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Daily Prayer - 2013-01-23

Presence

May my heart rejoice in your love, O Lord.
Let me live each day anew.

Freedom

Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
from any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your loving eyes.

Consciousness

We all need to take time out from our daily chores.
We know that our bodies need a rest.
When we come into your presence, Lord,
our hearts and minds are refreshed, our spirits lifted.

The Word of God

Mark 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come forward." Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Another sabbath controversy! Mark tells the story brilliantly and makes it easy for us to get involved. Visualise the scene as people gather for worship in the synagogue. Become one of them. See the persons; listen to what they are saying; observe what is happening; feel the tension. Will Jesus heal the man with the withered hand or not? Who will win the argument: Jesus or the Pharisees? Emotions continue to rise.
  • Mark doesn’t tell us how Jesus felt towards the man with a disability; he leaves that to our imagination. But he does describe how Jesus felt towards the Pharisees: anger and grief at their hardness of heart. They prefer to observe a legal code than to be touched by the plight of a fellow human being. They are callous and uncaring. They do not love their neighbour as themselves. Their values, at least in this instance, are the antithesis to those of Jesus.

Conversation

Dear Lord, help me each day
to seek your presence more and more.
Fill my heart with love for you.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.