Luke 12:13-31

October 31, 2008

Then one from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” (Luke 12:13-14)
      Jesus, we hold up those dioceses and parishes that are splitting and there is disagreement over how to divide up the in heritance from prior generations. Help them to look beyond questions of property and ownership to your purposes.

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
      Jesus, please get our nation and culture back on track: we have made the pursuit of things the goal of life rather than pursuing your kingdom purposes.

Then he spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”‘” (Luke 12:16-19)
      Father, we have stored up surpluses of food and things in this nation and much of the world goes to bed hungry. Have mercy on us and bring us to repentance.

“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20-21)
      Holy Spirit, please use this time of financial crisis to turn our attention back to your purposes for us.

Then he said to his disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.” (Luke 12:22-23)
      Father, help us by your Holy Spirit to trust in you and do good; to dwell in the land and feed on your faithfulness. (From Psalm 37:3)

“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” (Luke 12:24-26)
      Holy Spirit, please help us lay aside fretting because others have prospered and we have not; help us to lay aside envy and cease from anger — it only causes harm. (From Psalm 37:1,7-8 )

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Luke 12:27)

“If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Luke 12:28-31)
      Jesus, help us throughout this diocese seek after your kingdom purposes.

A word received: Place your hope in me and not in changing circumstances. Turn to me day by day for the help that only I can give. Keep your hearts fixed on me.

Friday: 51; Ecclesiasticus 34:1-8,18-22 or Nehemiah 2:1-20; Revelation 13:1-10; Luke 12:13-31
Saturday: 138,139:1-17(18-23); Ecclesiasticus 35:1-17 or Nehemiah 4:1-23; Revelation 13:11-18; Luke 12:32-48

Albany Intercessor


Northwest Texas

October 31, 2008

Their diocesan convention is this weekend.

Dear Lord,
You watch over those who love You. You are their strong protection and firm support. You shelter those who fear You from the heat and shade them from the noonday sun. You keep them from stumbling and falling. Anoint this convention with with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. Grant them endurance and faith, we pray. Amen.
Ecclesiasticus 34:13-17, Revelation 13:10


40 days for life

October 31, 2008

‘Holy’ is the only word in the Bible that is repeated three times, found in Isaiah and Revelation.

Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
Psalm 40:16 KJV

O Lord,
You are a holy God and worthy to be praised. Stir in Your children who reside in the United States of America a spirit of praise today. Bring to their awareness forgotten hymns. Let new hymns be written. May there be a sound of song magnifying Your holy name over the entire nation, a sound that fills the air, a life-giving sound.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord. Amen.


Psalm 60:1-3

October 30, 2008

O God, you have cast us off; you have broken us down; you have been displeased; oh, restore us again! (Psalm 60:1)
      Jesus, in your mercy restore the Episcopal Church.

You have made the earth tremble; you have broken it; heal its breaches, for it is shaking. (Psalm 60:2)
      Father, we tremble before you as we consider your righteousness. Help us return to you so that you may heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

You have shown your people hard things; you have made us drink the wine of confusion. (Psalm 60:3)
      Holy Father, these are hard times and there is confusion everywhere; we do not know what we should but our eyes are fixed on you. (2 Chronicles 20:12) Guide this nation as we prepare to vote.

Thursday: [59,60] or 33; Ecclesiasticus 31:12-18,25-32:2 or Nehemiah 1:1-11; Revelation 12:7-17; Luke 11:53-12:12
Friday: 51; Ecclesiasticus 34:1-8,18-22 or Nehemiah 2:1-20; Revelation 13:1-10; Luke 12:13-31

Albany Intercessor


Pennsylvania

October 30, 2008

Pennsylvania was established by William Penn as a refuge for Quakers and persons of other faiths.
O Lord, we pray that the voters of Pennsylvania will fly to You for refuge. Prepare their hearts for Your good work and lead them in paths of righteousness, we pray. Amen.


40 days for life

October 30, 2008

Lying between Lake Erie and the Ohio River, Ohio became a bridge between the East and the West as the National Road and the first railroads crossed the state. Because of its role in our nation’s history, Ohio is sometimes called The Gateway State.

Then there was war in heaven. Michael and the angels under his command fought the dragon and his angels. Revelation 12:7 NLT

Dear Heavenly Father,
Satan has come into this world to kill, to steal, and to destroy. He is the Father of lies. Commission Michael and the angels under his command to the United States of America during this election. Open a Gateway over Ohio for Your holy angels. May they counteract the forces of death, theft, and destruction. May the lies be revealed. Guard and protect those saints who are his targets. We humbly ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Psalm 49 and 2 Chronicles 20

October 29, 2008

Why should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity at my heels surrounds me? (Psalm 49:5)
      Jesus, I make the choice to trust you.

Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, (Psalm 49:6)
      Father I choose to boast in the riches you have given me in the cross and resurrection of your son Jesus.

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him– (Psalm 49:7)
      Jesus, you are the one who has paid the ransom to redeem me from my sins; thank you.

For the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease forever– (Psalm 49:8 )
      Holy Spirit, please keep reminding me of the cost of my sins that Jesus paid for me.

That he should continue to live eternally, and not see the Pit. (Psalm 49:9)
      Father, thank you that I can live in the hope of the resurrection.

Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; (Psalm 49:16)
      Father, we have seen crazy increases and decreases of wealth in our day — help us keep our eyes on you in all circumstances.

For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him. (Psalm 49:17)
      Holy Spirit, please help us cling to the one enduring treasure — life with Jesus.

Though while he lives he blesses himself (for men will praise you when you do well for yourself), (Psalm 49:18 )
      Jesus, have mercy on this nation, for we have made an idol of wealth.

He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. (Psalm 49:19)
      Lord Jesus, please bring the leaders of business and industry to their senses and give them a true perspective on their responsibilities.

A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish. (Psalm 49:20)
      Lord, give those with great honor and wealth in this land understanding of your kingdom and your purposes. Thank you.

A word received: Come to me, draw near to me, my people. I love you with an everlasting love; yet you turn away from me. You spurn my love; you seek the praise of your companions. All such praise will vanish away. Come to me. Let me be your guide once again.

Wednesday: 49,[53]; Ecclesiasticus 28:14-26 or Ezra 6:1-22; Revelation 12:1-6; Luke 11:37-52
Thursday: [59,60] or 33; Ecclesiasticus 31:12-18,25-32:2 or Nehemiah 1:1-11; Revelation 12:7-17; Luke 11:53-12:12

Words Received for a Sunday School lesson in December.

“And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” (2 Chronicles 20:3) A word received: Look at Jehoshaphat’s choises in the face of his fear: he set himself to seek me and he proclaimed a fast.

“So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 20:4) A word received: See the difference a godly ruler makes: he sought me and he led his people in seeking me.

“Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, and said: ‘O LORD God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven, and do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand you?'” (2 Chronicles 20:5-6) A word received: I want my people to have the same clarity about who I AM that Jehoshaphat had.

“‘If disaster comes upon us–sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine–we will stand before this temple and in your presence (for your name is in this temple), and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.'” (2 Chronicles 20:9) A word received: “You will hear and save.” Jehoshaphat looks at me instead of his fear and he is confident of what I can do.

“‘O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.'” (2 Chronicles 20:12) A word received: Jehoshaphat has placed the problem squarely in my hands; he is trusting me and not the circumstances. That is where I want your attention to be as well: on me.

Albany Intercessor


40 days for life

October 29, 2008

Through Title X and Medicaid, Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of dollars ($330M) from the federal government each year.

The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. Psalm 119:61 KJV

Our Father in heaven,
We pray that as the voters of the United States cast their votes, they will not forget Thy laws. Amen.


Revelation 11:15-18

October 28, 2008

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15)
      Come soon, Lord Jesus Christ, and rule and reign in our hearts and in the heart of your church, and rule and reign in the nations and stop our warring madness.

And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, (Revelation 11:16)
      Holy Spirit, please move in the elders of the Episcopal Church, its bishops and teachers, move their hearts to fall on their face before our God and Father and worship him.

saying: “We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty,” (Revelation 11:17a)
      Thank you, Father, for all that you have done for us.

“The One who is and who was and who is to come,” (Revelation 11:17b)
      Jesus, we long for you to come again; come soon, Lord Jesus Christ.

“Because you have taken your great power and reigned.” (Revelation 11:17c)
      Lord Jesus, your father has given you a kingdom and we long to see that kingdom manifested in the life of the Episcopal Church.

“The nations were angry, and your wrath has come,” (Revelation 11:18a)
      Holy Spirit, we are a rebellious and angry nation and we look for someone else to blame for our profligate ways; guide us so that we avoid the wrath that is justly ours to receive.

“And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,” (Revelation 11:18b)
      Lord Jesus, we shall all be summoned before your throne for judgment; have mercy on us.

“And that you should reward your servants the prophets and the saints,” (Revelation 11:18c)
      Father, thank you for all those who have spoken your word to us and all who have been living gospels for us to read.

“And those who fear your name, small and great,” (Revelation 11:18d)
      Father, we pray that your name will be kept holy.

