Second Sunday after Epiphany 19 January 2020 A.D.

Second Sunday after Epiphany           19 January 2020 A.D.       Morning Prayer

Ps. 118          First Lesson  Zechariah 8:1-8, 20-23    Second Lesson 1 Corinthians. 12:12-31


                                     Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all
                                     things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the
                                     supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace
                                     all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
                                                                                                      Amen.

                                      O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy
                                  Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant
                                  that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life
                                  have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the
                                  same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.             Amen.

                                                                His Mercy Endures forever

   What great promises can be found in the passage of scripture we read today in the Psalms.
As we reflect on several of the verses, let us take those promises to heart.  Let us remember the phrase ‘...his mercy endureth for ever.’     Wow, what a great promise.  His mercy will always be with us.  It endures forever.  The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
 As we read the back and forth comparison of trusting in God, not man, being harried or pressed upon by worries, people or situations...and yet: ‘...the Lord is my strength and son, and is become my salvation..’; all the while understanding that it is in Him we trust not ourselves.
   This is not a new theme.  We can read this over and over in the scripture, the idea that we should not rely on our strength, wisdom, courage . . . it will only lead to trouble.  We should rely on the Lord.   Notice the references to the mighty hand of the Lord. It is exalted, it is valiant, he is my strength and song and is become my salvation.   All of these refer to strength.
   Now David makes reference to being allowed into the place of righteousness. “Open to me the gates of righteousness”. “This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter”.  In both cases, David speaks of praising the Lord, both because God has heard him and because God is David’s salvation.   He continues with an ascription that has become very familiar to us; ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
  Another theme now becomes apparent in this passage, being prophetic, because  David was a prophet in his own right.  Verse 22 makes reference to a building stone, a capstone that is rejected by the builders.  Instead of being discarded the stone becomes the head or cap stone of the corner.  In architecture of the time two of the strongest parts of a stone wall were the arch and the corner.   This stone is in the corner, one of the strongest parts of a wall.  
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes
    Who or what is that stone ?  The stone is Jesus.  Peter will make reference to Christ being rejected by the Jews when he is speaking to the crowd at Pentecost.{Acts 4:8, 10-11}
  He explains that Jesus Christ is that stone that was rejected by the Jews, who not understanding that the Messiah had come, rejected the Words of Christ.  It is under Christ that both Jews and Gentiles are united as one, on one firm foundation, believers in him who came to save sinners.  Jesus the Messiah, upon whom the foundation of faith is built, he is the chief top stone in the corner, the author and finisher of our faith.   Upon this Rock is our faith built. 
      David gives praise to the coming Messiah in verse 26, he who will bring the Light of the World to the believers.    We are to call a blessing upon him, because he is out of the house of the Lord.    Then David finishes the psalm the way he began it.    He praises God, he exalts him, gives thanks unto him; because he is good and his mercy endures forever.
    Shouldn’t we do the same ?    There are times when we feel down, we feel abandoned, we feel alone.   All we need do is turn our eyes upon Jesus.  Count our blessings in him, name them one by one, seek him where he is to be found: the Word of God.    And most especially, we are to praise the Lord, we are to praise him for he is our God, we are to give thanks to him, for his mercy endures forever.
 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.


  Let us pray:
O most Merciful Father;  we join our unfeigned thanks for all thy mercies; for our being, our reason, and all other endowments and faculties of soul and body; for our health, friends, food, and raiment, and all the other comforts and conveniences of life. Above all, we adore thy mercy in sending thy only Son into the world, to redeem us from sin and eternal death, and in giving us the knowledge and sense of our duty towards thee. We bless thee for thy patience with us, notwithstanding our many and great provocations; for all the directions, assistances, and comforts of thy Holy Spirit; for thy continual care watchful providence over us through the whole course of our lives, and particularly for the mercies and benefits of the past day: beseeching thee to continue these thy blessings to us; and to give us grace to show our thankfulness in a sincere obedience to his laws, through whose merits and intercession we received them all, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.    Amen.
From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my Name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my Name, and a pure offering: for my Name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. Mal. 1: 11.
O FATHER of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need; Look down from heaven, we humbly beseech thee, behold, visit, and relieve these thy sick servants, for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon them with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort them with a sense of thy goodness; preserve them from the temptations of the enemy; give them patience under their affliction; and, in thy good time, restore them to health, and enable them to lead the residue of their life in thy fear, and to thy glory. Or else give them grace so to take thy visitation, that, after this painful life ended, they may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.                 Amen. 

THE peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.
 

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