Daily Devotion for December 9, 2010
16 Days 'Til Christmas
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
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me - love the Father and love all humankind. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples.
Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love.
Grant me the Spirit of Fear of the Lord that I may be filled with a loving reverence toward You;
the Spirit of Piety that I may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others;
the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know You and know myself and grow in holiness;
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your truth;
the Spirit of Counsel that I may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may aspire to the things that last forever;
Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I 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.
Psalm 135:13-18 (Contemporary English Version)
The Lord will bring justice and show mercy to all who serve him.
Idols of silver and gold are made and worshiped in other nations.
They have a mouth and eyes, but they can't speak or see. They are completely deaf, and they can't breathe.
Everyone who makes idols and all who trust them will end up as helpless as their idols.
Romans 8:18-25 (New American Std Version)
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Notes on the Scripture
In the first verse, Paul tells us that our happiness at the revelation of Christ will be greater than the pain we suffer during our lives. This is a wonderful comfort. We often feel that we suffer greatly during our lives. Just realize: no matter how much you have suffered, the joy and happiness that awaits you is greater!
Our struggles to free ourselves from pain are ultimately futile. Through our will and our nature, we make ourselves slaves to the corruption of the world. We are slaves to what we see. But what we hope for, and with the certainty of faith know that we will receive, cannot be seen. That is the very nature of faith and hope. Therefore, we wait for redemption eagerly.
We celebrate our waiting in December, during the season of Advent. Like children waiting for Santa Claus, we celebrate our waiting for the time when Christ will come again. Do you remember being a small child, lying in bed on Christmas Eve, so anxious for Christmas morning that you could hardly stand it? It seemed like forever. And Christmas always came, finally.
Just so, we wait for Christ to come again. Sometimes we wait in terrible pain, but no matter how anxious we become, we cannot force time to move faster. Christ will come when it is God's will for Him to come; we cannot make it happen any faster. We are like children on Christmas Eve, but now we have learned that we must simply wait, relying for comfort on our knowledge that the day will come.