Psalm. 82   Read the whole Psalm

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poorand the oppressed. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (v..3-4)

This is a psalm which sometimes confuses people.  Is the Bible teaching that there are ‘other gods’?  Not at all – the ‘gods’  referred to here are either the spiritual ‘principalities and powers’ or the worlds rulers – the judges, politicians and those who run things – or perhaps both.  The point is that it is the responsibility of political leaders to care for the poor and for judges to judge justly.  That is the legacy of Christianity in the Western world – care for the poor and equality of all before the law.  It is doubtful that either will survive if the root of Christianity is removed.   That’s why we must continue to pray for all our political and civic leaders.

”What is the glory of England (Australia?)?  Take away the gospel,  and what do we have that other nations do not have better than ourselves?  Alas, if we labour not to maintain truth, we may say with Eli’s daughter, ‘the glory of God has departed from us.’ 1 Samuel 4:21. “ (Sibbes).

Petition: Please join with us in praying for:

1.The World   – The number of confirmed cases is 80,282,523 (up 3,503,705) from last week – a significant drop).  The number of deaths of people with Covid is 1,756,584 (up 64,374 – a drop of 20,000).  Russia, the UK, the EU and Israel are among countries that have seen significant increases – with concern being expressed about new more transmissible variants of Covid being identified in the UK and South Africa.

2. AustraliaThere have been 28,296 cases in total (up 125 compared with 140 the week before, with 89 being community transmission – 72 last week)

State Total Cases Weekly Change TW/LW Total Deaths Change in Deaths TW/LW
ACT 118 +1 (0) 3 0
NSW 4,847 + 105 (106) 53  0
NT 73 +2 (+8) 0 0
QLD 1,241 +7 (8) 6 0
SA 569 +5 (4) 4 0
TAS 234 + 0 (4) 13 0
VIC 20,361       +5 (5) 820 0
WA 853 +8 (9) 9 0

There are 24 people in hospital (-2) with 0 in intensive care (0). 11,590,772 tests have been carried out with 0.3% positive. There are 178 active cases (+54).   Give thanks that, so far, the Northern Beaches outbreak, seems not to be spreading to the rest of Sydney and the track and trace system seems to be working.

3. Vaccine and Cures – More than 1 million people in the US have been vaccinated and 800,000 in the UK.  The EU starts this week.  As do several other countries.  Pray these vaccines would be effective and safe.

4. Church – Pray for churches as we prepare for the New Year.  May we bring hope and light into a world of despair and darkness.

5.  Personal and Family –  Pray again for the elderly and those who have recently lost their husband or wife and have had Christmas for the first time without them.  Pray for those who are lonely and isolated – whatever their age.  

A Prayer of Repentance:    Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of they only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen  (BCP).

Song:  We need to remember this as we enter the New Year

A Prayer of Thanksgiving:   

O Lord, as we come to the end of another year.  We thank you for your mercies which are new every new year, for your love which is as deep as the ocean and your power – which extends beyond anything we can imagine.  We worship and thank you.  And place our times in your hands. In Jesus name.  Amen.