Daily Devotion for March 14, 2018
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Good morning, dear Father; thank you for this day,
Help me to follow you in every way.
Let me speak as you speak, and do as you do;
Let me help others, as you help them, too.
Help me to be honest, don’t let me play games,
Help me to grow, yet still stay the same.
Help me not to be selfish, to give of my heart, my mind and my labor;
Give all - not just part.
Help me to love others, my family, my friends,
Bless all of my foes, help me make amends.
Help me be kind, Father, where I am needed, let
Me give warm attention, and see all needs are met.
Help keep me busy, to strive for the best,
Help me not to be lazy, but find needed rest.
Let me come to you, Father, throughout the day,
Often to thank you, often to pray.
Prayers for Those Torn by Alcohol and Drugs
I pray, O God of hope, for all persons and families whose lives are torn and disrupted by drugs and alcohol. Enable them to identify the illness. Strengthen them to seek help. Bless them with the power of your love, which imparts transformation and wholeness to those who trust in your name. Grant that as they walk this tortured road, they may journey together, bound close together in the bond of love. Shine your light upon them, Lord Christ, that they may see the path out of their misery, and give them the strength to follow it.
[The love and forgiveness needed by people who have hurt me.]
I pray that I may be blessed every step of my path this day by the great God of light. May your sun shine upon me; as the moon moves the tide, may your Spirit move my emotions with every grace and magic; may my heart sing with the voice of your angels and my hearth be warm; and may this and every blessed day You have given me be filled with joy.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 145:14 (NKJV)
The Lord upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
John 1:1 (KJV)
The Gospel According to John
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Notes on the Scripture
he Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are all somewhat similar. Most scholars believe that they were all written from a single fundamental text, either the Gospel of Mark itself, or a written document called the “Q document” which Mark, Luke and Matthew all read. These three gospels are called the “Synoptic” Gospels; “synoptic” is a Greek word (from which we get “synopsis”) and, in this context, means that they all present a similar view. Anyway, the three of them have a lot of overlap; most of which you find in Mark, for example, you will also find in Luke.
John is very different from the Synoptic Gospels, however, in two respects. First off, it describes a lot of events that the other three do not; and by the same token, it is missing a lot of events that are told in one of more of the others. Secondly, the Synoptic Gospels tend to concentrate on recounting events in a more concrete fashion. They are full of descriptions of what was seen, including the teachings and parables of Jesus. John is more poetic and philosophical; it often describes events in a more cosmological sense.
To illustrate what this means, consider how Luke and John begin. Both of them start with the birth of Christ. But Luke (and Matthew) tell us about Mary, Joseph, a baby being born in a stable in Bethlehem, wise men, angels, etc. — they tell us the story of Christmas. John, on the other hand, tells of Christ’s coming to earth by describing a supernatural being called “the Word” who existed from the beginning of time.
All four gospels are equally important and are the Word of God. But since we read the entirety of Matthew about two years ago, John is a logical choice for the second Gospel to read in full, because it is the most different from Matthew.
One might speculate that the omissions in John are intentional. John was likely an old bishop in Antioch when he wrote his Gospel. It is hard to imagine that he had not seen various manuscripts that would become the Synoptic Gospels. So it is reasonable to view John as a book to be read after the Synoptics, and in light of them. One might imagine John saying, “I was there, and there is a lot that needs to be said that is missing from the existing documents.”
It is also interesting to speculate on how much of the actual writing John did. He was almost surely illiterate at the time of Christ. He was a fisherman, a blue collar worker at a time when only a small educated elite could read and write. He spoke Aramaic. Possibly, he knew some Hebrew from religious study, but it was unlikely that he knew any Greek at all, or at most, a few words. Did he learn to read and write such elegant Greek in the decades following Jesus’ crucifixion? Possibly so, but possibly not. We might be hearing the voice of an unnamed saint in John, a person (like Luke) of high education and eloquence, to whom John gave the content of the Gospel to be written.