31 March 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Tuesday 31 March 2015
“The Lord is my light and salvation whom shall I fear” (v. 1). The psalm begins with great words of consolation. The psalmist is in trouble and waits patiently on the Lord. Living close to and with God, being in God’s presence is the only thing desired. The psalmist promises sacrifices of praise and song. “ ‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face.’” (v.8).
Lamentations 3: 1 – 18 (19 – 30)
The first section described dreadful personal and physical distress: “my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is” (v.17). The lament moves on calling to mind God’s steadfast love and that God does listen to and come to those who wait for him. Sometimes it is right to sit quietly and wait.
John 15: 1 – 16: 4a
Jesus is the true vine and God the vine grower. Like a vine grower God cuts off branches that bear no fruit and prunes the rest so that the next harvest is full. We have been cleansed and are part of Jesus’s vine. We need to stay connected to the rootstock to be able to bear fruit. A branch removed cannot bear fruit – and usually gets thrown in a fire. We need to stay connected to Jesus.
If we stay connected then our prayers will be answered, we will be disciples, bear fruit and our lives will glorify God.
As God loves Jesus so Jesus loves us. We are to continue to live in that love. As Jesus loves God and keeps the commandments so we are to love Jesus. Jesus tells us this so that we may experience his joy and that our joy will be complete.
Jesus commands us to love one another as Jesus loves us. Jesus calls the disciples friends for he tells them what he does, he chooses them and appoints them to bear everlasting fruit.
Jesus prepares them to have difficult times ahead – to be hated by the world and persecuted. He prepares them for success through those who keep Jesus’s word and who will also respond to the disciples.
Jesus says that if he had not come we would be unaware of our sins. But since he is here, we are aware and have no excuse. If people hate Jesus even though they have seen the works he did, they hate God too. He quotes scripture that prophesied that he would be hated without cause.
Jesus tells us this so that we keep from stumbling and so that we are prepared for persecution when it comes.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|Vines and Grapes|
Gapsted Vic 2014 L Osburn
Holy and loving God you are there for us when we come back to you and set our eyes on you alone. You welcome us even if it takes illness and disaster to recalibrate our lives. Open our hearts, minds and soul to Jesus’ words and love so that we graft our lives to Jesus, choose love, bear fruit, endure what is to come and live lives that bring you glory and honour and praise through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.
Tuesday 31 March 2015
Psalm 69: 1 – 21
The psalmist is in deep trouble. The psalm suggests he has been fiercely promoting a particular policy or procedure and the outcomes are negative and unexpected so that his reputation is destroyed. He admits he was wrong. He is doing penance and now is suffering ridicule and community humiliation. The psalmist asks for rescue and redemption and will sit faithfully and wait for God’s response.
Lamentations 3: 40 – 51
The lamentation moves on to self-examination and repentance to admitting the rebellion and transgressions. There is an acceptance that the offences are great and, as a result, prayers appear to be unheard. Enemies, panic, devastation and destruction are in charge. Grief is overwhelming.
Romans 5: 6 – 11
We are reconciled to God through the death of Jesus and that happened while we were separated, enemies, before we ever repented. So, now we are reconciled we are saved and that is something to celebrate.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|The Old Pier|
Eucla WA 2014
Compassionate God you know the full pain and suffering we experience when we recognise our sins. You know what it is like to be cut off and separated, alone and bereft. You suffered for us to bring us back even before we were aware, before we repented. Be with us now as we sit in thankful awe and wonder at your great gift to us. Help us lift our hearts to you in never ending thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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