11 November 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Wednesday 11 November 2015
Psalms 28 and 29
In the first psalm, the there is an appeal to not be like people who don’t believe and / or those who are deceitful. The psalmist changes focus and reminds us how big and powerful God is who saves and shepherds the people forever.
The next psalm picks up this theme on the almighty power of God just by whose voice water, forests, mountains and fire dance or whirl. The Lord’s power brings people confidence and peace.
2 Kings 17: 1 – 20
In the 12th year of King Ahaz of Judah’s rule, King Hoshea begins to rule in Israel. The Assyrian King makes Hoshea a vassal but Hoshea tries to make an alliance with Egypt and does not pay Assyria. For this Hoshea is imprisoned, Israel is invaded and after 3 years’ siege Assyria takes the people to far away cities.
The explanation for this (vs 7 – 20) is that the Israelites followed the religion patterns of other people not of God. They had idols, worshipped Baals, sacrificed their children in fires… they were stubborn and did not keep the commandments of God. So God rejected all the descendants of Israel. This was God’s punishment. Judah too was following on Israel’s lead at this time.
Matthew 23: 16 – 28
Jesus indicts the Pharisees who have confused themselves and others and in so doing make it harder for people to get to God. The gold artefacts in the sanctuary are not what make the place holy or an oath real. The sanctuary does that. Similarly the gift on the altar isn’t as important as the altar it is on. It is the altar, the sanctuary and God’s throne, heaven: the place God dwells, and more importantly God’s dwelling there, that makes the oath real.
Equally the Pharisees tithe stuff – herbs and spices – but forget to tithe justice, mercy and faith. Jesus accuses them of straining a gnat but swallowing a camel. He demands we clean up our inner life before worrying about outward appearances.
Collect for Morning Prayer
Bon Accord track to Washington Creek
Alpine National Park Vic L Osburn
Holy Lord you are the only one worthy of worship, you are the only power worthy to be revered. Help us this day to see the idols and distractions around us and to step away. Help us in every moment, thought, word and action to take the path of justice, mercy and faith trusting your truth and holding on to your love so that we stand with you in building confidence and peace through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Wednesday 11 November 2015
Psalms 30 and 32
The first psalm is of praise and thanksgiving for healing and prayers answered.
The second psalm begins telling us how happy are those whose sins are forgiven. The psalmist recounts how he was unwell and until he acknowledged his sins and confessed. Healing began. He encourages all to offer prayer when distressed and warns us not to be stubborn about it. Steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 1: 1 – 11
What is life all about? It is all about seeking our own vain needs. People labour and toil and what do they get? One generation after another doing the same thing: like the sun rising and setting and repeating and; like the rivers running to the sea that is never filled up. Our eyes and ears are never satisfied – we can never get enough and this is all very wearying.
This is the way it is. It isn’t new. And it will keep being this way as we forget the people of the past, as we ourselves are forgotten and as future people will be forgotten in their turn.
Revelation 3: 14 – 22
John is to write to the church in Laodicea. Jesus knows their works and they are lukewarm. Jesus prefers them to be either cold or hot. Because they are lukewarm they are about to be rejected by Jesus. The people say, “I am rich, I have prospered, I need nothing” (v.17). Really they are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. Jesus wants them to repent and spend their resources on that. Jesus is standing at their door knocking. Will they let Jesus in to eat and drink with them? If they conquer, they will have a place with Christ in God’s kingdom.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|At the front door|
Harrietville Vic L Osburn
Loving and gracious God you cry out to us across the generations – stuff, things, wealth, and esteem are all vanity. You challenge us to seek the food that is good, the feast that is a life with you. Shake us up and wake us up to repent. Switch on the fire in our hearts so that we see we desperately need you and want to run to the door and open it, welcome you and give our all to you through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
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