3 February 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Tuesday 3 February 2015
Psalm 78: 16 – 38
This portion of the psalm recounts the complaints against God when the Israelites are in the desert with Moses. Water is produced from rocks, food falls from heaven, both bread and birds. They have little faith and yet when they repent, God forgives.
Genesis 19: 12 – 29 (30 – 38)
The two messengers ask Lot does he have any other relatives and tell him to get them out of the city for the messengers are about to destroy it. Lot tells his future sons-in-law but they think he is joking. At dawn the messengers tell Lot to hurry and leave with his family. When they hesitate the men grab his hand, the hand of his wife and two daughters and lead them safely out of the city. They tell them to flee and not to look back. Lot negotiates to flee to Zoar. By daybreak the cities and the vegetation are gone. Lot’s wife who had looked back is a pillar.
Abraham sees the destruction – he is safe and Lot is saved.
Lot and his daughters live in a cave, afraid to go to Zoar and thinking that they are the only people left in the world. The daughters conspire to get their father drunk, sleep with him and conceive children to secure their future. This they do in turns. The sons are Moab, father of the Moabites and Ben-Ammi, father of the Ammonites.
Luke 2: 8 – 21
Shepherds in the fields looking after sheep are met by an angel and surrounded by the glory of the Lord. They are terrified. The angel tells them not be afraid but to receive good news of great joy for everyone. In the town of David a saviour, the anointed one is born. The sign is that he is wrapped in cloths and lying in a food trough. Then the sky breaks into singing words of praise to God and proclaiming peace to the world.
The angels leave. The shepherds decide to go to Bethlehem. They find the baby as directed and they spread the news. Mary treasures this event in her heart. The shepherds go away rejoicing.
On the eighth day, the baby is circumcised and named Jesus.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|A cloud that looks like an angel|
Albany WA 2014 L Osburn
Our God in heaven, you send us all manner of things water, food, volcanic like fire, rock and ash, good tidings and songs of praise and peace. These actions and stories overwhelm our senses. Help us see in all these stories your under-lying message of love, of steadfast commitment to us and great forgiveness so that we may humbly bring our selves to you and be filled with your good news and joy. May we like the shepherds rejoice as we return to our jobs and like Mary, treasure all this in our hearts through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.
Tuesday 3 February 2015
Psalms 78: 39 - 70
The psalmist shows how short the memories of humans are and how fickle. The Israelites in the desert did not remember or take into account the miracles of God that enabled their freedom. They had little faith. God held on and made decisions about the future of the people and who would lead them, for example choosing the line of Judah rather than the line of Joseph: choosing David and Mt Zion. Whether humans are faithful or not, God still guides them.
Jeremiah 13: 1 – 17
Jeremiah reports how God tells him to get a new linen belt, wear it, not wash it, they go bury it, and then retrieve it. The belt is ruined and useless. The people of Israel and Judah are bound to God but they are not listening.
Jeremiah is to tell people to fill all the wineskins with wine. The people will respond that they already know that wineskins need to be full of wine. God however will fill everyone, people, kings and prophets with a form of drunkenness and they will smash against each other. There will be no pity or mercy or compassion to keep God from destroying them.
Philippians 1: 12 – 20
Paul chained and in prison, wants everyone to know that his circumstances have led to the gospel being advanced. The prison guards know that Paul is a prisoner for Christ. The faithful are speaking out more courageously and fearlessly. Some do it out of ambition and some do it in love and defence of the gospel. The motives do not matter so long as the gospel is being proclaimed. Paul rejoices and knows he will not be ashamed but will have the courage to deal with whatever comes, even if that is death, because he will exult Christ.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|Sailing boats at rest|
Esperance WA 2014 L Osburn
God of the fearless psalmists, prophets and apostles, you have given these people courage to speak out against opposition and to tell of your steadfast love, commitment and power. So fill us with your courage that the way we live our lives, the things we do, the way we listen, the way we move or stay still, proclaims our love and defence of the gospel and brings glory to you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.