Daily Devotion for January 11, 2011
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
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are You, loving Father, For all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are You for giving us family and friends To be with us in times of joy and sorrow, To help us in days of need, And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration.
Father, I praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
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.
The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
Quote of the Day
Salvation is from our side a choice; from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our accepting and willing are reactions rather than actions.
In the Beginning
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shined in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Notes on the Scripture
Of the many beautiful passages in the Bible, I think this is my personal favorite. It has certainly appeared the most often as the daily Bible reading.
The test of great poetry is that you cannot say it another way without losing some of the meaning. You cannot describe it in prose and get 100% of the meaning. The full meaning can only be grasped slowly, by reading it repeatedly. You can, however, help yourself (or others) appreciate it and fully understand it by making some of the meaning more literal.
"The Word" refers to Christ before he became human. At the same time, "the Word" refers to God the Creator. John tells us that "in him was life, and the life was the light of men". This is backwards from how we usually think of Christ. We usually think of Christ as the light which brings life to men. But John goes back one step. He tells us that life was in Christ from the beginning of time. This life is then depicted, metaphorically, as light that shined in the darkness.
This is the light of men. It is not the light of plants, the light that gives physical life. If you have not considered it before, all physical life originates from the sun. All food originates from plants, which take the sunshine and use their chlorophyll to combine the sun's energy with chemicals; if this didn't happen, there would be no food at all.
But there is another kind of light, the light of men. Just as there would be no physical food, and everything on earth would die, without the light of the sun, so our souls would die without the light of Christ.
The darkness is life without knowledge of God, or without Christ's grace. It depicts a general absence of everything humanity has learned and obtained by hearing and reading words that originated from God. It also gives us an image of the creation, the darkness of outer space before there were stars.
But the light of the sun and other heavenly bodies (the moon, the stars) is something all humanity understands. Even the blind can feel the sun's warmth. The light that came from life, however, was incomprehensible to mankind. The life that was contained in Christ, from the first moment of creation, was invisible to us.