Daily Devotion for October 10, 2017
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.
The Oslo Gospel Choir, known for its nearly pop Christian music, sounds like a monastery choir at the start of this take on the Kyrie.
NOTE: We have not provided the Norwegian text; what follows is simply the English translation.
Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
(Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.)
The wind blows hard against this mountain side
Across the sea into my soul.
It reaches into where I cannot hide,
Setting my feet upon the road.
My heart is old, it holds my memories;
My body burns a gemlike flame.
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine
Is where I find myself again.
Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel,
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night,
Kyrie eleison, where I'm going, will you follow?
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light.
When I was young I thought of growing old,
Of what my life would mean to me,
Would I have followed down my chosen road
Or only wished what I could be?
Music and Lyrics Traditional and
by Christian Mayrhofer
A Prayer of St. Basil the Great
I bless you, O God most high and Lord of mercies, who forever works great and mysterious deeds for me, glorious, wonderful, and numberless; who provides me with sleep as a rest from my infirmities and as a repose for my body tired by labor. I thank you that you have not destroyed me in my transgressions, but in your love toward mankind you have raised me up, as I lay in despair, that I may glorify your majesty.
I entreat your infinite goodness, enlighten the eyes of my understanding and raise up my mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open my mouth and fill it with your praise, that I may unceasingly sing and confess you, who is God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, the only-begotten Son, and the all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
To Find God’s Beauty in Nature
It is the Holy Spirit who makes us find joy in each flower, the exquisite scent, the delicate color, the beauty of the Most High in the tiniest of things. Glory and honor to the Spirit, the Giver of Life, who covers the fields with their carpet of flowers, crowns the harvest with gold, and gives to us the joy of gazing at it with our eyes. O be joyful and sing to Him: Alleluia!
[You have raised me up, as I lay in despair.]
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
Name an Old Testament verse that assures us that God has plans for our welfare.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I will try to change myself.
1 Corinthians 3:18-23 (ESV)
Wisdom, Foolishness, and Vanity
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God.
For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men.
For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Notes on the Scripture
The foolishness of human pride and wisdom is a theme that runs throughout Paul’s epistles and, indeed, the entire Bible. In fact, the most beautifully written testament to the temporality of our achievements is in the Old Testament, the wonderful passage in Ecclesiastes, which starts:
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. (Ecclesiastes 1:2-4)
The Hebrew word for “vanity” used here is the same as the word for “mist,” and in terms of the age of the universe, our earthly wisdom is as inconsequential and fleeting as a mist in the morning. There was an argument recently published between two great scientists, about whether the Earth would end its existence in 1 billion years or 9 billion years. When one considers that God’s time is infinite, a concept we cannot even truly grasp, and thus the age of the Earth is utterly small to Him, we see the folly in pride of our knowledge.
Paul refers this concept back to his main point in the first chapters of 1 Corinthians, that it is mistaken to define our beliefs as followers of a church leader. Factionalism in Christianity is the foolishness of human pride, and Paul means to discourage it as strongly as he can.
The last sentence sounds almost Buddhist, in its concept that once we belong to Christ, the world “or life or death or the present or the future” are ours. As John Wesley put it, “Peter and every one in the whole world, however excellent in gifts, or grace, or office, are also your servants for Christ’s sake. . . . Contend, therefore, no more about these little things; but be ye united in love, as ye are in blessings.”