Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Morning Prayer Guide - Wednesday

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Psalm 56, Jeremiah 1:11-19, and Luke 19:41-44

In 66c.e., Jewish zealots finally managed to throw the Roman garrison out of Jerusalem.  War waged for four years, and in 70 the Roman emperor sent his general Titus, with four legions, to attack Jerusalem and end the standoff.  Titus surrounded Jerusalem, and then proceeded to lay seige to it.  Throughout the year, fighting waged back and forth, with the Roman army steadily growing closer.   Finally they pushed the defenders into the temple and a stronghold that overlooked the temple complex.  Walls had been knocked down, houses had been destroyed, and people had been killed.  Finally the day came when the Romans attacked the stronghold.  Somehow the temple caught fire and burned to the ground, despite Titus’ orders to spare it.  When the war was over, more than one million Jews had been killed, and Jerusalem was destroyed.  The temple itself was also destroyed, and the only remaining wall was actually part of the foundation.  Today it is known as the wailing wall.

Jesus’ prophecy came true less than fifty years from the time he uttered it.  We could argue that the results of First Jewish-Roman War were a punishment to the Jews for not accepting Jesus as the Messiah.  Perhaps this is true, because the zealots gained power by proclaiming their leader was the messiah, come to overthrow the Romans and create a new kingdom in Jerusalem.  Had they accepted Jesus, perhaps they wouldn’t have been so eager to follow the zealots.  Others may argue that these words weren’t actually spoken by Jesus, that they were added by a later editor who knew about the destruction of the temple.  Still others have different ideas about why Jesus might have said what he said.

We can boil it down to this, though: Following God is always a good thing.  Following God may not lead to roses and butterflies, but it does help us avoid many terrible things.  Following God is hard.  The results of rejecting God are much worse.
Will you follow God?  Write your own prayer.

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