5 December 2014
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Friday 5 December 2014
Psalms 82 and 84
The first psalm sets a scene of God judging all the other Gods. They lack knowledge or compassion. They will be destroyed. The psalmist petitions God alone to judge the earth.
A day living in the presence of God is better than anything imaginable. A journey to God’s dwelling place is filled with refreshment: “they go from strength to strength” (v. 7).
Isaiah 5: 1 – 17
Isaiah begins a love song about how his beloved had a vineyard. Stones are dug out, the land cleared, a watchtower built, the vineyard tended carefully but it yields only wild grapes. What more could be done? What will be done now? The hedge has to be removed, the vineyard dug up, there will be no more gardening and it will become overgrown with weeds and thorns and it will not be watered. Isaiah says this is the house of Israel and the people of Judah. God expected them to yield justice and righteousness instead God sees bloodshed and people crying out.
Mark 6: 1 – 13
Jesus, in his hometown is not considered special even though his teaching at the synagogue is astoundingly good. They see he had been given wisdom and power yet trivialise him because he comes from their town. Jesus heals people there but can do no great deeds of power. Jesus keeps on teaching in villages. He then sends out the twelve disciples in pairs with authority to heal those with unclean spirits. They are to go as they are, accept hospitality, be peaceful no matter what happens and let go of any slights – not carrying the experiences of last village into the next village – dusting it off before leaving. The disciples go out teaching repentance, casting out demons, anointing people and healing them.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|New Eggplant (aubergine) in the garden|
St Andrew's by the Lake Mulwala NSW
2014 L Osburn
Friday 5 December 2014
Psalms 85 and 87
The first psalm reminds us all of God’s forgiveness and historical evidence of restoring people of faith. The psalmist asks for quiet to listen to God who will speak peace to the faithful and give salvation. “Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other” (v.10).
The second psalm is of praise for Zion, the mother city of believers everywhere. It is the basis for the hymn “Glorious things of you are spoken, Zion city of our God.”
Isaiah 42: 1 – 17
This section of Isaiah is called the first Servant Song. God chooses the servant. God’s spirit is in the servant. The servant won’t be a celebrity, nor will the servant break someone who is bruised or quench the spirit of someone whose flame is dim. The servant will steadily bring forth justice and won’t cease until it occurs. The Lord chooses the servant as a covenant to all people: to be the light of the nations, open the eyes of the blind and free people from the prison of darkness. This power goes to the servant not to any idols. So we should sing to the Lord a new song and praise God. God will turn everything on it head and put all idols to shame.
1 Thessalonians 4: 1 – 12
Paul urges purity in living since we have the Holy Spirit within. We are not to exploit others because we have lustful passions but to control our own bodies in holiness and honour. We are to love our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ and do more: to live quietly, mind our own affairs, work with our own hands and become self-sufficient.
Collect for Evening Prayer
Lake Mulwala NSW 2014 L Osburn
Holy and loving God you speak peace and salvation to us and teach us how to serve you so that we can see and be freed from darkness and give that gift to others. Help us now to reflect on our day and praise you for the times we chose quiet, worked with our hands, were self-sufficient, controlled ourselves and honoured you so that tomorrow we can continue serving you and steadily bring forth justice and your peace through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.