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Daily Devotion for January 5, 2011
Epiphany Eve, the Twelfth Day of 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
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer from Psalm 86Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done.
All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. 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.
The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season.
You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
God's Love for Humanity
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.
Notes on the Scripture
This is the last day of the traditional celebration of Christmas; tomorrow, the epiphany is celebrated and our season ends. Let us remember the purpose of Christmas by reading one of the most beloved and meaningful passages from the Bible, John's summation of Christ's mission.
We so often let these words slip into the back of our mind: "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order to save it." It is a constant temptation to condemn. And Christians, being only human, can be as bad as anyone on this account. Really, we can be even worse than atheists, since when we condemn, we act as though we have God's authority.
But if condemnation is not God's purpose in sending Christ to us, why should it be ours? Are we better than Christ? Do we know more?
Christ will indeed come again to judge the world, but we must always remember, it is He that is commissioned to judge us, not we who are commissioned to judge others. Our job is to follow Christ. We are followers. We want to be leaders, and some leadership is needed, but we should never forget that our first job, whether we are ministers or elders or bishops or the unattractive person sitting in the back corner of the balcony, is to follow Christ.