Wednesday, 17 September 2014

18 September 2014


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Thursday 18 September 2014 
Morning Prayer

Psalms 41 and 44: 1 – 9

The psalmist is ill, mortally ill. The psalmist’s enemies are happy and a close friend has walked away. This is a plea for healing and restoration.

This portion of the psalm reminds us of God’s actions in nation building and protecting the people in wars. They do not go into battle trusting in their own abilities but in God. And yet, now they have suffered a defeat.

Habakkuk 2: 18 – 3: 7

Habakkuk asks what use is an idol? Humans make them then give their trust to what they make. They have no breath and no life. God is holy and mighty let the earth in silence give respect.

Habakkuk in a poetic prayer recalls God’s appearance with the people from Sinai and God’s overcoming of the Egyptians and Midianites.

Matthew 5: 27 – 42

Jesus sets up a new way of thinking about right action. First, desires of the heart are part of sin as are the small actions we take, where we look or what we do with our hands. Stopping the progress of sin even if it means losing a part of who we are is worth it. We are not to cause those who are less powerful than us to sin by our actions, nor cause even further sin in others who we may not know.

Jesus requires us to be people of integrity for our word to be binding. We do not vacillate.

And we are not to retaliate blow for blow but if someone hurts us we then change position so that assault is repeated, deliberate and not reaction but an obvious, deliberate abuse of power.

If someone sues – usually because we have done something wrong – give more compensation than requested.

If a person in authority who has coercive power to make us do something to a limit and orders us to do it then we obey and then offer to go beyond the limit. The outcome is they have to acknowledge us as equals. If they take the “extra mile” it is clearly outside their limits and an abuse of power.

Give to those who beg and don’t refuse people who borrow from you.

Collect for Morning Prayer

School Chapel New Norcia Benedictine Community
WA 2014 L Osburn
Inspirational God, you have given us your Son who taught us how to respect and honour each other and ourselves and stand up against oppression. You have been with your people of faith through times of tyranny and illness. You give us what we need to get through these times of challenge. Today, enable us to demonstrate respect, honour and integrity so that we show in our actions that you are our God from everlasting to everlasting through Jesus Christ who died for us. Amen.

Thursday 18 September 2014
Evening Prayer

Psalm 44: 10 – 27

The psalmist gives voice to the despair felt following defeat, slaughter of the people, oppression and scattering. The people suffer because they are faithful to God. They are still faithful and yet God does not appear to be answering. This is a lament.

2 Maccabees 4: 1 – 17

The Hellenisation of Israel and Jerusalem continues. The priests are corrupted and leave their tasks. A gymnasium is established and the youth engage in all things Greek. People seek Greek forms of prestige. The section of text ends with “It is no light thing to show irreverence to the divine laws – a fact that later events will make clear” (v.17).

Ephesians 3: 1 – 13

Paul is in prison because of his ministry to reveal the mystery that people of all nations are now heirs of the promise through Jesus Christ. This is Paul’s ministry and he does not want the people of Ephesus to lose heart because he is imprisoned, instead to be bold and confident in their faith.

Collect for Evening Prayer

School Chapel New Norcia Benedictine Community
WA 2014 L Osburn
 Holy and compassionate Lord you have seen your people of faith through all manner of oppression, destruction suffering, imprisonment and exile. Hold us now as we solemnly reflect on the lives of your faithful people of every age. Bring us the patience and courage to continue to be bold and confident in our faith and our eternal access to you won through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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