Prayers at Mid-day for Friday, 17 July, 2020 (Proper 15, Trinity 5)
O God, make speed to save us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
The Lord is our refuge and our strength: O come, let us worship.
Psalm 31 (Prayer and Praise for Deliverance From Enemies)
1 In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
6 You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
7 I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have taken heed of my adversities,
8 and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.
9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye wastes away from grief,
my soul and body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
and my bones waste away.
11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
a horror to my neighbours,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the whispering of many—
terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, ‘You are my God.’
15 My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.
17 Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord,
for I call on you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.
18 Let the lying lips be stilled
that speak insolently against the righteous
with pride and contempt.
19 O how abundant is your goodness
that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of everyone!
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter
from contentious tongues.
21 Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was beset as a city under siege.
22 I had said in my alarm,
‘I am driven far from your sight.’
But you heard my supplications
when I cried out to you for help.
23 Love the Lord, all you his saints.
The Lord preserves the faithful,
but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord.
Romans 12:9-21 (Marks of the True Christian)
Matthew 26:17-25 (The Passover With the Disciples)
7 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ 18He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.” ’ 19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
20 When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; 21and while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ 23He answered, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’ 25Judas, who betrayed him, said, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’ He replied, ‘You have said so.’
Commentary (Father Michael)
As we’ve worked our way through Jesus’ apocalyptic predictions in these last chapters of Matthew, we’ve heard him warn of wars, false prophets and a final judgement and redemption of the world. Now, as the disciples gather for their last Passover with Jesus, we see that these predictions are intensely relevant because they are beginning to come true here, in Jerusalem.
As Douglas Hare notes in his commentary on Matthew’s gospel, nothing in this episode – the “certain man” who owns the room, the betrayal of Judas – happens randomly. Jesus seems to be following a script that only he is aware of. He says that his time (kairos, a Greek word meaning “special time” or “season” has come), and he predicts that Judas will betray him “as it is written of him”. Jesus seems to know that these things must happen, as part of his mission to confront the forces of death and sin and make God’s plan for salvation happen. Even Judas’ identification seems to point to Jesus’ prediction on Matthew 25 that he would separate the sheep from the goats.
There is a difference between fate and destiny. Fate is something tragic, unescapable. Destiny is a goal or outcome that we are intended for. Here we see Jesus beginning to accept his destiny, as he draws near to the cross and his central role in God’s confrontation with darkness. What C.S. Lewis called the final battle begins on this night, in this room, and the occasion, Passover, the night Israel begins its journey from slavery, shows us that God’s work of delivering his people is not yet done but is very much underway.
How do you use the psalms for prayer? How could you use them more?
What other questions come to your mind about these passages?
(Borrowed with thanks from https://oremus.blog/2020/07/14/oremus-for-wednesday-july-15-2020/)
God of all mercies, we praise you that you have brought us to this new day, brightening
our lives with the dawn of promise and hope in Jesus Christ.
Especially we thank you for
the warmth of sunlight, the wetness of rain and snow, and all that nourishes the earth…
the presence and power of your Spirit . . .
the support and encouragement we receive from others . . .
those who provide for public safety and well-being . . .
the mission of the church around the world. . . .
Merciful God, strengthen us in prayer that we may lift up the brokenness of this
world for your healing, and share in the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Especially we pray for
those in positions of authority over others . . .
the lonely and forgotten . . .
children without families or homes . . .
agents of caring and relief . . .
the church in Asia and the Middle East. . . .
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Thanks be to God
Almighty God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you. May we find peace in your service, and in the world to come, see you face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Almighty God, by whose grace we celebrate again the feast of your servant Swithun: grant that, as he governed with gentleness he people committed to his care, so we, rejoicing in our Christian inheritance, may always seek to build up your Church in unity and love; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.