Daily Devotion for August 22, 2012
The famous Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, c. 1498.
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
Today is the day you made, O God. My heart rejoices in this day and the opportunities it holds for me to experience more of Your loving presence.
I open my spirit to You, and I give thanks for Your life that fills every cell of my body and life. I open my eyes to You, and I give thanks for Your light that warms and brightens my day. I open my heart to You, and I give thanks for Your life that fills me with compassion, understanding, and peace. I open my soul to You, and I give thanks for Your presence in my life and in the lives of the people I hold dear.
Thank You, God, for all that You are and for the blessings that fill every moment of every day. Through Christ I pray.
For Those in the Armed Forces
Almighty God, I commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I pray that I may be blessed every step of my path this day by the great God of light. May Your sun shine upon me; as the moon moves the tide, may Your Spirit move my emotions with every grace and magic; may my heart sing with voice of Your angels and my hearth be warm; and may this and every blessed day You have given me be filled with joy.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
It is possible to be happy without having perfect health . . . Thank goodness my happiness doesn't come from my joints, but from my heart.
~ Beverly LaHaye
1 Corinthians 11:26-34 (ESV)
The Lord's Supper 
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another — if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home — so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.
Notes on the Scripture
Having chastised the church members in Corinth for their behavior when they came together for the Lord's Supper (verses 12-22) and then put them in mind of the great moment their worship celebrated in verses 23-26, Paul now "lays down the law". They would be expected to take to heart Christ's teachings, and behave accordingly, when they came together for worship. Simply showing up for a service to eat and drink would bring God's discipline upon them, in this world.
This is not the "wrath of God", but rather, the physical, earthly correction that the Holy Spirit will give to us sometimes to correct wrongful behavior; a spanking, as it were. We see this kind of correction in great sins of today. Reformed drug addicts will often say that they had to "hit their bottom" before the lesson came home to them, a painful lesson of physical or moral degradation, perhaps prison, perhaps the death of a fellow traveler; and generally, they will find God in climbing out of the hole their behavior has dug for them.
Pride, adultery, anger, theft — there is no sin that the Holy Spirit will not see fit to correct, at some point, not as judgment but as correction, for God wants nothing more than for us to come to Him and be saved. This is God's love, not His wrath; for He seeks to divert us from conduct that will condemn us when His judgment comes.
The poor behavior at worship would have to stem from a general failure to grasp the duty of love to one's fellow man; one who loves his brothers would not watch them go hungry, at a church meeting, while eating supper. And by the same token, how could they grasp the significance of the Lord's Supper, and behave thus? So Paul's teaching is harsh, although logical: such conduct is equivalent to responsibility for causing Christ's death; it is the attitude of a thoughtless bystander who could be led to yell, "crucify Him."