Daily Devotion for June 14, 2021
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.
Van Morrison asks a question a lot of us have asked ourselves many times.
The sun was setting over Avalon
The last time we stood in the west,
Suffering long time angels enraptured by Blake.
Burn out the dross,
Innoncence captured again;
Standing on the beach at sunset
And all the boats keep moving slow,
In the glory of the flashing light,
In the evenings glow.
When will I ever learn
To live in God?
When will I ever learn?
He gives me everything I need and more.
When will I ever learn?
You brought it to my attention
That everything was made in God.
Down through centuries of great writings and paintings
Everything lives in God.
Seen through architecture of great cathedrals
Down through the history of time
Is and was in the beginning,
Shall ever be.
Whatever it takes to fulfill the
Main change was to delete the is mission.
That is the way we must go
But you’ve got to do it your own way;
Tear down the old,
Bring up the new.
And up on the hillside it’s quiet
Where the shepherd is tending his sheep;
And over the mountains and the valleys.
And the countryside is so green.
Standing on the highest hill with a sense of wonder,
You can see everything is made in God.
Head back down the roadside
And give thanks for it all.
Music and Lyrics by Van Morrison
Celtic Prayer for the Morning
I will kindle my fire this morning in the presence of the holy angels of heaven; Without malice, without jealousy, without envy, without fear; without terror of any one under the sun, but the Holy Son of God to shield me.
God, kindle thou in my heart within a flame of love to my neighbour, to my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all; To the brave, to the coward, to the man in the street, O Son of the loveliest Mary, from the lowliest thing that lives to the Name that is highest of all. In the name of Christ, I pray.
Prayer to Hear God’s Word
Lead me to read your Word without listening to any voice but yours. Let me hear your truth and read your Word without adding to it or subtracting from it, without twisting it to meet the demands of my own preconceptions. Let me not deny your Word because it is inconvenient for me; even if I cannot follow it today, let me know the truth. Where your teaching and my thoughts conflict, help me to change. Help me to set aside my prejudice, my illusions of knowledge, my rationalizations, so that I can learn; and even if I do not follow your Word perfectly, let me know where to ask forgiveness. This I ask in the name of my only Savior, Jesus Christ,
“A saint is not someone who is good, but someone who experiences the goodness of God.”
~ Thomas Merton
I dedicate this day to you, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day, and that your face may shine upon me all the day long, that I might do your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Isaiah 43:2-3 (NKJV)
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And through the rivers,
they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire,
you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God . . . .
Galatians 6:7-9 (Daily Prayer Bible)
The Front of Our Mind (Galatians #96)
hoever sows by the flesh will reap corruption. But whoever sows by the Spirit will harvest eternal life.
So we should never lose our enthusiasm for doing good or put God to the back of our minds, because if we keep at it, we will reap our reward in good time.
9 So the good we-are-doing we must not lose-enthusiasm-for, for in time own we will harvest if not giving-out.
Notes on the Scripture
We harvest the bounty of Christ throughout our lives, in some senses; but today, we are going to concentrate on the great “final harvest,” the return of Christ to claim His Kingdom and the final return of all souls to dwell with God in eternity.
The last words of today’s Scripture, “in good time,” is not quite accurate. If you look at the Verbatim Bible, the literal expression is “own time.” The Greek word for “own” is idios, which is recognizable as a root of such English words as “idiosyncrasy.” It indicates something that is individual or peculiar to a specific person or thing, and here, it means that the time we will reap the harvest is the time of the harvest itself. The timing is out of our control. We will reap our reward when the harvest comes.
When will that be? We don’t know. In fact, Jesus Christ Himself might not know!
This last information is absolutely startling, but it is absolutely correct. It comes directly from the gospels, even the shortest of them: “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32) Christ did not know this while alive, and whether or not He knows now is entirely speculative, for He remains subordinate to the Father during the “church age.” (E.g. 1 Cor. 15:38)
It is a happy chance that we cite Mark 13 here, because we see that Paul’s admonition not to lose enthusiasm parallels nicely with Christ’s admonition about the last days. “Therefore stay awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning — lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.” Jesus was more metaphorical about this point, where Paul is simply direct, but they are getting at the same substance.
In practical terms, how easy is it for us to put God at the back of our minds? The temptation assails us every minute of every day. During the deepest moment of prayer in church, our minds try to stray. The world crowds in upon us: at work, watching television, being romantic, going to the doctor . . . we could fill a book with the list of “things that take my mind off of God”! This very problem is one of the roots of monasticism.
If we want to work on our spiritual broadening, this is a good place to spend some time and energy — that is, trying to keep God at the forefront of our minds when the world becomes demanding. One strategy that many find successful is to use the natural punctuation points of our day. Saying grace at meals is a perfect example. Before we go to bed. When we wake up, before we get out of bed.
So, here is our assignment to put today’s Scripture into action: Find a point during the day where we naturally change activities and resolve to say a short prayer, putting God into the forefront of our thought, before or after. Before is especially easy to remember. Before I hit my first drive when I play golf. Before I first turn on the television or first pick up a novel to read. When I first turn on my computer/iPad/cellphone. Every time I turn off my car in the driveway or garage.
“Make God the punctuation points in the story of your day.”
Hopefully, if we practice enough, we will also remember God whenever we begin to get angry, or buy something. It is a lifelong quest to find God, at all times and in all places. Remember Christ’s commandment: Stay awake!