Daily Devotion for July 22, 2018
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Kyrie Eleison by an Orthodox Serbian, Divna Ljubojevic. It sounds strange to Western ears, but it is hauntingly beautiful. The Kyrie is preceded by an unknown chant, but it appears to involve Mary and the Christ child.
Sunday Morning Invocation
God of glory, by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell: fill my spirit, and the spirit of all the people of your universal church, with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned, and the way to life stands open in our Savior Jesus Christ.
Prayer of Praise
O Father, majestic is you name!
From the rising of the sun to its setting your name is to be praised,
Merciful God, gracious Lord.
Hear us in the name of Your Son,
For He has promised that where two or three of us are gathered in Your name
He would be with us and our prayer would be heard.
Hear us in the name of Your Son,
For He is the revelation of Your wisdom, the outpouring of your glory,
The incarnation of your mercy toward us and the whole human race.
To You be the glory,
All praise and honor, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One God, now and evermore.
Prayer for True Thought
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short: Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and so guide me, that the clever words of men will never replace the truth which you have put into my heart. Through Christ I pray,
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 96:7-10 (KJV)
Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people,
give unto the Lord glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name:
bring an offering, and come into his courts.
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness:
fear before him, all the earth.
Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth:
the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved:
he shall judge the people righteously.
Exodus 22:1-6 (NLT)
Responsibility for Your Actions
“If someone steals an ox or sheep and then kills or sells it, the thief must pay back five oxen for each ox stolen, and four sheep for each sheep stolen.
“If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder. But if it happens in daylight, the one who killed the thief is guilty of murder.
“A thief who is caught must pay in full for everything he stole. If he cannot pay, he must be sold as a slave to pay for his theft. If someone steals an ox or a donkey or a sheep and it is found in the thief’s possession, then the thief must pay double the value of the stolen animal.
“If an animal is grazing in a field or vineyard and the owner lets it stray into someone else’s field to graze, then the animal’s owner must pay compensation from the best of his own grain or grapes.
“If you are burning thornbushes and the fire gets out of control and spreads into another person’s field, destroying the sheaves or the uncut grain or the whole crop, the one who started the fire must pay for the lost crop.
Notes on the Scripture
ne notable aspect of the Old Testament is a code of specific laws that were given to the ancient Hebrews. Most of these laws, especially concerning forms of worship and specific penalties, are no longer followed (except in the most Orthodox of Jewish communities). Many of them, however, are very close to our modern civil and criminal laws.
A great general principle can be seen in today’s Scripture, the lesson that we must be responsible for damage that we do, either directly (such as by stealing) or indirectly (such as keeping an animal that gets loose and eats someone’s garden). It is natural for a person to avoid punishment and loss; and life teaches us that we can often avoid punishment and loss by shirking responsibility.
If we are driving and hit a parked car in an isolated spot, how tempting is it just to drive away? Very! And our minds can create rationalizations with such brilliance and creativity. His insurance will pay for it. He was parked wrong. Her brand new Mercedes is so much more expensive than my old junker, she can afford it and she’ll rip me off on the repairs. The reasons that people can invent to avoid taking responsibility for their actions are uncountable.
But we must remember two things. First, earthly goods are an illusion; becoming too attached to them is a barrier between us and God. We do not put our faith in earthly goods, “where moth and rust doth corrupt”; we accumulate our treasure in heaven, “where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” And second, love of money and sinful pride—the two things that drive us to deny responsibility when we have caused some sort of damage—are two of the most basic sins that we suffer from. Both pride and love of money are highlighted in the Bible as the primary causes of many evils.