20 October 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Thursday 20 October 2016
Psalms 114 and 115
First, the psalmist recalls the exodus and crossing of the sea and the Jordan: that the natural world moved and changed to suit God’s purpose. The second psalm starts praising God for faithful and constant expression of love. The psalmist ridicules the idol-makers who like their idols may have the physical senses (eyes, ears, noses…) but make no use of them. God is contrasted as a sensing and active presence worthy to be trusted. The psalmist blesses the hearer of the psalm.
Ezra is told that the exiles have married into the “people of the land” who are not Jews and worship other gods. Ezra sees this as a great failure and risk of loss of purity and loyalty to God. He tears his clothes and hair, fasts, sacrifices and prays to God in utter embarrassment. Ezra prays that this remnant of believers in whom God trusts can be made whole. Ezra knows that God has already been merciful and has punished the people less than they deserved. Ezra is terrified and acknowledges the people’s guilt.
Matthew 16: 13 – 28
Jesus asks the disciples who do the people think he is and then who do the disciples think he is. Simon confesses that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus blesses him, recognises that Simon discerned it by grace. Jesus calls him Peter and says that on this rock – this firm foundation that Jesus is the Messiah – will the church be built and the gates of death (Hades) will not win.
Jesus says that he will suffer and be put to death and then on the third day be raised. Peter wants to prevent this. Jesus tells him to get behind him (get out of the way and follow) and that he is a stumbling block (he has placed the rock that he is in Jesus’ path). Both are because Peter is still concerned with earthly understandings and his Jewish understanding of what the Messiah will do.
The Jesus says to all, if we want to follow Christ we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow. Those who want to save their lives will lose it and those who lose their lives for Christ’s sake will find it. Some with Christ that day will see Christ in the Kingdom before they die.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|Just a glimpse of the map|
Thursday 20 October 2016
Psalms 116 and 117
The first psalm gives thanks to God for healing. Even when he is profoundly depressed the psalmist trusts in God. The second psalm is a global call to praise God.
Daniel 5: 1 – 16
King Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar at a festival calls for the vessels of the temple to be brought in, filled with wine and used by all. They make a toast to the gods of precious metals and stone. A hand appears on the wall and writes a message in a language the King can not read and nor can any wise people. King Belshazzar calls for Daniel.
1 Peter 4: 3 – 11
Peter acknowledges that people’s lives have changed and they no longer carouse and get drunk and worship idols. As a result their old friends are surprised and blaspheme. Peter says all of us will need to give an account of ourselves to Christ. This is the purpose of the gospel, that though we might be judged in the flesh we will live in the spirit.
Peter says the end is near so we are to be serious and love one another, be hospitable without complaint, serve one another with whatever gifts we have. Speak as if we are speaking with God’s words, labour with God’s strength so that God many be glorified in all things through Christ. To God belongs the glory eternally. Amen
Collect for Evening Prayer
|On the desert Road|
Eyre Highway South Australia L Osburn
Holy and gracious Lord without you, our labours and efforts come to nothing. Help us to reflect on today and the times you were with us, especially when we are in dark and lonely places, so that we can see your action in our lives and praise you. And for the days to come, work in and through us to do your will for your glory through Jesus Christ and your Holy Spirit. Amen.