3 February 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Wednesday 3 February 2016
Psalm 78: 16 – 38
This portion of the psalm recounts the complaints against God when the Israelites are in the desert with Moses. Water is produced from rocks, food falls from heaven, both bread and birds. They have little faith and yet when they repent, God forgives.
Jeremiah 13: 18 – 14: 6
Jeremiah calls to the rulers to come down from their thrones for all will be lost anyway. The destruction to come is a result of sin. The people are so accustomed to behaving badly they cannot behave any other way. They will be scattered like chaff. The drought will continue and worsen. Even the deer and wild donkeys have no pasture.
Luke 2: 41 – 52
Like every year, Mary and Joseph go to Jerusalem for Passover and when Jesus is 12 the group they are with go home. After a day they realise Jesus is not with the group. They return and search for him in Jerusalem then find him at the temple engaged in study and discussion and showing amazing aptitude. When they ask him why he has treated his parents like this he says that they shouldn’t have searched for him. They should have known he needed to be in his Father’s house. He obediently goes home. Mary treasures this event in her heart and Jesus grows in wisdom and stature.
Collect for Morning Prayer
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Harrietville Vic L Osburn
Wednesday 3 January 2016
Psalms 78: 39 - 70
The psalmist shows how short the memories of humans are and how fickle. The Israelites in the desert did not remember or take into account the miracles of God that enabled their freedom. They had little faith. God held on and made decisions about the future of the people and who would lead them, for example choosing the line of Judah rather than the line of Joseph: choosing David and Mt Zion. Whether humans are faithful or not, God still guides them.
Abraham moves on to Gerar in the region of the Negev. Again he says that Sarah is his sister. Abimelech, the king of Gerar sends to see Sarah. In a dream God tells Abimelch that Sarah is married and that Abimelech risks death. Abimelech protests that he took Sarah in good faith and has not touched her. God instructs him to return Sarah and says that Abraham is a prophet who will pray for him.
Abimelech afraid, talks to his officials, summons Abraham and confronts him. Abraham’s defence is that the country has no fear of God and that he would be killed for his wife. Further she is technically a sister – they have the same father and a different mother. Abimelech brings gifts to Abraham, returns Sarah and allows Abraham to dwell anywhere in his kingdom. Abimelech tells Sarah he is giving silver to Abraham to cover the offence against her. Abraham prays for Abimelech whose whole family are healed and whose wives and slaves can now bear children.
Philippians 1: 21 – 30
Paul in prison, tells the Philippians that while he lives he does so in Christ and if he should die he gains. So, while he is alive he will keep labouring for Christ. Given the choice, what would he choose – life or being with Christ? He knows it is better for him to stay and continue with Christians in the joy and progress of their faith. Whatever happens, the Philippians are to conduct themselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ. Whether Paul can visit or not they will stand firm, fearlessly and united in faith. They have been granted not only belief but also suffering and know that Paul also is with them sharing that suffering.
Collect for Evening Prayer
Mackay Qld L Osburn
God of all ages you guide all of us even through tough times and challenges. You have graciously given us the capacity to believe and as humans we are all prone to suffering. Help us to remember at all times that you are in control and to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of Christ’s death even when we are being confronted or when we need to confront others so that we acknowledge the freedom won by you and consciously make choices that bring us closer to you through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.
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