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Daily Devotion for July 21, 2010
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.
Lux Aeterna by Sir Edward Elgar, performed by The Choir of New College, Oxford
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,
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever
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.
Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.
1 Corinthians 12:4-13
The Gifts of the Spirit
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are brought by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Notes on the Scripture
In several of the passages this past week, we have looked at the Holy Spirit as the source of our knowledge of God, the internal gift of the Spirit. Today's passage emphasizes the role of the Spirit in our lives, especially the ways in which we contribute to Christ's church.
I know how to make web pages. And so, I have created this web site and devote at least an hour per day to it. I don't feel that I am any better or worse than someone who heals the sick or sweeps up the floor of a church. Our functions are given to us. This is slightly different from the American dream, which teaches us that in the world of commerce we should set goals with our mind and that we can be anything we want to be, and so on. We see a poor or dirty person and many of us see a person who could improve himself if he would just try. And it may or may not be true.
But although service to Christ is similar in many ways, there are also differences. In fact, some of the people with the greatest callings live in a manner that would appall us. When we see others who are not achieving everything in this life that we think they could -- in our pitifully small wisdom -- it is always good to consider the life of John the Baptist, or St. Francis of Assisi, or someone similar.