his steadfast love endures for ever.

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