Friday, 1 January 2016

2 January 2016


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Saturday 2 January 2016
Morning Prayer

Psalms 5 and 6

This first psalm asks for God to hear the prayers of the victim of harmful lies. God has no time for wickedness. The psalmist will go to the temple knowing that he too is not yet righteous and needs help to stay on the path. The psalmist takes the problem to God and does not retaliate. Instead he asks for all who take refuge in the Lord to experience joy and protection and exult and bless the Lord.

Debilitating and terrifying illness has struck the psalmist. It is shaking the psalmist’s faith. God is asked to lovingly respond. The psalmist stands against evil and proclaims the Lord’s swift response.

Isaiah 64

Isaiah asks God to come down, to make the earth shake, terrify adversaries and be revealed to all. There is only one God who listens to prayer and acts. But the people did not listen and God turned away. No one dares call on God. Isaiah asks how long will the people be punished; all their possessions and buildings including the temple are in ruins.

John 3: 1 – 21

Nicodemus, a senior Pharisee comes to see Jesus. Nicodemus acknowledges that Jesus comes from God since no one can do what Jesus does without God. Jesus teaches about new life: new birth in the spirit. Jesus uses examples from the physical world to help Nicodemus understand – he doesn’t.

Jesus uses scripture to help Nicodemus understand. Then Jesus says that he has come to give people eternal life: to save the world, not condemn it – as prophets did.  Those who don’t believe are already condemned; they do evil, love darkness and do not want to come into the light. They do not want their deeds known or to repent. Those who believe, who do what is true come to Jesus and are willing to be exposed and be saved.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Stream of pure water in the forest
Alpine National Park   L Osburn
Great God of refuge, protection and joy, you answer our prayers and our questions when we bring them to you. You care about us when we are assailed by enemies, ill health, adversaries and ignorance and your message to us is eternal life and salvation. Help us bring our concerns and worries to you. Help us listen and reflect on your answer until we understand your love and compassion and go out with joy and confidence exulting you and blessing your holy name through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.

Saturday 2 January 2016
Evening Prayer

Psalms 7 and 8

In the first psalm, someone who was an ally has been harmed and the blame is being focused on the psalmist. The psalmist seeks God’s protection, calls on God to search him out and judge. The psalmist is also aware that the snares the wicked set can turn against them. The psalmist is confident in a right relationship with God and is willing to repent. The psalmist promises to praise God when rescued.

God’s majesty is praised. Every human sound is praise to God. And the psalmist marvels at that. How is it that humans have such a special place when we consider the expanse of the heavens? The psalm ends in awe, wonder and praise.

Isaiah 30: 15 - 28

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (v.15), says the Lord. But the people would have none of it and instead want to flee or seek help in other places. They will be overrun and only a few will remain. Yet the Lord longs to be compassionate. When the people cry for help, God will hear and the people will eventually get the lesson and throw away idols.

The rain will come, the land will prosper and God will heal the people.

Ephesians 2: 1 – 10

We were all dead and trespassing and sinning, following the passions of our flesh – like everyone else. But God in mercy and love makes us alive again in Christ and shows us immeasurable riches of grace in kindness.  For by grace we are saved through faith, not by our doing but as a gift from God. None of us can boast about this. We are what God made us, created in Christ Jesus to do what God desires.

Collect for Evening Prayer

The path back
Alpine National Park Vic  L Osburn
Wonderful compassionate and forgiving God by your grace and mercy we are forgiven and brought back into your loving arms. Help us this night to deeply repent and to forgive others so that we may continue confident in our right relationship with you and marvel at the rest, salvation, quietness and strength you supply through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

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