Daily Devotion for August 28, 2015
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.
Truly, one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written.
From the traditional (Catholic) Latin Mass.
“St. Patrick's Breastplate”
I rise today with the power of God to pilot me,
God's strength to sustain me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look ahead for me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to protect me,
God's way before me,
God's shield to defend me,
God's host to deliver me,
from snares of devils,
from evil temptations,
from nature's failings,
from all who wish to harm me,
far or near,
alone and in a crowd.
Prayer to Use Our Gifts Wisely
Lord, give me each day the wisdom to see which things are important, and which things are not. Show me how best to use the time and talents you have given me. Help me to use all my opportunities wisely, that I may share, through service to others, the good gifts I have received from you.
To Appreciate God's Creation
Lord God, may all of your creation - from the vastness of mighty planets and stars to the lowliness of the smallest living creature I can see - remind me to live in wonder and appreciation of all that is around me.
[How will I use my time today?]
O good shepherd, seek me out, and bring me home to your fold again. Deal favourably with me according to your good pleasure, until I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, and praise you forever and ever with them that are there.
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.
Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.
~ George Muller
Exodus 2:13-15 (ESV)
Moses and The Burning Bush  - The Name of God
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
Byzantine mosaic, ca. 9th century
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”
And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”
Notes on the Scripture
There is a theological term, "immanent", which is useful to think about here. It unfortunately sounds like not one, but two more common words, "eminent" (outstanding, distinguished) and "imminent" (about to happen), but it is not related in meaning to either of them. The immanence of God means God as He exists in the world, as he is with us. Because God is immanent, we can know Him.
e cannot know God completely; we cannot see Him as He is. But, from time to time, God will be with us in a form we can know and understand. He makes himself into something or someone with whom we can communicate. In our world today, the immanent God is the Holy Spirit. Christ's promise to us, that He would not leave us alone, meant that God would be present forever as the Holy Spirit. Thus we say that the Holy Spirit is the immanent God.
At the beginning of Exodus 3, God has been out of communication with the Hebrews for hundreds of years. His appearance as a burning bush and a voice is a momentous event. Remember how gently God approached Abraham, in the time just before He destroyed Sodom (Genesis 18). One might say that this was possible, or appropriate, because Abraham knew God and actively sought to please Him.
So we have God appearing rather frightful, explicitly demanding reverence and telling Moses exactly who He is. (Exodus 3:1-6)
The Name of God was a more critical concept to ancient peoples, for their gods had names, and it was by their name that people thought the power of the god might be invoked. But the true God does not give what we would consider a "name". He basically says, "I'm God, period. If you have to call me something, know me as the God of Abraham and your forefathers."
But is this God, or an angel or incomplete manifestation of God? Well, the burning bush says both things, but there is a reason for what seems to us confusing or even contradictory statements. The immanent God is God as we can grasp Him, a voice and visual phenomenon created to communicate with Moses. On the other hand, God as He exists — the full nature of God — is unseeable and unknowable to our limited capabilities. He is only "I am".