Daily Devotion for August 21, 2012
The Last Supper by Bernardino Luini, c. 1530.
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.
This sweet Christian song was a surprising pop hit for Kris Kristofferson in 1973, and became the best-selling song of his career.
Prayer for the Morning
For the bird who sings outside my window,
or the tree that stands outside my door,
For the neighbor who waves and says "good morning",
I give you thanks dear God, for these and more,
Your blessings every morning know no limit,
Yet I often rush by not seeing them, I fear;
Let me take a moment this and every morning, God, I pray,
To see them all and know that you are here.
For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human race, O Lord; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Than vast revenues without justice.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (ESV)
The Lord's Supper 
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
Notes on the Scripture
Having chewed out the members of the Corinthian church in the preceding verses for their selfish, headstrong, and self-indulgent behavior when celebrating the Lord's Supper, Paul now adds a carrot to the stick. He reminds the Corinthians of the beautiful moment that they are celebrating.
The passage will be very familiar to some people even if they did not know where it came from, for it is so profound and eloquent that it has been copied into a number of communion services. Christ Himself told us to remember Him when we break our bread for supper and drink our wine, which hold true when we have pizza and Coke or burgers and beer. Most Christians will say some sort of remembrance before meals, although we do not always recall the crucifixion. Usually, at meals we give thanks and reserve the remembrance for a collective, symbolic meal of bread and wine or grape juice. (If you want to sample a wide variety of blessings, we have a large collection on the Prayer Before Meals page.)
This moment is central to worship in more liturgical churches, and many believe in transubstantiation, that is, that the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Christ during the liturgy. But it is so critical that even very non-sacramental denominations will celebrate it. Baptists and some others, for example, call it an "ordinance of Christ". But the theology hardly matters; for the Bible is silent on the subject, and theology is the product of the human mind. The most important point is that we do it, as Christ asked us to do.
So Paul stops chiding the Corinthians and sets them back on the course toward Christ, by eloquently reminding them of the holy mystery of the occasion they celebrate.