Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html
Psalm 119:1-24 (morning) // 12, 13, 14 (evening)
Job 6:1, 7:1-21
There seems to be loose dealing with sacred things all over the scriptures today. Job sounds like he is taunting God. Peter has a vision that leads him to overturn traditional scriptural categories of clean and unclean. Jesus says one thing and then does another.
Let's start with Job. The first ten verses sound like a lament that could come from millions of humans living today. One fifth of humanity lives on less than $1 a day. Job's words sound like the complaint that describes so many people trapped in desperate and marginal lives.
But then, with remarkable audacity, Job taunts God using sarcastic words that parody that great Psalm 8 -- "What is man that you should be mindful of him?" Turning the psalm on its ear, Job cries, "What are human beings, that you make so much of them, that you set your mind on them, visit them every morning, test them every moment? Will you not look away from me for a while?" Job is challenging God. "Leave me alone. Am I that big a deal to you, God, that you must spend your energy making me miserable?" Job speaks his mind to God with rare boldness.
Peter sees a vision of clean and unclean animals. He knows which is which because the distinction is made clear in Hebrew scripture. "Get up, Peter; kill and eat." The voice contradicts scripture and tradition. Peter refuses. "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean." Even though this tradition has been carefully observed for centuries; even though the scriptures that mark the clean from the unclean animals have been obeyed for centuries -- the voice says, "What God has made clean, you must not call profane." The vision challenges the authority of the tradition and scripture that Peter has known.
Peter's response is what some today would call a revisionist response. He follows the vision and revises the tradition and scripture. His decision will be the door that opens the Gospel to the entire Gentile world. Had Peter remained loyal to the tradition and scripture, he would have inhibited the expansion of the Gospel beyond its identity as a reformist sect within Judaism.
Jesus tells his brothers, "I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come." Two verses later, "after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret." I was a kid when I first read this. It sounded completely believable. I said one thing and did another all the time.
Wild scriptures today. Job taunts God, playing loose with the psalm. Peter sees a vision that contradicts tradition and reason. Jesus says one thing and does another. Makes you wonder.
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