1 October 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Thursday 1 October 2015
This psalm is one of community lament. Enemies have come and destroyed the city, the temple and everything that gives identity to the people. An appeal is made to God using stories of creation and provision for the people. The enemy ridicules and the soul of the people is at risk of being destroyed. The psalmist asks to Lord to rise up for the people’s sake.
1 Kings 18: 20 – 40
King Ahab gathers the prophets of Baal and Asherah (consort of Baal) to Mount Carmel to meet with Elijah. Elijah challenges the people to stop having split loyalties. He asks for 2 bulls to be brought for sacrifice. No fire is to be put on either and the real god will produce the fire.
The prophets for Baal go first. They prepare the bull, call to Baal from morning till noon, limp around the altar, cut themselves with sharp weapons and draw blood. There is no voice and no answer. Elijah mocks them and they cry out more.
Elijah calls everyone close to see what he is doing. He repairs the old altar to God using the twelve stones for the sons of Jacob. He makes a trench around it. He puts the wood and the pieces of the bull and has four jars of water poured over the whole thing three times so that the water fills the trench. At the time of the offering Elijah comes near and prays that God lets it be known that God is the god of Israel and that Elijah is God’s servant. Fire falls and consumes the offering – even the water in the trench. The people fall and worship proclaiming that God is indeed God. Elijah has all the prophets of Baal seized and killed in the Wadi Kishon.
Matthew 10: 1 – 15
Jesus appoints 12 of the disciples and gifts them with the authority to cast out unclean spirits, cure every disease and every sickness. His charge to them is that since they receive this gift without having to pay, neither should the people pay for the healing. They are to approach towns and houses in peace, if accepted offer blessings of peace but if rejected they are to be peace. They are to go as they are, without extra clothes or encumbrances.
Collect for Morning Prayer
Loving God of the promise, of healing and of peace you know the struggle we are in. You know the great divisive pressures and the destruction of places and principles on which we build our identity as your faithful people. Through Christ you have instructed us to give your blessings, to bring healing where we can and to be at peace even when rejected. Help us this day to give to others what you have freely given to us so that we accept your mission and become the means for delivery of your grace, your love and your healing in our world through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thursday 1 October 2015
Psalms 75 and 76
The first psalm begins with praise and moves on to describe God as judge: putting down the boastful wicked and lifting up the righteous.
In second psalm God is portrayed as a mighty warrior who protects the poor and oppressed against foes, even armies of nations. Kneeling in thanks and praise to God is the only role for human wrath.
Job 29: 1 – 20
Job recalls his previous situation when God was looking over him. He had plenty, was honoured by all and used his abilities and wealth to support the poor, the wretched and the stranger. He was an advocate and made the unrighteous release their prey. He thought he was comfortable and safe.
Colossians 2: 1 – 7
Paul is in a struggle for the people of Colossae and Laodicea who he has not met and wants all to be encouraged and united in love, to have assured understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery: Christ. He does not want them to be deceived by plausible arguments from false teachers. As we have received Christ we are to continue to live our lives, rooted, established and grounded in Christ and to give thanks.
Collect for Evening Prayer
Holy and wonderful God you defence is sure and we thank you and praise you for all your blessings. This night help us bring our hearts and lives to you to be encouraged so that we may love you, love each other and be grounded in Christ as we live and work wherever we are through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.
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