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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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Daily Devotion for September 3, 2014


<i>Christ Leaves His Trial</i> by Gustave Doré, ca. 1880.
Christ Leaves His Trial by Gustave Doré, ca. 1880.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.



prayer for morning (e. e. cummings)

i thank God for most this
amazing
day; for the leaping greenly
spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes

Amen.

Prayer of St. Basil the Great

O  God and Lord of the Powers, and maker of all creation, who, because of your clemency and incomparable mercy, sent your only-begotten son and our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind, and with his venerable cross tore asunder the record of our sins, and thereby conquered the rulers and powers of darkness: Receive from me, a sinful person, O merciful Master, these prayers of gratitude and supplication, and deliver me from every destructive and gloomy transgression, and from all visible and invisible enemies who seek to injure me.

Nail down my flesh with fear of you. And do not let not my heart be inclined to words or thoughts of evil, but pierce my soul with your love, that always contemplating you, being enlightened by you, and discerning you, the unapproachable and everlasting Light, I may unceasingly confess my misdoings and show my gratitude to you: The eternal Father, with your only-begotten Son, and with your all-holy, gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Amen.

Meditation

[Pierce my soul with your love.]


Dedication

Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.

Amen.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.


endless knot

Proverbs 11:21 (ESV)

Though they join hand in hand, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 5:7 (ESV)

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.


Notes on the Scripture

The Importance of Forgiving Others

Christ commands us, again and again, to be merciful to others. He repeatedly connects the mercy we give to the mercy we will receive. This is reflected in one of the main phrases of the Lord's Prayer — “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Forgiveness of others is the key that unlocks Christ's forgiveness, and forgiveness through Christ is the key that unlocks the kingdom of God.

If we do not forgive someone, can we be forgiven for our own sins? Possibly not. Further down in Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus speaks on the subject at length, including the admonition: “Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment . . . So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

This sounds very much as if we must settle our differences with others — both those with whom we are angry, and those who are angry with us — before we worship. On the other hand, God's mercy knows no bounds; our salvation is one of grace, not of works. This would indicate we can be forgiven anything, including our failure to settle out differences with our brothers and sisters before we worship. Perhaps it is best to say, in terms of theology, that if we truly believe in Christ and love him, we will want to settle our differences with our brothers and sisters as He has commanded us to do.

But is this possible for a human being? Anger is a powerful emotion, and it can be next to impossible to quell, especially when it is strong or fresh. And it may, literally, be impossible to make peace with someone else. There are people on earth who apparently will nurse a grudge and never let it go.

The key to dealing with anger, as with all sins, is that we must try. And when we fail, seek to confess our sins and receive the grace of forgiveness. But when it comes to resolving disputes with other people, especially where we and/or the other person are angry, we must make a really concerted effect (and possibly succeed) before we can be forgiven for our own sins.



<i>John the Baptist</i> by Matteo di Milano, ca. 1498.
John the Baptist by Matteo di Milano, ca. 1498. A page from a prayer book quoting Isaiah 29:1, traditionally read to celebrate John the Baptist: “The Lord hath called me by my name from the womb of my mother.”

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“Christian Pornography”





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Update — August 27, 2014

Changes coming! I miss the “Editorial” spot on Page Two, which has been taken over temporarily by Daily Inspiration, but I'll be able to get it back and carry on more of a dialogue, because . . . the "Daily Inspiration" coding is coming right along! Please take a minute to look at this, especially on tablets/smartphones, and let us know what you think. It is "responsive", i.e. it changes formats depending on the size of the screen it is viewed with.

Daily Inspiration

The idea is to have it and Page Two both linked from the Daily Devotion, where the link is now at the bottom of the Scripture, and also to have them cross-linked. So people will be able to get one or both.


By Mason Barge