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Daily Devotion for September 6, 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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week is slightly more informal than many of us are used to. From a Bible church in California, we hear a “jubilee gospel” anthem by the Kingsmen Quartet, Stand by Me.
For Unity in Sunday Worship
Father of mercy, your love embraces everyone, and through the Resurrection of your Son you call me and all who pray with me into your wonderful light. Dispel our darkness and make us a people with one heart and one voice, forever singing your praise,
in Jesus, the Christ, our Lord.
Prayer for Forgiveness
Almighty and most merciful Father, I have erred and strayed from your ways like a lost sheep. I have followed too much the devices and desires of my own heart. I have offended against your holy laws. I have left undone those things which I ought to have done; and I have done those things which I ought not to have done; and there is no good in me. O Lord, have mercy upon me, a miserable sinner. Spare all those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; according to your promises declared to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. And Grant that I and all who confess his holy name may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; to his glory and not our own,
Saint Francis’ Prayer of Praise
You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong;
You are great.
You are the Most High,
You are almighty,
You, holy Father, are
King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One,
Lord God, all good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love,
You are wisdom,
You are humility,
You are endurance.
You are rest,
You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches,
And you suffice for us.
You are beauty,
You are gentleness.
You are our protector,
You are our guardian and defender,
You are courage.
You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith,
Our great consolation.
You are our eternal life,
Great and wonderful Lord,
Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present ourselves blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.
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.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them —
he remains faithful forever.
John 1:10-13 (ESV)
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Notes on the Scripture
The Right to Become the Children of God
The first sentence gives one of the important concepts of Christianity. When Christ was born, God entered the world that He had made, but the world did not know him. It did not recognize him and it did not partake of him. By becoming human, God humbled himself to be one of the creatures he had made. But humanity did not know him and did not receive him.
When John tells us that the world did not receive Christ, there are several simultaneous meanings. The most apparent is in the old-fashioned meaning of "receive", harkening back to the time when people more commonly used the term "receive visitors". When there were no telephones, people would call on each other in person. The friendly thing to do would be to invite them in for conversation and perhaps some refreshment, i.e., receive them. The alternative was to have the butler or maid tell the visitors that the person was "not at home".
But this is a philosophical passage, and John means also that people did not invite Jesus into their hearts and minds. They did not receive him, in the sense that a radio might not receive a signal.
And then, there is that wonderful last sentence. Those humble or smart enough to receive Christ got something more precious than anything else in existence: the right to become the children of God.