Daily Devotion for November 1, 2017
All Saints’ Day
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.
Heavy the weight on my shoulder.
I have discovered how great is the cost
Of trying alone to cross over.
I try and I try but the current's too strong;
It's pulling me under and my strength is gone.
Don't leave me stranded.
Rescue me, my God and my King,
Water is rising and I cannot breathe,
Wrap your arms all around me and
Carry me over (rescue me). . . .
There is a bridge that is easy to cross
While all of our burdens are lifted.
Peace is the land that is waiting for us;
Lord, give me faith to believe it,
Cause I'm in a storm but I'm willing to fight.
I'll overcome and I will not die with You by my side.
I will sail over the oceans and
High over the mountains and
Soar up to the Heavens.
Here is my hand is my heart and my soul and my mind.
Prayer of Praise and Thanks
Oh God, you know every blade of grass that grows, every sparrow that dies, every act and thought of the seven billion people here on earth. The hundred billion stars are yours and you made them, and you watch them, and the vastness of space and the countless galaxies, you know. You know my coming in and my going out, my thoughts and dreams and schemes, my countless little sins and lies, my kindnesses and my cruelties, my prayers and my curses.
Your knowledge is utterly beyond my comprehension, Lord. And yet, despite all of this, you have promised to know me, to be with me, to listen to me and help me and, if I only ask for it in the name of your Son, to forgive me when I offend you.
I praise you above all else, Mighty God; for the wonderment of your existence and the unfathomable size and complexity of your creation. And above all, my love and obedience are yours; I give them to you now and forever, in gratitude for your greatest gift, the sacrifice of your blessed Son, Jesus Christ.
To Abandon Delusions
Dear Lord, forgive me that I turn my eyes away from you towards the things of this world. I am sorry for the fantasies that I so desperately cling to in order to sustain my ego, my pride, my selfishness. Take them away by your marvelous power, oh Holy Spirit, that I might serve your and my fellow man rather than my sinful self. Let me see myself through your eyes and know that my glory, peace, and salvation come from you alone.
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
Where does Jesus tell us that, if we tell someone about Christ and they don't listen, we should “shake the dust from our feet” and go on about our business?
Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.
~ Henry Ward Beecher
1 Corinthians 7:25-31 (ESV)
The Unmarried and the Widowed 
Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is.
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.
This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
Notes on the Scripture
In a sense, today’s selection is not part of the “Bible” because Paul very clearly gives us to understand that this is advice, not Scripture. It is not the teaching of Paul, the prophet-apostle charged by God to bring Christ to the world, but Paul the man, giving advice to his friends. It is not canonical.
aul never predicted the Day of Judgment, and his talk about time growing short is ambiguous. Did he think that Christ would return in a year, or ten? He never says such, but it is possible to read his epistles as implying that he did. Or was he speaking more generally about the shortness of life, how fleeting our four score years actually are, compared to an earth that is four or five billion years old, and a God to whom the earth’s age is just the blink of an eye?
Paul is often depicted as against marriage, but it isn’t true. At most, he tells people they should not feel pressured to marry, that it is good to be celibate in Christ’s service. And the only reason he gives is simply that being single is less troublesome than being married.
At the end of this passage, he delves into an odd flight of mysticism, where he urges everyone to live as if Christ were returning in the morning, or next week. To live, that is, as if they were on the verge of passing into the next life. It sounds as if he is describing the attitude of one of the sequestered monastic orders to come in later centuries, where men and women would live without spouses, without goods, without mourning or celebration, in a state of constant worship, taking part in the world only to the degree necessary to keep their bodies alive.