24 March 2012
Extracted from the prophet Hosea, Chapter 14:
The Lord says this:
2 Israel, come back to Yahweh your God your guilt was the cause of your downfall.
3 Provide yourself with words and come back to Yahweh. Say to him, 'Take all guilt away and give us what is good, instead of bulls we will dedicate to you our lips.
4 Assyria cannot save us, we will not ride horses any more, or say, "Our God!" to our own handiwork, for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.'
5 I shall cure them of their disloyalty, I shall love them with all my heart, for my anger has turned away from them.
6 I shall fall like dew on Israel, he will bloom like the lily and thrust out roots like the cedar of Lebanon;
7 he will put out new shoots, he will have the beauty of the olive tree and the fragrance of Lebanon.
8 They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow wheat again, they will make the vine flourish, their wine will be as famous as Lebanon's.
9 What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when I hear him and watch over him? I am like an evergreen cypress, all your fruitfulness comes from me.
10 Let the wise understand these words, let the intelligent grasp their meaning, for Yahweh's ways are straight and the upright will walk in them, but sinners will stumble.
What I want is love, not sacrifice -Extracted from the prophet Hosea, Chapters 5-6:
The Lord says this:
15 I shall go back to my place until they confess their guilt and seek me, seek me eagerly in their distress.
1 Come, let us return to Yahweh. He has rent us and he will heal us; he has struck us and he will bind up our wounds;
2 after two days he will revive us, on the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his presence.
3 Let us know, let us strive to know Yahweh; that he will come is as certain as the dawn. He will come to us like a shower, like the rain of springtime to the earth.
4 What am I to do with you, Ephraim? What am I to do with you, Judah? For your love is like morning mist, like the dew that quickly disappears.
5 This is why I have hacked them to pieces by means of the prophets, why I have killed them with words from my mouth, why my sentence will blaze forth like the dawn-
6 for faithful love is what pleases me, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not burnt offerings.
Extracted from Psalm 51:3-4, 18-21
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
For in sacrifice you take no delight, burnt offering from me you would refuse, my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
A humble, contrite heart you will not spurn.
In your goodness, show favour to Zion: rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice, burnt offerings wholly consumed.
Living Water - Extracted from the Gospel of John, Chapter 4:
5 On the way he came to the Samaritan town called Sychar near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob's well was there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour (12 noon).
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Give me something to drink.'
8 His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew. How is it that you ask me, a Samaritan, for something to drink?' - Jews, of course, do not associate with Samaritans.
10 Jesus replied to her: If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me something to drink,' you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water.
12 Are you a greater man than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?'
13 Jesus replied: Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again;
14 but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life.
15 'Sir,' said the woman, 'give me some of that water, so that I may never be thirsty or come here again to draw water.'
31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, 'Rabbi, do have something to eat';
32 but he said, 'I have food to eat that you do not know about.'
33 So the disciples said to one another, 'Has someone brought him food?'
34 But Jesus said: My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work.
35 Do you not have a saying: Four months and then the harvest? Well, I tell you, look around you, look at the fields; already they are white, ready for harvest!
36 Already the reaper is being paid his wages, already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life, so that sower and reaper can rejoice together.
39 Many Samaritans of that town believed in him on the strength of the woman's words of testimony, 'He told me everything I have done.'
40 So, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and
41 many more came to believe on the strength of the words he spoke to them;
42 and they said to the woman, 'Now we believe no longer because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he is indeed the Saviour of the world.'
All that exists comes from Him - Extracted from Romans 11: 33-36
How rich are the depths of God - how deep his wisdom and knowledge - how impossible to penetrate his motives or understand his methods!
Who could ever know the mind of the Lord?
Who could ever be his counselor?
Who could ever give him anything or lend him anything?
All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him. To him be glory for ever! Amen.
The Lord’s love for you is eternal - Extracted from Psalm 138
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart, you have heard the words of my mouth.
Before the angels I will bless you. I will adore you before your holy temple.
I thank you for your faithfulness and love which excels all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered; you increased the strength of my soul.
Yahweh, all kings on earth give thanks to you, for they have heard your promises; they celebrate Yahweh’s action, ‘Great is the glory of Yahweh!’
The Lord is high yet he looks on the lowly and the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I live surrounded by trouble, you keep me alive - to my enemies’ fury!
You stretch your hand out to save me, your right hand will do everything for me.
Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands.