Scripture Reflection and Daily Prayer
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. O God, make speed to save us; O Lord, make haste to help us. Morning Psalm- 147 Scripture Reflection: 1 Peter 2:1-10 1Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation - 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture: "See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." 7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner," 8and "A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Today is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. My seminary Hebrew professor, Bill Brown, reminded us on Facebook this morning that, “The 50th year, biblically speaking, is a Jubilee year, the time when the land is allowed a ‘sabbath of complete rest’ (Lev 25:4, 11). Right now, creation is resting. Breathe it, taste it, savor it, and don’t forget it. ‘Let the earth be’ may be God's new command, not just this year but for many, many years to come.” And indeed, the earth is flourishing as it's resting, resting from our travel, our pollution, our exploitation, our fossil fuels. The air is measurably cleaner, the waters too; wildlife is literally singing. As we begin to think about getting back to work, let us think now about how we can do so in ways that enable the earth, too, to flourish while it supports our lives here. First Peter encourages us to take actions now that lead to holiness – getting rid of hatred and jealousy in our hearts, practice speaking truthfully and kindly, because these are actions that allow us to grow as disciples, and are evidence of the fact that we know we worship a loving and good God. Let us take actions that build our lives on Jesus, knowing that his ways bring about a good life for us, but they are only his ways if they are also good for others, and for the garden of Creation God made for us. First Peter says, “Let yourselves be built into a spiritual house.” The spiritual house is the one God is building, one where we honor sabbath, where we move a little slower, live more intentionally, where the poor have room, comfort, and love, and the earth and all that is within it can breathe, and sing to the Lord. Can we let God build what God desires to build? It may look more like the pattern of life we are in now, but with good work for all hands, good food and rest for all bodies, and good time together in fellowship and worship of God. “Now you are God’s people,” “now you have received mercy,” so now we have a responsibility. Entering back into work and community life, we shall do so in ways that demonstrate our faith in this truth and all creation should welcome us.
Let us Pray: Satisfy us with your love in the morning, Ps. 90:14 and we will live this day in joy and praise. 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. . . . People of God, for what else do we give thanks? Add your own prayers of thanksgiving. 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. . . . For the family of Ed Sherrick, Mary, Sharon Herrold, Duana, those who suffer PTSD, Brenda and Cliff, Bob, Rochelle, Karen and Steve, Barb and Butch, Sharron Blezard, Marcia, John and Susan, Rose, Phil and Alice, Stanley Hope, Jake, John, Julie, the nurses of our Medical Outreach Clinic and… People of God, for what else do we pray? Add your own prayers. Eternal God, you never fail to give us each day all that we ever need, and even more. Give us such joy in living and such peace in serving Christ, that we may gratefully make use of all your blessings, and joyfully seek our risen Lord in everyone we meet. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. God the Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.