Daily Devotion for August 18, 2012
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.
We almost always have vocal music, but this organ solo of Go Tell It on the Mountain will make your jaw drop. Look Ma, no hands!
Prayer for the Morning
May all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul and revive my tired spirit: be with me today. Be at my side and walk with me; be my support, that your hand may be seen in every action I take, that your goodness may be in every word I speak, and that your spirit may inhabit my every thought. Make my thoughts, my work, and my very life blessings for your kingdom. In Christ's name I pray,
Prayer for Life
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Prayer for Peace
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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.
“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.
The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer.”
~ E. M. Bounds
1 Corinthians 11:1-12 (ESV)
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.
For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.
Notes on the Scripture
As in much of Corinthians, Paul's explanation is sometimes hard to follow, but at least the practical lesson, that women (or at least married women) should cover their heads during worship, and men should not, is clear.
As in other parts of the New Testament, and indeed in Genesis itself, the relationship described between men and women is complex. Paul accepts the Genesis account of creation literally and holds fast to the concept that woman was made from man and, at least in marriage, has a duty to look to her husband with some degree of deference. A husband is seen as the "head" of his family, although with his own, often difficult, obligations. And yet, before God, the distinction disappears. Our souls have no gender, but as humans, we do. "In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27)
The discussion of a woman's hair is difficult to dissect. But one rarely sees a woman voluntarily cut off her hair even in the secular community, and even there, it is generally confined to radically anti-Christian areas such as politically-oriented musicians, lesbian advocates, or the fashion industry. The close-cropping of a woman's hair has historically been associated with disgrace. At the end of World War 2, in Europe, women in occupied countries who had been the mistresses of German officers had their hair cropped in public, as a sign of their disgrace.
One might speculate that the concern with women's hair arises from the effect long and full hair has on men, for it makes women more sexually attractive to men. Perhaps the admonition for women to cover their heads is simply a specific application of modesty for all people during times of worship, so that they may not distract others, or that they might set aside vanity.
But perhaps this speculation is in vain. It is not completely clear whether Paul addressed this admonition to all women, or only to married women. The Greek word used, gune, can mean "woman" or "wife" either one, depending on context, and the context here seems to point more towards "wife". Paul may be leaving a little wiggle room here for single women, who (unlike married women) have a legitimate reason for attracting amorous attention from men.