Daily Devotion for November 14, 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.
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day. When I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer of Supplication
Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me, for I am poor and needy. Without you, I have nothing. I pray that this day I will have food, and shelter, and be free of pain and fear. If it is not your will for me to suffer, Lord, I pray that I will not. And above all, cleanse my soul of sin, that I might someday be free of all pain and evil; for, whatever I may bear in this life, I have faith and hope in the life to come, through your goodness and mercy. In Christ's name, I pray,
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
That They May All Be One
There is but one God, and they that serve him should be one.
There is nothing that would render the true religion more lovely, or make more proselytes to it, than to see the professors of it tied together with the heart strings of love. If God be one, let all that profess him be of one mind, and one heart, and thus fulfil Christ's prayer, "that they all may be one."
~ Thomas Watson
Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he said. "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
"Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Notes on the Scripture
Jesus loves us, and He wants us to love each other. He prayed to God the Father on behalf of his disciples, but not only them; He prayed on behalf of those who would believe in them, because of what the disciples would tell them. That includes you, and me, and every other person on earth who confesses the name of Jesus and lives in his love and grace.
One of Satan's greatest achievements is the violence that Christians have done to each other in the 2000 years since Christ left us. Self-righteous pride and anger make for a poor mix with a religion whose central tenets are love and unity. One person believes it is right to pray in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary; another believes that the very depiction of Mary violates the second commandment and is unholy. One person believes that our salvation is predestined, another that we have free will and the outcome is not preordained. Silly disagreements about worship and theology are limited only by human imagination, combined with a fixed certainty that our opinion constitutes an eternal truth.
Our belief in the infallibility of our thoughts can lead us to ignore the simple clear message of today's reading. Christ says, "The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
How simple is this beautiful message. Those of us who believe in Christ are one. Christ instructs us to love each other. And still people scorn, berate, imprison and murder each other over trivia. Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians have had great debates about whether it is correct to cross oneself left to right, or right to left. Catholics throughout Europe once robbed, burned, and murdered Protestants, and the Protestants returned the favor as soon as they could grab political power.
This is one matter in which we can easily follow Christ — no advanced theological degrees required: Love and pray for anyone who confesses Christ, even if you think they have a wrong philosophy or theology. Let us worship as the spirit moves us to worship, and let others do the same.
Almost none of the religious practices or forms of worship, over which we argue so heatedly, come from Christ. They come from Satan, who claps his hands and laughs in delight every time two Christians fight over some meaningless issue of doctrine.