5 February 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Thursday 5 February 2015
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).
Genesis 21: 1 – 21 (22 – 34)
Sarah has a child in her old age who is called Isaac. The baby is circumcised at 8 days old. When Isaac is weaned there is a celebration but Sarah sees Ishmael mocking. She tells Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away so that Ishmael cannot inherit anything from Abraham. Abraham is distressed but God reaffirms the promise to make Ishmael a nation.
Abraham gives Hagar and Ishmael food and water. When the water runs out Hagar despairs and sits a distance from Ishmael. The Lord hears the crying. The angel of the Lord says to Hagar to not worry, get up and take the boy’s hand for God has promised to make him a nation. She does so and finds a well. Ishmael grows, becomes and archer and marries an Egyptian woman.
Meanwhile, Abimelech and his commander confirm with Abraham that he will be loyal in Abimelech’s kingdom. Abraham agrees but complains about a well he dug which Abimelech’s people have seized. Abimelech and Abraham make a treaty. Abraham brings 7 ewe lambs from his flock as part of the deal. The well is called Beersheba (meaning well of the 7 or well of the oath). Abraham plants a tamarisk tree at Beersheba.
Luke 3: 1 – 14
In the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar when Pontius Pilate is governor of Judea and Annas and Caiphas are high priests, John the son of Zechariah receives God’s word and begins preaching a baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sins. This fulfils the words of the prophet Isaiah. John fiercely tells those who come that they are vipers and trying to escape God’s wrath. If they claim being children of Abraham as their “free pass” John reminds then that God can turn the stones into more chosen people. They cannot come and pretend to repent. Their lives must show the fruits of repentance: share belongings, only collect the tax you are supposed to collect and soldiers are to be content with their pay.
Collect for Morning Prayer
Esperance WA 20214 L Osburn
God of compassion from the start you show us that women, children, the oppressed and disinherited are to be protected. Help us live authentic lives freely demonstrating our repentance and faith, by sharing what we have, being honest and being content in all we do so that glory and honour and praise comes to you from the whole earth through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.
Thursday 5 February 2015
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.”
Jeremiah 14: 7 – 16
Jeremiah prays for the people for the sake of God’s name since God is the Hope of Israel. God replies saying that the people love to wander. Their wickedness is being remembered and they are going to be punished. God tells Jeremiah again to not pray for these people. God is not going to listen to their fasting or their offerings. Jeremiah says that God’s other prophets are saying that the people will not die from famine or the sword. God says these prophets are not true, not directed by God and their prophecies are false. Indeed they too will die of famine and violence. The people they prophesy to will be dead in the streets with no one to bury them.
Philippians 2: 1 – 11
Paul says that if the Philippians have received encouragement from being united with Christ, comfort from the love of Jesus, fellowship with the Holy Spirit, tenderness and compassion then be like that – live that out. Do nothing out of selfish ambition but for the service of others.
We should have the same attitude as Christ who did not seek to be equal with God but became a servant, became human, humbled himself and became obedient even to death on a cross. Therefore Christ is exulted by God so that at Jesus’s name every knee shall bow and everyone confess that Christ is Lord to the glory of God.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|Stream through the Karri Forest|
WA 2014 L Osburn
God of steadfast love and righteousness we thank you for all your gifts to us. Be with us as strengthen us to unite with your people of faith, comfort others, seek the fellowship of the faithful, and act out of tenderness and love so that we may serve you through serving others and bring glory and honour and praise to you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.