Subject: Daily Prayers and Scriptures: Wednesday, May 20

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We are steeped in news stories of sickness, injustice, vulnerability and loss. These daily prayers and Scripture readings are an antidote infusing us with the Spirit that heals and refreshes, reminding us we are in this together, called to action, connected to God, the Source of Life.

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Wednesday, Sixth Week of Easter
Who May Enter God’s Holy Presence? (Psalm 15, NRSV)

The Home Daily Bible Readings for Monday through Saturday are selected in support of the print passage for Sunday’s lesson in the Uniform Lessons Series, ©Spring 2020.

15:1 O Lord, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?

2 Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
3 who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
4 in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honor those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
5 who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

The Question About David’s Son (Matthew 22:41-46, NRSV)

Today’s Gospel lesson is selected from the Book of Common Worship: Daily Prayer (Louisville, KY:Westminster/John Knox, 1993).

22:41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: 42 “What do you think of the Messiah?[a] Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit[b] calls him Lord, saying,

44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

45 If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” 46 No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Deep, Deep Disorientation

By Rev. Dr. Priscilla Pope-Levison, Associate Dean for External Programs and Professor of Ministerial Studies, Perkins School of Theology/SMU

“Save me, God, because the waters have reached my neck!
I have sunk into deep mud. My feet can’t touch the bottom!” (Psalm 69:1-2)

In these verses, we are brought face to face with the fearful anxiety of a person in such affliction that she cannot see beyond her present adversity, who is afraid of being swallowed up by it like a drowning man, with the ground cut out from under his feet and his hold lost against the flood waters that sweep over him. This is a picture of deep, deep disorientation. It’s not pretty, it’s not neatly wrapped and tied with a bow.

Our world is currently in deep, deep disorientation with COVID-19 as we face debt, abuse, unemployment, slander, harassment, violence, even death. No one is alone in this regard. We’re all crying out to God for help and deliverance, for salvation and rescue, for steadfast love and mercy.

So did the writer of Psalm 69, who several verses later (vv. 13-14) found the strength, even in deep, deep disorientation, to call on God for mercy and help:

“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.
With your faithful help rescue me
from sinking in the mire …”

This is my prayer for today. May it be for you, too.

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