Second Week After Epiphany, Friday, January 21, 2022
It was the month of Nisan in the twentieth year Artaxerxes was king. He wanted some wine, so I took some and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before. So the king said, “Why does your face look sad even though you are not sick? Your heart must be sad.”
Then I was very afraid. I said to the king, “May the king live forever! My face is sad because the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.”
Then the king said to me, “What do you want?”
First I prayed to the God of heaven. Then I answered the king, “If you are willing and if I have pleased you, send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so I can rebuild it.”
The queen was sitting next to the king. He asked me, “How long will your trip take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me, so I set a time.
I also said to him, “If you are willing, give me letters for the governors of Trans-Euphrates. Tell them to let me pass safely through their lands on my way to Judah. And may I have a letter for Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, telling him to give me timber? I will need it to make boards for the gates of the palace, which is by the Temple, and for the city wall, and for the house in which I will live.” So the king gave me the letters, because God was showing kindness to me. Then I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and soldiers on horses with me.
When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite officer heard about this, they were upset that someone had come to help the Israelites.
(New Century Version (NCV))
Loving Divine Family,
We praise you that even before we speak a word or know a thought, you have already given us all we need. You know our thoughts completely. When you ask, “What do you want?” you invite us to listen to your wisdom and perfect wishes for us.
Great Architect, you are always with us and hear our prayers. You give us the words to say and the strength, courage, and favour to ask for what we want. Thank you for restoring us with the newness of life and releasing us from broken-down dreams.
I hear your message of blessing for me today, LORD, and thank you for…
We step onto our paths today with the confidence that you have fully prepared the way for us. Where there are obstacles, you have already provided a way through. Where there is uncertainty, you have already provided wise Elders and mentors for our journey. Where we face opposition, you have already softened hard hearts. Where we have doubts; you have already provided solutions. All praise to you, LORD, for your perfect ways.
With joy, we praise you!
Cherie and Donovan Mutschler
Other Lectionary Readings for Today: