Thursday, 3 December 2015

4  December 2015


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Friday 4 December 2015 
Morning Prayer

Psalm 80

This psalm is a prayer for deliverance from national enemies. It compares Israel to a vine. It asks for God’s hand to be on the one at God’s right hand, to give us life, to restore us and to save us.

Isaiah 42: 1 – 17

This section of Isaiah is called the first Servant Song. God chooses the servant. God’s spirit is in the servant. The servant won’t be a celebrity, nor will the servant break someone who is bruised or quench the spirit of someone whose flame is dim. The servant will steadily bring forth justice and won’t cease until it occurs. The Lord chooses the servant as a covenant to all people: to be the light of the nations, open the eyes of the blind and free people from the prison of darkness. This power goes to the servant not to any idols. So we should sing to the Lord a new song and praise God. God will turn everything on it head and put all idols to shame.

Mark 6: 1 – 13

Jesus, in his hometown is not considered special even though his teaching at the synagogue is astoundingly good. They see he had been given wisdom and power yet trivialise him because he comes from their town. Jesus heals people there but can do no great deeds of power. Jesus keeps on teaching in villages. He then sends out the twelve disciples in pairs with authority to heal those with unclean spirits. They are to go as they are, accept hospitality, be peaceful no matter what happens and let go of any slights – not carrying the experiences of last village into the next village – dusting it off before leaving. The disciples go out teaching repentance, casting out demons, anointing people and healing them.

Collect for Morning Prayer

In the vineyard
Gapstead Vic L Osburn
Loving God you heal us, restore us, bring freedom and light in our darkness. In this world full of war and non-acceptance commission us to be your servants to bring your light, healing, freedom and spirit to all we meet so that the world knows there is no power in idols and that your acts of love and power may be done through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Friday 4 December 2015
Evening Prayer

Psalm 81

The psalm begins with praise and thanksgiving. It moves on to remembering the gifts of God and how God saved and delivered the people. Finally there is a lament that the people’s hearts are hard, that they are not listening and until they do they will be besieged. God wants to feed us with fine things. The choice is left open.

Isaiah 5: 1 – 17

Isaiah begins a love song about how his beloved had a vineyard. Stones are dug out, the land cleared, a watchtower built, the vineyard tended carefully but it yielded only wild grapes. What more could be done? What will be done now? The hedge has to be removed, the vineyard dug up, there will be no more gardening and it will become overgrown with weeds and thorns and it will not be watered. Isaiah says this is the house of Israel and the people of Judah. God expected them to yield justice and righteousness instead God sees bloodshed and people crying out.

1 Thessalonians 4: 1 – 12

Paul urges purity in living since we have the Holy Spirit within. We are not to exploit others because we have lustful passions but to control our own bodies in holiness and honour. We are to love our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ and do more: to live quietly, mind our own affairs, work with our own hands and become self-sufficient.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Light in the dessert dark
Broken Hill NSW
L Osburn
Holy Lord you love us with a deep and immense love. You want us to be fed with fine things: love, quiet and peace. Be with us this night as we reflect on our day and strengthen us to call on you for control, love others, serve you fully, live quietly, work diligently and be as self-sufficient as possible so that we are part of your team growing and building your beautiful vineyard through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.

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