23 December 2015
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Wednesday 23 December 2015
Psalms 124, 125 and 126
If it had not been for the Lord the enemy forces would have attacked and overwhelmed us like a flood. Blessed be the Lord. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Those who trust in God shall never be moved. God will surround and support us. The psalmist prays for blessing on the faithful and that evil be kept away from us.
When we are restored we are full of joy and praise and others notice that our God has done great things for us. So we ask to be restored, that those in tears reap joy and those who weep and sow seeds come back with an abundant harvest.
Isaiah 26: 1 – 19
On the day of victory over the enemy the people will sing. The city gates will be open so that the righteous may enter. We are to trust in God, our everlasting rock. The way of the righteous is a level path and we yearn, seek and wait for God. God will ordain peace. As a result of the victory the kingdom is bigger than before. Though the people might think they are dead and in the dust they are like the radiant dew bringing new life.
Mark 13: 14 – 37
Jesus talks of a time to come, as prophesised by Daniel when something abominable will be erected on the temple. At that point the people need to flee. Jesus considers how hard it will be especially for pregnant women to get away. There will be unparalleled distress. But the time will be cut short. There will be false messiahs and false prophets who rise.
The real end will still be to come: when the sun and moon fail and the Son of Man comes in power and glory.
We are to learn from the fig tree. We can tell by looking that summer approaches. Equally we will be able to tell when the end approaches.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|A pair of crimson rosellas|
The Abbey Benedictine Community
Jamberoo NSW L Osburn
Wednesday 23 December 2015
Psalms 127, 128 and 129
Unless the Lord is with us in what we do, our labour is in vain. Rising early, working late and being anxious about things are not part of God’s plan.
Those who walk with God are blessed to have the freedom to eat our own produce, prosperity sufficient for women to be creative and children to flourish. It is a blessing to see our grandchildren.
God has preserved us from all assaults in the past. The psalmist asks that those who are enemies of God not prevail.
Isaiah 52: 13– 53: 12
This is the fourth servant song. The servant shall be exalted. Though marred in appearance he will startle many nations. Kings with be silenced and see and hear things they have not been told. We have been told this but who believed it? This servant grew like a plant in a dry zone, nothing remarkable about him. He was rejected and despised. Yet he has borne our infirmities and diseases. We thought God had struck him down but instead he was wounded for us and for our sins. Our punishment and our bruises were put on him so we can be whole and healed.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (v. 6).
Though oppressed and afflicted he says nothing. Like a lamb he is led to the slaughter. He keeps silent. Justice is perverted and he is taken away, killed, buried with the wicked and entombed with the rich. His life is a sin offering. Out of the anguish will come light and many will be made righteous. He will be made great for he poured himself out for many, counted as a sinner yet he bore the sins of many and made intercession for us all.
Revelation 22: 6 – 13
John reiterates that this is his vision and it is true. He reminds us that angel told him to worship God. He is told to let people hear this vision and to allow people to be as they are: doing wrong, being vile, doing right, continuing to do right, and for the holy they are to continue being holy.
John gives God’s true word that God is coming and will give to everyone according to what he or she has done. God is the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.
Collect for Evening Prayer
Fremantle Harbour WA L Osburn
Holy and almighty God we can do nothing of value without you. We know who Christ is and what Christ has done for us. We therefore commit ourselves and our lives to you strengthening our resolve to do right and to continue to be holy through the repentance and the redemption won by Christ so that our lives are a blessing to all and bring glory to you through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.
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