Friday, 6 November 2015

7 November 2015


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Saturday 7 November 2015 
Morning Prayer

Psalm 19

The sky in silence, every day and every night shows us that God is magnificent. God’s commandments are magnificent. They are right, they delight the heart, they are simple, they are more precious than gold. And the commandments warn us – but can we ever truly detect all our own faults? David asks for help so that he does not commit presumptuous sins*. He finishes with:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord my rock and my redeemer.”

2 Kings 15: 8 – 22

King Zechariah of Israel reigns for 6 months and is conspired against and killed in public. This fulfils the prophecy that this dynastic line would last only 4 generations. Shallum reigns then Menahem kills him and takes over. Menahem sacks a town and is a horror in his take-over.  Menahem reigns 10 years. He too does what is evil. He however negotiates to pay off the King of Assyria hence stopping an invasion. His son Pekahiah succeeds him.

Matthew 22: 15 – 33

Pharisees and Herodians try to trick Jesus by asking is it lawful to pay tax to the Roman Emperor. Jesus calls them hypocrites and asks for a coin. Jesus asks whose head is on the coin and whose title – Jewish coins were minted with no images on them. It is the Emperor’s head. Jesus says give to the Emperor what is his and to God what is God’s. They are amazed.

Sadducees come to Jesus saying there is no resurrection. Using a law about brothers being required to marry the widow of another brother, they construct a scenario where this happens seven times. They want to know who is the true husband in the resurrection. Jesus tells them they are wrong in their understanding of the resurrection – no one marries or is married, instead all are like angels. Further, he quotes scripture where God says, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” they are and God is. God is the God of the living not the dead. The hearers are astounded.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Tiny bird
Eurobin Vic L Osburn
 God of wonders and magnificence we only need to take time and think of you to be awestruck and humble. Help us to be aware of our attention and commitment to you, to be motivated and to strengthen it every day so that we avoid presumptuous sins and instead come to you confident that our words, hearts and deeds are acceptable to you through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saturday 7 November 2015 
Evening Prayer

Psalm 119: 1 – 16

This portion of the psalm celebrates those who know and follow the laws of God. The psalmist asks to be taught and to be assisted to follow these laws.

“I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (v 16).

Esther 8: 3 - 17

Esther begs the king to revoke Haman’s letters to the provinces that the Jews be killed. The King responds saying an edict may be written signed and sealed with the King’s ring and that cannot be revoked.

The King’s secretaries are summoned and Mordechai dictates the edict. It is sent to all the provinces from India to Ethiopia in the language and script of each province. The letters are written in the name of the King and sealed with the King’s signet ring. The letters are sent on horse couriers from the King’s herd. The edict allows for the Jews to assemble, defend and annihilate any group or armed force that might attack them, their children or their women on one day – the 13th day of the month Adar. Copies of this writ are to be made and published to all people and the Jews are to make ready to take revenge on their enemies.

Mordechai puts on the robes he was given: blue and white. He puts on the crown and a mantle of fine purple linen. He goes to Susa. There is gladness and joy and in every province the Jews celebrate. In some places people even convert.

Revelation 2: 18 – 29

John is to write to the church in Thyatira (home of Lydia the dealer in purple cloth). The people are praised for their faith, service and patient endurance. However there is a woman who is a false prophet and has swayed some to idolatry. She and her followers will not survive. But those who are faithful are to have no more burdens placed on them. Instead at the end they will have authority, will be with Christ the morning star.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Dogwood blossoms
Harrietville Vic L Osburn
Oh God you have protected, delighted and uplifted your faithful people through great persecutions and times of false teachings. May we be inspired to love your commandments and walk with you so that we too may experience the gladness and joy that comes from knowing we are truly and forever saved by your grace through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.

*Presumptious sins are:
1.     When we do know better
2.     When we deliberately plan to do it or keep nurturing the thought about doing it, or have built up a habit of a particular sin
3.     Sinning to show total disregard for God
4.     Thinking that we are immune from a particular type of sin because we are strong or “able to manage it”. This is risky.
And, “I’ll repent tomorrow…” presumes a tomorrow.
REV. C. H. Spurgeon 1857

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