Daily Devotion for September 5, 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.
The Dixieaires advise, "Don't let him catch you at the barroom door"! A treat from 1949.
Prayer for the Morning
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Father in heaven, creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon me and receive my heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me and for those I love. Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: Our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the love we have for one another; and the lives of our Lord and friends. Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued grace and blessings during the coming day. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your only son, who has saved us from death.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.
1 Corinthians 14:33-40 (ESV)
Orderly Worship 
As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached?
If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.
Notes on the Scripture
My personal approach to reading the Bible is to read it to learn, and I accept what it says. In my mind, if I begin to reject parts I don't agree with, I fear that I will begin to succumb to the very strong temptation to write, rather than read, the Bible — to transform it into a document that agrees with my own, very flawed, ideas. Thus, I simply take this passage at face value.
But it is enormously contentious, and the contentions are not necessarily drawn along the lines of gender. A lot of Christian women accept Paul's admonition that women should not be vocal in church services, and many men reject it and fight for the admission of women into the ministry or priesthood. The basic argument for dismissing the passage is that Paul was not making an eternal, divinely inspired rule of worship, but simply giving instructions in "how to run a church" amenable to the society of his day.
Of one thing I am sure. Paul does not intend that women should be viewed as less important or worthy in the eyes of God, or second-class citizens within the church. Priests and ministers, being human, can and do become smug and self-important; and as irritating as that may be to me, it is infuriating to women when gender is mixed into the equation and they are patronized simply because they are female.
Moreover, many or most of the women who have taken up the cloth are "better Christians" than I am. More devout, more filled with the Spirit and fulfilling the commandments of love and forgiveness better than I, despite my best efforts, seem to be able to attain. I am loathe to sound critical of women in the ministry; my own garden is full of weeds and it is there I feel called to put my efforts, not to judge the better-tended lawn of my neighbor.
So, I accept this passage just as I accept passages that present greater difficulties for me, personally. But it is not an issue that I allow to interfere in the love and community I have with my brothers and sisters in Christ.