Daily Devotion for December 17, 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.
For Each of Us in Our WorkALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who makes it possible for us to work and gives every creature its food, declaring your glory and showing your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life. Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men as well as myself; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lived and died only to serve us.
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Parable of the Vineyard
Let me sing now for my well-beloved
A song of my beloved concerning his vineyard.
My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.
He dug it all around, cleared it of stones,
And planted it with the choicest vines
And he built a tower in the middle of it
And also hewed out a wine vat in it;
Then he expected it to produce good grapes,
But it produced only worthless ones.
"And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge between me and my vineyard.
"What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it?
Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?
"So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard:
I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed;
I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground.
"I will lay it waste;
It will not be pruned or hoed,
But briars and thorns will come up
I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it."
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel
And the men of Judah His delightful plant
Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress.
Comment on the Scripture
Isaiah's parable of the vineyard is straightforward, once you realize that the speaker is God and the vineyard is Israel. He took the Hebrews out of Egypt and gave them a rich land of their own. He expected it to grow a nation that lived in fear and obedience to God, but instead it produced sinners, hypocrites, prideful and self-righteous people. Instead of justice, they created bloodshed; instead of righteousness, they produced cries of misery.
I wonder what the Pilgrims would think of the country we now live in?