“And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18e)
      Holy Spirit, help us repent of our destructive use of your creation.

A word received: Call my people to me. Call my people to return to me. I AM waiting for my people to fix their hearts on me again. Turn to me, return to me. Let me be your guide.

Tuesday: 47,48; Ecclesiasticus 24:1-12 or Ezra:5-17; Revelation 11:14-19; Luke 11:27-36
Wednesday: 49,[53]; Ecclesiasticus 28:14-26 or Ezra 6:1-22; Revelation 12:1-6; Luke 11:37-52

      Notes from the Front Line

Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008
From: Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM
Subject: Welcome Home Initiative Intercessors
To All Our Prayer Warriors Interceding this Week for the Welcome Home Initiative:
      The Third Welcome Home Initiative for Combat Soldiers begins this evening. One soldier has arrived from California; others will begin assembling for the retreat this afternoon.
      The last word that I have had is that we have one new combat veteran and his wife attending this session and several returning from both of the earlier retreats. The intention this week is to run two streams of healing program — an introductory presentation and an advanced program forr “alumnae.”
      Opening the soul to inner healing where the question is laid before a traumatic memory Where was Jesus when this happened to me? is difficult in the initial WHI retreat because the whole concept of prayer having power to open and heal the pain of the memories is new and novel to men accustomed to confronting danger through the realm of the seen and the visible.
      We are delighted at the return of so many soldiers on this retreat, both for the opportunity to take the healing prayer deeper, but also because God is truly raising up a community of men and women in WHI who are committed to taking up prayer as a weapon in fighting the residue of trauma that follows combat experience.
      I commend you all to continue to pray for the men and women assembling this afternoon at Christ the King Center, for the Leadership Team comprised of Fr. Nigel Mumford, Noel Dawes, and Sue Ellen Reutsch, for the Prayer Team and On-site Intercessors. I will write an update for each of you praying off-site this evening.
      If you live in the local area, consider joining us for the Welcome Home Initiative Closing Ceremony on Wednesday, October 29. The public gathers in the Great Hall at 11:30 a.m. to honor the soldiers who have attended the retreat and to say “thank you” for their service on behalf of all of us and our country.
      Finally, before I close, the WHI Intercessors praying last week had a strong, visual “word” emerge in our prayer which we have been reflecting on, and which I commend to each of you as you pray for the men gathering here this week. One of the Intercessors wrote:
       As we prayed I saw a mighty river stretching out before us and a human chain of strong souls linked arm in arm forming a bridge crossing this river: bodies braced with combined strength holding the whole firm against a flood too great for any one soul to withstand. “And behold it was a river I could not ford, for the waters had risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be forded…” (Ezekiel 47:5)
       Together we formed a human bridge able to ford this river, which flows from the throne of God. Some are strong enough to release and swim the flood alone, and great is the power of that release, but the strength of the bridge lies in the link of many souls, strongly clasping each other to hold firm before the overpowering tsunami all around us.
       This bridge that fords the river of God, arm to arm and shoulder to shoulder, is the Body of Christ, the presence manifested through all of us together of the Lord Jesus who has forded the river before us and who now reconciles the larger unsaved, unhealed world to the ways of that river through us.
       And the tsunami flood flowing from the throne of grace is the love of God, so strong, so beyond our mortal capacity to withstand, that, even as St. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would be “strengthen with power through Christ’s Spirit in the inner man” in order that they might be so grounded in love that they might know the unknowable love of God and thereby be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19) so we pray that the strength of the building up of this community of healing prayer may empower each of us who are part of this human bridge to ford this healing flood of love and grace.
       And as we stand in this flood of healing grace, the unknowable, invincible, irresistible power of the love of God flows all around and through us, penetrating to the depth of our woundedness and of our mortality with a cleansing and a healing so profound that some of us are made mighty enough to cut free, but that release granted only to draw others into the fording chain of bonded, healed and yet-being-healed souls, withstanding — and ever giving way before — an immortal love.
      God’s blessing be with each of you as you join the human link of prayer which supports this ministry, and promotes the spread of the healing grace of Jesus Christ in our world today.
Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM
For the Oratory of Christ the Healer at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, Greenwich, NY

Albany Intercessor


40 days for life

October 28, 2008

South Dakota will have a vote on restricting abortion at the upcoming election.

Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness.
Make sure that the light you think you have is not really darkness.
If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you.”
Luke 11:34-36 NLT

Our Heavenly Father,
We thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to pay the debt for our sins. Jesus is the light of the world. He is the bright morning star.
Jesus became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. In humility, He was obedient, even to death on a cross. For this reason, God has given Him the name that is greater than any other name, including all idols of the sun and sky and all idols of false enlightenment. At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, including the spirits worshipped in the Lakota sun dance and the spirits worshipped in a false gospel. Jesus is sovereign over the state of South Dakota.
We cry out for the voters of South Dakota. May they seek Jesus in humility. May the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings. May they invite Jesus to shine into their souls as they cast their ballots. May South Dakota, the “Sunshine state,” become the “Sonshine state” with this election. Amen.
Malachi 4:2, Luke 11:34-36, Philippians 2, Revelation 22:16


40 Days for Life

October 27, 2008

The state motto of Ohio is “With God, all things are possible.”

O God,
We do not conquer by our own devices or win by our own strength. It is only by Your power, Your strength, and the assurance of Your presence. Be present to Your children voting in the upcoming presidential election and love them. With You, all things are possible. We cry out for mercy and claim Your strength and Your presence over the voters of this nation, especially in Ohio. Amen.
Psalm 44:3

A video on the development of a fetus (4 1/2 minutes).


Zechariah 1:1-6 and Psalm 44:1-3

October 27, 2008

In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, (Zechariah 1:1)
      LORD, let your word come to your people today; give your people hearts to receive your word. Thank you.

“The LORD has been very angry with your fathers.” (Zechariah 1:2)
      LORD, we have strayed from your ways like lost sheep — bring us back to you; bring the leaders and teachers and people of the Episcopal Church back to you.

“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.'” (Zechariah 1:3)
      Holy Spirit, please help us return to our God and Father.

“Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.”‘ But they did not hear nor heed me,” says the LORD.” (Zechariah 1:4)
      Jesus, we in the Episcopal Church have been a rebellious and sinful people; help us and our leaders turn from our evil ways.

“Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? Yet surely my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? (Zechariah 1:5-6a)
      Father, let your words and statutes overtake the leaders and teachers and people of the Episcopal Church.

“So they returned and said: ‘Just as the LORD of hosts determined to do to us, according to our ways and according to our deeds, so he has dealt with us.'” (Zechariah 1:6b)
      Father, we know that the Episcopal Church is being dealt with because of our sins, but for your mercy’s sake and for the love of your son Jesus, help us repent and return to you and your ways. Thank you.

We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, the deeds you did in their days, in days of old: (Psalm 44:1)
      Holy Spirit, please help us in our generation listen to the words of the Church Fathers.

You drove out the nations with your hand, but them you planted; you afflicted the peoples, and cast them out. (Psalm 44:2)
      Jesus, drive out from among us all those foreign ideologies that have crept in and taken control of your church.

For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance, because you favored them. (Psalm 44:3)
      Father, we have nothing to boast of except your son Jesus’ cross. We look to you to deliver your people today as you have done so many times in the past. Thank you.

A word received for a Sunday School lesson on Deborah and Barak (Judges 4): Hear my voice, my people. I called Deborah and Barak. Each of you has a part to play in my kingdom work. No one is too young or too old, too strong or too weak. Turn to me and I will show you the work I have for you.

Monday: 44; Ecclesiasticus 19:4-17 or Zechariah 1:7-17; Revelation 11:1-14; Luke 11:14-26
Tuesday: 47,48; Ecclesiasticus 24:1-12 or Ezra:5-17; Revelation 11:14-19; Luke 11:27-36

Albany Intercessor


Novena for Proposition 8

October 26, 2008

Organized by Alpine Anglican Church.

O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon [marriage covenant of husband and wife, which] we bless in thy Name; that [husbands and wives] living faithfully together, may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

adapted from Solemnization of Matrimony, Book of Common Prayer [p.303, 1928]


A Prayer for the Unborn

October 26, 2008

In a sense, I am indebted to Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton, president of the New Jersey chapter of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, for the inspiration for this prayer. In a dispatch on the HoB/D Listserv, Rev. Kaeton referred to pictures of abortion as “emotionally manipulative.” Mulling over this awakened the memory of a line from St. Patrick’s Breastplate:

Christ in every eye that sees me.

We bind unto the unborn today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three,
Creator of the universe.

We bind unto the unborn today
The humility of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The obedience of His crucifixion with His burial,
The triumph of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The assurance of His coming on the Judgment Day.

We bind unto the unborn the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

We bind unto the unborn the strength of Heaven,
The cloud of God’s presence overhead,
Tent of flesh,
Tabernacle of life,
Anchor of placental plate,
Pulsing warmth in the dark,
Glorious motion without weight.
Prayers of unknown pilgrims rise
As mercy dwells between
The wings of cherubim unseen.

