22 March 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Tuesday 22 March 2016
“The Lord is my light and salvation whom shall I fear” (v. 1). The psalm begins with great words of consolation. The psalmist is in trouble and waits patiently on the Lord. Living close to and with God, being in God’s presence is the only thing desired. The psalmist promises sacrifices of praise and song. “ ‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face.’” (v.8).
Lamentations 3: 1 – 18 (19 – 30)
The first section described dreadful personal and physical distress: “my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is” (v.17). The lament moves on calling to mind God’s steadfast love and that God does listen to and come to those who wait. Sometimes it is right to sit quietly and wait.
Mark 12: 13 – 34
Jesus is tested about the payment of taxes. He asks for a coin. On the coin is the head and title of the emperor. Hebrew coins were minted with no graven images, so he was given a Roman coin. Jesus says “give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s and to God the things that are God’s.” As everything seen and unseen is God’s, the premise of the question has shifted.
Technical questions about who is whose spouse in heaven are put to Jesus. Jesus’s answer indicates their lack of understanding of the power of God or the conversation of God with Moses (the burning bush) where God says he is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – present tense. He is the God of those who live.
Finally someone tests him on the fundamental of Jewish belief, “which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus answers with the words of the Shema (Hebrew for listen) that one must love God with all our heart, our mind / soul and all our strength and love our neighbour as our self. The questioner agrees and says these are more important than any offerings and sacrifices.
Collect for Morning Prayer
Harrietville Vic L Osburn
Eternal loving God we recognise that you are the only god and that we are charged to love you with all our being and ability and spirit. Help us today to keep our focus on you, to give our concerns to you, to love you, to seek you in everything that occupies us and to show love for each other so that we bring your kingdom close for all through Jesus Christ our Lord and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Tuesday 22 March 2016
Psalm 69: 1 – 21
The psalmist is in deep trouble. The psalm suggests he has been fiercely promoting a particular policy or procedure and the outcomes are negative and unexpected so that his reputation is destroyed. He admits he was wrong. He is doing penance and now is suffering ridicule and community humiliation. The psalmist asks for rescue and redemption and will sit faithfully and wait for God’s response.
Lamentations 3: 40 – 51
The lamentation moves on to self-examination and repentance to admitting the rebellion and transgressions. There is an acceptance that the offences are great and, as a result, prayers appear to be unheard. Enemies, panic, devastation and destruction are in charge. Grief is overwhelming.
Philippians 3: 7 –16
Paul here says that the things he most valued and prized are, when compared to the value of knowing Christ now rubbish. He is saying everything good in his life pales into insignificance; it does not mean that it was not good, or right. It isn’t a case of him being good and therefore earning closeness to God. It is because of faith he seeks closeness to Christ, because Christ has made Paul his own. Paul then says, this doesn’t mean he stops. With Christ’s aid he strains forward, like a runner straining for the finishing line, waiting for Christ’s call.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|Holy Trinity Cathedral|
Wangaratta Vic L Osburn
Wise and powerful God, you peel back our eyes to our folly. Jerusalem and the temple, the great prize and treasure are just a vehicle for connection with you. When we value the vehicle more than the connection, we lose our way. All our pious efforts are nothing compared to seeking you. Help us now as we reflect on this day to set aside the concerns that steer us away from you, to sit and seek your face and closeness through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, your love our Father, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
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