Sunday, 21 December 2014

22 December 2014


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Monday 22 December 2014 
Morning Prayer

Psalm 118: 1 – 18

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! The remainder of the psalm tells of God’s assistance and reminds us to put our trust not in people or rulers, but God alone.

Isaiah 27: 2 – 13

Isaiah is to sing comparing God’s people to fruitful vineyard that God watches and waters so that it is unharmed. The people are lukewarm to God. If they were opposed, God could weed them out or have them come for refuge and let them make peace.

There are days ahead when Israel will blossom. Israel has not been destroyed. There have been wars and exiles but no total destruction. The altars and places of worship to other gods will be destroyed and Jerusalem will be desolate. Then the Lord will thresh the length of the land and those who were perishing and exiled in other lands will come home and worship God on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

Mark 12: 41 – 13: 13

Jesus sits in the temple and watches people putting their offerings into the temple treasury collection. A widow puts in her last coins. Jesus says she has put in more than all the others for she gave everything she had.

A disciple marvels at the size of the temple and Jesus says that there will be a time when the temple is no more. The disciples ask when will that happen. Jesus warns against false messiahs. First there will be wars, rumours of wars, civil wars, famines and earthquakes: the beginning.

Christians will be flogged in synagogues and handed over to rulers. But the gospel must be preached to all nations. When we are arrested we are not to worry about what we will say but let the Holy Spirit lead us. Family members will betray each other and children will have their parents put to death. All people will hate us because of Christ but we are to stand firm and those who do so will be saved.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Skate-boarding young man "flying"
Deniliquin NSW 2014 L Osburn
Holy Lord, you care for us and love us. You challenge us not to be lukewarm and instead give our all to you. In our troubled and challenging world, help us to do just that, to proclaim your gospel and your love for us across this planet and never fear the repercussions. Keep us in the knowledge that we do your will and shall be with you eternally through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.

Monday 22 December 2014
Evening Prayer

Psalms 118: 19 – 29 and 120

The psalm section brims with sweet praise to God. “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it” (vv. 23-24).

The second psalm is a cry of distress from a person in exile far from Israel surrounded by warrior people, “I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (v.7).

Isaiah 58

God tells Isaiah to shout out to the people. The people seek God and are eager to know God’s ways as if they were a following the commandments and were a just nation. They humble themselves and fast – but quarrel and fight and still exploit their workers. That’s not really fasting. Fasting is more than bowing and being humble for a short while. Real fasting is loosing the chains of injustice and setting the oppressed free: to break every yoke. It is feeding the hungry, providing the poor with shelter, clothing the naked and not turning away from your own family.

Then light will break forth, healing will appear and the Lord will answer. Do away with oppression and malicious talk. Satisfy the needs of the oppressed. Then you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. If you keep the Sabbath and don’t do what you please God will cause you to rise.

Revelation 21: 22 – 22: 5

John sees no temple in the city for The Lord God and The Lamb are the temple. There is no sun or moon for God is the light and the Lamb is the lamp. The gates are always open and nothing impure can enter. The river of the water of life flows, crystal clear and on each side of the river is the tree of life yielding 12 crops of fruit every month. The leaves of the trees are for healing the nations. The servants of God and the Lamb will see God’s face. There will be no more night. God will give them light and they will reign forever.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Table of thanksgiving
Education for Ministry face to face 2014
St Mark's South Hurstville NSW
Holy and wonderful Lord you know us through and through break through our wilfulness, open our hearts to you, mobilise us to act to free people from oppression, care for the poor, shelter and provide for the homeless not for our material benefit but so that we and our country may be healed and that we might walk in your light now and forever through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

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