15 September 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Thursday 15 September 2016
Psalm 37: 1 – 17
There are people who do evil and prosper. Their presence is a challenge to us to choose faith, to do good things, to stay calm, to not get angry or envious of their wealth. Stay with the Lord and be patient. It is their story and God’s job if they continue to reject him. “Do not fret – it leads only to evil” (v.8).
Habakkuk 2: 18 – 3: 7
Habakkuk asks what use is an idol? Humans make them then give their trust to what they make. They have no breath and no life. God is holy and mighty let the earth in silence give respect.
Habakkuk in a poetic prayer recalls God’s appearance with the people from Sinai and God’s overcoming of the Egyptians and Midianites.
Matthew 5: 27 – 42
Jesus sets up a new way of thinking about right action. First, desires of the heart are part of sin as are the small actions we take, where we look or what we do with our hands. Stopping the progress of sin even if it means losing a part of who we are is worth it. We are not to cause those who are less powerful than us to sin by our actions, nor cause even further sin in others who we may not know.
Jesus requires us to be people of integrity for our word to be binding. We do not vacillate.
And we are not to retaliate blow for blow but if someone hurts us we then change position so that assault is repeated, deliberate and not reaction but an obvious, deliberate abuse of power.
If someone sues – usually because we have done something wrong – give more compensation than requested.
If a person in authority who has coercive power to make us do something to a limit and orders us to do it then we obey and then offer to go beyond the limit. The outcome is they have to acknowledge us as equals. If they take the “extra mile” it is clearly outside their limits and an abuse of power.
Give to those who beg and don’t refuse people who borrow from you.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|Cape Leeuwin Light House|
Between the Southern and Indian Oceans
WA L Osburn
Thursday 15 September 2016
Psalm 37: 18 – 41
This portion of the psalm continues with examples of God’s retribution for the wicked and protection and salvation for the faithful and the meek: “though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand” (v. 24).
2 Maccabees 4: 1 – 17
The Hellenization of Israel and Jerusalem continues. The priests are corrupted and leave their tasks. A gymnasium is established and the youth engage in all things Greek. People seek Greek forms of prestige. The section of text ends with “It is no light thing to show irreverence to the divine laws – a fact that later events will make clear” (v.17).
Ephesians 3: 1 – 13
Paul is in prison because of his ministry to reveal the mystery that people of all nations are now heirs of the promise through Jesus Christ. This is Paul’s ministry and he does not want the people of Ephesus to lose heart because he is imprisoned, instead to be bold and confident in their faith.
Collect for Evening Prayer
The Great Australian Bight SA L Osburn
Holy and compassionate Lord you have seen your people of faith through all manner of oppression, destruction suffering, imprisonment and exile. Hold us now as we solemnly reflect on the lives of your faithful people of every age. Bring us the patience and courage to continue to be bold and confident in our faith and our eternal access to you won through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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