3 November 2016
Prayers developed from the daily readings
Thursday 3 November 2016
This psalm is a song of thanks and praise for the demise of past enemies and the eternal presence of God. The Lord is the security for oppressed people and that means individuals too. The psalmist moves to a prayer for individual help. The psalm ends asking God to “let the nations know that they are only human” (v.20).
Nehemiah 10: 28 – 11: 2
By the signed agreement Nehemiah and the people enter into an oath for all their families to adhere to the Law of God given to Moses and they understand the curse that comes with the breaking of that agreement. They also agree to stay separate from the people of the land: to not intermarry, not buy goods on the Sabbath, not harvest in the 7th year, tax themselves for the temple and to tithe.
They draw lots so that one in ten of the people live inside the city while the rest live in other towns. The people bless those who go willingly into the city.
Matthew 21: 33 – 46
Jesus tells the parable of the landowner who planted a vineyard and built a watchtower. He leases the vineyard to tenants. At harvest he sends slaves to collect the produce and the tenants beat, stone or kill them. This happens more than once so the landowner sends his son. The tenants, greedy for the inheritance kill the son. Jesus asks what will the landowner do? The hearers respond that he will put the tenants to a miserable death and get new tenants who will give him the harvest.
Jesus then quotes a psalm about the stone that the builders rejected becoming the cornerstone.
Jesus explains that the kingdom of God will be taken away and given to people who do produce the fruits of the kingdom. The chief priests and Pharisees realise Jesus is talking about them and want to arrest him but fear the crowds.
Collect for Morning Prayer
|Ovens Valley from Mt Buffalo|
Vic. L Osburn
Holy and almighty God you free us from forces that would harm us. Your presence and love are eternal. You gave us this beautiful world, life, expression and freedom. Even though we are not good tenants, still you sent your Son. Open our hearts to reflect on your promises to us and to consider your might so that we review what we do, choose to be united with you and commit to give to you the fruits of your kingdom through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.
Thursday 3 November 2016
The psalm begins describing how arrogant wicked people are: how they think God does not see them and that they can get away with anything. But God does see. God will hear the meek and give them strength and provide justice for the orphan and oppressed so that people on earth will “strike terror no more” (v.18).
Daniel 11: 14 – 28
The angel’s exposition of the future continues about kings and wars, invasions and intrigues including those with their heart set against the holy covenant. The commentary links all this to verifiable history.
Revelation 2: 8 – 11
John is instructed to write to the church in Smyrna and let them know these are the words of “the first and last who was dead and came to life” (v.8). Jesus knows their situation that although they are poor they have spiritual wealth. Jesus knows they are being slandered and some will be imprisoned. Jesus asks them to be faithful and consoles them with the promise of the crown of life.
Collect for Evening Prayer
|On the beach|
Eucla WA L Osburn
Holy and realistic God you keep us grounded in the realities of our world. If we are soldiers, we need to be soldiers, and if we are poor but rich in spirit, just being and persevering is who we need to be. There is evil in the world, there are wars and there is turmoil. Be with us. Remind us that you are the eternal one: the one who died for us so that we may, with your Spirit, courageously confront the challenges of this world and stay faithful and thankful for your great gifts to us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.