Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Morning Prayer - Dec 17

Eglantyne Jebb, Social Reformer, Founder of `Save The Children’, 1928
O Sapientia

Psalm 70
Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O Lord, make haste to help me! 
Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life.
Let those be turned back and brought to dishonour who desire to hurt me. 
Let those who say, ‘Aha, Aha!’turn back because of their shame. 
Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation say evermore, ‘God is great!’ 
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!

Psalm 74
O God, why do you cast us off for ever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? 
Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,  which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage. 
Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell. Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins; the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary. 

Your foes have roared within your holy place; they set up their emblems there.  At the upper entrance they hacked the wooden trellis with axes. And then, with hatchets and hammers, they smashed all its carved work. They set your sanctuary on fire; they desecrated the dwelling-place of your name, bringing it to the ground. They said to themselves, ‘We will utterly subdue them’; they burned all the meeting-places of God in the land. 

We do not see our emblems; there is no longer any prophet, and there is no one among us who knows how long. How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?  Is the enemy to revile your name for ever? Why do you hold back your hand; why do you keep your hand in your bosom? 

Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the earth. You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters. You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness. You cut openings for springs and torrents; you dried up ever-flowing streams. Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the luminaries and the sun. You have fixed all the bounds of the earth; you made summer and winter. 

Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and an impious people reviles your name. 
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals; do not forget the life of your poor for ever. 
Have regard for your covenant,
   for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence. 
Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
   let the poor and needy praise your name. 
Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
   remember how the impious scoff at you all day long. 
Do not forget the clamour of your foes,
   the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

Isaiah 38. 9-20
 A writing of King Hezekiah of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness: 
I said: In the noontide of my days I must depart; 
I am consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of my years. 
I said, I shall not see the Lord in the land of the living;
I shall look upon mortals no more among the inhabitants of the world. 

My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me like a shepherd’s tent; like a weaver I have rolled up my life; he cuts me off from the loom; from day to night you bring me to an end; I cry for help until morning; like a lion he breaks all my bones; from day to night you bring me to an end. 

Like a swallow or a crane I clamour, I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary with looking upwards. O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security! But what can I say? For he has spoken to me, and he himself has done it. All my sleep has fled because of the bitterness of my soul. 

O Lord, by these things people live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. O restore me to health and make me live! Surely it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but you have held back my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back. For Sheol cannot thank you, death cannot praise you; those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for your faithfulness. The living, the living, they thank you, as I do this day;
fathers make known to children your faithfulness. 

The Lord will save me, and we will sing to stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the Lord.

Matthew 17.1-13
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’ And the disciples asked him, ‘Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ He replied, ‘Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger to prepare your way before you: 
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready your way by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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