2 January 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Friday 2 January 2015
Psalms 5 and 6
This first psalm asks for God to hear the prayers of the victim of harmful lies. God has no time for wickedness. The psalmist will go to the temple knowing that he too is not yet righteous and needs help to stay on the path. The psalmist takes the problem to God and does not retaliate. Instead he asks for all who take refuge in the Lord to experience joy and protection and exult and bless the Lord.
Debilitating and terrifying illness has struck the psalmist. It is shaking the psalmist’s faith. God is asked to lovingly respond. The psalmist stands against evil and proclaims the Lord’s swift response.
Isaiah tells of a future where the rulers are righteous and just. Prophets will see and hear, people who are rash will have good judgement and people with speech problems will speaks smoothly. Fools will not be lauded – fools are engaged in inequity, evil and injustice. The noble conversely have noble plans.
Rise up those who are complacent now. A time of crop failures and loss will come. Then a time will come when God’s spirit is poured out on us, righteous abides and peace, quietness and trust will with us remain forever.
John 3: 1 – 21
Nicodemus, a Pharisee and leader of one of the groups of Jews, comes to see Jesus at night. He acknowledges that Jesus is from God because all the things he does can only come from God. Jesus tells him that no one can see God’s kingdom without being born from above. They then begin a question and answer form of discussion used in teaching.
Jesus tells him, that no one can enter the kingdom without being born of water and the spirit. The spirit is what is born anew not the body. Nicodemus does not quite understand even though Jesus explains using examples from nature – the wind. If Nicodemus cannot understand things he has seen how hard will it be for him to understand heavenly things he has not seen?
Jesus tells him that he has come from heaven and will be lifted up. Just like Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness and the people were healed, so Christ’s lifting up will heal us all and if we believe we will gain eternal life. God loves us so much the Son is given to us. God’s Son has not come to condemn but to save. Those who do not believe are condemned already. Jesus is the light coming into the world – yet the people choose to stay in darkness. Those who come into the light allow their deeds that have been done in God to be seen clearly.
Collect for Morning Prayer
Blackwood River WA 2014 L Osburn
Holy God, giver of justice, peace, righteousness and eternal life, keep us on track with you in the times to come. Help us be open to your Holy Spirit and love so that we praise and bless you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Friday 2 January 2015
Psalms 7 and 8
In the first psalm, someone who was an ally has been harmed and the blame is being focused on the psalmist. The psalmist seeks God’s protection, calls on God to search him out and judge. The psalmist is also aware that the snares the wicked set can turn against them. The psalmist is confident in a right relationship with God and is willing to repent. The psalmist promises to praise God when rescued.
God’s majesty is praised. Every human sound is praise to God. And the psalmist marvels at that. How is it that humans have such a special place when we consider the expanse of the heavens? The psalm ends in awe, wonder and praise.
Isaiah 63: 10 – 19
The people rebelled against God and grieved God’s Holy Spirit and God fought against the people. God remembered the time of the exodus. Isaiah asks for God’s yearning and compassion to return. Isaiah asks why God allows us to have hardened hearts, not fear God and stray. Isaiah asks God to turn back since for a long time the people’s condition is like that of people who have no god.
Ephesians 2: 1 – 10
We were all dead and trespassing and sinning, following the passions of our flesh – like everyone else. But God in mercy and love makes us alive again in Christ and shows us immeasurable riches of grace in kindness. For by grace we are saved through faith, not by our doing but as a gift from God. None of us can boast about this. We are what God made us, created in Christ Jesus to do what God desires.
Collect for Evening Prayer
Harrietville Vic 2014 L Osburn
Wondrous and gracious God, to you every human soul is praise. We thank you for your wonderful gifts of grace, love, hope and truth. Help us now reflect on our day and see those times when your Spirit was poured into us and rejoice in you and your love through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.