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Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for April 7, 2013

Punishment of the Panderers, from illustrations to Dante’s Inferno, Botticelli ca. 1495.



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

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.


This week’s "Virtual Sunday Church" takes us to Westminster Abbey. Sing beautifully!

Prayer for the Day

Oh God, who has created all things, seen and unseen, this day is your creation and I give thanks to live in it. I pray that I will not shut you out of the day you have made, blinded by the petty concerns of life, but that I may be always open to your presence.

I open my body to you and give thanks for your life that fills and warms every cell of it.

I open my eyes and ears to you and give thanks for the light of your Word, without which I would live in the shadow of ignorance.

I open my heart to you and give thanks for your love that fills me with compassion, understanding, and peace.

I open my soul to you and give thanks for your Spirit, who fills me with wisdom when I take a moment to listen.

All that I am, I open to you, I return to you, giving thanks every moment of my life for the blessings that fill this day. Through Christ I pray.


A Prayer of Repentance

O  Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

endless knot

Psalm 37:7-8

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret — it only causes harm.

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 1:1-3 (ESV)

Does God Exist?

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

Notes on the Scripture

Most scientists would agree that, in the beginning, the "earth was without form and void, and there was darkness everywhere". It is generally accepted that the universe had a beginning and, before that beginning — well, nobody really knows, exactly. Scientists make important-sounding guesses, but they don't actually know. As far as anyone knows, neither energy, nor matter, nor time, nor space as we know it even existed.

Human beings have a terrible habit of acting like they know things when they really don't. Just a few hundred years ago, a renown physician would tell you, with utter assurance, that your illness was caused by an imbalance of humours, and should be treated by sticking leeches on you to remove excess blood. Scientists, like every other kind of expert, sometimes have a hard time saying "I don't really know".

Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist, recently declared that God does not exist. Because of his popularity and status as a famous scientist, an expert on the beginning of the universe, people seemed to think he has some sort of special insight into the issue. But he doesn't.

He does not actually understand his own area of expertise; he doesn't know whether there was a "Big Bang". Even within the language of science, it is only a theory. And neither Hawking nor any other physicist even attempts a coherent proof of what existed before the Big Bang, or how or why it happened. Hawking's own explanation is that, well, the universe just popped into existence!

This isn't a diatribe against science, or all the wonderful things done by all the brilliant and hard-working people that have improved our lives so much. The point is: Steven Hawking's opinion on the existence of God has no more validity than that of a washerwoman. And even worse, he is pandering to the bias of a world community that seems ever more eager to turn away from God.

What we Christians understand, that Hawking does not, is that God cannot be known simply with the mind. Spiritual knowledge cannot be found by mathematics. We can only find God with our heart and our spirit, and with the innocence of a child. We must pray for Hawking, and those like him, that they may find the light of the Spirit so that their souls might be saved from their own pride.

Text: devotional painting of St. Peter by Giambono, c. 1450devotional painting of St. Peter

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 5:16: In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

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