Daily Devotion for September 2, 2009
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.
This incredibly beautiful hymn was recorded too soft, so you might need to turn up your volume a little.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
Gospel of John 1:6-15
John the Baptist (King James Version)
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
Comment on the Scripture
The scripture for the next few weeks is going to concentrate on Christ's adult ministry. The entire gospel of Matthew will be followed, starting with Christ's baptism.
While we will be reading Matthew in a more modern translation, we thought it worthwhile to begin the segment with John 1:1-15 (yesterday and today) using the old King James Version: The passage is meant to be poetic and the King James Version has never been equalled for poetry.
The passage cannot be reduced to logic; it can only be fully appreciated by repeated reading and acceptance of its profound mystery and beauty. The ideas and meaning are compressed, spoken in a creative language, and often use analogies and metaphors. For example, "the Word" means several things at once: it means God; it means Christ; it means the truth that God revealed to us in human language. John can be called the most philosophical of the gospel writers, and this is a good example of why. Calling God "the Word" is much more abstract than a person; God is not depicted as a grey-bearded old man; God is something beyond our ability to comprehend that existed before the universe, created the universe, and now apparently exists within the universe.
Similarly, Light is used to represent something complex. One use of "light" is a metaphor between the sun and Christ. No scientist would disagree that "light is the life of men"; even a tiny fluctuation in the sun's energy can cause disaster. Similarly, Christ is called "the light of men," because he is an absolute essential to humanity's spiritual life, just as the sun is to humanity's physical life.