Daily Devotion for July 29, 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.
Please see today's lesson about this hymn.
Prayer for the Morning
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
For Each of Us in Our Work
Almighty God, heavenly Father, who makes it possible for me to work and gives every creature its food, declaring your glory and showing your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life. Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men as well as myself; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lived and died only to serve us.
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
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols— worship him, all you gods!
Gospel Proclaimed Throughout the World
Jesus said to his disciples, "They will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come."
The Church of South India
The music today is a Christian song in the Malayalam language, which is a language of coastal southeastern India. There is a large Christian population in this area, due in part to Portuguese influence.
The Church of South India, to which many Malayalam Christians belong, was formed from a rather odd conglomeration of protestant denominations: Anglican, Presbyterian, Reformed, Congregational, and some Baptist and Pentecostalist churches. It is structured with elements of all its primary component churches, although it is a member of the Anglican Communion. With roughly four milion members, it is roughly the size of the Episcopal Church in the US. (The largest organized church in India is Roman Catholicism, with about 17 million communicants.)
Christ said, "good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world", and we must always remember that we have brothers and sisters in every culture in the world. When we get caught up in church politics, remembering the sheer number of Christians in all corners of the globe -- even in countries such as India, which are dominated by atheism or by other religions -- helps bring our problems into perspective.
And while the music and dress of the people might seem strange, consider for a moment that, in many ways, they are fundamentally more similar to you than the atheist or agnostic who lives next door.
You might also want to reflect that the charming hymn in today's prayers, which seems so minor, comes from a church that is the same size as, and possibly larger than, most Protestant churches in the US. Christ's message is being proclaimed throughout the world and not just to tiny splinter sects. And on that note, I have to recall something I heard recently (but have ot researched), a claim that on the average Sunday, there are more Anglicans attending church in Nigeria than in Great Britain!