Daily Devotion for September 26, 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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to St. John’s Anglican Church in Detroit, Michigan.
1. On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh.
Awake and harken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings!
2. Then cleansed be every life from sin:
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.
3. We hail you as our Savior, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward.
Without your grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.
4. Stretch forth your hand, our health restore,
and make us rise to fall no more.
O let your face upon us shine
and fill the world with love divine.
5. All praise to you, eternal Son,
whose advent has our freedom won,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Holy Spirit, evermore.
Music and Lyrics by Charles Coffin, 1736
Prayer of Ambrose of Milan
O Lord, who has mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ's sake.
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me today and throughout the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
Prayer for Sunday
Heavenly Lord, I thank you for this day, when your holy priesthood gathers around the world to celebrate your victory over death, in the resurrection of our Savior, Christ Jesus. Help me always to keep in mind that the Sabbath was made for men, and that your commandment to keep one day holy, not to work and not to suffer others to work, was made for our benefit. Help me understand, Holy God, the benefit to me, both in this world and the next, of taking a day every week to dedicate to you; keep me from the temptation of adding to my worldly wealth on this day, for all wisdom is yours, and you have commanded us to make this a day of rest and worship.
Make me always aware that your commandment extends to making others work; and let me do what is within my power to follow your commandment with my full heart, as your Spirit may guide me.
For Those Who Suffer Natural Disasters
Compassionate Lord, we pray for those who have been devastated by recent natural disasters. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with our prayer for strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the long road of rebuilding ahead.
We ask your blessing also on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security and their hope. Bless the work of relief agencies and those proving emergency assistance. May their work be guided by the grace and strength that comes from You alone.
Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over. We ask this in Jesus' name.
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 103:1-5 (NKJV)
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Romans 14:1-13 (ESV)
Accepting Other Christians
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.
Notes on the Scripture
hristians sometimes pass judgment on other Christians; they may criticize others in their own church, or may condemn the practices of people who worship in a different denomination. Paul here states that criticizing other Christians because of such matters is completely unacceptable. Every person’s relationship with God is a matter that exists only between that person and God.
Do we seek to put ourselves in God’s place and make judgments for Him? Where Christ has forgiven sinners, who are we to judge their forgiveness?
Many priests, ministers, pastors, and other church leaders, pass judgment on other denominations of Christianity, disputing their interpretation of the Bible. Sometimes this rises to the level of official policy of the denomination. When listening to the doctrine of your church or denomination, perhaps you may find it better not to criticize or question, or perhaps you may accept it. But, by all means, I would encourage you to meditate and pray on the Scripture quoted today, in seeking out your personal beliefs.