Daily Devotion for December 10, 2014
Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic)
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.
A cheerful Advent song, with a hint of Merry Old England, to get us in the mood for Christmas.
For a New Day
Lord, the newness of this day
Calls me to an untried way;
Let me gladly take the road,
Give me strength to bear my load.
Thou my guide and helper be —
I will travel through with Thee.
Prayer for the Troubles of the Earth
God of comfort, these times seem so uncertain, so scary. The world seems darker than it has in the past and I am less sure of myself. Maybe that's a good thing; maybe now I am turning to you with a realization that I need you so much more and that my life is not in my own control.
Let me not forget all of those around the world who are frightened at this moment. Help those who are victims of terrorism and war. Be with those who have lost so much in the past year. Hold us all in your loving arms and let us be comforted by the strength and peace you make available to us through the birth of your son, Jesus; and thank you for all the many gifts you offer us, during our life on earth and for all eternity.
[My control over my life is illusory.]
Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts, be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 135:13-18 (NKJV)
Your name, O Lord, endures forever,
Your fame, O Lord, throughout all generations.
For the Lord will judge His people,
And He will have compassion on His servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Nor is there any breath in their mouths.
Those who make them are like them;
As are all who trust in them.
Romans 8:18-25 (NASV)
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Notes on the Scripture
In the first verse, Paul tells us that our happiness at the revelation of Christ will be greater than the pain we suffer during our lives. This is a wonderful comfort. We often feel that we suffer greatly during our lives. Just realize: no matter how much you have suffered, the joy and happiness that awaits you is greater!
Our struggles to free ourselves from pain are ultimately futile. Through our will and our nature, we make ourselves slaves to the corruption of the world. We are slaves to what we see. But what we hope for — and with the certainty of faith know that we will receive — cannot be seen. That is the very nature of faith and hope. Therefore, we wait for redemption eagerly.
We celebrate our waiting in December, during the season of Advent. Like children waiting for Santa Claus, we celebrate our waiting for the time when Christ will come again. Do you remember being a small child, lying in bed on Christmas Eve, so anxious for Christmas morning that you could hardly stand it? It seemed like forever. And Christmas always came, finally.
Just so, we wait for Christ to come again. Sometimes we wait in terrible pain, but no matter how anxious we become, we cannot force time to move faster. Christ will come when it is God's will for Him to come; we cannot make it happen any faster. We must simply wait and do in this life as Christ taught us, relying for comfort on our knowledge that the day will come. For even for the most anxious child, no matter how long the wait has seemed, Christmas does arrive.