5 February 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Friday 5 February 2016
Psalms 82 and 84
The first psalm sets a scene of God judging all the other Gods. They lack knowledge or compassion. They will be destroyed. The psalmist petitions God alone to judge the earth.
A day living in the presence of God is better than anything imaginable. A journey to God’s dwelling place is filled with refreshment: “they go from strength to strength” (v. 7).
Jeremiah 14: 17 – 15: 9
Jeremiah talks with God who says tell the people I am crying over the deaths and destruction. Jeremiah appeals to God saying no idol can bring peace or restore or bring the rain. The people’s only hope is God. God replies that even if Moses and Samuel stood before him and appealed on behalf of these people, God would still say no. The decision has been made. The last straw was the actions of King Manasseh the son of Hezekiah of Judah and his actions in Jerusalem.
Who will have pity on Jerusalem? The people are going backward and rejecting the Lord. God has destroyed and bereaved the people.
Luke 3: 15 – 22
The people are excited by John and wonder whether he is the Messiah. John says that he baptises with water and the one who is to come will baptise with the Holy Spirit. John is not worthy. The one to come will gather the wheat and separate out the chaff. Thus John proclaims the good news. Herod the ruler, rebuked by John for his behaviour – especially with his own brother’s wife, will later have John imprisoned.
Jesus comes to be baptised and when he is praying afterwards the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends on him like a dove. A voice says “You are my Son the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (v.22).
Collect for Morning Prayer
Mandurah WA L Osburn
Friday 5 February 2016
Psalms 85 and 87
The first psalm reminds us all of God’s forgiveness and historical evidence of restoring people of faith. The psalmist asks for quiet to listen to God who will speak peace to the faithful and give salvation. “Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other” (v.10).
The second psalm is of praise for Zion, the mother city of believers everywhere. It is the basis for the hymn “Glorious things of you are spoken, Zion city of our God.”
Genesis 22: 1 – 19 (20 – 24)
God tests Abraham and instructs him to sacrifice Isaac his only son in Moriah on a mountain. Abraham goes with Isaac and others. Leaves the others behind as they near the mountain. Isaac carries the wood. Isaac asks about the lamb for the offering and Abraham replies that God will provide. Abraham builds an altar, binds and places Isaac on it on top of the wood. As he raises the knife Abraham hears the Lord calling from heaven for him to not harm the boy. Abraham has shown his first loyalty is to God. Abraham looks up and sees a ram caught in thickets. He frees Isaac catches the ram and sacrifices it. God promises that indeed Abraham’s offspring will be as numerous as starts in the sky. Abraham returns to Beersheba. Meanwhile, Abraham’s brother Nahor has had children and grandchildren.
Philippians 2: 12 – 18
The Philippians with the Holy Spirit are to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling knowing that God enables both their will and ability to work for God. They are to work without murmuring or arguing and hold fast to the word of life. Even if Paul dies it will be for the sacrifice and faith of the Philippians and Paul will rejoice as he hopes they will rejoice with him.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|It's a dolphin!|
Indian Ocean Mandurah WA L Osburn
Holy God you are the source of steadfast love, faithfulness righteousness and peace. Help us hold fast to your word knowing that you will speak peace and bring us salvation so that we can listen to you through the noise, the murmuring and the arguing, through the counting of the cost and, even with fear and trembling take the risks that lead to you through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
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