Daily Devotion for December 23, 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.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
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.
The Harvest is Plentiful, but the Laborers Are Few
Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
But when he saw the masses of people, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered around, like sheep who have no shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few; Pray to the Lord, therefore, that he will send out laborers for his harvest.'
Comment on the Scripture
The unemployment rate for Christ's workers is 0%. I try to do something useful by writing and maintaining this page, since I am housebound to a degree, and I hope it helps or pleases some people. But I tell you the truth, most of the time I feel more like one of the sheep than one of the laborers. Both prayer and reading the Bible, when I make time for them, make me feel a lot less "distressed and scattered". If writing this website does nothing else, at least I have to read the Bible and think about it every day!
The passage is completely straightforward. Christ saw how disconnected and distressed people were, and he felt compassion for their condition. The remedy he prescribed was to pray that the Lord will move people to become "laborers for his harvest". The harvest is eternal salvation through faith in Christ, and the labor is, I suppose, anything that contributes to Christian faith and worship. Therefore, let us pray as he instructed us.
Since I am feeling so sheeplike, I have attached a lovely Handel chorus below. Please enjoy it, if it is your cup of tea, and consider praying that people's hearts will be moved to work for the spread of Christian faith.