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Daily Devotion for December 1, 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.
From the traditional (Catholic) Latin Mass.
Prayer to Conform to God’s Will
O Lord God, I am so lukewarm towards you so much of the time, in so much of my life. I try not to admit it to myself, but I read your Word and I can see the gap between what you want for me and what I do. I make excuses. You tell us to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, imitating Him in all we do, but the lure of property, politics, entertainment — all of the matters of this world — is powerful. I concern myself with them constantly, ignoring the plain and simple message of the Bible. I live too much in the secular world, anxious for status and concerned about my future.
Have patience with me, mighty God, and forgive me. Do not spew me out, as you have warned you might do with the lukewarm. Fill my soul with the fire of your Word and help me grow, to put more and more confidence in you and less and less in the world before me; forgive me my sins and help me to live in them less and less today, and every day, that I might more perfectly follow your commandments. In Christ's name I pray,
Holy God, from whom all thoughts of truth and love and peace proceed, and whose Son is rightly called the Prince of Peace; kindle in the hearts of all men the fire of longing for peaceful existence so powerful that they may never long to do violence against another. Guide with pure wisdom those who guide the nations of the earth and the many factions who may find disagreement, that your kingdom may go forward in tranquility and goodness, free of hatred and hostility, until the earth is filled with knowledge of your love. In the name of Christ, I pray,
[Making excuses for not living God’s Word.]
As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.
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.
“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.
The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer.”
~ E. M. Bounds
1 Corinthians 11:1-12 (ESV)
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.
For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.
Notes on the Scripture
As in much of Corinthians, Paul’s explanation is sometimes hard to follow, but at least the practical lesson, that women (or at least married women) should cover their heads during worship, and men should not, is clear.
s in other parts of the New Testament, and indeed in Genesis itself, the relationship described between men and women is complex. Paul accepts the Genesis account of creation literally and holds fast to the concept that woman was made from man and, at least in marriage, has a duty to look to her husband with some degree of deference. A husband is seen as the “head” of his family, although with his own, often difficult, obligations. And yet, before God, the distinction disappears. Our souls have no gender, but as humans, we do. “In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
The discussion of a woman’s hair is difficult to dissect. But one rarely sees a woman voluntarily cut off her hair even in the secular community, and even there, it is generally confined to radically anti-Christian areas such as politically-oriented musicians, lesbian advocates, or the fashion industry. The close-cropping of a woman’s hair has historically been associated with disgrace. At the end of World War 2, in Europe, women in occupied countries who had been the mistresses of German officers had their hair cropped in public, as a sign of their disgrace.
One might speculate that the concern with women’s hair arises from the effect long and full hair has on men, for it makes women more sexually attractive to men. Perhaps the admonition for women to cover their heads is simply a specific application of modesty for all people during times of worship, so that they may not distract others, or that they might set aside vanity.
But perhaps this speculation is in vain. It is not completely clear whether Paul addressed this admonition to all women, or only to married women. The Greek word used, gune, can mean “woman” or “wife” either one, depending on context, and the context here seems to point more towards “wife.” Paul may be leaving a little wiggle room here for single women, who (unlike married women) have a legitimate reason for attracting amorous attention from men.