23 December 2014
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Tuesday 23 December 2014
Psalms 124, 125 and 126
If it had not been for the Lord the enemy forces would have attacked and overwhelmed us like a flood. Blessed be the Lord. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Those who trust in God shall never be moved. God will surround and support us. The psalmist prays for blessing on the faithful and that evil be kept away from us.
When we are restored we are full of joy and praise and others notice that our God has done great things for us. So we ask to be restored, that those in tears reap joy and those who weep and sow seeds come back with an abundant harvest.
Isaiah 28: 1 – 13
Isaiah warns Samaria of an invasion that will take away the pride of the city, which is like a wreath decorating a head. This wreath is drunk and out of order. The remnant of faithful people will have God as their wreath: God’s spirit of justice and source of strength.
Even these faithful are staggering currently and rendering poor decisions.
Those hearing Isaiah mock and all they hear is like instructions for children: do this, do that, rule after rule, little step after little step. They will hear now through the new language of the invader. They did not listen when God said this is a place where the weary are allowed to rest. So the invaders will tell them what to do, give rules and lead them little by little and they will be captured, injured and fall into the snare.
Mark 13: 14 – 37
Jesus talks of a time to come, as prophesised by Daniel when something abominable will be erected on the temple. At that point the people need to flee. Jesus considers how hard it will be especially for pregnant women to get away. There will be unparalleled distress. But the time will be cut short. There will be false messiahs and false prophets who rise.
The real end will still be to come: when the sun and moon fail and the Son of Man comes in power and glory.
We are to learn from the fig tree. We can tell by looking that summer approaches. Equally we will be able to tell when the end approaches.
Collect for Morning Prayer
Armadale WA 2014 L Osburn
Holy and compassionate God, you have warned people through the ages of trouble to come and sent messengers, prophets and your only Son to us. Open our ears, hearts and minds to you so that we trust in you and are restored by you daily. Help us to see, understand and act so that when you come you find us faithful and strong through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.
Tuesday 23 December 2014
Psalms 127, 128 and 129
Unless the Lord is with us in what we do our labour is in vain. Rising early, working late and being anxious about things are not part of God’s plan.
Those who walk with God are blessed to have the freedom to eat our own produce, prosperity sufficient for women to be creative and children to flourish. It is a blessing to see our grandchildren.
God has preserved us from all assaults in the past. The psalmist asks that those who are enemies of God not prevail.
Isaiah 59: 1 – 15a
Isaiah says that surely God’s arms are not too short to save the people. The trouble is that the people are sinful, not repenting and have allowed injustice and violence to proliferate. Justice is far away as is righteousness and peace. Our offenses are many and our sins testify against us. We have rebelled against the Lord. Justice righteousness and truth cannot dwell with us and if we shun evil we become prey.
Revelation 22: 6 – 13
John reiterates that this is his vision and it is true. He reminds us that angel told him to worship God. He is told to let people hear this vision and to allow people to be as they are: doing wrong, being vile, doing right, continuing to do right, and for the holy they are to continue being holy.
John gives God’s true word that God is coming and will give to everyone according to what he or she has done. God is the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|Bird at Sanctuary Island|
Deniliquin NSW 2014 L Osburn
Holy and Almighty God we experience joy and wholeness in your presence. Be with us every day and keep us repenting, starting afresh, doing good and making sure we are as holy as we can be so that when you come you see us as we are and take us to you through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.