24 November 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Thursday 24 November 2016
Psalms 56 and 57
The first psalm speaks of trust in God who is our salvation and who is with us when we fear the actions of other people. It ends in praise and commitment to faith.
The second psalm again is an appeal for aid against enemies who are compared to lions. The psalm shifts to praise. The psalmist wakes each morning to sing God’s praise, to uplift the soul and to ask God to be exalted in the world: to let God’s glory shine.
Malachi 2: 1 – 16
In Malachi’s oracle God is angry with the priests and wants them to lay this command on their hearts. God’s covenant with Levi was life and well-being. In return Levi gave reverence, awe, instructed truly, walked in integrity and uprightness and turned from iniquity. The current priests are doing the opposite. Malachi challenges the priests that there is only one God, the creator, and so why are the priests being faithless to one another, the covenant and the ancestors? Judah has been faithless and joined itself to a subsidiary god of a foreign God – it is like a divorce. The Lord is a witness that the priests committed to God in their youth. They made a covenant and walked with God. God wants godly offspring not the product of consorting with other gods. God is wearied by the words of the priests who promote evil and make out that God delights in their actions.
Mark 2: 18 – 3: 6
Jesus is asked to explain why his disciples do not fast. He explains that people at a wedding feast don’t fast while the bridegroom is with them. He explains using cloth and wineskins that the old ways are right for the old ways and there are now new ways. Trying to put old and new together causes rifts and bursts.
Jesus is also questioned about why his disciples plucked grain while walking through a field on the Sabbath. Jesus reminds the questioners that even King David allowed his soldiers to eat sanctified food – only for priests because they were hungry. Equally, God made the Sabbath for people, not people for the Sabbath – it is permissible to meet people’s needs.
Jesus enters the synagogue on the Sabbath. He sees a man with a withered hand. Jesus asks, “Is it lawful to do good or harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?” (v.4). The hearers remain silent. Jesus, angry that their hearts are so hard, heals the man’s hand. The Pharisees go immediately and conspire with the Herodians to destroy Jesus.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|The Fisher and The Morning Star|
Fremantle Harbour WA L Osburn
Thursday 24 November 2016
Psalms 60 and 61
The disaster has struck. The people of the country are suffering. As a result some pay more attention to God and rally like those joining together behind a banner. This psalm is an appeal to God to be with us in the challenge ahead. The psalm ends with “With God we shall do valiantly” (v12).
The second psalm is a prayer for protection. God is described as a rock, a shelter, a hiding place and a great bird under whose wings we are protected.
Wisdom 11: 15 – 12: 2
The size and power of God is huge. The world is like a drop of morning dew. Yet God loves all things creates and preserves all things. God is merciful and forgives people’s sins so that they may repent. God’s spirit is in all things. And little by little, those who trespass are reminded and warned by God so that they may be free and trust in God.
Revelation 12: 7 - 18
War breaks out in heaven. Michael and angels fight the dragon and its angels. The dragon (Satan the deceiver, the accuser) is defeated and falls to earth. The voice proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God and the authority of the Messiah. God’s people have conquered by the blood of the Lamb, their testimony and by not clinging to life even in the face of death. The heavens are to rejoice but earth will have woe, for Satan is full of wrath and knows that time is up.
The dragon pursues the woman but wings and the earth itself protect her. The dragon takes a stand by the sea.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|Creativity, joy, gardens.... all good|
Mandurah WA L Osburn
Holy and almighty God you stand by us as a compassionate friend and provide protection and shelter in your care. Remind us that everything there is, seen and unseen is created by you and you love it. Remind us that the earth is on our side and part of your protection so that we value our planet. Help us stand firm in your love so that at the end we are counted among those who conquer through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.