Daily Devotion for September 7, 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.
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed me with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
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.
His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
Is Christ as Old as God the Father?
Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he said. "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Notes on the Scripture
Jesus prayed to God the Father while he was on earth. Wars have been fought over what this means, but clearly, Jesus is something other than a simple manifestation of the One God. The Hindus, who believe in a pantheon of gods, also believe that the exact same god will appear in different forms and even with different personality traits; they call these "avatars". But Jesus is not an avatar of God the Father. He is a distinct, unique person who prays to his father. The Nicene Creed states that "he sits at the right hand of the Father".
But on the other hand, the very first words of the Gospel of John state: "In the begining was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Most people agree that "the Word" is the spirit of Christ. It isn't hard to believe that the details of God's existence are simply not comprehensible to the human mind, and this is one example, because John 1 states that Christ was simultaneously God and "with God", whereas the passage today makes it clear that Jesus and the Father are distinct beings.
My personal way of handling this impossible situation is to think of Christ as a part of God that was split off; really, very similar to a human father and son. There is only one "God", and yet, there are three, and they are truly different, not avatars of God the Father. But really, I don't think I'm "right" about this. I think, rather, that the truth of it is beyond the ability of my mind to comprehend. I don't understand quantum physics; why do I expect to be able to understand God?