Friday, 2 December 2016

3 December 2016


Prayers developed from the daily readings 

Saturday 3 December 2016
Morning Prayer

Psalm 78: 16 - 38

This portion of the psalm recounts the complaints against God when the Israelites were in the desert with Moses. Water was produced from rocks, food fell from heaven, both bread and birds. They had little faith and yet when they repented, God forgave.

Isaiah 5: 18 – 30

Those who live with sin, who mock God, who call evil good and prefer darkness to light and call bitter sweet, are good at partying and giving bribes are only wise in their own eyes and shrewd in their own estimations. They have despised the word of God and will amount to ash. Another nation will come swiftly and take over – leaving only darkness and distress.

Mark 6: 14 – 29

Herod hears of Jesus’ works and though people think Jesus is a prophet or Elijah resurrected, Herod thinks Jesus must be John the Baptist resurrected.

Herod had marries his brother’s wife and had a daughter who dances at his birthday. John the Baptist had told Herod is was against the law to be part of this adultery. Salome, the daughter’s dance so pleased Herod he offers her anything she wishes. She checks with her mother who instructs her to ask for John the Baptist’s head. The king though grieved had to honour his oath and so orders John’s death. John’s disciples come and retrieve his body.

Collect for Morning Prayer

Peaceful seagull
Streaky Bay SA  L Osburn
Holy Lord we thank you that you give us the free will to choose you. This means that some people never will -rejecting you and persecuting your people throughout the ages. You are gracious and us give space for reflection and repentance. Fill us with your spirit of truth, grace and courage to stay calm in the face of persecution, to be always open to the possibility of repentance and transformation so that we are available to assist those like Herod, Salome and Herodias when your grace moves them to seek you in truth and humility through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.

Saturday 3 December 2016
Evening Prayer

Psalm 78: 39 - 70

The psalmist shows how short the memories of humans are and how fickle. The Israelites in the desert did not remember or take into account the miracles of God that enabled their freedom. They had little faith. God held on and made decisions about the future of the people and who would lead them, for example choosing the line of Judah rather than the line of Joseph: choosing David and Mt Zion. Whether humans are faithful or not, God still guides them.

Isaiah 42: 18 – 43: 13

Isaiah tells the people they are blind and deaf to God’s provision and word even though they are the chosen messengers. Instead they are trapped and imprisoned through their own making. Isaiah asks them to consider heeding God’s word, listening and being restored. God redeems and will redeem Israel, gathering her people from the ends of the earth. Let the people see the evidence of God’s actions – see God’s redemption.

1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 5: 11

Paul reassures the Thessalonians that those who have died will be raised on the day the Lord comes. Those of us alive when Jesus comes do not get to be with Him before them – so encourage one another in hope.

We know that Jesus will come and we do not need to know when – just be prepared – not become complacent when we hear news of peace. We are to be steadfast in faith and hope and love for God has destined us for salvation, not for wrath. Whether we are alive or dead as his people we will be with Him so we are to encourage one another and build one another up.

Collect for Evening Prayer
On the beach at sunset
Streaky Bay SA  L Osburn

God of promise and of salvation, keep up strong in faith and hope and love all the days of our lives. Help us to build up each other and to acknowledge your Holy Spirit in everyone so that by your grace all hearts may be touched and all souls brought into your eternal presence through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

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