Daily Devotion for October 10, 2009
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
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,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Gospel of Matthew 12:1-8
The Son of man is lord of the sabbath
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath day. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck grain and eat it. When the Pharisees saw it, they said, "Your disciples are breaking the sabbath laws."
But Jesus replied, "Haven't you read what David and his companions did when they were hungry? How they entered the house of God and ate the bread, which was not lawful for them to eat, but only for the priests? And have you not read in the law, that on the sabbath day the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless?
But someone greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this means — that I desire mercy, and not sacrifice — you would not condemn the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath."
Comment on the Scripture
The Hebrews, like the Orthodox Jews today, were forbidden to work on the Sabbath day (now Saturday) by the Fourth Commandment and other interpretive laws; specifically, they could not gather and prepare food. In this passage, Christ asserts his right to modify or supersede the law of Moses — i.e. the old testament or first covenant — by the authority vested in him as the Messiah.
Remember, Christ said that he had come to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. Therefore, as he often did, he gave some precedent for his action. David, on a holy mission, had entered the temple and fed himself and his men on consecrated bread, which was reserved under Judaic ritual to be eaten only by a priest. (For further information, see Leviticus 24:9 and 1 Samuel 21:1-6.) Note that he does not deny the validity of the Fourth Commandment, but rather, establishes his authority to modify its meaning.
Most Christians do not observe the Sabbath at all, but instead, combine the admonitions of the Fourth Commandment with a Sunday observance of Christ's resurrection. The variety of Christian practice is enormous, ranging from a nearly Judaic discipline to total personal liberty. New England Puritans would inflict corporal punishment on persons who were caught whistling on Sunday. Most modern denominations consider Sunday a feast day or holiday and encourage (or oblige) their followers to gather for communal worship.