Daily Devotion for December 12, 2009
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
I'm the man who has seen trouble, trouble coming from the lash of God's anger.
He took me by the hand and walked me into pitch-black darkness.
Yes, he's given me the back of his hand over and over and over again.
He turned me into a scarecrow of skin and bones, then broke the bones.
He hemmed me in, ganged up on me, poured on the trouble and hard times.
He locked me up in deep darkness, like a corpse nailed inside a coffin.
He shuts me in so I'll never get out, manacles my hands, shackles my feet.
Even when I cry out and plead for help, he locks up my prayers and throws away the key.
He sets up blockades with quarried limestone. He's got me cornered.
He's a prowling bear tracking me down, a lion in hiding ready to pounce.
He knocked me from the path and ripped me to pieces. When he finished, there was nothing left of me.
He took out his bow and arrows and used me for target practice.
He shot me in the stomach with arrows from his quiver.
Everyone took me for a joke, made me the butt of their mocking ballads.
He forced rotten, stinking food down my throat, bloated me with vile drinks.
He ground my face into the gravel. He pounded me into the mud.
I gave up on life altogether. I've forgotten what the good life is like.
I said to myself, "This is it. I'm finished. God is a lost cause."
Comment on the Scripture
Today's scripture is from a translation I rarely use or read, The Message. But the very modern vernacular has a lot of impact. People frequently seem to lose their faith or curse God at time of extreme pain or misery, a matter often addressed in the Old Testament, particularly in today's lesson. This is important, because the more secular, modern, "pop" view of God has distorted the Biblical depiction of God, into some sort of cosmic benevolent uncle. This lesson will continue tomorrow, with Jeremiah's own response to his lament.