Thursday, 20 October 2016

21 October 2016


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Friday 21 October 2016 
Morning Prayer

Psalms 121, 122 and 123

In these three psalms the themes are the eternal faithfulness of God and how he cares for us; the joy and gladness we experience as we enter the house of the Lord with a prayer for safety and peace in Jerusalem, and finally, a prayer for deliverance from those who ridicule and oppress us.

Ezra 10: 1 - 19

Ezra prays and confesses the Jews faithlessness by marrying foreign women and thus opening up the gate to worship other gods. One of the returned exiles suggests that the marriages with foreign women be dissolved and the women and children sent away. Ezra withdraws and mourns the faithlessness of the people. Meanwhile a proclamation is made for all to gather in Jerusalem. The priest indicts the people and states the penalty. It will take months to ensure the penalty is implemented. 4 people only opposed the decision. Heads of each family are chosen to apply the penalty. Once the penalties have been exacted the families are permitted to make a guilt offering – a ram.

Matthew 17: 1 – 13

Jesus, Peter, James and John go up a high mountain. Jesus is transfigured before them and is accompanied by Moses and Elijah who talk with him. Peter offers to make booths so that they can stay. He is interrupted by a bright cloud and a voice saying, “This is my Son, the beloved; with him I am well pleased: listen to him!” (v.5). The disciples fall, overcome with fear. Jesus comes, touches them telling them to get up and to not be afraid. They are now alone. As they come down Jesus tells them to say nothing of the vision until after he is raised from the dead. They query him about why the scriptures say, “Elijah must comes first” (v.10). Jesus tells them that John the Baptist was Elijah.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Madonna and Christ child
New Norcia Benedictine Community
WA  L Osburn
God of steadfast love and compassion who gave your Son so that we may be freed from sin, open our hearts to humility, open our ears to hear you and your plan for harmony and peace so that we, even if we cannot understand your ways, may put you first in our lives, stop our indictments of ourselves and of each other and come to the right place with you, the place of trust, the place of humility and the place of your love through Jesus Christ our Your Son the Beloved. Amen.

Friday 21 October 2016
Evening Prayer

Psalm 119: 129 – 152

The psalmist declares a passion for the scripture and the commandments.  There is a request to learn and know them better. There too is recognition that others do not share this zeal and that leads to persecution. There is a plea to be saved from harm.

Daniel 5: 17 – 31

Daniel interprets the writing on the wall for King Belshazzar, “MENE, MENE TEKEL PARSIN” (to number, to weigh and to divide). Before doing so he tells the story of how Nebuchadnezzar, his father was taught and accepted the primacy of God. Belshazzar knows this but sought instead to use the temple vessels and praise gods of metals, stone and wood.

God has numbered the days of your kingdom, weighed you on the scale and found you wanting and so your kingdom will be divided. Belshazzar rewards and promotes Daniel.

Belshazzar died that night and his kingdom lost.

1 Peter 4: 12 – 19

Peter encourages the faithful not to be surprised by the hardships they suffer on account of being Christian. Those who are reviled for Christ are blessed. This is preferable to being reviled for a real crime or trouble making. At the judgement it will begin with those in God’s house – with us. So, if we the faithful are concerned how much worse will it be for those who sin or who say there is no God?

Peter charges us to entrust ourselves to our faithful creator and continue to do good (v.19).

Collect for Evening Prayer

Beautiful bark on a gum tree
New Norcia Benedictine Community
WA  L Osburn
Almighty and compassionate God you are the one who blesses and judges. Be with all your faithful people in every land who are being persecuted or suffering at the hands of those full of pride, godless or worshipping something that isn’t you so that your faithful are reassured of your love, know they are blessed, continue to trust in you and continue to do your will through Jesus Christ and your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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