2 July 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Saturday 2 July 2016
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.
2 Chronicles 20: 20 – 37
Jehosophat assembles the people, places the Levites at the front and instructs them to sing praises to God. They walk to the pass. When the scouts look down on the valley to the combined armies of Edom, Ammon and Moab they find a field of bodies. The armies had fought among themselves and destroyed each other. Jehospohat and his people find livestock and all manner of booty, which they collect. They assemble before returning and call the valley, the Valley of Blessing. They return to Jerusalem praising God.
The news that God fought with Jehosophat carries abroad. Neighbouring kingdoms are fearful and so Israel experiences peace. Jehosophat reigns 25 years and is faithful but the high places of worship on the hills remain and the people do not turn their hearts to God.
Jehosophat builds ships in collaboration with King Ahaziah of Israel (who does wicked things). Eliezer, a prophet warns that the collaboration is against God's wishes. The ships are wrecked and unable to trade to Tarshish.
Acts 15: 22 – 35
The apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with the consent of the community decide to send a letter to the churches in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. Barsabbas (aka Judas) and Silas are to accompany Paul and Barnabas. The letter is to the Christian people from other nations. It says that the church in Jerusalem knows that people without authority, told them unsettling things. Judas and Silas will affirm this personally. It reaffirms how loved Paul and Barnabas are and how much they have risked for Christ. The letter says, “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials” (v. 28). The essentials are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from strangled things and from fornication.
The people in Antioch rejoice. Judas and Silas stay a while and encourage the people, then return to Jerusalem.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|Still Rock Pool|
Cape Leeuwin WA L Osburn
Saturday 2 July 2016
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.
Ezekiel 12: 1 – 20
Ezekiel is told to act out exile and the terror and fear than comes from invasion. He is to pack his things for exile in plain sight, to dig a hole through the wall and to leave at night with his face covered. When he is asked what is he doing he is to say that this is what will happen and that the King and people will be taken into exile in Babylon. They will eat their food in fear and trembling.
Galatians 2: 1 – 10
Paul recalls how he with Barnabas and Titus went to Jerusalem and talked with the leaders of the church there. They checked that what they were proclaiming was on track. Paul reports that his commission to take the gospel to the Gentiles was accepted and is as valid at Peter’s commission to take the gospel to the Jews, and all those of the Mosaic tradition. Those in Jerusalem asked Paul to remember the poor. By this is meant send donations for the work with the poor in Jerusalem.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|At home in the Rock Pool|
Cape Leeuwin WA L Osburn
Great builder and champion of relationships, you want us all to have a great relationship with you and with each other. You commission us to take your gospel to others and to act out in our daily lives your instructions – to love you and love others. Be with us now, help us be still and listen to your voice so that we can hear and feel your love and receive your direction for the days ahead through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.
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