We bind unto the unborn today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to their need.
God’s word to speak for them,
God’s shield to protect them,
God’s host to secure them:

Against evil, against the lust of nature, against every person who meditates injury to them, whether far or near, whether alone or with many.
We invoke all these virtues against every hostile, savage power warring upon their bodies and souls, against the evil laws of paganism, against the false laws of heresy, against the false promises of idolatry and against all knowledge which blinds the soul of humanity.

Christ, protect them against the death wound and the burning,
The vacuum suction, the poisoned shaft until Thy returning.
Christ with them, Christ before them, Christ behind them,
Christ in them, Christ beneath them, Christ above them,
Christ on their right, Christ on their left,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of them,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of them,
Christ in every eye that sees them,
Christ in their silence.

We bind unto the unborn the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of our salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.


From Our Archives: Ps. 63 The Inexhaustible Pursuit of God

October 26, 2008

Psalm 63 is the first Psalm in this morning’s BCP Daily Office lectionary. I was convicted in reading it that I’ve been allowing myself to be easily distracted in my pursuit of God lately, and settling for things that “don’t satisfy.” I was reminded of a L&B devotional I wrote several years ago for our old site. I needed to reread this today. I hope it may be an encouragement to others as well. (KB)

***

Originally Posted Sunday, July 17, 2005

Today’s Daily Office: The inexhaustible pursuit of God

Filed under: Meditations & Devotions, Scripture, Karen B. — Karen B. @ 9:27 am

I initially expected that I would confine today’s “Lectionary blogging” to the Sunday “public” readings since anyone going to an ECUSA church will have heard them read and likely heard a sermon touching on those readings. And I have posted reflections and prayers based on today’s Eucharistic lectionary below. But I find I can’t refrain from also commenting on the Daily Office.

Today’s Morning Prayer readings:
Psalm 63, Psalm 98
1 Samuel 23:7-18; Rom. 11:33-12:2; Matt. 25:14-30

thirsty land I was very struck by the juxtaposition of Ps. 63 and 1 Sam 23:

Ps. 63:1 expresses so poignantly what it is to “seek God earnestly” — to be as desperate for God as someone dying of thirst in the desert is to find life-giving water.

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is”

How did David learn what it means to pursue God in this manner — could it be because he was daily PURSUED in the wilderness by Saul, the mad king?

23:14 And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

Talk about God using trials and tribulations to strengthen our faith and deepen our dependence on Him…! Look at the amazing fruit the time in the wilderness of being pursued bore in David’s life in terms of the Psalms, how David learned to pour out his heart to God thus giving a model for all who hunger and thirst for God and desire Him above all else — even as Saul became CONSUMED with his desire to kill David.

I also need to comment on one other verse in Ps. 63 — this is one case where it’s true that living and working in another culture (especially one that has HUGE similarities to OT Israel’s pastoral culture) gives opportunity to gain great insights into Scripture:

5 My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips

Roast Lamb Feast Here where I am in Africa, meat is a huge part of the diet (when it can be afforded) and on special feast days when sheep are butchered, basically every part of the animal that can be eaten is devoured (including: intestines, brains, stomach lining, testicals, eyes…. even the hooves (used for soups…) Yes, I have been served ALL of these delicacies!!) until only the bones remain. And then they eat even the bones. Chewing up small bones like ribs, scraping off any possible morsel of meat or fat from leg bones or shoulders, and then taking the extremely hard and strong marrow bones and spending minutes pounding on them with a rock or some kind of heavy knife or hammer, so the bone can be broken open and the marrow sucked out of the center. Nothing is wasted and HARD work is required; serious attention is paid to getting every drop of edible nourishment from those bones. The marrow is a prized prized delicacy. If you are given the marrow bone to clean out at a feast, you have been highly honored.

So “being satisfied with marrow” takes on quite a new depth of meaning! It’s not something that can happen passively. It means gorging oneself and feasting on the Word and pursuing God until nothing else is left. There can be no laziness involved, but a single-mindedness and a thoroughness in digging for all that is there until nothing else that can be eaten.

What is then even MORE interesting is to then consider this imagery of digging out the marrow from the deepest recesses of the bones in relation to God. Turning to today’s Epistle beginning with the doxology at the end of Romans 11 we read:

11:33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

God’s riches and the depths of His wisdom are unfathomable. We can bang at that marrow bone an awfully long time and there are still going to be hidden treasures that we cannot uncover. We will NEVER be fully satisfied or sated this side of Heaven, even though we seek after Him as desperately as David describes.

May God give us grace to pursue Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength and to not grow weary but to yearn to taste the hidden riches of His Word and gain deeper glimpses of His glory and His beauty.


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