Wednesday, 22 July 2015

23 July 2015


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Thursday 23 July 2015 
Morning Prayer   

Psalms 54 and 55: 1 – 12

The first psalm is a plea to be saved from enemies, a statement of faith and a promise to give a free will offering to God once the psalmist is triumphant.

The second psalm portion is another plea for aid against enemies. The psalmist fears for his life and wants to run away. There is trouble around the city walls and the psalmist asks that the enemies plans be confused.

2 Samuel 6

King David travels to the house of Abinadab where the Ark of the Covenant is housed and with a multitude of people, singing, playing music and dancing brings it back to Jerusalem. At one point the Uzzah reaches out to steady the ark and immediately dies. David becomes so afraid he decides to leave the ark at the house of Obed-edom.

After 3 months and a report of the growing fortunes of Obed-edom’s household David goes up and brings the ark to Jerusalem. Before going even 6 steps he made a sacrifice. David dances for the Lord with all his might. The ark arrives accompanied by shouting and trumpets.

Michal, sees David dancing and despises him.

The ark is installed in a tent. Offerings are made and every person, man woman and child, are fed with meat, bread and raisin cakes.

David returns to bless all the members of his household but Michal comes out to meet him and criticises him for his shamelessness in his public dancing. David says he was dancing for the Lord and he will abase himself more if necessary for the Lord, but if his dancing pleased young women too, so be it.

Michal remains childless, implying that she did not benefit from the blessing of the household.

John 7: 32 – 53

The Pharisees, hearing the muttering about whether Jesus is the messiah, send temple police to arrest Jesus.  Jesus foretells his future into a place where no one can follow. The hearers again are quite concrete in their thinking.

On the last day of the festival Jesus reminds people that scripture says out of the believer’s heart comes streams of living water. He invites them to come and drink. When the crowd hears this again they debate whether Jesus is the Messiah. The temple police return to the Pharisees without Jesus. They are scolded and told Jesus has deceived them – that none of the Pharisees believe only the ignorant people do. Nicodemus, proposes that Jesus be given a hearing first before judging him. The Pharisees ridicule Nicodemus suggesting he too is from Galilee and that no prophet ever came form Galilee. They all go home.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Fresh running stream
Karri Forest Nannup WA
2014 L Osburn
Refreshing, sustaining and loving God, you always hear us and support us. When we are confronted by opposition from real enemies, internal fears and negative self-talk, criticism from members of our own home, community or leadership remind us that from the believer’s heart flows streams of living water. Lead us to drink at your stream and go rejoicing, singing and dancing in our hearts secure in your love through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Thursday 23 July 2015
Evening Prayer

Psalms 55: 13 – 15 (16 – 17) 18 – 28

The psalmist’s enemy is a close friend. It is harder to bear treachery from someone close. The friend has tricked another and done great harm. God will hear and respond. Lay our burdens on God. God’s is the punishment not ours. Trust God.

Proverbs 6: 20 – 7: 5

The commandments are a lamp and the teaching is a light and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life (v. 23).

The proverb warns against adultery for the harm it causes the soul – not just the obvious risks to all involved. If a thief steals food because of hunger and gets caught there is a penalty but adultery is senseless. The wounds and the dishonour cannot be wiped away.

Keep the commandments. Bind them around you to stop even your fingers from acting without them. Write them in your heart. Take wisdom as your sister and insight as your closest friend.

Romans 2: 25 – 3: 8

Paul continues the discussion on circumcision and sin. He says that if a circumcised person breaks the Law, that person stands before God on an equal footing as an uncircumcised person, since circumcision is only and outward sign of an inner commitment. He asks what advantage is it to be a Jew? The Jews are the ones who have been entrusted with God’s communications and with recording God’s steadfastness. Their behaviours have shown God’s love. That does not mean however that we should deliberately behave poorly so that God’s love is revealed. If that was true there could be no judgement. It would be a false representation of our belief and people who suggest it would deserve condemnation.

Collect for Evening Prayer

High and strong walkway in the canopy
Valley of the Giants, Walpole WA
2014 L Osburn
True and holy Lord, your commandments, teaching and discipline bring us to a worthy life. Help us to write your commandments in our hearts, keep making the inner commitment and using them to train and discipline ourselves to act with wisdom and insight so that we may continue to be your beloved through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

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