Sunday, 3 July 2016

4th July 2016


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Monday 4 July 2016
Morning Prayer

Psalms 11 and 12

The psalmist disputes the claim one should run from enemies. The psalmist will stand firm. He says that if the foundation collapses, then all are powerless. The psalmist trusts in the Lord – the firm foundation.

The psalmist laments the lack of faithful people. People make promises and are unreliable. The poor and the needy suffer as a result but, the Lord is faithful forever and pure. The Lord guards and protects us.

2 Chronicles 21

Jehosophat dies and his son Jehoram age 32, becomes king. He kills all his siblings, sets up high places to worship other gods and attacks the Edomites causing animosity that lasts still.

Elijah comes to see him and prophesies that Jehoram and his household will not be spared and that he will have a fatal bowel disease. The Philistines and Arabs near Ethiopia invade, take all the king’s possessions and kill everyone in his household except his youngest son. Jehoram has a severe bowel disease and dies at age 40. No one regrets his death and he is not buried in the tomb of the kings.

John 3: 1 – 21

Nicodemus, a senior Pharisee comes to see Jesus. Nicodemus acknowledges that Jesus comes from God since no one can do what Jesus does without God. Jesus teaches about new life: new birth in the spirit. Jesus uses examples from the physical world to help Nicodemus understand – he doesn’t.

Jesus uses scripture to help Nicodemus understand. Then Jesus says that he has come to give people eternal life: to save the world, not condemn it – as prophets did.  Those who don’t believe are already condemned; they do evil, love darkness and do not want to come into the light. They do not want their deeds known or to repent. Those who believe, who do what is true come to Jesus and are willing to be exposed and be saved.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Pontoon in dappled light
Troth Dredgehole Harrietville
L Osburn
Saving God, you know us through and through. There is no place where your light fails to penetrate and you want us to live positive lives with you. Help us to open our hearts and minds to you, to repent and be made acceptable to you so that we, freed and saved may enable others to take that step, to come to you and open themselves before you and gain your great promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Monday 4 July 2016
Evening Prayer

Psalms 13 and 14

These psalms are laments for personal deliverance from enemies, from harm and from a cynical age. The psalmist remains faithful proclaiming God’s deliverance of Israel and care for the poor.

Ezekiel 12: 21 – 13: 16 (17 – 23)

Ezekiel receives from God clear messages about prophesy. God finds unacceptable the view that prophesies can be ignored because they either don’t happen or happen so far in the future we need not be concerned. God warns Ezekiel that God’s word is true and will be done.

Then there is a section about false, flattering prophets and diviners and those involved in witchcraft. God promises to save the people from these false prophets and others.

Galatians 2: 11 – 21

Paul reports how he strongly criticised Cephas (Peter). Peter lives by the spirit and not by the law but has begun to draw back from the Christians who are not Jewish and has stopped eating with them. Paul argues that if the people from these other nations need to become Jews then Peter too has to live according to the law and demonstrate that life. He also argues that Peter is building up what he once pulled down and if he does so he shows himself to have been wrong.  Paul says we are not wrong. We have died to the law, we have been crucified with Christ, and it is Christ who lives in us. Our earthly physical lives are lived by faith with Jesus who loves us.

If, however our justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

Collect for Evening Prayer

Fragile beauty on the forest floor
Harrietville Vic L Osburn
Holy Lord, your word is true and you sent your Son our saviour and Lord to bring us back to you and to justify us in your sight. Keep our hearts open to you and your people from every nation. Help us focus on your Spirit that lives and dwells in the hearts of others and not their country of origin so that we are part of building your kingdom and bringing forth your peace through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, and the power of your Holy Spirit in our hearts. Amen.

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