Daily Devotion for November 26, 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 text of Beethoven's masterpiece is simply Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."
Prayer for the Morning
Father, as I face this new day, let me be aware of the work you have done for me as I slept. I praise you that your loving care never slumbers, but has been with me while I was least aware of it; and that you renew me and the whole world, fresh every day, preparing your plans for me.
I pray that I may seek your will this day, your plan for my life, and carry out your plan in my every action. I lay my hopes and fears on an altar before you, that your Holy Spirit may guide my hopes toward the light of your holiness, and may quiet my fears with the knowledge of your infinite peace, in total confidence that your grace will save me from the evils of this world. In Jesus' name I pray,
Prayer for the Nation
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; I humbly pray that we may always prove ourselves a people who remember your favor and are glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here from so many different lands and languages. Grant the spirit of wisdom those to whom we entrust with the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may demonstrate your praise among the nations of the earth. In times of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in days of trouble, do not let our trust in you fail; all which I ask 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.
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
The Nature of Christ
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
Notes on the Scripture
In his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul attempted to reconcile Jews to the new covenant and to explain to them how Christ had changed their relationship to God. He first acknowledges the truth of the prophets as God's spokesmen; but he differentiates Christ, who was something more than the greatest of prophets. First, Christ was the heir of all things.
In the final sentence of the second paragraph, Paul reiterates the theme of inheritance. The name of God was a hugely important concept to the Hebrews, so holy and fearsome that it was not spoken except on rare occasions inside the Holy of Holies, i.e. the inner sanctum of the Temple. For Christ to inherit the name of God was thus a matter of Christ being God.
The last paragraph describes the two ways in which knowledge of God can be approached. For the Jews, it was a mystical, emotional, personal experience in the physical world. For the Greeks, it was a rational arrival by logic at the principals of the universe; in fact, by this time, Plato had begun to think that there must be a single god, a moving force behind all existence. But neither were entirely successful, because the essence of knowing God is the mystery of faith. The Word is more than physical reality and more than intellectual concept. Christ is something without parallel or precedent. As God told Moses, "I am who I am." (Exodus 3:14)