Daily Devotion for March 1, 2014
St. David’s Day (UK)
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.
Lyrics by Horatius Bonar, 1808-1899
Music by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
"Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down,
Thy head upon My breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting-place,
And He has made me glad.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream.
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light.
Look unto Me; thy morn shall rise
And all thy day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that Light of Life I'll walk
Till traveling days are done.
Let me to-day do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world’s vast store,
And may I be so favoured as to make
Of joy’s too scanty sum a little more.
Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed
Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
Or sin by silence when I should defend.
However meagre be my worldly wealth,
Let me give something that shall aid my kind –
A word of courage, or a thought of health,
Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.
Let me to-night look back across the span
‘Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say –
Because of some good act to beast or man –
“The world is better that I lived today.”
[Let me not “sin by silence when I should defend.”]
Prayer for Bearing Troubles
O God, our help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the prayers of your people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner; have mercy upon me, and deliver me from the troubles that torment me, even though I might deserve them. I acknowledge and believe, O Lord, that you give us the trials of this life for our chastisement, when we drift away from you, and disobey your will; deal not with me according to my sins, but according to your endless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness. In the name of Christ I pray,
I dedicate this day to you, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day, and that your face may shine upon me all the day long, that I might do your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 8 (NKJV)
O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen —
Even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!
Matthew 21:14-17 (NIV)
The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,
you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”
And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Notes on the Scripture
Jesus spends considerable time in all of the Gospels criticizing the various groups that comprise the religious establishment. But never does any of the evangelists make them look worse, with less effort, than Matthew does in this short passage.
Jesus is now healing openly, right in the Temple in front of the Sanhedrin and their lackeys. He is not telling the people he heals to keep it secret. We remember in his early days, during his ministry period, when he would flee crowds and often try to put a damper on his fame. But his hour had not come, then; now, it has. He is “headed for home”, as baseball fans say. The curtain has risen for Act III. The time has come for his sacrifice, and his behavior reflects the hour.
So he sets up shop at the Temple and begins to heal the lame and blind. What would one expect the reaction to be? Any human being would say, “What a wonderful thing!” He is taking his time and effort to allow people who cannot see, to see again. His making their bodies whole may be symbolic in part; for he will much more importantly make our souls to live and see with our inner being. But even the outward manifestation of his grace is kind, loving, and wonderful.
And what is the reaction of the high priests? They are indignant! It shows just how twisted they have become, how filled with jealousy and pride and vanity. Instead of feeling joy that people with afflictions are freed of them, they are angry at Jesus for displaying the power of God. And not, mind you, because they themselves were going to heal these unfortunates.
So we see another dimension of Christ's saying, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4) For the reaction of a child, an innocent, is unvarnished praise for such wonderful miracles.