Thursday, 30 July 2015

31 July 2015


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Friday 31 July 2015 
Morning Prayer   

Psalm 59

The psalmist is being stalked so that he may be killed. Protection is requested but not the death of those who seek his life – just that they may be brought down and caught up in their own anger.

The psalmist will praise God’s provision of safety and his steadfast love. God is a mighty fortress.

2 Samuel 13: 1 – 19

David has a son Absalom who has a sister Tamar. One of David’s other sons Amnon is love struck for Tamar. He tells no one except one of David’s nephews, Jonadab. Together they hatch a scheme to get Amnon with Tamar alone. He holds her and asks her to lie with him. She refuses arguing the shame it would bring on him, and on her and that all he needs to do is ask David who would allow their marriage. He rapes her. He immediately loathes her and has her ejected from his home. She covers herself with ashes, tears her clothes and goes to her home in shame, crying.

John 9: 39 – 10: 18

Jesus says that he has come in judgement that the people who are blind may see and those that see become blind. The Pharisees protest. Jesus tells them that by saying “we see” they are indeed blind.

Jesus uses a metaphor of the Good Shepherd to explain. There is a sheep pen and one legitimate way to get in. Anyone who jumps the fence does not have the sheep’s interest at heart. Jesus enters the correct way and the gate is opened for him to take the sheep to the good pasture. Only Jesus’ sheep recognise him and follow.

He moves the metaphor now so it is from the sheep’s perspective. As far as they are concerned Jesus is their way out – he is their gate to the green pasture, to life in abundance. Anyone else leads the sheep to destruction – they are thieves and bandits.

He now compares “the good shepherd” to other shepherds – what does it take to be “good”? The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep and does not run away when danger approaches. It is his concern for all sheep, including some from other sheepfolds. All sheep will become one flock under one shepherd.

God loves Jesus because he will willingly lay down his life and he will take it up again as his father, God has commanded.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Two paths
Blackwood River WA 2014 L Osburn
 God of safety, protection and steadfast love, you have given us Jesus, the one who laid down his life for us so that we may be lead in safety to your presence. Keep us focused on Jesus and his leadership so that no matter what violence, deceit and skirmishes for control occur, our hearts and eyes are open to choose the right path, the path of your grace and the road home through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Friday 31 July 2015
Evening Prayer

Psalms 58 and 79

In the first psalm the writer is truly angry about the actions of the wicked and wants their power to be removed and for them to just disappear – permanently! Things are so bad the psalmist wants a reward and vindication for the righteous now and for judgment to come to earth instantly.

In the second psalm Jerusalem has been destroyed and the psalmist in deep, angry grief calls for vengeful punishment of the godless nations that caused the destruction.

Proverbs 11: 1 – 15

Here the honest, righteous, wise, humble and godly are compared with the wicked, dishonest, the crooked and the treacherous. When good people bless a city it is exalted and when the wicked make utterances the city is overthrown.

In the final analysis, when things go well for the good people the whole city rejoices and when disaster befalls the wicked the city also rejoices.

Romans 6: 1 – 11

Paul reminds us that through baptism in Christ we need to consider ourselves dead to sin and therefore not a slave to sin anymore. We are alive in Christ and walking in newness of life. He charges us to sin no more and walk in newness of life gained for us by Christ’s death and resurrection.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Blackwood River WA 2014 L Osburn
Holy and glorious God you gave us your son so that sin has no more rule over us: we can be alive in Christ and walk in newness of life. When people do dreadful things you appreciate our legitimate anger, grief and our cries for the violence to stop. You charge us to be dead to sin, to be honest, humble, godly and righteous. Give us your strength every day to do what we can, to protect others and ourselves, to bless and to walk through these struggles with and through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

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