Daily Devotion for September 16, 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 God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in the company of your Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. .
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God of Israel and God of all 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, not taking them for granted, but recalling that you have made them. Refresh me with the knowledge that you have made the world and its creatures, that I may be consoled from pain and anxiety by the beauty of your earth, and the knowledge of the world to come. Through Christ I pray,
Community of Prayer
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Gospel of Matthew 6:22-34
The Sermon on the Mount [Part 10] - Do Not Be Anxious for Tomorrow
No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than its clothing?
Behold the birds of the heaven; they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much more value then they?
And which of you by being anxious can add one inch to the measure of his life?
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, How shall we be clothed? For after all these things the Gentiles seek; but your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. Rather, seek first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Do not be anxious for tomorrow: for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Comments on the Scripture
Much of the passage has been left with archaic language, due to the immense beauty of the King James translation. Usages such as "they toil not, neither do they spin" are understandable to the modern speaker of English. There may be some difficulty with the meaning of "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof". This means, more prosaically, that every day presents us with enough problems to handle; we should not feel anxiety about the future, because with our faith in God, we can handle tomorrow's problems when they arise. This is not to say that we should not plan for the future, but rather, that we should not live in a state of constant fear about what will happen to us.
The word "mammon" is sometimes translated as "money", but it really refers to all material possessions or worldy goods. Christ tells us we must choose: we can serve God, or we can serve our earthly desires. We cannot do both.