21 July 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Thursday 21 July 2016
Almighty God who rules over the entire planet rebukes the people and explains that God does not need sacrifices of animals. God already owns all the creatures and plants of the earth. God instead requires thanksgiving and praise.
For those who do evil, slander others and hate discipline they have no right to recite the commandments.
“Mark this, then you who forget God” (v.23). Those who bring thanksgiving honour God and those who go the right way, God will save.
Amos 8: 4 – 14
Amos continues to report God’s words. He will not forget those who use unfair practices in trade and oppress the poor by reducing the size of measures and increasing the price. He will remember those who can’t wait to get produce to sell or who are anxious for the Sabbath to be over so they can make money.
When the disaster comes day will be as night, mourning will be great and none of the things people worship or put their hope in will be of any benefit. Those deities will be no more.
John 7: 32 – 53
The Pharisees, hearing the muttering, send temple police to arrest Jesus. Jesus foretells his future into a place where no one can follow. The hearers again are quite concrete in their thinking.
On the last day of the festival Jesus reminds people that scripture says out of the believer’s heart comes streams of living water. He invites them to come and drink. When the crowd hears this again they debated whether Jesus is the Messiah. The temple police return to the Pharisees without Jesus. They are scolded and told Jesus has deceived them – that none of the Pharisees believe only the ignorant people do. Nicodemus, proposes that Jesus be given a hearing first before judging him. The Pharisees ridicule Nicodemus suggesting he too is from Galilee and that no prophet ever came form Galilee. They all go home.
Collect for Morning Prayer
Tronoh Dredge Hole, Harrietville Vic
God of renewal and refreshment, we seek you in this world where the idols of production and wealth generate impatience, ridicule and oppression, where relationships are broken, where we snap and snarl at each other, day is like night and we are overcome with mourning. When we find you, we encounter streams of living water, justice, praise and commitment to faith. Be with us now Lord. Be with us when we fear so that we too can be streams of living water to others, and wake each day to sing your praise through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
Thursday 21 July 2016
Psalm 119: 41 – 64
The earth is full of God’s steadfast love and the psalmist wants to be taught and affirmed and encouraged in understanding and living by God’ statutes. Through this the psalmist will have the words to say to those who taunt and the confidence to give testimony to kings. The psalmist identifies all the ways the commandments and statutes of the Lord enrich life.
Ezekiel 34: 17 – 31
Ezekiel continues to report God’s message. God says he will separate out the sheep. Some of the sheep in the pasture take their fill then foul and destroy field and waterways for the others. Some sheep butt the others out of the way so that the lean ones are scattered instead of being part of the flock. God will save his flock, and will separate sheep from sheep.
God will then appoint a shepherd and make a new covenant with the sheep. Then there will be enough, there will be no predators and the sheep will be safe. The sheep will know that God is with them.
Romans 2: 25 – 3: 8
Paul continues the discussion on circumcision and sin. He says that if a circumcised person breaks the Law, that person stand before God on an equal footing as an uncircumcised person, since circumcision is only and outward sign of an inner commitment. He asks what advantage is it to be a Jew? The Jews are the ones who have been entrusted with God’s communications and with recording God’s steadfastness. Their behaviours have shown God’s love. That does not mean however that we should deliberately behave poorly so that God’s love is revealed. If that was true there could be no judgement. So, if Paul is being false, how can he be condemned as a sinner?
Collect for Evening Prayer
|Green and safe pastures|
Rutherglen Vic L Osburn
Faithful and steadfast God your judgement looks at all of us and your concern is for all especially the weak, frail and the oppressed. Your judgement provides guidance and green and safe pastures for all. Be with us in our reflections on our lives. Renew our commitment to your call to be your sheep, to follow your lead and to come to true victory. Help us build with you a place where all are fed, refreshed, included and nurtured through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
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