Tuesday, 15 March 2016

16 March 2016


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Wednesday 16 March 2016
Morning Prayer

Psalm 38

The psalmist is dreadfully ill, so much so that friends stand a bit further away and people who seek harm spread rumours. The psalmist stays quiet, trusting God, praying and asking for God’s salvation.

Jeremiah 41: 11 – 42: 6

Ishmael kills Gedaliah, the governor appointed by the Babylonians. He forces the remnant of the people out of the places they live and leads them to the Ammonites. Johnanon and supporters intercept Ishmael, there is a skirmish, the people are free, but Ishmael escapes. Johnanon and the people do not know what to do now. They fear reprisals from the Babylonians so think escape to Egypt is an option. Conversely, they worry that escaping could be seen as an admission of guilt. They call Jeremiah to intercede with God and promise to do as God directs.

Matthew 22: 34 – 23: 11

Pharisees question Jesus on matters of belief. First they ask about which commandment is the greatest. He answers “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” and adds, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”. Jesus asks them about their understanding of “messiah”. If the messiah is the son of David, then what does it mean in the scriptures when David says, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’”. How can the messiah be the son of David if he calls him “my Lord”? The Pharisees are unable to answer.

Jesus continues to talk to the crowd about hypocrisy and humility. He charges people to be humble and not assume greater status or demand respect.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Pelicans heading out at dawn
Denmark WA  L Osburn

Almighty God in the scriptures, your people of faith meet with times when they are confused, lost or fail to understand. You love us, hear us and guide us if we are prepared to listen. Be with us today and help us hear and be committed to take your direction in humility and faith through Jesus Christ our Lord and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Wednesday 16 March 2016
Evening Prayer

Psalm 39

The psalmist is mortally ill and perceives his illness to be punishment from God. He decides to be calm and quiet in the presence of people who would bring him more grief. He asks to know how much time he has left. Humans are like passing guests, aliens. The psalmist asks for a little relief so that he can smile before he dies.

Exodus 8: 20 – 9: 12

The fourth plague is flies, which only affect the Egyptians and none of the Israelites in Goshen. Pharaoh promises to let the Israelites sacrifice. Moses says, that this cannot be in the presence of the Egyptians for they will be offended and stone the people. Pharaoh agrees, that the Israelites can travel away to sacrifice. Moses intercedes with God and the fly plague stops. Pharaoh changes his mind.

The fifth plague kills the Egyptians’ livestock and does not harm the Israelites’ animals. The sixth plague is fine soot blown in the air that causes boils on the skin. Still the Pharaoh’s heart is hard.

1 Corinthians 1: 18 – 31

The power of the cross is that the people who believe will be saved. It will appear crazy to the rich, learned and powerful who experience positions of honour from their own skills or resources. The main cultural groups will not believe someone unless there are verifiable signs in the case of the Jews or irrefutable argument as in the case of the Greeks. Christ is the source of grace and salvation. Our only boast can be that Christ died for us and for our salvation.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Streaky Bay SA  L Osburn
Loving and compassionate God you care for us and protect us. We thank you for the gift of your Son and the salvation won through his death on the cross and resurrection. Give us peace to sit this evening and consider your blessed assurance of care and protection through Jesus Christ our Lord and redeemer. Amen.

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